Emotional attachment in adults: types, causes and symptoms

Emotional attachment in adults: types, causes and symptoms
When we speak of emotional attachment, we refer to that emotional bond that is generated between a baby or child and the adult person who takes care of him, normally the father or the mother. In 1958, the psychologist John Bowlby was the first to describe and study the types of attachment that exist and to date his theories are still valid.

Among the discoveries of Bowlby are that during the first years of a person's life, it is necessary to have a stable figure so that he can have a correct emotional and cognitive development in his later years.

However, is there also attachment in adults?

Although the attachment develops in childhood, the type of attachment that we have lived during it is crucial in our way of linking with others, especially in terms of relationships, in our adult life.

But, what types of being bound are there? In what way do they manifest themselves? In this Transkerja.com article emotional attachment in adults: types, causes and symptoms. We will give you detailed information about this topic.

Types of emotional attachment in adults

There are different styles of emotional attachment in adult love relationships, which correspond to the attachment style generated in childhood.

Next, we will explain in detail each of the attachment styles that exist, how they develop from children and how they manifest themselves in adult couple of relationships.

Secure attachment style

These are children whose parents have made them feel loved and accepted within the family system all the time, through the demonstration of affection, empathy and availability.

Children whose parents have known how to regulate their emotions through affection and being with them unconditionally.

So the adults who grew up with this type of attachment during childhood, are people to bond with their partners is simple and enjoyable, they allow themselves to depend on their partner emotionally as well as this also do with them.

They know how to enjoy intimate relationships, without worrying about what might happen next, whether your partner may leave them or ask them for a bigger commitment.

They also know how to express their needs, wishes and feelings to the other person without problems.

Avoidant attachment style

Children whose parents have behaved with them in a distant and even cold manner, delayed in meeting their needs and between them and the child had little emotional contact.

That is, the child was often ignored and left in the background, meeting their needs was not something important for the parents and this was constantly demonstrated through their actions.

Nor did they express affection or affection since they probably did not receive it from their parents either. These children when they are adults feel uncomfortable and even upset when their partner begins to look for a closer and intimate.

They have a hard time totally trusting their partner, letting themselves be carried away and emotionally dependent on them as well as showing affection and affection.

Anxious / ambivalent attachment style

They are children who always tried to keep close to their attachment figure, who are very dependent on her and who feel a lot of anxiety when it is separated from them and even before, they do.

These are mothers or fathers who acted inconsistently with their children, causing dependency on them and seeing only for their own convenience without thinking about what was really best for their children.

Adults who have grown up with this type of attachment are usually quite fearful and insecure in their love relationships, have a constant fear that they may be abandoned and try to generate a very close bond with their partners so that this does not happen.

All this causes that in many occasions the couple or the suitors that have move away from them. These kind of people are extremely dependent.

Disorganized / disoriented attachment style

These are children whose parents have behaved with them in an unpredictable and highly incoherent manner. So sometimes, they could give them affection, others not to show them anything and at other times, they could behave extremely distant, as if there were a real connection between what they did.

They often commit a lot of negligence when it comes to taking care of the child and show themselves at times extremely irresponsible. Therefore, the children are quite affected and finally fail to have a clear pattern of behavior.

They are people who perceive the world as threatening and try to protect themselves from it by manifesting seemingly disconnected behaviors that are rather defense mechanisms to deal with their pain.

Adults who have grown up with this attachment style tend to have quite dramatic and problematic relationships with many difficulties. On the one hand, they are afraid that they may be abandoned but on the other, they have a hard time having too much privacy.

People who can become very dependent on their partners when they feel rejected and feel suffocated when the couple is the one who seeks more closeness. Many times, it seems that there is no connection between what they do and what they feel.

Symptoms of emotional attachment in adults

After having explained what the different types of emotional attachment are, we will let you know what are the symptoms or characteristics that normally present the people who present each of them.

Symptoms of secure attachment style

  • Accept emotionally dependent on the couple and that the couple depends on them.
  • Feel happy for the well-being of the couple
  • They like to spend time with their partner but they also know how to give their space
  • They feel sure of the love they feel for their partner and that their partner feels for them
  • They do not live with the worry that their partner is going to leave them even though they know they are things that can happen to everyone
  • Accept when the couple does not want to continue with the relationship despite the natural pain that this may cause
  • They know how to enjoy intimacy and closeness in a relationship

Symptoms of avoidant attachment

  • They are distant and even cold with the couple
  • It generates anxiety and discomfort that the couple seeks a higher level of intimacy and commitment
  • Avoid emotionally dependent on the couple
  • They find it difficult to express their feelings and emotions
  • They lend a lot to having long distance relationships
  • They give a lot of value to independence and personal autonomy
  • Easily overcome rejections as they do not give much importance to sentimental relationships
  • The couple is usually not their priority

Symptoms of the anxious / ambivalent attachment style

  • They base their happiness almost exclusively on the couple's relationship
  • They have a constant fear of being abandoned
  • They feel insecure if they are not close to the couple
  • Much of your emotional energy and day-to-day thoughts are based on your relationship
  • Try to interpret all the time what the couple says or does
  • They often feel that the couple does not love them as much as they want so they tend to be very demanding with her about how much their love shows them.

Symptoms of disorganized / disoriented attachment style

  • They can love and hate their partner at the same time
  • Their relationships tend to be very conflictive and dramatic
  • It seems that what they do and what they feel is not in tune
  • Are prone to develop a borderline personality disorder or a histrionic
  • With their attitude, they usually confuse their partner as to what they feel
  • They can be very afraid of being abandoned and may feel dependent on the couple, especially if the couple rejects them and when the couple shows emotional dependence on them they usually feel suffocated and uncomfortable.

Causes of emotional attachment in adults

As we have seen previously, all people since childhood develop a different attachment style depending on the relationship we have had with our attachment figures or direct caregivers.

Nevertheless, why have our parents instilled in us a style of emotional attachment and not another? On what does it depend that we have grown up with a certain type of emotional attachment?

The style of emotional attachment we have received from our parents is a consequence of the one they received as children.

The fact that our parents have related to us in a certain way and not in another, has been because their parents have treated them as well and therefore this is the way they know how to act and show affection, at the moment they do not have another way to do it

It is not about blaming our parents, in case we do not feel comfortable with the way in which we relate romantically with other people, it is about being aware and knowing the origin of it.

So if we now understand better where our way of acting and therefore of interacting with the couple may come from, it will be easier to start making the necessary changes to heal ourselves and be able to relate in the way we want it with others.