What Are the Different Types of Attachment? Understanding Different Types Of Attachment

By: Kelly Spears

Updated November 12, 2020

Medically Reviewed By: Stephanie Chupein

Stuck like glue, human beings are simply made for attachment – emotional bonds formed between individuals for better or worse.

Though you might often hear people describe themselves as a "people person" or a "lone wolf," make no mistake, we are biologically inclined to link ourselves with others. It’s a basic component of human nature. From the very first hours after birth into childhood, we humans seek out security and align ourselves with others we can trust and depend on.

attachment attachment type attachment types

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Clingy? Stand-offish? Unable to connect? Most likely, you can thank mom and dad, or your earliest caregivers. While individuals can – and do – have individual differences in attachment, early childhood attachments are often learned. This leads to the development of social and cultural patterns of attachment.

Can the Different Types Of Attachment Apply To Me and My Relationships?

Attachment styles impact our relationships with others, as well as how we come to understand ourselves, significantly. By understanding which type of attachment styles we exhibit in our relationships, we can become more self-aware and live a fuller, more authentic life.

Having insight regarding different types of attachment can also lead to stronger connections and healthier relationships. In this article, you'll discover the science behind attachment theory, as well as the four attachment types, their common characteristics, and how you can begin to form stable, secure relationships.

The Science Behind Different Attachment Styles

Characteristics of Attachment

Proximity Maintenance: Proximity is about longing to be physically near the people we are attached to. One's attachment style is developed based on the proximity we share with our primary caregivers. People who are constantly in close proximity to their primary care providers will likely develop a secure attachment type. Insecurely attached children were likely not in close proximity with their primary caregivers when they were in distress.

Safe Haven: The child can return to a parent for comfort and safety when they're threatened or afraid. Securely attached children develop security when the primary caregiver is available when they are in distress. Children whose safety needs were only met intermittently (resulting in limited contact with the attachment figure) will likely develop an avoidant type of anxious-avoidant attachment style.

Secure Base: The parent acts as a base of security from which the child can explore the world around him or her. Attachment behaviors are largely based on how securely attached infants are to their primary attachment figure. The childhood attachment style affects adult attachment style and relationships.

Separation Distress: When the parent (or another attachment figure) is away, anxiety can occur. Attachment styles among young children are affected by the level of distress. According to attachment theory, when a child is in constant distress, negative attachment styles are formed based on their fears. Attachment to the mother is the primary relationship observed in attachment theory.

Attachment Classification - What Are The Different Types of Attachment? 

Through their Evolutionary Theory of Attachment, researchers Bowlby, Harlow, and Lorenz explain that children primarily attach themselves to one person during early infancy and childhood (ages 0-5). Usually, it is the mother (or mother substitute), and this relationship provides a model for all future relationships.

If the parent-child relationship ends, is disrupted, or is otherwise unhealthy, it can negatively affect future connections. It is these interactions (or lack thereof) that lead people to develop one of the following four attachment styles.

Secure Attachment Type

A secure attachment ensures each person in the relationship feels safe, cared for, and understood. Securely attached children often grow into confident and successful adults.

The differences in attachment styles and how they affect our lives are increasingly apparent when measuring the performance and happiness rating of securely attached children versus insecurely attached or avoidant types.

Interestingly, it isn't perfect parenting or even a lack of parenting skills that determines attachment style. Secure attachment develops when a caretaker is able to make a child feel safe and protected through nonverbal communication. Factors that prevent security of attachment from forming include:

  • Being mistreated or abused
  • Only getting attention when acting out or behaving badly
  • Having your needs met infrequently or inconsistently
  • Being separated from parents (e.g., hospitalization, removed from the home)

During childhood, kids who are attached securely to their caregivers:

  • Prefer being with their parents over others/strangers
  • Can separate from their parents without becoming overly upset
  • Look for comfort from their parents when they're afraid
  • Are happy to see their parents when they return

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Similarly, adults who were securely attached to their caregivers as children tend to have long-term relationships in which they trust their partners and demonstrate a healthy level of self-esteem. Not only are these folks comfortable sharing their feelings, hopes, and dreams with their partners, but they're also able to seek support when needed.

