Many of us have heard about attachment styles, and maybe some of us have even dug around to try and figure out which style we are. Whether you’re familiar or not, attachment styles are important to become aware of, because they play a big role in our adult relationships.
Attachment theory is based off of the bond we form with our first primary caregiver, which is usually a parent. It’s a universal act that starts as early as the womb, and the way we develop it eventually affects the way we find, keep, and end relationships.
There are four major attachment styles that people form early in life that tend to leak into how they form adult relationships later on.
The four styles are:
Secure: Someone with secure attachment thrives in their relationships, but also doesn’t fear being on their own. They don’t depend on the responsiveness or approval of their partners, and tend to have a positive view of themselves and others. There’s a healthy interdependence within the relationship.
Dismissive-Avoidant: These people tend to carry themselves as “lone wolves”—strong, independent, and self-sufficient on an emotional level. They may seem like they have it all together, but inside there’s usually deep sadness that keeps them from forming a strong emotional attachment. Adults with this attachment style generally avoid emotional closeness and tend to suppress their feelings.
Anxious-Preoccupied: This person often seeks approval, support, and responsiveness from their partner. People with this attachment style value their relationships highly, but are often worried that their loved one is not as invested in the relationship as they are. A strong fear of abandonment is present, and safety is a priority. The attention, care, and responsiveness of their partner is the only thing that takes the anxiety away.
Fearful-Avoidant (AKA Disorganized): This person tends to both desire and fear the relationship. Fearful-avoidant people do want intimacy and closeness, but at the same time, experience trouble trusting and believing in the relationship. Regulating their emotions is difficult, and they tend to avoid strong emotional attachment out of fear.
If you’re curious to find out what your attachment style is, you can find out with the quiz below!
Keep in mind…we exhibit all four styles to a certain degree, but there’s usually one that is your dominant go-to. The good news is if you’re not happy with what your attachment style is, it’s not a life sentence. We can all work our way to a more secure attachment style if that’s what you strive to do. It just takes awareness, knowledge, healing and consistency.
Once you learn more about your attachment style, you can begin to make the moves to cultivate and sustain healthier relationships within your life.