What's Your Attachment Style?

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Want to know if you're compatible with your man? Learn your attachment style and find out!

That would be true if she were not dealing with a dismissive-avoidant personality style where attachment is concerned. Her bonds of attachment were strengthened through physical affection, doing things together, and touching. He was put off and in some cases even reported feeling repulsed be her desire for more affection in the relationship.

They were barely functioning as a couple, and at the end of the day it was an oil and water match. He was not willing to change his style of engagement and she couldn't imagine continuing on in what felt like a cold relationship. These two people have no business cultivating a relationship because constant clashes are inevitable. Love Lessons From Steve Jobs: How To Live Before You Die

We should not look to relationships to meet all our needs, but we should not perpetually feel like we're reaching and begging for more in our closest relationship either. Similarly, if we feel as if our counterpart is requesting more attention, and affection that we're capable or comfortable giving, we should look into alternatives to avoid feeling as though we're being suffocated to death.

If you're in a relationship with someone who has a dramatically different attachment style than you, it can indeed work, if the awareness level and sensitivity to the differences are kept at the forefront of the relationship, combined with a willingness to compromise. For example, Ben grew up in multiple foster homes. As a result he never felt connected to anyone or much of anything. By the time he was a teenager, he had developed a full blown fearful-avoidant style of engagement with others. He lived in constant fear that the women he was involved with would pull the rug from underneath him and leave.

Ben's girlfriend Stacey leads with a secure attachment style. She did not understand why he became so jealous when she spent time with her friends, but wanted to work through the issues. Ben also expressed a willingness to make changes in the way he behaved in the relationship.
They moved forward in a committed relationship and it's going strong to this very day.

Many attachment style combinations can work out. Justin can best be described as a man who leads with a secure attachment style. He is outgoing and enjoys spending time with his friends as well as his girlfriend. Janna is his girlfriend. She attaches to others, but anxiously and also battles anxiety. It's especially difficult for her to manage in social situation with Justin, but she wants to spend quality time with him at gatherings and events. They have a loving relationship, and talk about the differences openly. With Justin's support Janna has reached the point where she's comfortable accompanying Justin to social gatherings more frequently. Quiz: What's Your Communication Style?

Pay attention to the amount of bend and compromise available in the relationship. It's important not to judge someone else's style as good or bad. A style is just a style, much like a wool scarf versus a silk scarf. Neither is better, they're just different. It really boils down to understanding who you are and what you need to thrive in a relationship. For some of us that means a lot of space for others that means constant warm contact. Cultivating a strong sense of awareness and some level of flexibility increases your chances of finding and maintaining a healthy relationship!

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