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Ghosted Again? Understand Why Through The Attachment Theory

Ghosted Again? Understand why through the Attachment Theory


Recently, the topic of  ghosting made me think deeper about the minds of  ghosters and ghostees. This lead me to find interest in different attachment styles and how they associate with relationships. Understanding attachment styles clears up misunderstandings in relationships, experiences and helps us realize our roadblocks. It also helps clear up any anxiety and depression we may face while we are heartbroken.

John Bowlby, a British psychoanalyst, was called “The Father of Attachment Theory.” He argued that early childhood experiences with our caregivers shape future experiences with others. In quote, he said “ No one wants to think that their mothers never wanted them. It’s a very, very painful situation for anyone to find themselves in yet if it’s true, they are going to be better off in the future recognizing that.”  Bowlby is simply trying to say that we are in disbelief that our own mothers would reject us, since they gave birth to us, yet if they do then it’s best to give up trying to get their attention. The reason for this is because some mothers face postpartum depression after birth and withdraw from their own children.

There are three types of attachment styles that I’d like to focus on: anxious-preoccupied, dismissive-avoidant and fearful-avoidant.

Anxious-preoccupied attachment– People with this attachment style often attract partners they can save, or those that can save them. They are seen as clingy and they over analyze every situation. They have a tendency to incessively text and call their partners without giving them much space. They often resort to threats that they will leave their partner.

Dismissive-avoidant attachment-People with this attachment style are emotionally distant and avoid true intimacy with others. They can shut down and push their partners away when they feel vulnerable. Due to this, they have very few close relationships with other people. In addition, Bowlby also stated, “Someone who is terrified of making an attachment has developed a tremendous false self and is going to avoid seeing, if possible, anyone who behaves as a caregiver.” Here, he refers to anyone who is closed off and rejects love from anyone who might be good for them.

Fearful avoidant attachment-This attachment style is a mixture of both. People with this attachment style are afraid of being too close or too distant with others. They are overwhelmed with their emotions and often hurt others who get close to them. They struggle with inner conflict as they want intimacy, yet they resist it. This leads them to experience many highs and lows in their relationships.

In retrospect, learning about all of these attachment styles can help relieve someone from heartbreak. It explains why the ghoster keeps distance and why the ghostee keep chasing them. Some people fall into deep depression and take all the blame for their partners disappearance. You aren’t to blame for your lover’s absence as you aren’t to blame for your caregivers dismissance. Reframing your attachment style is key to understanding yourself and wellbeing. It’s gives you power to detach so you can develop a new healthy way to attach.

I am the Founder and CEO of Counseling On Demand with a Master's Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy with over 25 years of experience in helping Individuals, Couples, Adolescents, and Families who struggle with a wide variety of Life's Challenges. I thus have developed an Array of Effective Counseling Tools and Evidenced-Based Interventions to help you towards Your Road to Better Mental Health and Wellness. You are Never Alone...I look forward to meeting with you or your family member soon!