Attachment Patterns

How can styles of attachment lead to toxic patterns of relationships and breaking the generational cycles to achieve love and connection

Attachment patterns are passed down from one generation to the next. Children learn how to connect from parents and caregivers, and they in turn teach the next generation. Your attachment history plays a crucial role in determining how you relate in adult romantic relationships, and how you relate to your children. There is hope in knowledge, becoming aware of your style of attachment can be the beginning of a journey to self-love and breaking generational patterns to find love and connection in healthy and sustainable therapeutic outlets! The outline below explains each style of attachment and how it can impact your goal of finding love and security by creating a balanced attachment.

Secure: Low on avoidance, low on anxiety. They are more confident and comfortable with intimacy and not preoccupied with rejection or the relationship itself. “It is easy for me to get close to others, and I am comfortable depending on them and having them depend on me. I don’t worry about being abandoned or about someone getting too close to me.” Secure attachment is the goal and healthiest form of attachment. Those with this style of attachment tend to be secure, non-anxious in relationships and trust themselves and others with healthy boundaries in adulthood.

Avoidant: High on avoidance, low on anxiety. Uncomfortable with closeness and primarily values independence and freedom, often not worried about partner’s availability. “I am uncomfortable being close to others. I find it difficult to trust and depend on others and prefer that others do not depend on me. It is very important that I feel independent and self-sufficient. My partner wants me to be more intimate than I am comfortable being.” This typically results from lack of trust in attachment figures in childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Avoidant attachment keeps you from trusting others or yourself with love and connection and can lead to isolation and intentionally pushing loved ones away.

Anxious: Low on avoidance, high on anxiety. Crave closeness and intimacy, very insecure about the relationship. “I want to be extremely emotionally close (merge) with others, but others are reluctant to get as close as I would like. I often worry that my partner doesn’t love or value me and will abandon me. My inordinate need for closeness scares people away. In this style of attachment, the adult becomes dependent on the relationship, may overwhelm their partner and needs reassurance consistently as they may have experienced trauma and been unable to trust their loved ones would return their love.

Unresolved or Disorganized Attachment: High on avoidance, high on anxiety and uncomfortable with intimacy, and worried about partner’s commitment and love. “I am uncomfortable getting close to others, and find it difficult to trust and depend on them. I worry I will be hurt if I get close to my partner.” This type of attachment is the “push and pull”, both anxious and avoidant. “I want you please stay” and “Leave, I don’t need you and am independent securely on my own”. This style of attachment is rooted in complex trauma and being unsure of their place in their attachment figures lives and feeling confused and fearful about their partners genuine love or appreciation for them.

If you are reading this blog and identify, know there are resources for identifying your attachment style, undoing traumatic relationship patterns, and learning to be securely attached via therapeutic intervention and self-love. Once a couple discovers their partnersattachment style, it assists in developing compassion, learning how to communicate and externalize your emotions and natural impulses and heal together.


Hesse, E. (2008). The Adult Attachment Interview: Protocol, method of analysis, and empirical studies. In J. Cassidy & P. R. Shaver (Eds.), Handbook of attachment: Theory, research, and clinical applications (pp. 552–598). The Guilford Press.

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