Looking for love isn’t easy. Somehow it seems like you want closeness with the ones who need space. And you want space with the ones who want to be close to you.
But, it doesn’t have to be like this.
The key is understanding what’s going on. Because then you know what to do about it.
Those closeness/space needs are all about your love/attachment style.
Growing up your first attachment is usually to your parents. If your parents were available and responsive to your needs you learned that you are great and that other people will love you and treat you right.
But, if your early attachment relationships weren’t so great, then you might believe that you aren’t so great and that other people will let you down or even hurt you.
And that’s what you carry into your adult love relationships.
This will be the most in-depth meetup so far. But, my sense is that you’re ready to go deeper to discover:
• Your love/attachment style
• Why you attract the people you do
• How you can get the closeness you really want and the love you really need
Take this attachment quiz to see which category best describes how you feel. (Note: These aren’t actually separate categories. So, you may identify with more than one.)
Discover Your Love/Attachment Style (Bartholomew & Horowitz, 1991)
Which of the following best describes your feelings?
____ A. It is easy for me to become emotionally close to others. I am comfortable depending on them and having them depend on me. I don’t worry about being alone or having others not accept me.
____ B. I am uncomfortable getting close to others. I want emotionally close relationships, but I find it difficult to trust others completely, or to depend on them. I worry that I will be hurt if I allow myself to become too close to others.
____ C. I want to be completely emotionally intimate with others, but I often find that others are reluctant to get as close as I would like. I am uncomfortable being without close relationships, but I sometimes worry that others don’t value me as much as I value them.
____ D. I am comfortable without close emotional relationships. It is very important to me to feel independent and self-sufficient, and I prefer not to depend on others or have others depend on me.
Adult Love/Attachment Styles (Brehm, Miller, Perlman & Campbell, 2002)
People with secure attachment style (category A) had parents who were available and responsive. Their parents were around and tuned in to their needs. These people feel good about themselves and are trusting of others. They have good relationships and they can lean on others when they need to.
People with avoidant attachment style had parents who were rejecting or hostile. They learned it’s not safe to get close to others or to depend on them. So, during times of stress they withdraw. They can be fearful (category B), where they want a relationship, but they’re afraid they’ll get hurt or rejected. Or they can be dismissing (category D), where they figure a relationships just isn’t worth the trouble.
People with preoccupied attachment style (category C) had parents who were unpredictable or inconsistent. Their parents may have been warm and interested at times. But, at other times their parents were distracted, anxious or unavailable. These people want closeness, but they worry it won’t last. So they need lots of reassurance. And during times of stress they can become clingy.
I hope you’ll join me to find out more about yourself, the people you attract and what you can do to get the closeness you really want and the love you really need!
How to Get the Closeness You Really Want and the Love You Really Need!
Saturday, Oct. 17
E.P. Foster Library
651 E. Main St., Ventura, CA
Bartholomew, K., & Horowitz, L. M. (1991). Attachment styles among young adults: A test of a four-category model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61, 226-244.
Brehm, Miller, Perlman & Campbell (2002). Intimate Relationships, 3rd Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Johnson, S. (2008). Hold Me Tight: Severn conversations for a lifetime of love. New York: Hachette