October 22, 2021
Events | Mental Health
‘Cause you’re hot then you’re cold
You’re yes then you’re no
You’re in then you’re out
You’re up then you’re down
You’re wrong when it’s right
It’s black and it’s white
We fight, we break up
We kiss, we make up
— Katy Perry, Hot ‘n Cold
Katy’s struggle with her inconsistent partner, while a catchy tune, is an all-too-common problem in the dating world, and a perfect example of a partner with an Insecure Attachment Style. Katy’s partner is unable to communicate their needs clearly, leaving Katy spinning.
Wait… what is an attachment style?
Attachment Theory (developed by John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth) is based on the idea that we are born needing others. Babies depend on their caregivers for security and love in order to survive, and generally, if their needs are met, develop secure attachments. Securely attached people are able to determine their values, voice their needs in a relationship, and regulate their emotions during conflict. They can trust others and reciprocate love to their partners.
So, what happens when a baby and caregiver do not develop a secure attachment in those first few years? Can attachment styles change along our lifespan?
Researchers say that insecure attachments from an early age can negatively impact an individual’s ability to find and maintain a healthy partnership. More recent research suggests that harmful romantic relationships as an adult can shift a previously secure attached person to an insecure pattern (Levine and Heller, 2021). The types of insecure patterns for adults are Anxious-preoccupied, Dismissive-avoidant, Fearful-avoidant, and Disorganized.
How do I know what style I have? Is there any hope if I’m insecurely attached?
There are many validated Attachment Style Quizzes available (links below), and yes, Secure Attachment can be grown through personal work and exploration! In our “How to Rock Your Relationships” course, we will take a deep dive into your personal attachment style and how it has impacted your dating life. We will work through the negative patterns that have held you back from the connection all humans deserve.
New beginnings start with knowing how we create the trap that we are caught in, how we have deprived ourselves of the love we need. Strong bonds grow from resolving to halt the cycles of disconnection, the dances of distress.
— Dr. Sue Johnson, leading researcher on Adult Attachment.
Let’s break down your traps and start a new beginning together!
Attached. The New Science of Adult Attachment and
How It Can Help You Find-And Keep-Love, by Levine and Heller.
Hold Me Tight, Dr. Sue Johnson
Attachment Style Quiz: Free & Fast Attachment Style Test (attachmentproject.com)
Attachment Styles Test: Attachment Style Quiz from Dr. Diane Poole Heller
Relationship Attachment Style Test (psychologytoday.com)
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