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More self-discovery talk ahead, this time with a psychology angle…..

A few weeks ago, fellow blogger Bone & Silver highly recommended a book called Attached about adult attachment science. I finally purchased the book and received it in the mail on Wednesday.

For various reasons, Piano Guy and I had to reschedule Wednesday night’s date. Suddenly without plans, I took it as an opportunity to read a large chunk of the book I’d just received in the mail. I’ve read some of it most days since then and am almost finished with it.

Holy shit. Talk about enlightening!

This was a revelation:

You are only needy when your needs aren’t being fulfilled

Why didn’t I realize this on my own?! It makes complete sense. Whenever I’ve felt needy, I’ve berated myself for my needs and have tried to minimize them. You all may remember my post last December about Hayden’s perceived slight shift in behavior where I spiraled into hysteria as a result. I even admitted that I was “most likely being totally unreasonable”. I was trying to push aside my needs. Several of you even commented that my needs weren’t being met; I didn’t see it.

Relationships with attachment types incompatible with your own create unfulfilled needs.

After I took the quiz, I found out that I mostly have an Avoidant attachment style. I also lapse into Anxious style when I sense subtle changes in my partner’s behavior. I am therefore a very rare Anxious-Avoidant specimen: we’re only 3% of the population. There are many examples of this combination on this blog, including my many over-reactions to Tex’s behavior from my distant past as well as over-reactions to Hayden’s behavior (an Anxious trait)… in addition to immediately wanting to give up and move on whenever something goes wrong (an Avoidant trait).

I do have some Secure attachment traits, too. That was a relief to discover! I’m not completely insecure.

I think my relationships with Avoidants have been fairly successful, which is clinically surprising. Avoidants don’t usually have relationships with other Avoidants. I think the only reason I’ve found myself in mostly Avoidant relationships is because I’m also partly Anxious; maybe it counter-balanced everything.

My relationships with Avoidants have been comfortable… but I eventually find they’re not ultimately fulfilling. The Avoidant in me wanted to get closer to my partners but didn’t know how. But the demise of my relationships were usually caused by Anxious traits that would rear up occasionally.

I suspect Hayden tends toward Avoidant. I am pretty sure Tex is Anxious. I suspect Mars is mostly Avoidant. Joaquin was definitely Avoidant.

My relationship was Tex was extremely volatile. Now I know why: He’s probably an Anxious attachment type. It was my first and hopefully last experience with someone who’s Anxious. I felt like I was constantly walking on eggshells.

As an Anxious-Avoidant, a relationship with an Anxious is probably a very bad idea based upon my experience.

The only way for someone with an insecure style, like me, to enjoy a healthy relationship is to get into a relationship with someone who has a Secure style. The book gives tips on how to find these types and how to compensate for the insecure style.

I found it really interesting that one of the dating tips for the Anxious style is something I’ve already discovered works very well for me: Dating multiple people at once. This ratchets down the Anxious overreaction system and allows us to make more rational decisions. Yep, you all know I do that – I’ve talked about it extensively.

I highly recommend this book! It’s great whether you’re trying to understand your past relationship patterns, if you’re dating, or if you’re in a relationship.