Secure individuals are also able to support their partners and comfort them when they're hurting. Individuals with a secure attachment style tend to make great partners.

Anxious-Preoccupied Attachment Type

About 15 to 20 percent of people have an anxious attachment style. Many people in this state of mind seek out counseling due to the difficulty they experience when trying to develop secure attachments as adults.

Anxious caregivers are often preoccupied or otherwise unable to consistently meet their children's needs. People who form this type of attachment weren't abandoned as children, and in most cases, their parents expressed some care and concern for them; however, their inner feelings of security weren't fully developed as children. Inconsistent caretaking meant they could not depend on their parent or another caregiver.

This inconsistency creates an emotional storm within the anxious child, which carries over into adulthood and can result in relationship-avoidant types of people.

Like those individuals with a secure attachment style, people with an anxious child's attachment style crave love and intimacy, but they often feel a lack of self-worth. This negative self-worth is directly related to their security of attachment to their parental figures.

Attachment styles secure themselves in place in early childhood, attachment theory states. In adulthood, deep-rooted insecurities may lead to attention-seeking behaviors (or anti-social behavior for avoidant types). Though often loving, fun, all-around good people, their clinginess, neediness, jealousy, and tendency to nag often drive loved ones away.

Common characteristics of an anxious attachment type include:

  • A need for reassurance and constant validation from partners
  • A desire for constant touch, interaction, and attention from partners or potential partners
  • Relationships with extreme highs and lows
  • An anxious or panicked feeling when away from a partner (even temporarily)
  • A tendency to use blame, guilt, shame, and other forms of manipulation to keep their partners close
  • A tendency to neglect responsibilities due to a preoccupation with relationships or personal concerns
  • A tendency to overreact when there is a perceived threat to the relationship. In some cases, these threats might be imagined

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If the above-mentioned characteristics describe your tendencies, you are certainly not alone. While an anxious attachment style can make it difficult to build and maintain strong long-term relationships, it's important to realize that attachment types are fluid and can be shifted with awareness, self-acceptance, and therapy.

Dismissive-Avoidant Attachment Type

A dismissive-avoidant attachment type is the polar opposite of the anxious-preoccupied attachment type outlined above. Though the two types have one similarity -- they're both insecure -- these attachment styles couldn't be more different. Emotionally distant and avoidant, individuals with a dismissive attachment type don't crave love; in fact, they run from it.

Interestingly, many anxious attachment types find themselves in relationships and marriages with dismissive-avoidant partners. The more the needy partner pushes for love and approval, the further the dismissive partner distances him or herself. Upset by this lack of intimacy, the non-avoidant partner may threaten to end the relationship, which will have little effect on the dismissive partner.

Able to detach themselves from others, shut down completely, and live their lives inward, folks with a dismissive attachment style give off a pseudo-independence that suggests they do not need connection. Of course, this is simply untrue.

By now, you've probably noticed a pattern. The avoidance of intimate relationships is the result of childhood events in which a caregiver was unable or unwilling to parent in a way that would build a secure attachment.

In some situations, parents were physically present, but for one reason or another, they weren't able to meet their children's emotional needs. In this case, the child learns to ignore and repress their emotions. When looking at contrasting differences in attachment styles -- securely attached children usually report a higher level of satisfaction with their adult lives than insecurely attached children do.

This unhealthy style of attachment for avoidant types carries into adulthood, and the grown individual dismisses the need for love and connection. The following characteristics are usually present if a person has an avoidant attachment type:

  • They are uncomfortable with deep feelings and intimate situations
  • They set extreme emotional and/or physical boundaries
  • They may hide information from their partners
  • They send mixed signals and disregard partners' feelings
  • They are noncommittal and prefer casual sex
  • They idealize past relationships

Though avoidant types may have a deep desire for close relationships and intimacy, they are typically unable to fulfill their desires due to their deep-seated internal struggles. Avoidant types are more likely to engage in sexual affairs and end up divorced.

