Romantic Love and its Attachments


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Like spoken in the earlier article, our attachment patterns can say a lot about us and about our relationship, and in this article,I  will discuss this in detail. Recognizing your pattern of attachment is  essential to knowing and understanding what has happened in your past relationships or perhaps the reason you were in the relationship too. For instance, a person with an anxious attachment would think that a partner who is close and gets your needs met is the person that will reassure your love for them. With this perception, they end up choosing someone who tends to be isolated and distant. Does that sound shocking? We tend to project ourselves which attracts what best suits that version, and we hardly realize it.

Is there a way this can be changed? Can I become a person with a secure attachment?

In a research by Shaver and Hazan, it was found that about 60 percent of people have a secure attachment, while 20 percent have an avoidant attachment, and 20 percent have an anxious attachment. (Hazan & Shaver, 1987). What does this convey? All of us fall in one attachment style or the other. The good news is that it is never too late to become securely attached!

Being adults, we tend to constantly find ourselves in dramatic relationships with its ups and downs, emotionally. Sometimes we feel scared to be intimate, or may be too clingy. Others might feel rejected when distant, and trapped when being close in the relationship. Abusive relationships can also be the result of an attachment pattern playing out. But what can we do about it? Turns out, the attachment style that you have adopted as a child does not necessarily have to stick around when you are an adult! Once you have recognized your attachment style, you can discover ways to earning a ‘secure attachment’.

Ann and Dave had been in a 6 year long relationship and could not seem to understand what they were doing wrong. They had been unhappy for a long time. On speaking about this in therapy, we could understand that Ann had an anxious attachment style. Because of this, there seemed to be the need for Dave wanting to complete an unresolved and unexplained need for being rescued. Ann would feel safe when Dave would feed the emotional void present. In the long run, this behavior had turned from a notion of fantasy to unspoken reality.  

 According to Dr, Dan Siegel (professor of clinical psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute), “the best predictor of a child’s security of attachment is not what happened to his parents as children, but rather how his parents made sense of those childhood experiences.” Key: making sense of your childhood.

It can be quite difficult to go back to your childhood and go through everything, but realizing a reason, or a perspective which would give your present narrative a reason. Your life, your relationships, you as a person and so on can be understood by doing this.

Once this is done, your defenses, coping mechanisms and the meaning behind this would come to light. Therapy or speaking to a professional is definitely a process that would help you discover this better and with the right guidance. Slowly, a secure relationship can be built with a secure and healthy pattern that is followed.

Find out your attachment style here: