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  • Writer's pictureDagmara Svetcov LMFT CST

Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find – and Keep – Love

Updated: Feb 27, 2019

Amir Levine, MD and Rachel S.F. Heller, M.A.

Dr. Levine and Ms. Heller, the authors of Attached propose a scientific explanation for why some people seem to navigate relationships effortlessly, while others struggle.  They suggest that an understanding of adult attachment can help find and sustain love. Attached is a practical guide for the reader who wishes to find a good relationship or improve the existing one.

Attached helps the reader to determine what attachment style they and their partners fit. Knowing one’s attachment style has great benefits: a better understanding of oneself and how to function in relationships, opportunity to develop a healthier attachment style if one suffers from a toxic one, a chance to better choose the right people to get involved in relationship with, and the knowledge to help one’s partner be more constructive in relationship.

Pioneered by psychologist John Bowlby in the 1950s, the field of attachment pertains to child development and parenting as well as to romantic relationships. It posits that each of us behaves in relationships in one of three distinct ways: anxiously attached people are often preoccupied with their relationships and tend to worry about their partner’s ability to love them back; people with an avoidant attachment style equate intimacy with a loss of independence and constantly try to minimize closeness; and securely attached individuals feel comfortable with intimacy and are usually warm and loving.

Attached is divided into four parts: Part I clarifies the notion of attachment style and provides two questionnaires that will help identify the reader attachment style and that of their partner. Part II describes in detail the types of adult attachment style, Part III illustrates the struggles in relationships with mismatched attachment styles, Part IV provides suggestions on how to manage conflict and communicate effectively in a relationship – “the secure way.”

The premise Attached, based on research, is that your significant other is greatly responsible for your happiness in the relationship and vice versa. When you become attached to someone, you and your partner form one psychological unit. You are no longer separate entities, but instead you regulate each other’s biological states and affect each other’s psychological and emotional well-being. The main message of the book is paradoxically that if you want to become independent, happy and fulfilled in life, while being in a relationship, your main job is to find the right person to depend on.

Levine and Heller dispel the common misconceptions about relationships. They urge that relationships should not be left to chance and they promise that if you follow their attachment principles, you will increase your chances of finding and keeping a deeply satisfying love.

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