According to the psychology of attachment theory, it is entirely possible for people with negative attachment styles to transition to a secure attachment style, in order to form and maintain healthy relationships. As with any type, this shift in attachment type is possible if guided by a mental health professional who understands the attachment process.

A licensed professional can help you heal unresolved issues with your primary attachment figure -- and yourself. Securely attached adults and children report markedly less distress in their lives.

If you want to learn more about how your relationship with your primary attachment figure has affected your life, talk to a licensed therapy professional who specializes in counseling based on attachment theory and attachment strategy.

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Because avoidant types find it difficult to discuss their feelings, pursuing therapy can be a daunting task, but it's an important and necessary step to help them move toward becoming securely attached.

Disorganized Attachment Type

The final type of attachment isn't based solely on neglect or preoccupation, but also on intense fear. The attachment figure of children with a disorganized attachment style is usually dealing with trauma themselves. Because of unresolved trauma, pain, or loss, the attachment figure is unable to attach themselves securely to the child. Eighty percent of people who were abused as a child have this type of attachment.

Because their primary attachment figure's behavior was often erratic and fear-driven, adults with this type of attachment style have never learned to self-soothe. Their past is marked by pain and loss, and they may become aggressive, see the world as unsafe, and otherwise have trouble socially. Signs of this attachment style include:

  • A hot/cold attitude when it comes to relationships
  • Antisocial behavior and lack of remorse
  • A tendency to be selfish, controlling, and lack personal responsibility
  • Recreating abusive patterns from their childhood in adult relationships
  • Drug and alcohol abuse, as well as violent or destructive criminal behavior

If you think you may have a disorganized attachment type, don't be discouraged. You can learn how to become securely attached with the help of a licensed therapy professional. Once again, knowledge is key. Education, willingness, and therapy can help you move toward a secure attachment style, so you can establish strong, healthy relationships.

How to Move Forward

Throughout this article, you've read that therapy can be life-changing for individuals with non-secure attachment styles. Online therapy offers a safe space to discuss your concerns, and best of all, you can reap the benefits without leaving the comfort of your home.

BetterHelp's online therapy services are tailored to fit your individual needs. Our counselors understand the importance of attachment strategy and work hard to help resolve issues with an early attachment figure. Read below to learn how our online counselors are helping clients shift to a healthier mindset.

Counselor Reviews

"Jacqueline is really understanding of my issues and has been there for me through really difficult times. Also, she's very patient with my progress and didn't give up on me when things didn't seem to go that well for me. I cannot thank her enough for the unconditional support and non-judgmental way of guiding me to the right direction."

"Mary Smith is very thoughtful and a great listener. I can tell she has a lot of experience dealing with many situations and people, which gives me comfort. She always stays on track with my concerns and goals, and always offers relevant suggestions and tools to help me to conquer issues. I definitely recommend Mary Smith to anyone who feels stuck in their toxic ways formed by difficult past experiences, but you want to overcome them. I believe Mary has the skills to help someone who really wants to change for the better."

Conclusion

Regardless of your attachment style, you deserve connection, love, and security in your life. Now that you have a better understanding of each attachment style, you can move toward a happier, healthier future. Take the first step today.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the different adult attachment styles?

An adult attachment style, or “pattern of attachment” is believed to be developed in early childhood. Three adult attachment styles include anxious-avoidant attachment, secure attachment type, and insecure attachment types.

A fourth attachment style is an attachment theory is based on the idea that early attachment (attachment status in the preschool years) to our primary attachment figure can affect our perception of attachment and loss for the rest of our lives. It is believed that a child's attachment style is the same general attachment style they will have as adults.

According to attachment research, attached infants show more security in their self-perception as children and develop more secure attachment patterns as adults.

