Romantic relationships are centered around different types of attachment, which determine the type of relationship you have, or may have. Knowing and understanding these types of attachments can help you work on yourself and your relationship for the better.
You crave your partner’s attention, and you never want to leave his side. You dream about them every minute of the day. You are both convinced that you are deeply and irrevocably in love. Could you simply be related to them?
You may ask yourself: What’s the difference? Don’t we always cling to our loved ones? We are – but getting attached can be more difficult than that. We can form healthy bonds based on mutual love and respect. We can also build a more harmful sense of connection than fear or emotional need.
So what are the types of attachment? Let’s find out!
Read 6 signs that you are in a fake relationship
The Three Types of Attachment: Which Drives Your Relationship
A study by the University of Denver identified three very different types of roadblock patterns. Not all of them are healthy – but each one is a powerful force.
1. Secure attachment
Safely connected adults support and respect each other. They form a relationship based on caring and mutual trust. A securely bound relationship involves compromise. Each partner sets and maintains boundaries. A person who is securely attached is able to give generously of himself, while maintaining self-esteem and a sense of identity.
Children learn to make secure attachments when they encounter them at home. They practice it throughout childhood by making and maintaining friendships. Safely connected people can trust their partner’s affection and maintain realistic relationship expectations. This type of attachment is found in healthy partnerships.
2. Anxious attachment
Anxious attachment occurs when one partner is in dire need of entering into an imaginary relationship. They fear that it will not happen due to abandonment issues or a lack of healthy bonds throughout their childhood. A person with anxious attachment is unlikely to trust their partner on a deep level.
Instead, they live in constant fear of betrayal and abandonment. They are afraid to be alone. This fear makes them bond with their partner very quickly. They place emotional expectations on their significant other that are unrealistic and unlikely to come true.
People with this type of attachment expect to be completed or rescued by their partner. They seek safety and security. This type of attachment is not conducive to an emotionally healthy relationship.
Related Topics: How childhood attachment styles affect adult relationships
3. Avoiding attachment
People who were repeatedly hurt, or who never learned to relate in a healthy way as children, may form an avoidant attachment. In these relationships, one of the partners is afraid of intimacy, which prevents him from communicating with the other. They withdraw emotionally.
Although they may have deep emotional feelings for their partner, they are not able to express them clearly and respectfully. They may withdraw in a dismissive manner, which involves distancing themselves from the relationship. They may throw themselves at work, ignore their partner, cheat, or just disappear completely. Their avoidance can also appear in a frightening way. They may deny their feelings, refuse to commit them, or avoid emotionally difficult situations.
Why is this important?
Love requires the ability to trust your partner. To enter into a loving relationship, you must be generous enough to give affection and emotionally secure enough to receive it. Love, when built from a secure attachment, is based on your feelings for your partner.
However, anxious attachment and avoidance have nothing to do with your significant other. It is about your unresolved feelings and unmet emotional needs. This is not true love. These relationships are driven by selfishness, fear and control.
Rather than empowering each partner, unhealthy attachment styles can trap them in an emotionally draining and unfulfilled relationship.
Rob Liano wrote, “Selfish love hurts, unselfish love heals.” Refuse to accept love that hurts you. There’s something better out there, and you’ll find it someday – but only if you keep looking.
Want to learn more about the different types of attachments? Check out this video below!