Added: Elizabethann Moyle - Date: 23.03.2022 03:45 - Views: 26154 - Clicks: 9316
Negative thoughts were running rampant. Cognitive distortions were tripping me up left and right. I felt overwhelmed with emotion and under siege with worry. Is he ghosting me? I wondered. In reality, I knew there must be a way out of this spiral—some solution to pull me out of the depths of doubt.
I closed my eyes and sat with my discomfort. I turned my focus inward and brought my attention to my breath. The rise and fall of my chest superseded the racing thoughts in my mind. I surrendered. My nervous system slowed down as a sense of relief washed over me. You are safe , I said to the little one inside. No matter what happens, you are safe here. When my anxiety kicks into overdrive , my pulse quickens and my breathing becomes shallow. My body clenches and I feel tense. I become one giant ball of stress. All it takes is a simple trigger: An unfavorable reaction, an awkward pause in conversation, or perhaps, as in this case, no response at all.
Then the doubts creep in—and take over. This description likely sounds all too familiar to those who struggle with anxiety. Dating and relationships can feel excruciating when you get triggered and fall into what seems like an endless pit of stress and worry. You can find new ways to cope. You can calm your nervous system down. You can develop a toolkit to help you self-soothe. While that situation fizzled out shortly after he resurfaced, it helped me realize something profound: I have a power that no external event can take away—access to a well of inner peace.
Below, I outline nine ways you can reclaim this same inner peace for yourself. Because they transformed mine. One of the best ways to tackle your relationship-related anxiety is to know what attachment theory is, and what having an anxious attachment style means. A branch of psychology that originated in the s and 60s from research conducted by John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth, attachment theory puts forth a framework for understanding how individuals build lasting emotional connections with others based on their upbringing and relationships with their caregivers.
Based on decades of research, psychologists have identified three primary attachment styles:. Secure attachment style: Someone with a secure attachment style feels inherently safe and secure in their emotional connections with others. These folks enjoy a healthy degree of intimacy and are naturally warm and loving in their relationships, effectively communicating their needs and feelings.
The fundamental belief behind a secure attachment style is: I am worthy and capable of deep love. When a person with an avoidant attachment style does find themselves in a relationship, they are often emotionally distant, as too much intimacy can be triggering to them and make them feel like they need space.
People who possess an anxious attachment style tend to over-identify with and obsess over their relationships, becoming preoccupied with the emotional availability of their love interests. But, with consistent communication over time, folks with an anxious attachment style can come to feel secure in their romantic relationships and develop lasting partnerships that are supportive and healing.
The fundamental belief behind an anxious attachment style is: No one wants to connect with me as deeply as I do; I always get left in the end. Here are some indicators that you may have an anxious attachment style:. You tend to act out, doing or saying things that you later regret.
In the spirit of better getting to know yourself and what it is that you need in a relationship, consider taking an attachment style test to evaluate where you stand on the attachment spectrum. Keep in mind that different tests may use slightly different terminology to describe each attachment style, such as using the terms anxious and preoccupied interchangeably. If you happen to have an anxious or preoccupied attachment style, I also highly recommend doing more reading and research to become more acquainted with the meaning of your attachment style.
One of the 13 books that changed my life and 9 books that changed my love life , I found Attached to be a powerful guide for two reasons. First and foremost, if you have an anxious attachment style, reading this book will be like seeing all of your past relationships printed in black ink on white paper. When I was reading Attached I felt truly seen and understood. In addition, Attached will completely transform the way you look at what you need in a romantic partner, and, more importantly, where those needs originate.
The big takeaway? What exactly do you need from a partner or in a relationship? Start by thinking back on your prior relationships. Then reflect on that list through the lens of unmet needs. We tend to get upset with our romantic partners where we are most vulnerable and where our needs are greatest. For example, if you criticized a former dating partner for not appreciating you, perhaps you need to feel cherished, or at least hear affirming things from them.
Stemming from a book of the same name by Dr. Gary Chapman , the five love languages are five singular areas through which we give and receive love. Here are the five love languages at a quick glance:. Words of affirmation : Building the other person up through compliments and other verbal reminders. Quality time : Giving someone your undivided attention and spending time with that person. Physical touch : Demonstrating that you care through varying degrees of physical intimacy. Gifts : Whether big or small, buying something thoughtful for the other person.
Consider taking a quiz to discover your own preferred love languages. Regardless of the answers that appear, getting clarity about your needs is a powerful first step to ensuring that you find a partner who can meet those needs. And support your happiness in the process. Let them know how important communication is to you. See if they step up. Let them know you like compliments and reassurance. Look for their follow through. Take note of how they respond. One of the biggest mistakes that someone with an anxious attachment style can make is to continue dating people that only exacerbate their anxiety.
One particularly toxic dynamic that often repeats itself throughout the dating histories of many folks with an anxious attachment style is called the Anxious-Avoidant Trap. As it sounds, the Anxious-Avoidant Trap occurs when someone with an anxious attachment style becomes paired with someone with an avoidant attachment style.
In time, though, the avoidant person withdraws, which triggers the hypersensitive anxious person to ask for reassurance and seek to restore closeness. This hyper-vigilance triggers the avoidant partner to withdraw further.
Before they know it, the pair are trapped in a dynamic that only intensifies the triggers in one another. While both the anxious and avoidant partners fall on the insecure end of the attachment spectrum, their needs are opposite. Individuals with an avoidant attachment style need a lot of space and autonomy. This need is scary to an individual with an anxious attachment style. Those who have an anxious attachment style need a lot of closeness and reassurance. These needs are scary to an individual with an avoidant attachment style. In the end, these competing needs create a roller coaster of highs and lows—pulling closer and pushing apart—that feel crushing to the person with an anxious attachment style.
Neither partner is happy or fulfilled in this type of relationship. However, it will take a ificant amount of effort in the form of communication and compassion to make it work. And when it comes to compromise, the anxious person is typically the one to bend.
Do yourself a favor and find someone who can give you the closeness and reassurance you crave. That person is emotionally available and hoping to meet you. As someone with an anxious attachment style, regardless of what your partner is like, you likely spend a lot of time ruminating about things that are completely out of your control, such as what the future of your relationship might be.
When your attachment system is triggered, you become overcome with fear and it feels almost impossible to let go. We allow life to happen instead of forcing and trying to control it. We relinquish regrets over the past and fears about the future. We make the most of each day. For someone with an anxious attachment style—someone who often feels they are in danger of being left or abandoned—this can feel like a daunting task. Learn to observe your emotions. Take ability for the fact that your triggers are just that—yours.
You are ultimately responsible for whether or not you act on them. The way someone else treats me is a reflection of their character and not mine. I trust that things will work out for the best no matter what happens. Here are some ways you can do just that:. Try out some guided meditations on YouTube , or check out apps like Calm or Hepace , which are dedicated to meditation, or Peloton , which has hundreds of guided meditations as well.
As a cherry on top, research has shown that meditation provides myriad health benefits in addition to helping you manage stress and anxiety.Avoidant attachment disorder dating
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