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How your attachment type affects your relationships
How your attachment type affects your relationships

Your type of bond is noticeable on the first date!

How your attachment type affects your relationships
How your attachment type affects your relationships

In today's dating culture, it is common to encounter a wide variety of people: the ghosts, the self-saboteurs, the level 5 dependents, the emotionally unavailable, the fuckboys, and so on and so forth. It's easy to write off these g'spusis as bad relationship experiences, but they do exist. There's no point in glossing over it and ascribing its unpredictable behavior to mysterious powers. This is because attachment theory can provide insights into these patterns.

Based on our early childhood experiences with our parents (or guardians), we theoretically form four unique attachment styles:

  • anxious-ambivalent bond
  • fearful-avoidant attachment
  • indifferent-avoidant attachment
  • secure bond

These styles fundamentally change the way we bond and respond to future relationships. In this case, at first glance, it can also affect who we are attracted to.

“Our attachment styles are so important when it comes to dating because they make up the rules we need to relate to others. They can help us understand our strengths and weaknesses in a relationship. Attachment styles affect everyone, just like everyone else responds to needs by us and they really affect everything from the choice of our partners to the course of our relationships and, unfortunately, to the end, "says Australian-based therapist Nabill Zafir.

If you don't know your style, take this quiz to find out. Then read on here to see how these attachment styles can present and impact in the early stages of the data - and how they can affect your relationship perspective.

The four types of bond

1. The fearful-ambivalent attachment style

Those with an anxious attachment style tend to be incredibly observant, kind, and generous. They focus more on the needs of others than on their own. They tend to win and maintain their date's affection and interest. Your fear can likely be visible. This fear also leads people with fearful attachment styles to want to skip 10 steps in a relationship.

Zafir says that anxious-insecure people are likely to develop strong emotions after dating, as they want closeness and reassurance. They can think about the relationship and over-analyze it, which in turn scares them. “They are preoccupied with seeking validation and being chosen by a potential partner. Because the needs for emotional alignment and constancy were not met in childhood, those who are anxiously connected have this perceived fear of abandonment and Rejections, so that they may be triggered when there is distance - for example, if a G'spusi does not respond to your calls or SMS in 'a reasonable time'."

Since fearful connected people are very vigilant about how people behave towards them, they can interpret the independent actions of the other person negatively, which increases the feeling of jealousy. To allay their concerns when their attachment system is activated, fearful people need to feel anchored and secure.

2. The fearful-avoidant bond

Because the fearful-avoidant attachment style is a mix of fearful and avoidant styles, these people can be unpredictable and not easy to define. Similar to the avoiders, they initially appear safe and emotionally available, which makes it destabilizing for their partner when they later change gears. Fearful-avoidant dates are also afraid of being too close and too far, and they do best with partners who can offer emotional support, stability, and unconditional acceptance.

People with this type of attachment tend to experience a double state in which they want closeness (as opposed to the rejecting type) but at the same time want to withdraw. There is distrust of people and vigilance towards signs of disappointment or undesirability. This can be incredibly painful and shameful for them, and confusing for those around them. Falling in love can feel terrifying for this type of bond. You may be in a start-stop-start cycle. The fear that arises from a relationship and addiction causes these people to withdraw or end the nascent relationship.

"As soon as they start to feel a connection, they sabotage themselves. In relationships they play hot / cold because they have an extreme desire for attachment, at the same time they don't trust it and reject it. They have deep trust problems and fear of association through what happened in her childhood, "explains Zafir.

3. The indifferent-avoidant bond

Indifferent avoiders are often more difficult to unmask at the beginning. You present yourself as relaxed and self-confident and at first seem almost like a person with a secure attachment style. Your insecurities can be pretty hidden. This type can be overly self-sufficient and slower to bond as they can associate intimacy and relationships with a loss of independence or self and are happy to leave plenty of space for themselves. At the same time, they don't like to talk about their feelings or themselves.

According to Zafir, dismissive or indifferent avoiders were emotionally neglected in their childhood, and so they learned to calm down independently and suppress their feelings. People with this attachment style love small talk and often prefer to write rather than meet each other. You can use this as a tactic to ward off emotional intimacy. If a date expresses too much interest or affection too soon, they can feel overwhelmed and immediately withdraw. Proximity can unconsciously trigger stored feelings of constriction, "says Zafir.

As intimacy increases, their avoidance behaviors slowly emerge. This is the guy who is most likely to ghost and just won't get in touch. This will make you feel more secure. Avoiders need time to regulate themselves. When you're with someone, they need patience and space to attend to their individual needs.

4. The secure bond

A positive view of the self and the other characterizes a secure attachment style. The person can allow closeness and perceives the partnership as emotionally supportive.

Securely bound individuals will say what they think and mean it. You are comfortable with intimacy. But precisely because these safe and stable guys aren't playing games for the first few days, they may find them too boring and not exciting enough to keep dating them. In doing so, they could help avoidant or fearful attachment types to find the security that they are actually looking for so urgently.

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