Marie Claire - UK
Relationships Dating Love Attachment Image Credit: Marie Claire - UK
Relationships Dating Love Attachment Image Credit: Marie Claire - UK

What's Your Attachment Style?

Do your relationships always seem to start or end in the same way? Understanding how you attach yourself to others could break the cycle and make your present or future relationship the happiest you’ve had, says Charlotte Haigh

Charlotte Haigh

Be honest. How is the balance of power in your relationship right now?

Is one of you always doing the chasing at the risk of feeling needy, while the other is more self-assured and seems to require less from the partnership? You may never have considered the way you attach yourself to others – described by psychologists as your ‘attachment style’ – but it’s probably about time you did, because it affects every aspect of our relationships, from the way we choose our partners to how our relationships work day-to–day, and even how they end. Knowing what your attachment pattern actually is, where it comes from and how it’s played out is critical to avoid slipping into cycles that repeat themselves for the rest of your life.

The latest neuroscience reveals that your unique style of attachment goes back to the earliest days of your life – specifically, how your parents soothed you when you were a baby. According to Dr Amir Levine, psychiatrist and neuroscientist and author of Attached, early programming by your parents dictates your behaviour patterns in romantic adult partnerships. If your parents panicked too much at the smallest thing when you were young, you will have got the message that the world was unsafe and you couldn’t cope. In adulthood, your brain is still likely to flood you with stress hormones at the slightest threat, giving you an anxious attachment style. If y

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