Attachment style is one of the most common and well-studied indicators of romantic success. Whether it’s secure, anxious-ambivalent, anxious-avoidant, or disorganized attachment, each group comes with its own pros and cons. The good news is, there’s always a chance for love.
Here’s how each of these attachment styles finally falls in love:
You fall in love when you know your heart is in a safe hand. Your soul will immediately feel lifted up as soon as you find yourself a true and equal partner, someone who’s always warm and safe and respects your space as much as you do theirs. So when you catch this person in the room full of strangers, it will simply start with a sweet smile. It will fill you up gradually with positive feelings and a sense of home like the home you grew up in, surrounded by the stability and comfort.
It will happen so naturally, so gently that there is probably no big epiphany moment. You could already anticipate that from all the reciprocally healthy, respectful and open interactions you two have along the way. You could just look at the object of your desire and find a best friend in them, someone who isn’t afraid to challenge you, show you their love, love you and tell you they do, and you know you could freely do the same for them.
Your love wouldn’t need a grand Saturday evening declaring the passion of your yearning hearts. Your love will blossom on a Tuesday afternoon or a Sunday morning, during lunch breaks, late night phone calls, and “I miss you” after a drawn-out day at work. You will fall in love slowly, steadily, fiercely, and deeply. Maybe you’ll even fall in love… boringly but it’s the kind of boring that will last you a lifetime.
Your insecure heart needs one that beats twice as slow, one that’s strong, one that stays still. The first few times you fall in love, you will fall fast. You will plunge in head first wearing your band-aided heart on your sleeves, hoping there would be two open arms catching you before you crash. Most of the times, you expect the worst and there really isn’t any pair of arms. But when there is, you will want to believe in forever.
The problem with the insecure heart is that you don’t always go for what you need but you easily slip into the relationship patterns morphed from your deepest fear — unstable, unpredictable, inconsistent. You think it’s love but it isn’t love. It can’t be love when all you feel is anxiety. When you finally fall in love, for real though, it will be with the opposite of your last painful relationship. It will be with someone who’s always there, who’s keen, who’s reliable. The relationship might be a bit uneventful at first; it might take longer time than usual but before you know it, you’ve found yourself a treasure.
You will fall in love with someone you can trust, truly trust, someone you know you can call up at 2 am without feeling like you’re bothering them. You will be able to count on reminder love notes, on “Hey I’m here” and “It’s all okay” and actually meaning it. You don’t know how but you will even start believing you’re lovable, you’re interesting, you’re enough. It’s when your insecure heart realizes it has found itself a safe home.
Your avoidant heart isn’t quick to admit it’s fluttering, and even when it finally skips a beat, it will take you a while to catch up with this realization. You don’t show your emotions easily. You don’t come to people too readily. But it doesn’t mean inside you don’t yearn for a happy relationship. You will fall in love when it’s been proven to you that your partner is someone who’s accepting, forgiving and non-judgmental. You will take a step forward when you’re fully convinced that even if you, for a brief moment, reveal your vulnerability, they will still love you.
You might not be vocal about it but you will deeply appreciate their patience, their understanding, their never-ending willingness to reach out to you, to hold onto the relationship to which at times you might come across as indifferent. You will fall in love with someone who respects your way of being, who takes the time to build a safe space with you without ever rushing you, who lets you be you, who tells you through actions that seeking comfort is a positive thing.
You will fall in love when your avoidant heart learns that it’s okay to be close to someone. You will fall in love not day one, day two, but when your limiting beliefs about relationships are challenged by a caring soul. This caring soul will surprise you when you find yourself curious about their feelings and thoughts. It’s terrifying to disclose yours but you do it anyway because in love you learn to trust.
Your disorganized heart needs an anchor. Someone who’s consistent and plays a clear role in the relationship right from the beginning, which in turn clears you off of any confusion. The love of your life will slowly teach you that it’s okay to express your emotions, to be a little selfish, to rely on them for help and support. When you really need help and support, without fail, they will show up and be warm to you. They will welcome you with open arms and be there for you through actions.
For the first time, you won’t have to act like the parent in the relationship. You could be you, an equal partner in an equal partnership, giving and taking at the same time. This partnership won’t be a source of uncertainty, a chaos of intense distress that leaves you puzzled. This person whom you finally trust with your heart with will give you constant comfort. It might not be the most breathtaking relationship — and it shouldn’t be — but it will guard you safe for a long, long time.