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Decoding Attachment Styles For Healthy Relationships

Illa Lynn August 2023 2

Midlife & Beyond Dating: Illa Lynn

Relationship dynamics are largely influenced by attachment style.

However, I was surprised to discover that many people were unfamiliar with this theory. It may be unfamiliar to you as well. Considering that, I thought today would be a good time to share them with you and help you discover which one you can identify with.

As a bonus, if you make it to the end of the article, I will provide a link to a quiz that I personally enjoyed and recommend to my clients who are curious about this topic.

“…relationships begins with understanding your attachment style.”

Attachment styles are established during early childhood and determine how we relate to one another emotionally. Building healthier and more fulfilling relationships begins with understanding your attachment style.

As we proceed, we’ll examine the four basic attachment styles and how to identify them in ourselves and our partners. This topic stretches a lot deeper as we delve into understanding emotional connection; however, today we will start with the basics.

1. Secure Attachment Style:

Individuals with a secure attachment style tend to view themselves and others positively. They feel comfortable with intimacy and seek emotional closeness. Securely attached people trust their partners and believe they are worthy of love and support.

They can express their emotions openly and handle conflicts with respect and understanding. In relationships, those with a secure attachment style support and understand their partners without losing independence.

These are some questions to ask yourself that can help you identify your attachment style

  • Do you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and emotions with your partner without fear of rejection or judgment?
  • Do you trust your partner’s intentions and don’t feel the need to excessively check-in or seek constant reassurance?
  • During conflicts, do you strive to find solutions together, and are you willing to compromise for the sake of the relationship?

This is the attachment style you want to aim for if you want a happy and thriving romantic connection.

“People with anxious attachments tend to attract manipulators, narcissists or avoidants.”

2. Anxious Attachment Style:

Individuals with an anxious attachment style often doubt their self-worth and crave reassurance from their partners. They fear rejection and abandonment, leading them to be overly dependent and clingy in relationships.

Anxiously attached people may become preoccupied with their partner’s actions and interpret neutral behaviors as signs of disinterest. For example, “he takes too long to text me, clearly he is not interested.” or ” he didn’t send me a good morning text, and will most likely ghost me.”

People with this attachment style often assume and catastrophize in relationships, especially in the early dating stages.

How To Identify It In Yourself:

  • Do you often worry about your partner’s feelings towards you and seek constant validation and attention?
  • Do you feel a sense of anxiety or even panic when your partner is not readily available or responsive.
  • Do you have a tendency to overanalyze interactions and may jump to negative conclusions about your partner’s intentions.

People with anxious attachments tend to attract manipulators, narcissists or avoidants.

3. Avoidant Attachment Style:

Individuals with an avoidant attachment style are often uncomfortable with emotional intimacy and prioritize independence over closeness. They can feel suffocated if they feel forced to be close to their partners, and they often feel the urge to run as things get serious, or you get closer.

They struggle to express their feelings and may appear emotionally distant or detached which can cause a rollercoaster of emotions for anyone they are in a relationship with. Avoidantly attached people might find it challenging to fully trust their partners, leading them to downplay relationships and commitment.

How To Identify It In Yourself:

  • Do you prefer to handle emotions privately and avoid discussing personal feelings with your partner?
  • Do you value your independence and may feel suffocated or trapped if your partner becomes too emotionally demanding.
  • Do you during conflicts tend to withdraw or shut down rather than engage in open communication and problem-solving?

Avoidant individuals are the most misunderstood. They can be challenging to figure out and often be mistaken for narcissists. The truth is that relationships with avoidants are hardly sustainable, unless they are actively working on healing their trauma to be in a more secure place.

“Avoidant individuals are the most misunderstood.”

4. Disorganized Attachment Style:

Individuals with a disorganized attachment style often experience conflicting emotions in relationships, leading to erratic behavior and mixed signals.

This attachment style often stems from traumatic experiences during childhood, creating a struggle to regulate emotions and trust others. Someone with a disorganized attachment style fluctuates between anxious and avoidant. It is a difficult place to be in, and I speak from personal experience because the emotional rollercoaster this turns out to be is not for the faint of heart.

Therefore it is imperative anyone with this attachments style does the necessary work to get to the bottom of their trauma response, and do the necessary healing work. You as a partner can help them on this journey by being understanding and supportive.

How To Identify It In Yourself:

  • Do you experience intense emotional highs and lows in your relationships, making it difficult to maintain stability? It’s almost like feeling unhinged and not knowing why.
  • Do you have a history of chaotic and unpredictable relationships?
  • Do you struggle with self-sabotaging behaviors and have difficulty establishing boundaries with partners?

“Relationships become easier to navigate this way.”

Conclusion:

Relationships and personal growth can be enhanced by understanding your attachment style. It is normal for attachment styles to develop early in life, but they are not fixed. Developing a more secure attachment style requires awareness and guided effort.

By recognizing and addressing patterns in your relationships, you can build more satisfying relationships, develop emotional intimacy, and resolve conflicts more effectively. In my role as a relationship coach, I encourage you to embark on this journey of self-discovery and growth in order to create more meaningful and loving connections in your life.

Knowing more will enable you to better understand others and the world around you. Relationships become easier to navigate this way.

If you wish to explore more, click on the link and take a 5 minute quiz on the topic.

I’d  love it if you interacted with this article, and let me know in the comments if you tried the quiz and what attachment style came up for you.

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About the Author:

Illa Lynn is a former corporate health care leader turned Life Coach who specializes in Relationship Coaching for women. In addition to her ten years of academic and professional training, she specializes in dating after 40. Specifically dating after divorce, or toxic love. Using her psychology background and intuitive nature, Illa helps women open up to love again. In three steps, Illa guides women to create lasting, authentic relationships founded on transparency, respect, and trust. Follow Illa on LinkedIN for more tips and tricks on dating.