The difference in the types of attachment are highlighted below:

  • Secure attachment types

    Securely attached infants show more autonomous behaviors and higher levels of self-confidence in their adult lives. People with securely attached styles develop a healthy attachment to the attachment figure and start out as securely attached infants. Secure attachment – securely attached adults tend to be the “norm.” All of the other individual differences in attachment styles describe different forms of insecure attachment representations.
  • Avoidant attachment types

    People who develop avoidant attachment in childhood do so as a result of forming insecure attachments with their primary attachment figure. Avoidant attachment behaviors show up as dismissive and disinterest in the primary attachment figure earlier in life. Later in life, the avoidant type will repeat this dismissive behavior pattern in other close relationships. Adults with avoidant attachment tend to pursue the “perks” of relationships without engaging in full commitment.
  • Anxious attachment types

    Adults and children with anxious attachment types are often preoccupied and worried. This is one of the more common attachment styles among young people whose parents also have this general attachment style. Much like the avoidant type - people who experience anxious attachment and feelings of loss related to their primary attachment figure - anxious-avoidant types will carry the emotions from this primary attachment and loss into their adult lives and relationships resulting in anxious adult romantic attachments.
  • Disorganized attachment types

    Infants and children who develop a disorganized attachment style to their primary attachment figure may demonstrate a combination of all of the other attachment styles. Gender has very little to do with psychology attachment security related to the attachment figure. Insecure attachment styles result in a distance from the attachment figure due to issues of trust and safety. Disorganized attached adults tend to act as though they can “take or leave” relationships – though they may seem happier in relationships and be more volatile when relationships don’t workout. They may seem to cycle in between secure attachments and avoidant attachments.

What does patterns of attachment mean?

Patterns of attachment explain that people develop relationship styles as adults based on early childhood patterns of attachment. We are said to begin practicing learned attachment in the preschool years when we start to engage with people outside of our families. According to attachment theory, our primary attachment styles secure themselves in place in early infancy and childhood.

When it comes to the different patterns of attachment and the origins of attachment theory, people with securely attached children normally see these securely attached children grow into securely attached adults. As a result, people with secure attachment styles are likely to feel more confident in themselves and their environment. Attachment theory operates based on the premise that securely attached infants (and securely attached children) become securely attached adults.

Secure types have an air of confidence and assuredness that seems to be lacking in the other attachment styles. People with insecurely attached styles are less confident in themselves and distrustful in their environment. Securely attached infants are believed to fare better as adults. The primary attachment strategy of mental health providers like psychiatrists and therapists is to help people who developed insecure attachments in early childhood learn how to develop more secure attachments.

Ambivalent Attachment style is less commonly discussed. It is similar to anxious attachment. Ambivalent attachments form when a caregiver is seen as unreliable. It could be that they are disinterested in the child’s development, or that they are interested but are not always present. Whatever causes the formation of attachment, adults with an ambivalent pattern of attachment may exhibit absence of attachment in adult relationships. They may be disinterested in forming new relationships but can experience growth of love, sensitivity, and attachment with individuals that they spend great deals of time with.

How do attachment styles develop?

According to attachment research and attachment theory, patterns of attachment and styles of attachment are developed in early childhood. Attachment theory operates under the premise that securely attached children will grow to become securely attached adults. The model of attachment used in attachment theory research is based on attachment style and relationship research conducted using a mother, a stranger, and an infant child.

Attachment theory researched discovered four main attachment styles. The four main attachment styles discovered in attachment theory research and the related model of attachment are 1. Secure, 2. Insecure attachment styles, 3. Avoidant attachment styles and 4. Disorganized attachment styles.

These attachment patterns develop based on the level of security or attachment to the mother. According to attachment theory, securely attached children will likely fare better in the world as adults. Of all the attachment styles, secure types seem to fare the best in adulthood, though Disorganized and avoidant attachment styles in particular can develop later in life through problems with adult relationships.

Attachment strategy attempts to help people like avoidant types, anxious-avoidant types, and other people who have developed negative attachments to their primary attachment figure to develop a secure attachment type that prevented them from being securely attached in early childhood.

