Beers and Skittles: My Childhood Affects My Love Life? Attachment Styles: Sometimes It’s You, Not Them 

Ah, love. The muse of generations of poets, the primal desire of our heart. The yearning for love, for the comfort of being known is inherent to mankind. There are thousands, maybe even tens of thousands of websites,books, and pieces of media that teach us how to search for the ideal partner. Even so, relationships are often less than smooth sailing. When that happens, what do we do? 

We cry, and wrap ourselves in blankets, cursing our own foolishness and naivete. Sometimes, instead of mourning, we let our hurt morph into anger, manifesting itself as a monster. Other times, we stifle our emotions, packing them into mental cardboard boxes and stuffing them into the deepest nooks and crannies of our minds to gather dust.

Humans also turn inwards in these times of heartbreak in an effort to self-reflect. It is at these times that we discover ourselves and learn how to be better partners. We might even wonder, was the implosion of the relationship partly my fault? Why do I keep picking the wrong people? Why am I the way I am? The answer to that is intrinsically linked to our attachment styles, which oftentimes stem from our childhoods.


 Source: Country Living Magazine

Attachment styles are divided into 4 types: Secure Attachment, Anxious Attachment, Avoidant Attachment and Disorganised Attachment. Oftentimes, our attachment styles are formed from our childhood interactions with our caregivers. For example, if a caregiver doesn’t show care or responsiveness beyond providing basic living essentials, the child may develop an avoidant attachment.

 Attachment Theory

Here’s a small helpful guide to help you identify your own attachment style. 

  1. Anxious Attachment:

Anxious attachers often have insecurities and doubts about their self worth, while simultaneously idealising their partner. They are often hypervigilant to any perceived threats in the relationship and rely on their partners for validation, and if the partner fails to respond in a way that reassures the anxious attacher, it causes a lot of anxiety and stress for them. They are also colloquially known as “clingy”.  The anxious attacher may even consider themself unworthy of love, subjecting themselves into the role of the victim in a victim-saviour dynamic

Notable Anxious Attachers in Media: 

Ross Geller from Friends

Does this sound like you? 

“Why aren’t they reading my texts? Are they mad at me?”

“Sometimes I don’t think I’m good enough for them.”

“Why would they want to date me out of all people?”

 Source: iStock Photo    

  1. Avoidant Attachment: 

Avoidant attachers are often cynics who have a negative view of others and their intentions. They usually boast high levels of independence and self-sufficiency, and might erect emotional walls and barriers to avoid people from getting too close. Avoidant attachers tend to withdraw from a relationship due to feelings of discomfort regarding emotional intimacy, as well as suppress their emotions in high-tension situations such as conflict.

Notable Avoidant Attachers in Media: 

Summer (right), 500 Days of Summer

Does this sound like you?

“I did fine without them then, I’ll be fine without them now.”

“Why are they being so emotional?”

“I’m scared of commitment.”

  1. Disorganised (Fearful) Attachment: 

Disorganised attachers have a mix of avoidant and anxious traits depending on their mood or circumstances, often creating a confusing cocktail of behaviours. Oftentimes, disorganised attachers crave love and close emotional ties, but tend to avoid them due to their intense fear of rejection and abandonment. They may also engage in self-sabotaging behaviours, continually “testing” their partners and displaying unpredictable relationship patterns.

Notable Disorganised Attachers in Media: 

Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

Does this sound like you?

“I don’t want them to get too close”

“It’s too good to be true. What’s the catch?”

  1. Secure Attachment: 

The most coveted attachment style of all, because let’s be honest, navigating love is already hard enough without you being your own worst enemy. Secure attachers have the ideal attachment style, having a good sense of self-worth while being able to trust and maintain open, honest communication with their partner. They have the ability to be emotionally vulnerable, express their emotions openly, and handle conflict. 

Notable Secure Attachers in Media:

Gomez and Morticia Addams, The Addams Family

Of course, identification of our attachment styles is only the first step. Psychiatrists agree that the most important step is to be mindful and conscientious of our behaviour, which involves noticing toxic patterns of behaviour that we exhibit and making an effort to rectify that behaviour. 

For example, it would serve an anxious attacher well to remember that their partner is on their side, not against them. They should learn to trust their partner to not  cheat or be unfaithful.  

It’s definitely easier said than done, as it is hard to unlearn old habits and patterns of thinking. It’s important to give yourself time to grow and give yourself grace while simultaneously being mature enough to hold yourself accountable. 

In conclusion, we all want to love and be loved. Hence, it’s important for us to play our part and work towards building healthy attachment styles. As they say, work on yourself and the rest will come. 

Written By: Sarah

Edited By: Ruby

Recommended Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *