As someone who has always struggled to find balance and functionality in relationships, the book Attached was a huge sigh of relief for me.
In the book, Dr Amir Levine and Rachel Heller outline the three different attachment systems that differentiate the ways that human beings approach relationships (not just intimate but also family, etc). The three different styles (anxious, secure and avoidant) are explained in detail as well as reasons why some attachment styles struggle to thrive in relationships together and best of all, what to do about it.
As a basic guide:
* Anxious attachment types tend to blame themselves when things happen in a relationship, crave closeness and are hyperaware of any threats or changes to that closeness. They tend to worry about whether they are loved in a relationship and crave closeness in order to validate that love.
* Secure attachment types feel supported, stable and comfortable in relationships and are able to consider the needs of their partner equal to theirs.
* Avoidant attachment types struggle with closeness. They are capable of love and want to be close but always find themselves making excuses to create space in relationships. Relationships with avoidant types tend to feel a bit like an emotional rollercoaster or a game of tug of war.
If you find that your needs aren’t being met in a relationship, this could be the perfect book to help you to understand your basic needs for connection and how to better communicate them.
“Attachment principles teach us that most people are only as needy as their unmet needs. When their emotional needs are met, and the earlier the better, they usually turn their attention outward. This is sometimes referred to in attachment literature as the “dependency paradox”: The more effectively dependent people are on one another, the more independent and daring they become.”
“Instead of thinking how you can change yourself in order to please your partner, as so many relationship books advise, think: Can this person provide what I need in order to be happy?”
“If you have an anxious attachment style, you tend to get attached very quickly, even just on the basis of physical attraction. One night of sex or even just a passionate kiss and, boom, you already can’t get that person out of your mind. As you know, once your attachment system is activated, you begin to crave the other person’s closeness and will do anything in your power to make it work even before you really get to know him/her and decide whether you like that person or not!”