Attachment security in infancy can result in securely attached individuals in adulthood. However, the role of attachment can change as a result of the outcomes of adult relationships, as can the sensitivity and attachment styles.

For example, avoidant attachments styles can develop in adults who may have had secure attachments in childhood and had difficult relationship experiences later in life.

Can you change your attachment style in adulthood?

Psychology experts believe that securely attached people seem to do better in life. However, not everyone was able to securely attach to their primary attachment figure in early childhood. The good news is that people who developed an insecure attachment to their primary attachment figure in early childhood have options for change.

Attachment theory tells us that changing one's attachment style in adulthood is possible. You can learn to change insecure patterns of attachment and develop a secure attachment style by getting professional help from a licensed therapist. A therapist can help you learn more about the origins of attachment theory and the four forms of attachment.

These four attachment styles (created by our experiences with our primary attachment figure) set the stage for how our emotional attachment and relationship bonds will form over time. Talking to a mental health professional can help you discover how your attachment styles affect your life. In therapy, you can learn how attachment in childhood is still affecting you today. You and your therapist can work together to create an attachment strategy that will help you develop a secure attachment style -- in spite of your past attachment behaviors.

Changing your attachment styles is possible once you begin to understand the differences in attachment styles and the security of attachment. Adult attachment styles including anxious-avoidant attachment, avoidant attachment types, and insecure attachment styles can be adjusting using a customized attachment strategy based on the concepts used in attachment theory.

Unfortunately, the door swings both ways – so to speak. Children who developed secure attachments can develop other attachment styles, such as avoidant attachment styles, if they have difficult relationship experiences later in life without the support networks to work through their emotions and experiences in a healthy way.

What are examples of attachment behaviors?

When it comes to attachment security and the primary attachment figure, securely attached infants show a preference for their attachment figure. Secure types show earlier independence and more self-confidence when it comes to exploring their environment. In contrast, insecurely attached children are less confident and less and more dismissive in their behavior when engaging with others and their environment.

The differences in attachment styles are reflected in the differences in self-confidence levels and behaviors of the children in the study. Anxious-avoidant attached infants are indifferent to the presence of their attachment figure or a stranger.

Insecurely attached infants may show disdain or disinterest in the attachment figure. As a result of this negative infant attachment experience, these behaviors will likely carry over into childhood and subsequently adulthood. If you have issues with relationships related to an insecure infant attachment, talking to a licensed therapy provider can help.

What is an attachment figure?

An attachment figure is an early caregiver that serves as the foundation for a child's attachment. It is believed that attachment figures have a lasting impact on our lives. Contact with the attachment figure in attachment research primarily focuses on the child's attachment to the mother. However, if no mother was present (or if the mother wasn't the primary attachment figure) attachment theory and the child's attachment patterns are looked at in relation to the caregiver that was present.

Attachment figures are believed to play a large role in whether children develop secure attachments. A child's attachment styles are formed in response to the attention and care provided by the attachment figure. People with secure attachment styles received more love, support, attention, and care from the attachment figure than avoidant types or insecure types of attachment styles.

In order for a child to develop a secure attachment to the primary attachment figure, the child needs to feel safe and protected. Attachment styles are formed based on the level of safety and security the infant feels in relation to the mother or other attachment figure.

What are the 4 types of attachment?

The 4 types of attachment are secure, avoidant, anxious, and disorganized, although some sources change the names around a little bit. Secure attachment is the proper attachment that should occur between parent child during child development. Avoidant refers to when a child acts like they don’t need their parent’s help. Anxious children will be anxious whether their parents are around or not. Those affected with disorganized attachment may act either way, and this is thought to be a result of their parents not acting the same way towards them at all times or neglecting their needs. On occasion, disorganized attachment may be referred to as anxious and avoidant attachment.

How many types of attachment are there?

