Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Attachment Style and Relationships: Part I & Part II

     Caryle (2004), “love is the expansion of two natures in such a fashion
that each includes the other,” claimed eighteenth-century European philosopher Felix Adler, “and each is enriched by the other” (p. 37). The need, want, and desire for love is what initially draws people together to form relationships. Love is made up of three different dimensions or components which are interrelated. The three dimensions of love are passion, intimacy, and commitment. As stated in (2004, Love), “passion is the motivational component of love and reflects attraction, romance, and sexual desire” (p. 27). Passion is what one possesses for another and draws them to the other, but is only successful if there is a mutual attraction. As stated in (2004, Love) “intimacy involves feelings of closeness, trust, and the sharing of one’s innermost thoughts” (p. 28). Intimacy is the attempts of closeness and the closeness one shares with another that involves trust, feelings, and sharing. As stated in (2004, Love) “commitment is the decision to maintain a long-term caring relationship” (p. 28). Commitment can be seen as motivation, it is what one and another decide to share with one another as in how they care for each other in their relationship.
Passion, Intimacy, and Commitment
     Passion, intimacy, and commitment can be seen in the form of a triangle’s three vertices. Once passion, intimacy, and commitment form the vertices of a triangle seven basic subtypes of love or love relationships are created from their different combinations. The seven different subtypes formed are liking, infatuated love, romantic love, empty love, companionate love, fatuous love, and consummate love. Liking is based more on intimacy and less on commitment and passion. Infatuated love is based more on passion and less on intimacy and commitment. Romantic love is based more on passion and intimacy and less on commitment. Empty love is based more on commitment and less on passion and intimacy. Companionate love is based more on intimacy and commitment and less on passion. Fatuous love is based more on passion and commitment and less on intimacy. Consummate love is based on passion, commitment, and intimacy. I truly believe in love there has to be passion, intimacy, and commitment for both parties who share love together to form healthy relationships.
 Attachment Style and Relationships: Part II
     Attachment is “the state of being personally attached” ("Attachment," 2012). Attachments start when one is an infant and develop through the interactions of the infant and the infant’s caregiver. In one’s early life the interactions with one’s caregiver brings about three different attachment styles. Indeed attachment is composed of three styles. The three different styles of attachment are secure attachment, avoidant attachment, and anxious attachment. A secure attachment is an attachment free of distrust and fear. An avoidant attachment is an attachment of withdrawal or rejection. An anxious attachment is an attachment of the fear or lacking of needs. Each of these three attachment styles develop differently in infants depending on one’s relationship with said caregivers or parents.
Secure, Avoidant, and Anxious Attachments
     One who shows secure attachment has received responsiveness and warmth from their caregivers or parents. Hazan and Shaver said “about 60 percent of North American infants show this pattern” (as cited in Love, 2004). One who shows avoidant attachment has received rejection and coldness from their caregivers or parents. As stated in (2004, Love), “about 25 percent of North American infants demonstrate this type of attachment” (p. 23). One who shows anxious attachment has received an inconsistent state of parenting from their caregivers or parents. As stated in (2004, Love), “this style, the rarest of the three, averages about 15 percent in North American samples” (p. 23).
     What one experiences as an infant and early in life from one’s caregivers or parents as far as attachment styles formed help shape one’s adult love relationships. If one experienced secure attachment early in life they may become a secure adult in love and in relationships. As stated in (2004, Love), “secure adults find it easy to get close to others and are unconcerned about becoming too dependent or being abandoned” (p. 24). Avoidant adults in love and in relationships may be ones who experienced avoidant attachment early in life. As stated in (2004, Love), “avoidant adults tend to be less invested in relationships and more likely to leave them” (p. 24). One’s who experienced anxious attachment as infants and early in life may become anxious adults in love and relationships. As stated in (2004, Love), “anxious adults, love is obsession; these adults are less trusting, demand reciprocation, and are generally more possessive and jealous” (p. 25).
Attachment Styles in Adult Life
     Attachment styles in adult life seem to resemble what one experienced early in life. This is the main reason I believe one may have several relationships in one’s life. One may go through several relationships before one meets another of the same attachment type as adults. If one is a secure adult because of secure attachment formed from early life and they meet one who is an anxious adult, because of experiences the relationship may fail before it starts. Also the relationship may be an unhealthy relationship filled with mistrust, possessiveness and jealousy from the anxious adult in the relationship. As far as myself I had a secure attachment with my father and stepmother, which I believe transformed me into a secure adult. As far as my last she had an avoidant attachment with her parents, so she was more of an avoidant adult. Our relationship lasted six months, but it was not a healthy relationship. From the start she acted as if she wanted a relationship, but did not seem too invested in what a relationship was. I also saw some fearfulness from her in the relationship. When I first her indeed told me she was very independent and self-sufficient. That relationship failed, because we were two different attachment types, but some different attachment types may coexist and attachment styles may change.
Development of Attachment
     Another key factor in attachment is development of attachment. As stated in (2004, Love), “both nature—the infant’s inherent need to bond and belong—and nurture—parental responsiveness—contribute to attachment” (p. 25). The contributions of attachment are comprised of three components. These three components are closeness, care, and commitment. Closeness builds an emotional bond through close physical contact. If one has enough closeness or proximity bounds grow closer and stronger to another as infants and as adults. As far as care, it is built from closeness. If there is enough closeness and proximity caring develops amongst an infant and the caregivers or parents and between adults. This can be keen to building strong relationships. Commitment is what holds relationships together, through time commitment enables security and safety. Attachment and love are made from closeness, care, and commitment.
Bolt, M. (2004). Pursuing human strengths: A positive psychology guide. New York, NY: Worth Publishers.
Attachment. (2012). In Merriam-Webster. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/

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