We all recognize early on that people have different tendencies or preferences than our own, and by the time we get to college, most of us can easily identify which of the 16 personality types out there best describes us based on the Myers Briggs test. However, rarely do we take the time to explore the why we are wired the way we are, or make the effort to understand or appreciate why others are the way they are, and those that lack this insight will continue to experience major setbacks in their personal relationships, especially in the dating world.
Rarely do we fall in love with our carbon copy, and so we need to appreciate that others may have a different way of deriving energy, processing information, or making decisions, and as a result they may want to pursue a different lifestyle. This is precisely what makes life (and love) so interesting, and we have to learn to live and let live without passing judgment. And in the meantime, there is one other little thing we need to keep in mind… attachment styles: secure, anxious or detached? Figure out which one you are, and then learn to identify the others.
Someone with a secure attachment style is confident in the bond created, and will not exhibit insecure behaviors. Those with an anxious attachment style will need constant reinforcement that everything is okay, and they will need to connect on a more regular and frequent basis. Meanwhile, someone with a detached attachment style may come off as aloof. They actually need their space and will be repelled by those that come across as needy.
What I learned over time is that I have a very secure attachment style with my friends– I don’t talk to any of them every day or even every week, but I know that we love each other, and in a time of need will be there for one another. This works for all of us, but it does not work with someone that has an anxious attachment style– and those with a detached attachment style definitely won’t mix well with the anxious type. When these styles clash, it is my experience (both professionally and personally) that unless one or both parties are able to adjust their behavior and expectations of the other, it simply won’t last.
There really is no point in trying to fit a square peg through a round hole. If you want to find a lasting love, you need to pay attention to attachment styles.
By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.