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How Your Childhood Affects Future Relationships

There is an area of psychology called the Attachment Theory that describes the nature of emotional attachment between people. This emotional attachment between people is highly influenced by the nature of our attachment to our parents as children, and how much care we received from our parents as children. It eventually ends up having a great influence on the nature of our attachment to romantic partners. 

The goal of this article is for you to identify and understand your relationship attachment style, so that you can become aware of any unhealthy patterns and change them, therefore forming more fulfilling and assured attachments in the future. These patterns CAN be fixed. 

Secure Attachment:

  • Comfortable displaying affection and interest in a healthy way, but equally comfortable being single. 

  • Able to maintain boundaries and prioritize the various relationships within their life well. 

  • Crave and successfully take part in close and stable relationships. 

  • Grew up in a safe and caring home with their needs met. 

Anxious Attachment:

  • People with a sensitive nervous system who experience difficulty communicating their needs in a straightforward way.  

  • Feel the need to create drama when triggered- ex: making their partner jealous during a fight. 

  • Crave intimacy and closeness to an unhealthy degree. 

  • They desperately seek security and attention from their partner, but this can push him/her away.

  • Seek an unnaturally high amount of reassurance and validation from their partner, often pushing their partner away. 

  • Their parents/guardians didn’t consistently or sufficiently attend to their needs as children. 

Fearful Attachment:

  • Have a low self esteem. 

  • Have a strong fear of abandonment and rejection.

  • They are overly hesitant and critical regarding others. 

  • Because they are subconsciously used to caregivers being inconsistent in their childhood, they have high anxiety in relationships. 

Avoidant Attachment:

  • Don’t value relationships. 

  • They can become more vulnerable when they have a crisis in their lives.

  • They struggle with deep intimacy and trust. They tend to connect and then pull away when the relationship feels too intense.

  • Their caregivers were probably distant, cold, or unresponsive. As a result, they become independent and self-reliant, not wanting to rely on inconsistent people.

  • Very independent and self-directed.

  • They fear commitment and love justifying their way out of relationships. 

  • They often feel claustrophobic or trapped when others try to get close to them. 

Insecure Attachment:

  • Low self esteem and self-image

  • Crave validation 

  • They are sensitive and hurry into relationships while usually having the “come here-go away” mindset in relationships.

  • Are passive and have poor communication skills. 

How to become more secure in your attachments:

  • Communicate your feelings and thoughts with your partner.

  • Bring self awareness to your relationship patterns. 

  • Take care of yourself and do what you need to in order to be happy independently from others. 

  • Speak to a therapist about this if you have the resources to do so. 

  • Surround yourself with people who model healthy relationships.

Be forgiving with yourself during your journey towards change :)

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