Attachment Style: Which Are You?

Jasbina Ahluwalia asks Dr. Amir Levine, author of Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How it Can Help You Find- and Keep- Love: I find that fascinating.

Your book discusses three main styles in which people perceive and respond to intimacy in romantic relationships.

In your book, it is termed “attachment styles.” As a starting point, will you share a brief description of each of the attachment styles for our listeners?



Dr. Amir Levine

Attachment styles are not just something in my book. This is the product of research that’s been going on. This is hardcore science.

These attachment styles were first described in children by a very famous researcher named Mary Ainsworth. It was used to describe the way that children interact with their parents.

In 1987, two researchers thought, “Maybe we have the same kind of attachment with our significant others.” The same system that’s in our brain related to how we attach to our parents is also related to how we attach to our partners.

They wanted to see if those three styles that exist in children also exist in adults.

Attachment Style: 3 Styles

These three styles are

  1. The anxious attachment style
  2. The avoidant attachment style
  3. The secure attachment style

They saw that, indeed, we do behave in accordance to those styles in adulthood.

Understanding attachment is almost like learning a new language.

I really want to invite the listeners to listen carefully to these definitions. You will start to think about what attachment style you are and what attachment styles other people in your life are. It’s tremendously helpful.


Anxious Attachment Style

Let’s start with the anxious attachment style. It all has to do with how comfortable we feel with intimacy and closeness. At the same time, it has to do with how preoccupied we become with the relationship.

  • Someone with an anxious attachment style loves to be intimate and close.
  • They are also very sensitive to small threats that happen in a relationship.
  • They tend to worry a lot about not being loved back and the reliability of the relationship.


Secure Attachment Style

If you have a secure attachment style, you also love to be close and intimate. You can’t get enough.

  • You don’t tend to be too sensitive.
  • You don’t worry too much about the relationship and not being loved back.
  • You’re easygoing and easy to get along with.


Avoidant Attachment Style

The last style is the avoidant attachment style. If we look into this science, we understand that we’re all programmed to choose someone out from the crowd, make them special and unique to us and become attached to someone. If you have an avoidant attachment style,

  • You choose someone from the crowd.
  • You get closer to them.
  • Then you start feeling uncomfortable with so much closeness.
  • You learn the different ways in which you put your partners at arm’s length. You keep your distance from them.

If you understand what attachment style you are as well as other people, you really solve the mystery of how to pick the right partner for you. That’s crucial.

Again, it’s not just our idea. This has been backed by decades of research.


Tell Us:

Share with us in the comments section below what attachment style you are.


The above is an excerpt from Jasbina’s interview with Dr. Amir Levine

The entire interview transcript is at: Amir Levine Interview – Insights on Dating From A Psychiatrist And Neuroscientist

Listen to the entire interview on: Intersections Match Talk Radio – Jasbina’s Lifestyle Show

Listen to the entire interview on Blog Talk Radio: Insights From A Psychiatrist – Dr. Amir Levine Discussion – Author ‘Attached’

Listen to the entire interview on iTunes