There are thought to be 4 types of attachment. Working models of styles of attachment have been tested many times, through theory and research. Mary Ainsworth used something called the strange situation principle to look at children and how they were attached to their parents. She noted that there are at least 3 different types of attachment, but there are thought to be variants to some of them. This strange situation research, which was conducted in the United States, was important to research regarding the attachment theory.

What are the 5 connection styles?

There are only thought to be 4 adult attachment styles, not 5 connection styles. These include secure, anxious preoccupied, dismissive, and fearful. Secure attachment happens when someone has a great deal of self-esteem and can maintain positive relationships with others. Anxious preoccupied means a person doesn’t have a good sense of self but holds others in high regard.  With dismissive, someone may have relationship problems because they think highly of themselves but don’t want to get close to others. Fearful occurs when you can’t get a read on how someone is going to act or behave. They may act one way and then act another way soon after. For instance, they may feel comfortable in intimate relationships one day and the next day refuse to be in an adult romantic relationship.

What are the 3 types of attachment?

The three types of attachment that are the most talked about types are secure, anxious, and avoidance. Secure attachment will translate into positive romantic relationships when it comes to adult attachment. Anxiously attached behavior means a person depends on their partner to make them whole. If they feel like their partner isn’t holding up their end of the bargain, this may lead to them become irritable or jealous. Avoidant attached individuals stay away from romantic relationships as a whole. They may feel that they can’t rely on other people.

Can a child be too attached to their mother?

A child is not able to be too attached to its mother. During childhood and adolescence, if they have a secure attachment to their mom, they will likely depend on her for emotional support, which is to be expected. This early attachment is necessary and provides a secure base for a child to become emotionally close to the people that are caring for him or her.

What is it called when a son is obsessed with his mother?

When a son is obsessed with his mother, this is known as the Oedipus Complex. At this stage of development, a child may become attached to the opposite sex parent and not care for the other parent. This theory was presented by Sigmund Freud. This doesn’t relate to social psychology as much as attachment theory and research and many experts don’t agree with his analysis.

Why are toddlers so attached to their mothers?

A toddler that is attached to its mother has likely formed a secure early attachment to their mother, which is why they are fond of them. They have an emotional closeness with their parent, where they count on them for support and to have their needs met. Again, these principles were tested with the strange situation technique, to see how children with different attachment styles behaved toward their mothers.

Why does my child only want Mommy?

When your child only wants mommy, this may be due to the fact that they have developed a secure attachment to their mother. This is positive attachment behavior, since children need to be able to count on their parents and trust that they will take care of them. Theory and research suggest that children that can count on their parents will be more likely to have adult romantic relationships and will be able to get emotionally close to others. There are some articles that you can research with more information about internal working models and romantic love conceptualized as an attachment, if you are interested in learning more about proper attachment in children. You may also want to check out the term strange situation to learn more.

What is negative attachment?

Negative attachment is not a term that is used, but this may refer to insecure attachment, which is an attachment where a child did not develop a secure attachment to their parents. When this happens, it can affect children well into their adult years. Insecure attachment can keep children from being able to become emotionally close to others, even as an adult. When it isn’t addressed, a child may have an issue with adult attachment, which is likely to affect romantic love and all types of relationships.

What are the three types of insecure attachment?

The three types of insecure attachment are disorganized, anxious preoccupied, and ambivalent attachment styles. With disorganized, a child may behave in either type of insecure attachment. It is hard to determine what they will do from one situation to the next. Those with anxious preoccupied attachment tend to want to have romantic love, but don’t feel like they are properly being treated in relationships. This can lead to their partners feeling like they need space. Ambivalent attachment causes people to expect the worst to happen, even if things are going good in a relationship. People with ambivalent attachment will also be dependent on their partners and may need to be reassured on a regular basis.

Which two types of attachment are most stable?

Secure attachment is the most ideal type of attachment that can be experienced by an infant. It means that they have the support they need as a baby and their needs are met regularly. This leads to secure adult attachment, which is beneficial in terms of getting the proper social support and working relationships as an adult. Another type of attachment and whether it is stable or not would be up for debate. The other types of attachment styles are considered to be insecure, as in an infant did not benefit from proper attachment to their parents. You can do further research into social psychology as well as attachment theory and research to figure out other attachment styles that may be considered stable.

