Love or Attachment
Years ago, I had a friend who was suffering a breakup. Thankfully, I was able to be there for her. I am saying this because we didn’t live in the same country, but I was on vacation and we were able to meet.
When I was talking to her on the phone, she said something I stopped at. She said, “I loved him more than myself.” I said, “Okay, let’s meet and I will prove to you that you never loved him.” She was surprised and she didn’t believe what I am saying.
When we met up, she first said, “How could you say I never loved him? We were together for six long years, and I loved him so much. I can’t live without him. I am so heartbroken.”
I replied that all the expressions she used to describe her feelings for him prove that she doesn’t love him. She looked at me confused and unable to understand. I went on to explain that if she tells someone that she loves them more than herself, then she doesn’t love them. Rather She’s attached to them.
“You’re not in love. You’re attached.” I affirmed.
That was the best I could do for my friend then. However, after I have become an RTT Practitioner, if a friend of mine suffered a breakup, I would still tell her she’s not in love but she’s attached, but I will walk her through the attachment styles theory to help her understand herself more and avoid future heartbreaks.
The attachment styles theory was developed in the 1960s and it is based on the idea that young children between 0 -7 years need to develop a relationship with at least one primary caregiver for normal social and emotional development.
After years of studies, it was found that there are 5 attachment styles: secure, anxious-preoccupied, dismissive-avoidant, fearful-avoidant, or disorganized. People with each style show up in certain ways in a relationship.
People with a secure attachment style are able to share their feelings openly and seek support when faced with relationship problems.
Those with anxious- preoccupied attachment style usually have low self-esteem and hold others in higher regard. They seek intimacy and security from others but find it hard to trust and can worry about their partner's behaviours and intentions. They tend to be overly dependent.
A dismissive-avoidant person cannot form supportive relationships. They don’t feel comfortable providing support to friends or romantic partners. They don’t feel obligated to do so. For them, those who seek support are dependent, weak, emotionally unstable, or immature.
Individuals with fearful-avoidant attachment style fear closeness and intimacy, but at the same time, feel they need and heavily rely on the support and care of others. This style is sometimes called disorganized. It is considered the most difficult and is usually seen with children who suffered trauma or abuse.
From the words my friend used to express her feelings towards that guy, I could tell that most probably hers is an anxious-preoccupiedattachment style. Being too dependent on the relationship and worrying too much about her partner’s behaviour. Knowing her childhood, I could tell that was all because of a trauma she went through when she was a child.
It goes without saying that the only healthy attachment style is secure attachment.
What about you?
Why is it important to know your attachment style?
There is no doubt that childhood shapes who we are.
You need to know what kind of person you show in your relationships. If your style is anything but secure, you need help to resolve this so you can have a secure attachment, thus, a healthy relationship with your partner.
Do you see in yourself any signs of the three unhealthy attachment styles?
If the answer is yes, connect with me, and let me help you.