Recently, I have been really curious about people’s attachment styles after reading this super interesting book called “Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How it Can Help You Find and Keep Love” by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller. Maybe it’s because I’m single, in my late 20s, curiously dating, living in NYC, meeting a ton of different people.. or because I sit at dinners with my girl friends and guy friends and hear all these stories about dating apps and being “ghosted.” Not even a text back.
The attachment theory is all about how we are compartmentalized into three categories: anxious, secure, or avoidant. If you feel you get mixed messages or become preoccupied with the relationship then your attachment style is likely anxious.
In order to thrive and grow as human beings, we need a base where we can go to for love and support. It is what we rely on. What nature has in mind for us in terms of gratifying love is this kind of secured base. Our attachment system must be calm and secure in order for that to happen. We are human beings after all! We need a sense of comfort, and can’t get that from being elated every once and awhile. Passionate love is not what you are looking for, it may be exciting wanting something you can’t have or rely on but in the end, you will get hurt. You want closeness and intimacy while they want to maintain distance, emotional and physical. When they send mixed signals that come off as rejecting, it is hard to communicate how you feel. You don’t speak up because you don’t want to make the person mad or turn him or her off even more. By staying quiet, you become increasingly more anxious with yourself.
This is all too tricky sometimes to figure out and it often takes a long time for a true love relationship to really develop. Friendships are great ways to become close with someone before dating because they are less likely to “ghost” you or make you feel anxious as you have established a good, secure foundation for your relationship. It can be very distracting being in a relationship with someone who is love avoidant because they don’t comfort you as often as you’d like and don’t make you feel good when you’re around. Avoidant people are more likely to date people with different attachment styles.
After reading this book, I find my ears pricking up at stories about people who are dating and single. Those who don’t have to beat around the bush to know where they’re at in the relationship versus those (mostly girls) waiting for a text or call back. With all the anxiety from your current relationship, you feel distracted and disheartened constantly. Dating is exciting at first but can quickly dwindle when you learn he or she isn’t as into the relationship as you. If you’re anxious, you should date someone who is secure because you want closeness and intimacy, and secure people are comfortable with love and intimacy. Secure people are consistent and reliable and won’t send you mixed messages that will upset you. They know how to reassure you!
Hopefully this little food for thought is helpful to those still looking to find the one or even in a relationship that is quite dysfunctional. It’s draining but don’t be discouraged. Knowing this information will hopefully help so you can learn to avoid bad relationships. That right match is somewhere out there.