What is emotional attachment?

An emotional attachment is when you feel connected to a person, thing, or idea. You can become emotionally attached to many things, but that doesn’t mean that these things are beneficial to you. You still need social support to have an internal working model of what a relationship looks like.
What does insecure attachment look like?

An insecure adult attachment may look similar to an infant insecure attachment, depending on the type. For example, if an adult is affected by ambivalent attachment, they may be anxious most of the time. They may also be viewed as needing a lot of emotional support in a relationship. This might make people feel uncomfortable in a relationship.

What are the signs of attachment disorder in adults?

Signs of attachment disorder in adults include problems when it comes to control, anger, impulses, and trust. Additionally, people feel like they don’t belong, they are unable to be affectionate, and have trouble in all types of relationships. Theory and research on the subject indicate that therapy is needed to move past this type of disorder, regardless of age.

What are the symptoms of attachment disorder?

The symptoms of attachment disorder are the same as signs of attachment disorder. Other symptoms include being resistant to people loving them, detaching themselves from situations, and feeling empty.

Do avoidant partners cheat?

It is possible that an avoidant partner will cheat. This means that if someone exhibits an avoidant adult attachment style, they may cheat, which might be used as a coping strategy to protect themselves from getting hurt or from others becoming emotionally close to them. Attachment theory and research has looked into all types of adult attachment, to see how people act as adults when they have not gotten treatment for possible attachment issues developed as children. This is how they know how avoidant partners may react in certain adult romantic relationships.

How do I know if I have attachment issues?

You may be able to tell that you have attachment issues if you have symptoms of reactive attachment disorder. Some symptoms include having problems with anger, control, not trusting, not feeling like you belong, or avoiding having connections with others. If you have any of these symptoms, especially when it comes to romantic relationships, you may have attachment issues. When you feel that you have attachment issues that were a result of your upbringing, you should learn more about social psychology and adult attachment. Then you may be able to determine for yourself if you need to reach out to a therapist for help. Whenever a child doesn’t develop secure attachment with their caregivers, this can translate to insecure attachment in adults, especially if it has largely been ignored.

What are some attachment disorders?

There are two types of attachment disorders that someone may be affected by. One is reactive attachment disorder, which happens during child development when a child is unable to bond with a parent in the way that they should be able to. They were unable to get security in infancy that was required for them to have a secure attachment to their mother. The other type of attachment disorder is Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder, which occurs when a child starts to feel comfortable talking to or hugging strangers. Either attachment disorder will need the proper treatment to be alleviated. Otherwise, they may lead to adult attachment issues, including problems in romantic relationships, fear of intimacy, or other adult romantic issues.

How do you break an attachment?

Generally speaking, if you want to break an attachment to someone, you will have to work on it. You may also need a support system and therapy to do so. If you are trying to break an insecure attachment from childhood, this could require clinical applications to assist you in the process.

What are insecure attachments?

Insecure attachment refers to when a child was unable to form attachments with their parents. There are 3 types of insecure attachments, which are avoidant, ambivalent, and disorganized. Avoidant means that a child behaves in an avoidant manner towards their caregivers. Ambivalent attachment describes when a child feels they are unable to trust in their parents, which can leave them feeling anxious. Disorganized happens when parents ignore their child’s needs. This can lead to children having behavioral problems and becoming frazzled.

Therapy Is Personal

Therapy is a personal experience, and not everyone will go into it seeking the same things. But, keeping these nine things in mind can ensure that you will get the most out of online therapy, regardless of what your specific goals are.


If you’re still wondering if therapy is right for you, and how much therapy costs, please contact us at contact@betterhelp.com. BetterHelp specializes in online therapy to help address all types of mental health concerns. If you’re interested in individual therapy, please reach out to contact@betterhelp.com and check out our Instagram. For more information about BetterHelp as a company, please find us on 
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