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Break Patterns in Relationships

Break Patterns in Relationships:  Attachment and its impact on Relationships

Break patterns in relationships

Do you keep repeating the same patterns in relationships?  Are you anxious about your partner and unsure where you stand?  Do you pull away when someone starts getting close to you?  Are you ready to break patterns in relationships that are toxic? Attachment was primarily looked at from an infant-caregiver lens.   That is, how infants respond and react to their caregivers.  This includes how they react to their caregivers’ absence, how soothe-able they are, their response to strangers, and how well their caregivers are able to support their needs.

However, according to research findings “adults show patterns of attachment to their romantic partners similar to the patterns of attachment of children with their parents” (Levine & Heller, 2010).   Attachment plays a significant role in how we interact and are impacted by our relationships.  Understand how to break patterns in relationships that are no longer serving you through exploring attachment.

Specifically, how we attempt to get our emotional needs met and our reactions to those needs.

Attachment is how we identify and react to intimacy, closeness, and emotional needs.   Our perception of intimacy has profound impacts on the romantic partners we choose and how we relate to them.  Whether you tend to date similar or different people, chances are that you notice some parallels.  The common thread is the way you relate and react to them.  Understanding your attachment style will help to break patterns in relationships and establish healthier functioning.

In addition, attachment determines whether we feel confident and secure or insecure and anxious.

Attachment is looked at on a spectrum of anxiety and avoidance with varying degrees of intensity.   Start to break patterns in relationships that revolve around you feeling anxious and insecure by taking attachment quiz at the end of this blog. 

We will outline three primary attachment styles: secure, anxious, avoidant.  Identifying yours will help you better understand yourself and your partner.

Secure:  You feel loving and connected with your partner through intimacy and communication. Relationship issues do not easily upset you.

  • You feel that you can openly and honestly express your needs to your partner.
  • Affection with your partner comes easily.
  • You do not feel the need to act out in your relationship.
  • Arguments rarely causes you to question your entire relationship.
  • When you catch your partner checking out someone else, you might feel a bit jealous but can get over it pretty quickly.

Anxious:  Your relationship takes a lot of emotional energy.  You easily get upset by your partners’ mood and behaviors.  Negative emotions are frequent.  Often, you regret getting upset and acting out (a typical concern among people wanting to break patterns in relationships).

  • When things do not work out with someone you have been dating, you feel like something must be wrong with you.
  • You stay in relationships because you fear you may never find someone else.
  • In conflict, you have a hard time acting rationally and do or say things impulsively.
  • You worry and get upset a lot in regard to your relationship.
  • You fear that your partner will stop loving you if you do not “do everything right”.

Avoidant:  You value your independence and too much closeness makes you uncomfortable. You want meaningful relationships, but fear that intimacy threatens your autonomy.

  • You get confused because when you get you thought you wanted, you do not want it anymore.
  • It scares you when you sense your partner is getting too close.
  • Your independence is really important.  You do not like feeling like others depend on you.
  • You feel relieved when someone you have been dating starts to feel more distant.
  • People have said you are emotionally distant.
The common thread in all three attachment styles is how we feel connected.

This includes how we view intimacy, conflict, sex, communication, and expectations of our partners and the relationship as a whole.  Attachment is relatively stable over time.  However, in therapy you can learn to break patterns in relationships and develop a more secure style of attachment.  Therapy can help you feel more fulfilled, confident, and connected.  Break patterns in relationships that are no longer serving you by taking the quiz.

Find out your attachment style here.

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