Reply To: Concerned attachment

Reply To: Concerned attachment

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tcoleTim Cole

Hi Fran,

When dating, it helps to pay close attention to patterns of self-disclosure. If someone has a difficult time revealing intimate and personal information about themselves — they aren’t comfortable sharing information that makes them feel vulnerable, they may have a cool style of attachment. Dating someone with a cool style of attachment won’t help you overcome your anxieties, but will most likely make you feel more anxious.

If you can date someone who has a confident style of attachment, someone who is comfortable with intimacy and doesn’t feel constrained by a relationship, that’s your best bet. In addition to watching how people self-disclose… it helps to pay attention to how someone reacts to your disclosures. Tell the person that you’ve struggled with trust issues in the past, but are trying to work through them. Someone with a confident style of attachment is likely to ask you questions in an attempt to understand what you’ve been through — they show interest, understanding and concern. On the other hand, someone with a cool style of attachment would probably try to find a way to quickly change the topic.

If you can find someone to date who tries to understand where you’re coming from, it also helps to tell that person that issues of trust may come up from time to time, and that you’re trying to approach the issue head-on by talking about your feelings, rather than trying to ignore them or let them get the best of you. Again, watch how someone responds to that disclosure. Do they try to make you feel understood and cared for?

Basically, you want to be honest with other people and watch how they respond. You don’t want to hide your anxieties — you want to share them and watch how people react. By sharing how you’re feeling, you’ll quickly discover who is patient and understanding versus who is dismissive and nonresponsive. Essentially, you want to scare away people who won’t help you work through your fear of abandonment.