We all want to be in a happy and healthy relationship, which can be difficult to maintain. Have you ever wondered why? It may have a lot to do with attachment theory.

Attachment theory is the idea that how we relate to others is based on how we were cared for as children. If our early caregivers were responsive and supportive, we develop a “secure” attachment style. This means we feel confident and secure in our relationships. On the other hand, if our early caregivers were unavailable or unresponsive, we develop an “insecure” attachment style. This can cause us to feel anxious or avoidant in our relationships. There are four main attachment styles: secure, anxious-ambivalent, dismissive-avoidant, and disorganized/fearful avoidant. Keep reading to learn more about each one!

Secure Attachment Style: People with a secure attachment style are confident in relationships and feel comfortable being emotionally close to their partner. They’re not afraid of intimacy and are able to handle disagreements well. It is easy for them to show affection and trust their partners. They know how to balance together/individual time in a relationship.

Anxious-Ambivalent Attachment Style: People with an anxious-ambivalent attachment style tend to be worried about their relationship all the time. They might fear that their partner doesn’t really love them or is going to leave them. They might also have trouble trusting their partner and often need a lot of reassurance.

Dismissive-Avoidant Attachment Style: People with a dismissive-avoidant attachment style tend to be uncomfortable with intimacy and emotional closeness. They might have difficulty trusting or depending on their partner. They might also withdraw from conflict or shy away from difficult conversations. They are extremely independent and self-reliant and often dismiss the importance of intimacy.

Disorganized/Fearful-Avoidant Attachment Style: People with a disorganized/fearful-avoidant attachment style might have a mix of characteristics from all the other attachment styles. They might swing from being overly clingy to wanting nothing to do with their partner. They often repeat “Come here, go away” behaviors, because even though they desperately want the closeness, they are not capable of sustaining it.

 

No matter what your attachment style is, you can have a happy and healthy relationship. If you’re struggling in your relationship, seek out therapy. A therapist can help you understand your attachment style and how it’s impacting your relationship. They can also provide tools and strategies for building trust, communication, and intimacy in your relationship. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you’re struggling. There is hope for a happy and healthy relationship no matter what your attachment style is!