How reading Attached is changing how I look at relationships

Attached. As the title suggest this is all about attachment. More specifically it helps you identify your attachment style – and hopefully finding the perfect match. My flatmate and I are both reading it, she suggested it to me a couple of weeks ago, and seriously it’s one of the better ‘self-help’ books I’ve read in a good while!

Being in a relationship – and becoming attached to our partner – is a perfectly natural thing, and having the desire to become attached shouldn’t be seen as something negative. Yet often we hear about the ‘clingy’ or the ‘commitment-phobes’. So is there more to it?

Well, reading Attached has expanded my mind, and is making me look at past relationships and myself in a whole new way. It draws out the three different, and very distinct ways, people act in relationships: anxious, avoidant or secure. Recognise yourself in any of these?

ANXIOUS people are often preoccupied with their relationships and tend to worry about their partner’s ability to love them back.

AVOIDANT people equate intimacy with a loss of independence and constantly try to minimise closeness.

SECURE people feel comfortable with intimacy and are usually warm and loving.

The funny thing – not in the ha ha way – is that Anxious tend to attract Avoidant, and vice versa. This causes a messed up dance of pushing and pulling, which usually ends in disaster – and most likely heartbreak. I’m a classic case of Anxious, sprinkled with a dash of Secure every now and then, only to dive head first into a pool of Anxious again once my gut feeling tells me something is up. And, to make things worse, my two significant relationships in life have been with text-book Avoidants.

Reading this book (devouring it more like) is opening up my eyes to how I behave in dating and relationships, and is allowing me to see how I can react differently, how I should really be with a Secure person, and how fucked up my past relationships have been (at times, not all of the time, but at times). It’s also confirmed that I need to listen to my gut instinct of ‘if something feels wrong’ then it’s probably exactly that. The super Anxious me however will have been too scared in the past to say anything, in fear of rocking the boat.

Now however, when meeting guys, I’m taking a much more open approach. Telling them what I need and how I like things, without dancing around them, too scared of saying or doing the wrong thing, from day one. And it feels great!

I’ve also learnt that I shouldn’t feel bad for wanting what I want. We are all different, we simply need to meet the person who has a compatible attachment style.