Have you ever pondered why certain people you’ve dated are clingy and seek affirmation all the time, while others are distant and standoffish? All of this boils down to a single idea: attachment theory. In the 1950s, psychologist and psychotherapist John Bowlby invented the words. The development of the caregiver-child link and its impact on the child’s social, emotional, and cognitive development are studied in attachment theory.
According to the hypothesis, each infant develops an attachment style, and years later, this same caregiver-child dynamic manifests itself in our adult relationships, influencing everything from who we choose as partners to how those relationships grow.
Secure, avoidant, anxious, and fearful-avoidant attachment styles are the four types of attachment, with the last three being forms of insecure attachment. Knowing where you lie on the spectrum can help you better understand how you behave in romantic and platonic relationships. Here’s a rundown of what each one entails:
This attachment style is considered to be the healthiest because it means you can form secure and loving relationships with others. A securely attached person can trust and get close to people with ease. They are attuned to the emotions of people around them and are generally comfortable with emotional intimacy, but being OK if their partner needs space away from them.