Are you repeating the same patterns over and over again in relationships? How you bond with your early caregivers can affect how you partner and show up in relationships.
In this episode Julie and Gina discuss the 4 main attachment styles and how they influence your current or future relationships.
What is attachment style -
“Attachment theory is the vitamins of couples therapy work. You want to know about it”
“There is so much about relationships I wish we learned in school!”
“There's not a hierarchy of good attachment and bad attachment, like “you're a bad person if you have this time of attachment.” This is all created when we are little. And it can shift and change over time. Our primary attachment style is imprinted from early on.”
On early attachment -
“I first learned about attachment in graduate school. It's a very big part of our education especially if you are working with families and couples. A place it really started to resonate with me was when I was becoming a mom and focusing on my kid's attachment. And wanting to be able to be a secure base for her. Sometimes when I talk about attachment with people they say they understand that it is what a parent does with a kid, but they don't realize that that creates the person who is going to grow up and attach with another person and that can affect how we show up in relationship.”
On the ways attachment style affects your partnerships-
“Our attachment style can lie dormant but it gets heightened in certain moments and it really gets heightened when we move towards one another or move away. That can be global or very specific. Leaving for work, or going to bed at the end of the day, or leaving on trips, or coming together, or moving in together.”
“How you view intimacy and how you view partnership is influenced by your attachment style. How you deal with conflict. What your attitude toward sex is – what it represents for you. How comfortable you are coming together or not – the distance you keep or the lack of space you want to have. Your ability to communicate your wanting and your needs. And the expectations you have about your relationship or about your partnership – can all be influenced by this stuff that was imprinted ages ago! It’s so wild to me! The conditioning that starts so long ago, that is a foundational building block, then becomes a foundational building block for our relationship too.”
“When we have different styles then it can be really challenging for people because the very thing I need from you to feel comfortable is something that isn't comfortable for you potentially, or the thing that feels kind of typical or normal for me is a stretch for you. How do we meet each other? How do we meet ourselves sometimes? How can I better understand what you are wanting and needing and how can you better understand what I want and need as well?”
On attachment style and dating -
“For the folks that are single or dating – I strongly recommend they learn more about attachment because then they can not only know their attachment style, they can have a better idea about what kind of attachment style will best resonate with them or serve them depending on how they want to shift and grow in their lives.”
The Anxious and Avoidant couple -
“Partner #1 'Why can't you tell me you love me more often?' Partner #1 'Why can't you trust that I love you?'”
Really look at your rituals of connections and separateness throughout the day. Create connecting rituals – usually morning and evening work well.
How do we greet each other in the morning? How do we say goodbye? How do we greet each other at the end of the day? And how do we say goodnight? What feels really good for both of us?
Play with that idea of separateness and togetherness – moving towards and moving away.
Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina
Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie