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The Scientific Explanation on Why We Attract What We Are

The Scientific Explanation on Why We Attract What We Are

Have you ever noticed a pattern in your romantic relationships? We tend to have very specific behaviors with our partners and these behaviors tend to repeat themselves. Maybe you’ve been called “clingy” a couple times? Or maybe you run from relationship problems rather than work through them. Whatever your particular relationship pattern, it can all be explained by attachment theory.

Attachment theory helps explain the attachment style we use in our adult relationships. Understanding this, is the key to finding a lasting relationship.

Your attachment style determines who you attract.

How can understanding attachment theory help you find a partner? Well, your attachment style affects every aspect of your romantic relationships, from being attracted to a particular person to how the breakup goes.[1] Learning more about your attachment style, helps you learn more about your personal needs and how to get those needs met.[2]

Attachment theory can help you understand what strengths and weaknesses you bring to a relationship and how you can make those traits work in your favor. The more you understand your attachment style, the more likely you are to find somebody that matches and complements that style.

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We are all wired to one of the 4 types of attachment styles.

According to attachment theory, there are 4 types of attachment styles[3]:

1. Secure Attachment

If you experienced a secure relationship with your parents and grew up feeling safe to grow and explore independently, you probably have secure attachment. This means that you tend to feel secure and close to your partner, but still respect each person’s independence in the relationship.

2. Anxious Preoccupied Attachment

If you have an anxious preoccupied attachment style, it might be hard for you to feel satisfied in your romantic relationships. In fact, you might be described as clingy or possessive as you rely on your partner to make you feel happy or to help you overcome your fears. You might even spend a lot of time worried that you will lose your significant other.

3. Dismissive Avoidant Attachment

If you are a dismissive avoidant, attachment theory says that you tend to isolate yourself from your partner. You might come off as unconcerned with your relationship and may go so far as to say that having a romantic partner isn’t that important. You try to avoid emotional connection with another person.

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4. Fearful Avoidant Attachment

If you have fearful avoidant attachment, you probably experience two kinds of fear simultaneously: the fear of letting yourself get to close to your partner and the fear of being too distant with your partner. Living in this constant state of confusion takes a toll on your emotions. People have probably told you that you’re emotional and unpredictable because your moods tend to change dramatically and with no warning.

According to research, around 50% of the general population has a secure attachment style, 20% has an anxious attachment style, and 25% has an avoidant attachment style.[4]

In the dating world, that is single and available adults, you’re more likely to find somebody who fits one of the avoidant attachment styles. Why? Because people with secure attachment have a higher probability of being in a committed relationship.[5]

So, you’ve looked over the relationship styles of attachment theory and think you know which category you fit in. So now how do use that information to help you find a lasting relationship?

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Some people tend to be drawn to a specific type of people.

Attachment theory tells us that people with certain attachment styles tend to be drawn to somebody of a complementary nature. What does this mean? If you’re an anxious or avoidant person, you might find a secure person to be a little boring. You crave drama, mistakenly believing it is the same as sharing romantic chemistry. A securely attached person isn’t going to provide that.

As a result, avoidant and anxious people often end up together. Two avoidant people make for barely there relationship; both people spend all their time avoiding each other. Two anxious people make for an unpredictable and high stress relationship; each convinced the other is going to abandon them.

But an anxious and an avoidant person together? These 2 attachment styles complement each other in that an anxious person is willing to wait around for their avoidant partner to commit to the relationship. This anxious attachment actually validates avoidant behavior by letting the avoidant know their behavior will be tolerated.[6]

Securely attached individuals can be with any of the style according to attachment theory. This is because they can validate their partner’s feelings and help them overcome their fears. So how can you achieve a secure attachment style?

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It’s possible to change your attachment style.

First, you need to accept your attachment type by being honest with yourself. If you are an anxious partner, admit it.

Then, ask yourself why. Think back to your childhood, write down all of your memories if you need to. Really look at what happened to you while growing up and try to make sense of it, try to determine how it is affecting your adult relationships today.

