One of the beauties of life is the diversity of love. Dynamics, definitions and rules of love vary in society. However, behaviors in these relationships are predictable and can be determined by parental interaction during childhood. Behind relationships are the three attachment styles: the secure, the anxious, and the avoidant.
The secure: someone who maintains a strong sense of self-worth. These people are comfortable with intimacy and forming close bonds. They possess the ability to trust.
The anxious: fear-based people who tend to be more insecure in themselves and their relationships. They often lack trust and the ability to communicate their needs.
The avoidant: someone who avoids close connections and prioritizes independence. Their level of self-confidence is high, but their ability to express emotions tends to be weak.
These relationship behaviors are formed primarily in adolescence. Parental sensitivity via communication, involvement, and attention plays into the development of a child’s attachment style. A positive bond between a mother and her child is more likely to raise a secure adult, whereas a parent that expresses little emotion or sensitivity, is not.
Fortunately for those struggling to find or keep love, these attachment styles are not permanent. Room for growth is not only possible but also likely.
Dr. Victoria Orrego Dunleavy, a professor in interpersonal communication at the University of Miami, has studied research behind attachment styles throughout her career.
“It is important to understand that our early experiences do create initial expectations for future relationships,” says Orrego. “However, these expectations can be revised as you encounter and connect with new friends or romantic partners.”
Orrego assures young adults that with self-reflection, learning, reading, and even counseling, there is room for growth and change in the way you love, despite your history.
“You are not doomed because of your initial early attachments,” said Orrego. “As the research suggests, knowing how attachment is linked with conversation skills can help people focus on enhancing your communication and subsequently your relationships.”
Curious about you or your partner’s attachment style? Take a short evaluation created by The Attachment Project.
words_izzy lemus. photo_lizzie kristal.