Have you ever wondered why some people you’ve dated are clingy and constantly in need of validation while others are more distant and standoffish? This all boils down to one simple concept: attachment theory. John Bowlby, psychologist, and psychoanalyst, coined the terms in the ’50s. Attachment theory examines how the caregiver-child bond develops and its impact on the child’s social, emotional, and cognitive development.
According to the theory, each infant develops an attachment style and, years later, this same caregiver-child dynamic plays out in our relationships as adults, impacting everything from the people we choose as partners and our behaviors in those relationships to the way that they progress.
There are four distinct attachment styles which are: secure, avoidant, anxious, and fearful-avoidant, with the last three being forms of insecure attachment. Identifying where you fall can help you better understand the way you show up in your relationships – both romantic and platonic. Here is a breakdown of each one:
This attachment style is considered to be the healthiest because it means you can form secure and loving relationships with others. A securely attached person can trust and get close to people with ease. They are attuned to the emotions of people around them and are generally comfortable with emotional intimacy, but being OK if their partner needs space away from them.
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