9 signs your attachment style is affecting your relationship

Your attachment style can significantly impact your relationship, and it’s not always in the best way.

The way you connect, or attach, to your partner might be causing more harm than good. It could very well be the root cause of those recurring arguments, that feeling of distance, or that nagging sense of dissatisfaction.

If you want your relationship to improve, you need to understand your attachment style so you can approach your relationship the right way.

Now, grab your emotional toolkit and join me on a deep-dive into the 9 signs that your attachment style is affecting your relationship.  

1) Constant need for reassurance

If your need for a daily dose of affirmations is rivaling that of a houseplant’s thirst for water, it might be time for an attachment style checkup.

Your partner is not your 24/7 emotional hotline, and your relationship is not a validation vending machine. It’s time to swap out the clingy for the confident, dial down the reassurance hotline, and let your relationship breathe a bit.

The truth is: nothing says “I love you” like giving your partner the space to binge-watch their favorite show without a barrage of, “Do you still love me?” interruptions.

2) Fear of being too needy

I’ll admit it – I’ve always had a fear of being seen as too needy in my relationships.

There was a time when I’d hold back from expressing my needs or emotions, worried that it would drive my partner away. I used to think that if I showed vulnerability, it would be seen as a sign of weakness or neediness.

This fear stemmed from an avoidant attachment style, where showing emotional dependency was viewed as negative. It took me some time to realize that expressing your needs in a relationship is not only healthy but necessary for its growth.

If you, like me, often hold back for fear of being too needy, it might be a sign that your attachment style is affecting your relationship. It’s important to understand that expressing your needs doesn’t make you clingy, it makes you human.  

3) Difficulty trusting your partner

Trust issues are the drama queens of the relationship theater. If trusting your partner were an Olympic sport, you’d be earning gold medals in skepticism, right?

Interestingly, a study published in the British Journal of Clinical Psychology found that people with insecure attachment styles are more likely to interpret a situation negatively, potentially leading to unwarranted distrust in a relationship.

Picture this: your husband says he’s working late, and your brain throws a full-scale conspiracy theory party. Is he sleeping with his secretary? Is he going to a secret party with his pervert colleagues that I’m not supposed to know about? And by the time your husband comes home, you’ve already decided that he’s been cheating on you.

Paranoia is exhausting, isn’t it?

Now, it’s time to swap out the detective hat for a trusty sombrero and realize that constant suspicion is not a hobby; it’s a relationship roadblock.

4) Overreacting to minor disagreements

Small arguments are a part of any relationship. But how you react to these disagreements can say a lot about your attachment style.

If you find yourself overreacting to minor disagreements or conflicts, it could be a sign of an insecure attachment style. You might perceive these small issues as threats to your relationship, leading to heightened emotional responses.

This kind of reaction often stems from a fear of abandonment. It can lead to unnecessary tension and conflict within your relationship.

5) Struggling to express emotions

if you make these mistakes youll never find your calling in life 9 signs your attachment style is affecting your relationship

In the realm of relationships, individuals generally fall into two categories: the chatterboxes and the silent strategists. While the incessant talkers can be a tad annoying, it’s the latter group that’s truly concerning.

If expressing your emotions to your partner feels like scaling Mount Everest, or if deciphering your own feelings resembles solving a Rubik’s Cube, chances are you’ve adopted an avoidant attachment style.

This inclination can act as an emotional barricade in your relationship, impeding the development of profound emotional connections.

Although it’s not unusual for people to struggle with emotional closeness, but you should start doing something about it. Like speaking to a therapist, probably.

Look: your partner is not a mind reader, and your relationship is not a silent movie. If you want it to grow, learn to express yourself in a calm, transparent way.

6) Feeling a constant need for space

Feeling a constant need for space or independence in a relationship can be a sign of an avoidant attachment style, per research.

Your heart might feel a tug-of-war between wanting to be close to your partner but also wanting to maintain your autonomy. This can lead to mixed signals and confusion for both you and your partner. 

Understand that it’s perfectly okay to need your space in a relationship. But if the desire becomes overwhelming, it may be preventing you from forming a deeper emotional bond. 

After all, when it comes to relationship, it’s better to foster interdependence than amplifying independence.

7) Pushing away during conflict

Conflicts are inevitable in any relationship. However, how we react to them can vary widely. For me, whenever a conflict arose, my first instinct was to push away and withdraw.

I would shut down and avoid any confrontation, hoping the problem would just disappear on its own. But deep down, I knew this wasn’t healthy or fair to my partner.

This kind of behavior often stems from an avoidant attachment style. If you too find yourself pushing your partner away during conflicts, it might be worth exploring your attachment style.  

8) Feeling insecure when your partner is not around

If you often feel insecure or anxious when your partner is not around, it could be a sign of an anxious attachment style.

You may constantly worry about your partner’s whereabouts or who they’re with, even if they’ve given you no reason to doubt them. This anxiety can put a strain on your relationship and may lead to unnecessary conflicts.

This emotional state could be rooted in fear of abandonment, past experiences, or unresolved issues that influence your perception of the relationship. While it’s natural to miss someone you care about, an overwhelming sense of insecurity in their absence might indicate a need for self-reflection.

Healthy relationships involve a balance between connection and independence, where both partners can thrive both together and apart. If these feelings persist and take a toll on your mental health, consider having an honest talk with your partner or seek professional help. 

9) Difficulty accepting love and affection

If you find it hard to accept love and affection from your partner, it could signal an insecure attachment style.

You might struggle with feelings of unworthiness or fear that your partner will eventually leave. This can prevent you from fully embracing the love and affection they offer.

After all, relationships are not a game of emotional hide-and-seek – it’s time to come out from behind the walls of insecurity and let love take center stage.

Remember, you are deserving of love and affection.  

Embracing change: It’s a journey

Understanding your attachment style isn’t about assigning blame or feeling stuck in certain patterns. Instead, it’s about gaining insight into your behaviors and emotions, and using that knowledge to foster healthier relationships.

Changing your attachment style isn’t a quick fix. It’s a journey of self-discovery and growth. It involves recognizing the patterns, understanding their origins, and then consciously working towards change.

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Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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