Every relationship is different, but the best relationship experts have come up with three ways in which people “attach” in a relationship. It is called the attachment theory and I find it very interesting. If you are more aware of what category you fall in, you are headed for a better life.
The three categories are anxious, avoidant, and secure. The stats on this according the the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology assert that 20% of people fall in the anxious camp, 25% fall into the avoidant camp, and everyone else (55%) rests in the secure camp. Journey with me to see where you stand.
Some might call this group more needy, clingy, or codependent. If you have an anxious attachment, you are anxious a good bit of the time- especially when you are not with your partner. You crave their presence continually, thus you might get termed “needy”. You get anxious when your partner doesn’t call or text you back immediately, you are very sensitive to your partner’s moods, and you don’t like creating conflict. However, you do create conflict because that gets attention from your partner. You also don’t communicate well.
Those who have avoidant attachment love their independence. They want intimacy, but they are afraid that if they go after it, they will lose their freedom. People in this camp tend to feel smothered or apprehensive when a partner wants to get close. They want deep connections but put a wall up. They repress their desire for intimacy and keep the partner at arm’s length. They get annoyed easily at little things.
Those in the secure camp do pretty well in relationships. They are great communicators and know how to treat their partner. When conflict arises, they tend to stay calm and openly discuss the situation. They like intimacy and invite it as often as they’d like. They like for their relationship to grow, so they invest in it on a regular basis. They are secure in themselves and this helps tremendously in a relationship.
It would be nice if everyone fell into the secure attachment group, but that is not the case. The good news is that you can shift your attachment style if you invest in growing, learning, and changing. It will take some work, but you can do it. Both anxious and avoidant attachment camps ought to be trying to become more secure. You can do so by investing some time learning about relationship dynamics.
For a happier life, go ahead and purchase some books on relationships and educate yourself. If you fall into the Anxious Attachment group, you’ll want to read up on codependence to try to change some of your thoughts and behaviors. If you fall into the Avoidant Attachment group, read up on relationships advice books by experts and professionals in the field. One of the best books I’ve read that helps relationships is The Five Languages of Love. It is a must-read for everyone.
As you invest in personal and spiritual growth, a better relationship and a better life will be a byproduct. As you journey toward becoming whole and secure, all of your relationships will improve. There are so many people who have relationship problems their whole lives but never make an effort to get some good relationship advice. When something is not working, do something different. Change requires effort. Relationships ought to flourish! You can have a happy life.