The ones with a secure attachment style are bound to attract someone with the same style or are at least capable of knowing what kind of partners to walk away from. The ones with other styles of attachment will need some inner work before they can be happy in a relationship.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on February 19, 2021. It has since been updated.
People have different attachment styles that define all relationships, be they romantic or platonic. The way we get attached to people depends on our mother's behavior, later experiences, and other factors, explains Darlene Lancer, a licensed marriage and family therapist, on Psych Central.
Most of the population has a secure attachment style and it is better for survival. According to Psych Central, 50% of the population has a secure attachment style. The attachment style defines the progress, duration, and end of our relationships. Knowing our attachment patterns helps us figure out what our strengths and weaknesses in a relationship are. We can play up our strengths and work on our weaknesses.
For those of us in long-term relationships, knowing attachment styles can help decode a lot about ourselves and our partners as well. It could improve our communication with each other and understand our expectations from the relationship.
Here are the four attachment styles you need to know about:
Those who fall under this category keep themselves at an emotional distance from their partner. They are people who think of themselves as independent and not needing others. They might seek to be alone and could take up the role of parenting themselves. Others might think of them as self-centered or focused on themselves only. Creature comforts might be more important to them.
They only think they are independent but aren't really. These people might keep their emotional distance from near and dear ones. They are unable to grasp the importance of close relationships and step away from them easily. Even when there is an emotionally fraught situation, they can mentally detach from it. They might even show indifference towards their partners, according to Psychology Today.
Those with this attachment style focus more on others and end up feeling unhappy. Since they are more focussed on not being rejected by a loved one, they ignore their own wellbeing and needs. They are able to become close to their partner but their aim shifts to accommodate their partner. They become extremely preoccupied with their relationship and take things personally. Any perceived slight blows up into a negative reflection on them as a partner.
People with an anxious attachment style could be manipulative and could play mind games with their partner to get attention. They could threaten that they would leave or not return calls, or try to make their partner jealous, according to PsychCentral.
Those with a fearful-avoidant attachment style are too afraid to be close or distant from others. They are stuck in a confused state of being. They want to keep their feelings at a distance but can't. Sometimes, they are overwhelmed by the feelings they do have and thus can be unpredictable. They understand that for their needs to be met in a relationship they will need to open up to their partner but are scared of opening up too much. So, they end up not really knowing what works for them in a relationship.
These people might be prone to emotional highs and lows, and be stuck in dramatic relationships. They struggle with the fear of being abandoned and being intimate. They can't seem to strike a balance.
Those with a secure attachment style are happier in their relationships. Their relationships last longer and have trust, commitment, and interdependence. They know how to rely on their partner when distressed and are there for their partner in times of need. They use romantic partners to understand the world better, R. Chris Fraley, a Professor at the University of Illinois's Department of Psychology, explained in an article on the University's website. Those who are secure are confident and self-aware. They can easily interact with others, meeting both their own and another's needs.
Disclaimer: This article is based on insights from different sources. The views expressed here are those of the writer.