You might be familiar with Attachment Theory—the observed attachment patterns children have to their caregivers that seem to predict certain behaviors. The authors of the new book, Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love, are claiming that attachment styles don’t end in childhood, but can be observed in adults as well. Knowledge of the theory may even help you find and build healthy relationships when you are aware of your (and your partner’s) attachment style.
Scientific American Mind recently published an excerpt from the new book and the book’s authors offer a quiz to determine your style. Find out which style you are, then post a comment here to let me know your result. Access the quiz here: Compatibility Quiz
Their theory states “individuals perceive and respond to intimacy in romantic relationships, which parallel those found in children.” There are three main styles: Secure, Anxious, and Avoidant.
“I find it relatively easy to get close to others and am comfortable depending on them and having them depend on me. I don’t often worry about being abandoned or about someone getting too close to me.”
“I find that others are reluctant to get as close as I would like. I often worry that my partner doesn’t really love me or won’t want to stay with me. I want to merge completely with another person, and this desire sometimes scares people away.”
“I am somewhat uncomfortable being close to others: I find it difficult to trust them completely and difficult to allow myself to depend on them. I am nervous when anyone gets too close, and often romantic partners want me to be more intimate than I feel comfortable being.”
Every person, whether he or she has just started dating someone or has been married for 40 years, falls into one of these categories—or, more rarely, into a combination of anxious and avoidant. Just more than 50 percent are estimated to be secure, around 20 percent are anxious, 25 percent are avoidant, and the remaining 3 to 5 percent fall into the mixed anxious/avoidant category.1
As with most things in life, the more you know, the better a decision you can make. If you’re single, you can tell immediately if there will be a mismatch of attachment styles on your first date. If so, you’re better off finding a mate with a complementary style. If you’re in a committed relationship, determining your attachment style and then your partner’s can help you understand their perspective, which can lead to clearer communication.
After you take the QUIZ, let me know your Attachment Style in the comments below!