Attachment Styles

Attachment Styles: Understanding How Our Childhood Affects Our Relationships

As human beings, it is natural for us to seek emotional connections and form stable relationships with others; however, our childhood experiences can shape our perspectives and behaviors in adulthood, especially in romantic relationships. Attachment theory, developed by British psychiatrist and psychoanalyst John Bowlby, outlines four attachment styles that develop in early childhood and remain relatively stable throughout life, affecting the way individuals perceive and interact with their romantic partners. Understanding the different attachment styles can help us identify our patterns and change behaviors for fulfilling and happier relationships.

Anxious Attachment

Anxious attachment style is characterized by a constant fear of abandonment and a desire for emotional connection and security in a relationship. This style often stems from inconsistent or over-protective parenting, leading to an individual’s belief that they can only feel safe with their partner’s attention, care, and responsiveness. As a result, individuals with anxious attachment tend to hold their partners in high regard while having a negative self-image, leading to dependency and often jealousy and clinginess in relationships.

Avoidant Attachment

Avoidant attachment style, on the other hand, results from emotionally unavailable parents who discouraged showing feelings. These individuals avoid deep connections with others and suppress their feelings in emotionally charged situations, considering themselves lone wolves who don’t need anyone else. In romantic relationships, avoidant attachment translates to emotional distancing, fear of intimacy, and reluctance to commit, leading to solitary and emotionally shallow relationships that are prone to break down.

Anxious-Avoidant Attachment

Anxious-avoidant attachment is the most unstable and often linked to childhood abuse or trauma. Individuals with this attachment style have a negative view of themselves and others, difficulty trusting others, and craving intimacy, leading to a cycle of push-and-pull behaviors. These individuals often feel like they want a close relationship, but fear getting hurt by opening themselves up to others. As a result, they have difficulties forming deep relationships and often end up in dysfunctional or abusive relationships.

Secure Attachment

Secure attachment style is associated with childhood stability and security, leading to positive self-image and healthy relationships. These individuals can openly express their emotions, depend on their partner, and have their partner rely on them to form long-lasting, fulfilling relationships. In romantic relationships, individuals with secure attachment tend to have better communication skills, emotional regulation, and conflict resolution abilities, leading to much more stable and loving relationships.

It’s important to note that attachment styles can change over time due to various factors like significant life events or even moving from one relationship to another. Understanding our attachment style and its impact on relationships is a powerful tool for self-reflection, especially when it comes to recognizing patterns and changing behaviors for more fulfilling and healthier relationships.


Attachment styles can ultimately shape our approach to relationships and affect the way we perceive and behave towards our romantic partners. Understanding your attachment style, as well as your partner’s can help you identify patterns in your relationships, introspect, and change behaviors for fulfilling and happier relationships. Ultimately, the key to a healthy and stable relationship is open communication, honesty, and mutual understanding.