Make an Appointment: 346-297-0405 |   [email protected]

  • Attachment Style Assessment

    What Is Attachment and Why Is It Important?

    One thing that we can all agree on is that the quality of our relationships has a huge impact on how satisfied and happy we are in our lives. On the flip side, when our relationships aren’t going well, or when we feel we are repeating the same mistakes repeatedly, we can feel helpless, overwhelmed, frustrated, and despairing for the future. A good way to start to address this issue is to look closer at our attachment style.

    Attachment style determines so much of how we relate to the world. It can even determine what kinds of ‘problems’ we have, in our friendships or at work. Attachment style relates to a concept which we term ‘object relations’ — which is really how we perceive other people in our lives.

    If you’ve suffered from anxiety, depression or relationship problems, a psychological theory called “attachment theory” can help you get to the root cause of your difficulties and give you a greater understanding of what’s going on. Our self-esteem, ability to control our emotions and the quality of our relationships are all affected by our attachment style.

    Before diving straight into the different attachment styles, it is important to first know what attachment and Attachment Theory even are. Attachment Theory was developed by a psychanalyst, John Bowlby who was studying infants’ behaviors when separated from their caregivers. Attachment Theory looks at how an infant is nurtured by a caregiver (loved, supported, neglected, abused, etc.) affects their attachment both in infancy towards a parent and later in adulthood in romantic relationships and friendships. With this said, attachment starts in childhood and continues in adulthood. Bowlby also studied the importance of infant’s independence from a caregiver to examine the difference attachment styles.

    Looking specifically at attachment styles in adulthood is important for many reasons, especially when understanding how an individual shows up in a romantic relationship. The three main attachment styles are secure, anxious, and avoidant. Many people often do not understand why they show up a certain way in their romantic relationships or why they react to their partner when they are upset or feeling ignored, so knowing your attachment style can give a lot of insight for both you and your partner.

    Secure Attachment Characteristics

    • Feel confident that other people will be there for you when you need them

    • Feel relaxed and joyful in relationships

    • Rarely feel jealous or anxious that the relationship will end

    • Independent and sure of self

    • Want to care for a romantic partner and make sure their needs are being met (supportive)

    • Easy to share feelings/needs

    • Feel comfortable sharing private thoughts with partner

    • Feel comfortable being close to romantic partners

    • It is helpful turning to a romantic partner in times of need

    Anxious Attachment Characteristics

    • Overall feel anxiety in relationships

    • Fear losing partner/relationship

    • Worry partner will not want to stay with them (ex: if they make a small mistake)

    • Worry that romantic partners won’t care about them as much as they care for their partner

    • Worry partner doesn’t really love/care about them

    • May be jealous, clingy/needy, self-criticizing, dependent, have a constant sense of under-appreciation or being misunderstood leading to anger

    • May look for a partner that is critical, dominant, and inconsistent with affection

    • Feel partner is better than them therefore able to meet their needs better than they can for themselves

    Avoidant Attachment Characteristics

    • Prefers not to show partner how they truly feel

    • Find it difficult to let themselves be dependent on romantic partners

    • Don’t feel comfortable being vulnerable with romantic partners (communication and sharing feelings)

    • Prefer not to be too close to romantic partners (fearful)

    • Both crave and avoid intimacy

    • Don’t believe that intimacy and emotions are important (more important to be self-reliant)

    • May be a loner

    • Prefer spending time pursuing intellectual goals and avoid social interactions

    • Attracted to people who don’t want to help meet needs

    If this is of interest to you, please use the link below to help figure out which attachment style fits you best. It is also important to understand how your attachment style may interact with your partner’s attachment style in different areas of life such as conflict, communication, stress, etc. It is also beneficial to understand how you might have shown up in past relationships as well. Attachment can really open your eyes to the ways you have shown up towards a partner and others, to gain more insight, empathy, and understanding in your relationship.


    Fraley, C. R. (2018). A Brief Overview of Adult Attachment Theory and Research: R. Chris Fraley. A Brief Overview of Adult Attachment Theory and Research.