Making this connection can help you develop a more secure attachment style, which can help you find a lasting relationship.[7]

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

More by this author

Amber Pariona

EFL Teacher, Lifehack Writer, English/Spanish Translator, MPA

What Makes a Relationship Boring and How to Avoid It How to Know If You’re Really in Love or Not (Yes It Can Be Confusing) Why You and Your Partner Don’t Need to Speak the Same Love Language to Stay Together Why Worrying About Losing a Friend Is Unnecessary No.1 Relationship Killer: Your Good Intention to Advise Your Partner When They’re Upset

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Last Updated on April 1, 2019

How to Be Happy: Why Pursuing Happiness Will Make You Unhappy

How to Be Happy: Why Pursuing Happiness Will Make You Unhappy

When we talk about happiness, we often think about staying happy all the time – every single day, every single minute with zero negativity. Many try to pursue this constant state of “happiness” as their ultimate goal, and avoid anything that may take it away from them.

But, what is the meaning of this type of “happiness”?

It’s a lot like your favorite food. The more often you have it isn’t always better. On the contrary, when you only have a chance to eat it sparingly, that’s when you really savor every bite. So is it the food itself that makes you happy, or is it how valuable it is to you when you are eating it?

Always remember that only by experiencing sadness do we understand what it is to be happy.

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Video Summary

Don’t Assume Others Are Always Happy

Most people see those who have seemingly perfect lives and assume they are happy all the time. Since childhood, we are conditioned to chase the idea of “happily-ever-after” that we see in fairytales. On social media, everyone tends to share only the best looking aspects of their lives. So, it’s very easy to have a distorted view of what “happiness” is around us.

In reality, there is always something missing, something lacking, or something unpleasant.

No one has a perfect life. Even the most glamorous celebrities or the richest billionaires have their own set of challenges and problems.

When we feel negative, we’re only focusing on a small fluctuating curve. As CEO of Lifehack, I’ve had to deal with countless problems, and some of them felt like real setbacks at the time. During those moments, it really seemed like these problems would be the life or death of my company and my life goals. But, I got through them; and, weeks, months and eventually years passed with many more ups and downs.

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You need to keep your sights on the extended curve.  Looking back now, a lot of those “really big” problems at the time now seem like only small blips in a long line of experiences. Recalling them in my mind now makes me smile!

Stop Trying to Be Happy–Just Be

It’s natural to want to be happy as often as possible.

So what can we do?

First, throw away the belief that a perfect life means happiness. Personally, I would be miserable if everything was perfect. It’s through experiencing the pains of lifelong challenges that drives us to care for others when they are experiencing similar trials. If life was perfect, you wouldn’t be able to empathize. If life was perfect, you wouldn’t grow.

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To be truly happy, stop chasing permanent happiness.

It sounds like a paradox. But, what I mean is to accept that there will be ups and downs throughout life. Gracefully understand that happiness is a fluctuation of positive and negative events.

Understand the importance of gratitude. Instead of focusing on the unpleasant moment, flash back your memory to when you didn’t have something. I like to think about my career, for example. When I didn’t have a career I was passionate about, I felt lost and demotivated. I felt like everyone was figuring out their lives but me. But, when I found my purpose and started Lifehack, I was deeply happy, even before I realized I would be successful! This memory keeps me going when I hit tough spots. It takes the darkness to make us grateful for the light.

Happiness and Sadness Exist Together

What it all comes down to is this: your life will be filled with beautiful, happy and incredible moments–happy tears and joyous shouts and funny stories. But, your life will also be filled with rain and storms that never seem like they will pass while you’re going through them.

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But, whether your face is warmed by the sunshine, or your heart is dampened by the rain, know that it’s all part of the ebb and flow of life.

Treasure the happy moments and power through the sad ones. Don’t try to avoid “sad” or “negative” experiences, and blindly chase being “happy”. In the end you will achieve a true level of contentment in your life, based on meaningful experiences and achievements. Being able to create growth and meaning out of both positive and negative events — that is the true meaning of “happiness”.

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