Attachments are important because human beings are social beings; therefore, they have to form connections (Firestone, 2013). How someone interacts as a child with parents or guardians greatly affects the way they view romantic relationships. Those who grow up in secure environments, where they are appreciated and loved easily form secure attachments, while those who are neglected might form fearful avoidant associations. Some people are closed off, so they form a dismissive type of attachment.
Someone whose attachment style is secure is more content in his/her relationships, compared to other people. When their child is reviewed, it is found that they had secure relationships with their parents where they felt wanted and were able to interact and communicate freely. A person who is secure will find their partner as their support base. Alternatively, they are the support base for their partners. In case they have a problem, they go to their partners and express themselves, and they receive the support they need. On occasion, their partner has a problem, they can easily be approached and the problem sorted out (Miron, Rauscher, Reyes, Gavel, & Lechner, 2012). A secure partner is not restrictive, that is, they trust their partner enough to allow them to move and interact freely with people in their environment, irrespective of their presence. The bond they share is real where their partner fulfils all dimensions of their needs. Anything they do is done with consideration as to how their partner would feel- if it jeopardizes the relationship or strengthens it. This type of attachment is good because people with secure attachments tend to have longer and more secure relationships.
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The second type of attachment is the anxious or preoccupied type. A person who exhibits this can be described as insecure and rarely do they form real bonds. More times than not, they are always desperate to form a type of bond that foregoes acts of real love and opts for a habitual form of connecting, as a way to find reassurance from their partners. Anxious attachment makes people unhappy with whom they are, and as a result, they will always look up to their partner to complete and complement them. While it is human to seek reassurance from a spouse, these people go to extremes when looking for attention, and some of their actions might push their better half off the edge. On an event, this person feels insecure about their spouse’s feelings or feels unsafe; they will become clingy or possessive- especially if their position is threatened. They can easily make the partner to cut off any social relationships since they feel like once he/she starts socializing more; he/she will meet someone better (Gilbert, et al., 2014). People with this type of attachment do not last long in relationships because the partner eventually gets tired and moves on, or if both of them are insecure, the relationship could be disastrous.
Thirdly, there is the fearful avoidant type of attachment. As children, people who exhibit this type of attachment were neglected by their parents or guardians, and therefore they grow up not forming any bond with anyone. As adults, they are always too afraid to form any meaningful relationship therefore in relationships; they always have one foot in, and one foot out. Such a person is undecided, that is, they are hot and cold; sometimes they form a really close bond, and sometimes they are detached. They are the type that thinks having feelings is a type of weakness, therefore; they try to keep them buried, which is an impossible task. To them, a relationship is a job where to get your needs met, you have to interact with people, but if you stay too close to people, you will get hurt. These romantic relationships are usually rocky and turbulent because of the pent-up feelings, which can become overwhelming. It is very easy for such a person to end up in an abusive relationship because he/she does not know how to express themselves and may cling on to their partner when they feel rejected or feel trapped when in a relationship (Miron, Rauscher, Reyes, Gavel, & Lechner, 2012).
Lastly, there is the dismissive avoidant type of attachment. People with this type of attachment are the hardest to get through because they can completely shut off their emotions. Contrary to common belief, they too have emotions, and crave or form attachments, but prefer not to show it. When in a relationship, they prefer to keep their emotions to themselves, and this can be very frustrating to their partners. Sometimes they might come off as self-centered because they tend to live an inward life, but that is just the way they take care of themselves. On some occasions, they might seem to love their pets and show more emotions towards them than their partners. However, every human being needs to connect with another human being. Therefore, their pseudo-dependence is a façade. They deny their partners the chance to know them at a deeper level. Such people always have emotional and psychological walls which are hard to break. In times of crisis, or arguments, they can remain uncreative and simply choose not to care about the situation.
In conclusion, attachment styles play a very important role in the way a person views and act in a relationship. The best form of attachment is the secure type because one is content has complete trust in themselves or their partners. People who do not have this type of attachment can get a partner who is secure and work to better themselves. Dismissive attachment is dangerous because one can easily turn abusive because he/she does not relate to their partner’s feelings. The fearful avoidant type is also not the best form of attachment because such a person might easily be abused in a relationship because of the need to feel loved. Lastly, the insecure form of connection is bad because it tries out the other partner who constantly has to complement and reassure. It is also unhealthy because it has the potential to turn out abusive.
- Firestone, L. (2013, July 30). How your attachment style impacts your relationship. Retrieved Sep 9, 2017, from Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/compassion-matters/201307/how-your-attachment-style-impacts-your-relationship
- Gilbert, L. R., Dewall, N., Haak, E. A., Widiger, T., Blinco, S., & Keller, P. S. (2014). Narcissism in romantic relationships: a dydic perspective. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology,, 25-50.
- Miron, A. M., Rauscher, F. H., Reyes, A., Gavel, D., & Lechner, K. K. (2012). Full-dimensionality of relating in romantic relationships. Journals of Relationships Research, 67-80.
- Noyes, Yoo1, S. H., & E., S. (2015). Recognition of facial expressions of negative emotions in romantic relationships. Nonverbal Behav, 1-12.