Lately, I’ve been digging in a bit again, around 'attachment' styles. WOW, is this really fascinating stuff!
Over the next couple of weeks I will be guiding you through a brief introduction to these various attachment styles, so you can begin to identify your own default style, rumble with how that’s effecting both your search for love AND how you are engaging in your current relationship + how to begin to change up your attachment style for better results in love and relationships.
YES. You read that right. These next few blogswill be invaluable to those who are still looking for love AND those fighting to keep love!
Attachment styles, is our natural default engagement with attraction, attachment and love.
Attachment styles, directly influence who we choose, how we interpret feelings of love, how we respond to love and how we show love.
There are three major attachment styles, Anxious, Avoidant and Secure.
Oh, and this is NOT one of those contests, where everybody gets a prize. There is ONE DEFINITIVE attachment style that is THE BEST. That when we are OR overlay this particular type we have better, longer lasting, happier and more fulfilled relationships! So stay tuned, throughout this series, dearest ones!
First up… the AVOIDANT Attachment Style!
The Avoidant attachment style is REALLY interesting.
The avoidant style always manifests itself. Which is to say, it requires some proactive thought or action, even if only subconsciously to consistently be maneuvering to keep people, and partners at an arm’s length. The Avoidant attachment style, determines to a great degree what you expect from relationships, how you engage with romantic situations, how you interpret what prospective and actual partners want from you and want to give to you.
The Avoidant often self-identify as ‘free spirits’ and they view ‘NEEDS’, especially needing other people, as a weakness. The avoidant will tend to repress emotions instead of expressing them. When someone takes a step closer to them, offering connection, intimacy and even safety, the avoidant will take two steps back.
Here is the super abbreviated version of what you really need to know;
1. We come across them SO MUCH whilst dating because they are the largest population of the dating pool.. they avoid relationships, so stay single and dating longer and/or have a higher turn over in relationships, hence dipping in and out of the dating pool more often. (#ghosting #mixedmessages #saytheywantarelationshipthensaytheydont)
2. Avoidant can be a secondary attachment style, many of us adopt and lay over our natural attachment style as a survival skill. We come to believe, maybe after being hurt in love or due to abandonment or instability (as example) in our childhoods that self-reliance and avoiding attachment is the safer option. This self-reliance is fear based, so please don't confuse it with independence. It ain't, doll. I often witness women brandish 'I don't need a partner/I love my single status' as a shield (and a mask) which is not truly authentic OR helpful, if it comes from a place of fear and ego! And by 'witness', I mean I've also seen it in the mirror too! 😲
For those in relationships, we may have been hurt by our current partner, so we recede into the depths and into our fortresses, avoiding intimacy and vulnerability, for protection. Again, if we are engaging with love from a place of anger, resentment and fear...then we‘re not engaging with love, at all. If our partners actions are forgivable, we need to forgive and if they aren’t, if there is no love left on the table worth fighting for, it may be time to stop digging and move on.
3. For those of us with a more anxious attachment style (more on that later) we are often drawn to and fall for the Avoidant because we confuse the highs and lows of our anxiety attachment with the feeling of 'falling in love'. Avoidants are the worst attachment style for Anxious types, as they cannot offer us the stability we require to feel safe. And yet, when we meet Secure attachment folks, because the frenetic energy of our own anxiety attachment, the crazy highs and lows, are not activated we think there is no 'spark'. Hellllo vicious cycle!
Fascinating stuff. And a bit of a head scramble, but in a good way! 🤣
Here are a few quick tips to help move you forward through and beyond The Avoidant Attachment Style.
How do we ‘avoid’ Avoidants whilst dating?
Abundance is a top technique for dodging avoidants. The more people we date, the more active we are on meeting new people, the more likely we will get in front of people who do not have the avoidance attachment style. Of course really understanding and accepting our own attachment style, what we really NEED in a relationship (versus what we want sometimes) is they super duper ninja move.
Yikes, I may be in a committed relationship with an avoidant, are we doomed?
NO. The Avoidant attachment style, like any other attachment style, can change. Sometimes, they really want to love us, and the wall inside of them is blocking them, as much as it is you. Threatening, badgering or making demands of an avoidant, is the worst possible tactic. They scare easy, no matter how tough they may act. If you can consistently offer them safety, they will step out of the fortress. This won’t happen overnight or even after a week of trying. This is a long game, my dear. Once you have created an atmosphere of safety, you can logically lay out how their behaviour makes you feel and tell them specifically what they can do to support and love you better. Think of it as saying “we’re here. Would you like to go there with me? This is how we can get there together and it would be most helpful if YOU did X, Y, Z for us to get there.”
Uh oh, I am an Avoidant… now what?
There is a whole lotta work to do around changing and tempering your attachment style. KNOWING IS HALF THE BATTLE! We can absolutely overlay other attachment styles, over our default. We can zig, when your attachment style is telling us to ZAG. We can choose partners who offer a secure attachment style. If we are in a relationship, and we can see how our own avoidance is creating damage, we can have a brave conversation with our partners, let them know how we operate and what we need (scary word for the avoidant) from them to help us try to do better at giving and receiving love.
Later this week, I will be reviewing the Anxious attachment style, so stay tuned!
Attachment styles is a well researched area of human engagement and connection; covering it ALL in a blog, will never be possible. Helping individuals and couples understand, accept and move forward with their attachment styles is part of the deeper work I do with my private clients.
There are many MANY books on this however one I have come to rely on is 'ATTACHED, by Dr Amir Levine & Rachel Heller'. #recommendedreading
#attachmentstyles #avoidantattachmentstyle #dating #relationships #betterrelationships #choosingbetterpartners #love