May 31, 2015
Attachment Style and Relationships
According to Robert Sternberg’s triangular theory of love, the three dimensions of love are passion, intimacy, and commitment. Passion means strong emotion, excitement, and physiological arousal, often tied to sexual desire and attraction. People normally associate passion with romance and sexual desire. Intimacy refers to mutual understanding, warm affection, and mutual concern for the other’s welfare. Intimate relationships play a central role in the overall human experience. Humans have a general desire to belong and to love, which is usually satisfied within an intimate relationship. These relationships involve feelings of liking or loving one or more people, romance, physical or sexual attraction, sexual relationships, or emotional and personal support between the members. Intimate relationships allow a social network for people to form strong emotional attachments. Commitment is the conscious decision to stay in a relationship for the long haul. This can be romantic or not. Commitments can be made to a partner, friend, even a career.
“Attachment is a special emotional relationship that involves an exchange of comfort, care, and pleasure.” (Cherry, 2015) I believe that an individuals’ attachment style can have a huge impact on the love relationships he or she will have. If as a baby/child the parents were loving and caring I feel that one would turn out the same way. It is what you grow to know is the “right” thing so one will also seek out a relationship in this same way. If a parent does not provide one with love and nurture, I think this can make that individual become distant and more “afraid” of love. They may not be accept it or even feel that they do not deserve a happy love relationship. “Secure Attachment – Securely attached adults tend to be more satisfied in their relationships. Children with a secure attachment see their parent as a secure base from which they can venture out and independently to explore the world. A secure adult has a similar relationship with their romantic partner, feeling secure and connected, while allowing themselves and their partner to move freely.
Secure adults offer support when their partner feels distressed. They also go to their partner for comfort when they themselves feel troubled. Their relationship tends to be honest, open and equal, with both people feeling independent, yet loving toward each other. Securely attached couples don’t tend to engage in what my father, psychologist Robert Firestone, describes as a “Fantasy Bond,” an illusion of connection that provides a false sense of safety. In a fantasy bond, a couple foregoes real acts of love for a more routine, emotionally cut-off form of relating.
Anxious Preoccupied Attachment – Unlike securely attached couples, people with an anxious attachment tend to be desperate to form a fantasy bond. Instead of feeling real love or trust toward their partner, they often feel emotional hunger. They’re frequently looking to their partner to rescue or complete them. Although they’re seeking a sense of safety and security by clinging to their partner, they take actions that push their partner away.
Even though anxiously attached individuals act desperate or insecure, more often than not, their behavior exacerbates their own fears. When they feel unsure of their partner’s feelings and unsafe in their relationship, they often become clingy, demanding or possessive toward their partner. They may also interpret independent actions by their partner as affirmation of their fears. For example, if their partner starts