How to understand behaviour in relationships

To form a good romantic relationship, it helps to understand the contributions of attachment styles in partnerships. Individuals with secure attachment styles develop good bonds. However, people with insecure attachment styles work harder to form good relationships. For more details on attachment styles please refer to the previous blog.

Adult attachment styles in relationship:

Lets pair different type of attachment styles and understand how they behave in relationships. In some cases, people can have both (anxious and avoidant) qualities, in this case it would be helpful to learn about both attachment styles and behaviour associated with it.

  • Anxious – preoccupied + Anxious – preoccupied
    This couple can have a passionate relationship, but both the partners have high intensity emotions which can cause highs and lows which may ultimately pull the couple apart.

  • Anxious – preoccupied + Dismissive – avoidant
    This is a difficult pairing. The anxious person fears rejection and the avoidant fears intimacy. The avoidant person will have to get emotionally closer to the anxious person for this relationship to last.

  • Anxious – preoccupied + Secure
    In this partnership, the secure partner can help the anxious partner with easing anxiety by reassuring them. Both partners seek intimacy, hence, the couple can grow stronger and the anxious individual may be able to develop a secure attachment style.

  • Dismissive-avoidant + Dismissive-avoidant
    This couple cannot commit to a long-term relationship. Individuals with an avoidant attachment style desire to have a romantic partner but they are unable to act on their desire. Since both partners are avoidant, it will be difficult to fill that gap.

  • Dismissive avoidant + Secure
    This couple seems promising as the secure person can give the avoidant person space in which they can relax and learn to be intimate. The avoidant person does not feel trapped and the secure person may be able to help them enjoy and explore the dynamics of their relationship.

  • Secure + Secure
    This seems to be a perfect match! As both couples can communicate and fulfil each other’s needs.

People choose their partners through a combination of biological, social and environmental factors but the key drive for people to build romantic connections is their genetic drive to form and maintain relationships.

Are you in a relationship with someone who is insecurely attached? Or do you feel like you need to work on your attachment style? If yes, please reach out to the counsellors at Halcyon. We provide individual and couples counselling. Start your journey towards a secure attachment style now!

“The quality of your life, is the quality of your relationships” – Anthony Robbins (American author & life coach)

The stages of love:

The skills to maintain and navigate relationships are established in early childhood when we form attachments with our caregivers. However, its important to note that they can be redefined, and an insecure person can eventually be a securely attached individual.

  • Science of love:
    Different chemicals in the brain influences the individual as they progress through the stages of love: lust, attraction, and deep attachment.

  • Early attachment:
    An individual’s childhood attachment style influences who they choose to be in a relationship with and how the relationship evolves in the future.

  • Relationship build-up:
    while progressing to a stable level, the couple goes through several stages such as experimenting, intensifying, and bonding.

  • Dating:
    According to psychologists, there is an art to dating. Individuals who recognise common signals and equips themselves with tools to flourish the relationship are usually successful in building long lasting, meaningful relationships.

  • Relationship breakdown:
    Only in some instances, relationships breakdown because of one negative incident/situation. Relationships fall apart slowly, and in stages.

One way to resolve conflicts is to attend couples’ therapy. It emerged as a tool in 1990’s to help couples burry their conflicts and differences. However, overtime, and due to extensive research by John Gottman, counsellors now realise that conflicts in any kind of relationships (romantic or not!) is inevitable.

Three ways couples can work on their relationship:

  • Accept conflict and repair disagreements and differences.

  • Improve communication: Rather than burying emotions and growing emotionally distant, couples should sit together and communicate their needs and wants in an effective way.

  • Emotionally open: understanding the impact of attachment styles and overcoming fears. Asking for help and expressing a need for closeness, or space.

Couples that enjoy small moments of their lives together are in a happier relationship and can build even stronger bonds with each other, friends, and family. If this blog helped you to understand your struggles and you would like to speak to a counsellor, please do not hesitate to book a session with a counsellor at Halcyon.