How Can You Tell If Your Attachment Style Is Compatible With Your Partner's?

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Love

At the beginning of most relationships, couples enjoy and look forward to seeing their partner. Over time, as you learn more about your partner, you might notice things that bother you.

Before becoming resentful or thinking about moving on, you may want to learn what attachment styles are compatible and how they impact relationships.

If you know your attachment style as well as your partner’s, you can explore what attachment styles are compatible with each other. 

RELATED: How The 4 Attachment Styles Affect Relationships + How To Know Which Is Yours

What attachment styles are compatible and work well together?

The four attachment styles are:

1. Secure Attachment

2. Insecure-Anxious

3. Insecure-Avoidant

4. Insecure-Disorganized

What attachment styles are compatible are based on the amount of effort, time, and consideration a couple is willing to put into their relationship to make it succeed.

Any attachment style can survive and thrive if you are willing to understand the challenges of your partner.

That being said, certain attachment styles will have an easier time bonding and creating a secure attachment than other styles. 

1. Secure Attachments

A securely attached partner with a securely attached partner is the best combination because they experienced secure attachment in childhood. The experience of secure attachment supports the experience of having each other’s back and caring for each other. 

A securely attached partner with any of the insecure styles will work because the securely attached partner will lean into the relationship and help their partner navigate feelings of abandonment, entrapment, and/or trauma. 

2. Insecure-Anxious Attachments

An insecure-anxious partner will need to learn how they are triggered by any suggestion of abandonment by their partner.

For example, this type of partner will more likely be threatened if their partner needs space or time apart. 

When both partners have an insecure anxious style, they will need to learn to take breaks because the level of stress may create tremendous amounts of fighting and tension.

Each partner’s anxiety will cause the other partner to become anxious and this pattern can cycle out of control

RELATED: There's Only 4 Types Of Love Attachment Styles — Which Is Yours?

3. Insecure-Anxious with Insecure-Avoidant

An insecure-avoidant partner with an insecure-anxious partner may feel overwhelmed because the anxious partner wants to talk for long periods of time and discuss things over and over.

Whereas the avoidant partner wants to discuss the issue quickly and throw it into the closet. 

If each partner does not understand why their partner wants to connect or not connect or wants to talk or not talk, then they will not be able to come to a win-win situation. 

For example, if an insecure anxious person is coupled with an insecure-avoidant, the insecure avoidant’s behavior to want to isolate and not discuss things may signal to the insecure anxious that my partner doesn’t care about me and will leave me.

These thoughts will cause the anxious partner to work harder to be close, which in turn will cause stronger avoidant feelings in the other partner.

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If this couple is willing to learn "new dance steps and moves," then they can learn how to weather their differences and challenges.

This couple will find that their partner’s actions, behaviors, and ways of connecting (or not connecting) are so different from their own that they may be confused and hurt a lot by their partner.

Each partner will need to stop making assumptions about their partner and instead learn how to slow down and learn how to reflect, validate and clarify their partner’s feelings and position. 

4. Insecure-Avoidant

When both partners are Insecure-avoidant, they will need help talking and resolving issues because they have a tendency not to talk and address anything.

Throwing their issues into the closet may work for a while or even years, but as they have less and less connection, the loneliness and lack of partnership may create wear and tear on the relationship. 

5. Insecure-Disorganized

An insecure-anxious or insecure-avoidant person with an insecure-disorganized will have many challenges because when the disorganized partner is triggered by unresolved trauma, they might behave anxious or avoidant.

The disorganized person will see any close relationship as a threat and need to self-protect. The goal of the disorganized person is to learn how to remain in the window of tolerance.

What attachment styles are compatible are based on many factors and the couples’ commitment to making their relationship succeed. Certainly, a secure attachment will be the most compatible couple and have the easiest time forming a secure functioning relationship.

On the other hand, an insecure couple will need to learn new dance steps to change the patterns that hurt and create pain into ones that are compatible and are in step in the dance of life. 

RELATED: The Devastating Way Your Childhood Bonds Can Make-Or-Break Your Adult Relationships

Lisa Rabinowitz, LCPC is a licensed counselor in Maryland, Virginia and Florida. She is a Certified Gottman Couples Therapist and PACT Level 3. Lisa offers a 2o minute free consultation about attachment issues and much more.