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Maintain A Successful Long Distance Relationship is Less Harder If You Understand Your Partner’s Attachment Style

Maintain A Successful Long Distance Relationship is Less Harder If You Understand Your Partner’s Attachment Style

The adage “out of sight is out of mind” is more fitting in relationships than is “absence makes the heart grow fonder”. Clichés as they both might be, long distance relationships are indeed no cakewalk and need far more effort and patience to maintain than a normal relationship where people live together or live in the same city and meet up often. Long distance relationships are hard to maintain simply because bringing the physical gap of not being able to see each other often, not knowing what the person is up to and even seeing your loved one in the presence of other people is a tough nut to crack! Also, it might have something to do with our attachment styles! [1]

Your attachment styles can predict the success of your long distance relationship.

    Photo credit: Source

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    We all have specific behaviors, when it comes to romance, which remain unchanged, even if we change partners. Many of us are often dubbed as clingy, or commitment-phobic, or even too independent when it comes to our relationships and basically, it all boils down to our specific attachment styles. [2]

    Attachment styles are simply the way we behave with our loved one, and this behavior of ours then can make a relationship smooth and enjoyable to be in, or bumpy with too much strife and expectations. Remember that attachment styles can change with a big change in life – things like pregnancy, a new baby, adoption, a sudden financial crisis, the loss of a job, an accident or injury. [3]

    Now the thing with attachment styles is that depending on the kind we have or are, and depending on the kind of attachment style our loved on has, is key to making a relationship work, or not!

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      Photo credit: Source

      Secure Attachment

      If you grew up in a warm, safe and loving environment then you are the kind who feels secure in your relationship with your partner, are close to him or her but still respect individuality and independence in a relationship. You are the kind who can be with any kind of attachment type, and most likely to make a long distance relationship work to your advantage as well. [4]

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      Anxious-Preoccupied Attachment

      If you are the anxious attachment type, you are likely to be the one most partners describe as clingy, possessive and even stifling. You often remain worried about the future of your relationship and depend on your partner for your happiness and fulfillment. You might find it difficult to maintain a long-distance relationship as your demanding nature will not find satisfaction in not getting the due attention over the distance. [5]

      Dismissive-Avoidant Attachment

      So, you are the one who would probably thrive in a long distance relationship for you probably like to keep detached from your partner and may not even consider him or her that important, to begin with. You are likely to come off as cold, distant and perhaps even narcissistic in nature. [6]

      Fearful-Avoidant Attachment

      You are the one everyone dubs as commitment-phobic. Being in a relationship is scary enough for you, naming it and establishing concrete boundaries makes you run strike back and be rather moody. A long distance relationship should work for you as well as you basically like some distance between you and your significant other. [7]

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      Do the right thing based on you and your partner’s attachment styles to sustain the LDR!

        Photo credit: Source

        If you’ve already had a failed long distance relationship and fear being in another one since you took that failure personally, well don’t, on all counts. Your failure may not have been your fault or even the other’s, rather it may be a relationship doomed to fail due to different attachment styles. But does that mean that you can never be successful in a long distance relationship, like ever?

        Of course not! We all can be successful at anything we so wish to if we only put in a little effort and also change ourselves a tad. Depending on your attachment style, here’s what you need to do, to make it work! And mostly, the work remains the same – trust, patience and a lot of loving attention along with space given! [8]

        • Secure Attachment: You are the kind of person who remains happy and loved in any circumstance of your relationship, distance immaterial. The problem in a long distance relationship will arise if you are with a person who has an anxious attachment type. Your security in the relationship could be mistaken for taking the relationship for granted, so you might need to shower some special attention on your “clingy” partner.
        • Anxious Attachment: You need constant reassurance in every relationship and a long distance relationship is particularly hard for you to maintain. If your partner is also anxious-preoccupied, frankly, the long distance may not work out for either one of you for both of you need to remain in constant touch with each other. If your partner is a secure attachment type, then remember that he or she is happy in your relationship and you need not feel abandoned or ignored. Your avoidance attachment partner is likely to be the happiest in this long distance relationship and may need a gentle reminder every now and then that you need attention too.
        • Avoidance Attachment: So your secure partner may not be affected by the distance or even the various emotional phobias you have, and in case your partner is also the avoidance attachment type then you guys would probably revel in the relationship you have over the miles. But if your partner is anxious attachment type, Houston, we have a problem! You need to get over yourself and give a little part of you over the phone or the chat to your loved one to make sure the distance does not stress out your already hyper anxious partner. And with the distance, a little more attention should be easy for you to maintain as well.

        Remember that all relationships are same only in that they all need work, effort and plenty of love to work. Mostly, if the love is there, you can make it work – distance be darned! That said; a long distance relationship does need that extra bit of effort more to retain the spark for an ending that’s equally bright and happy!

        Reference

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        Last Updated on January 15, 2021

        7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

        7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

        The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

        Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

        Posture

        First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

        • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
        • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
        • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
        • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

        All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

        Facial Expressions

        Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

        • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
        • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
        • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

        If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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        1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

        A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

        The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

        This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

        2. Relax Your Face

        New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

        The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

        To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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        3. Improve Your Eye Contact

        Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

        The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

        To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

        3. Smile More

        There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

        Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

        4. Hand Gestures

        Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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        It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

        5. Enhance Your Handshake

        In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

        “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

        It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

        6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

        As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

        Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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        Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

        Final Takeaways

        Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

        If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

        More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

        Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

        Reference

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