Why You Shouldn’t Care About Your Attachment Style
In the past few months, being on and off on dating apps, having, and then not having any success, facing the reality again that my love life is just not what I imagined it would be, I obviously got to the point when the same question popped up in my mind over and over again. What is wrong with me? Why is it so hard for me to find someone and start to build a relationship with him? What am I missing? What am I doing wrong? Why am I so needy?
In the quest of searching for the answer and desperately looking for the affirmation, that there is nothing wrong with me, I came across the attachment theory as one potential solution to my apparent shortcomings when it comes to dating and relationships. I quickly identified myself as an anxiously attached type, the one who is clingy, the one who gets insecure without external validation, the one who is afraid of losing other people. You know the type; the anxious, overthinking people-pleaser who would sacrifice herself for anyone or whatever it takes just to feel loved and needed and desired.
The truth is when I read about it first, and it resonated with me, I felt a huge relief — as if someone had handed me over this absolution, saying it’s all fine, it’s all reasonable, it’s all explained. But knowing about it didn’t solve any of my problems. Instead, I started to watch every interaction through my attachment style, rationalising why I am the way I am, always arriving at the conclusion that, yeah, duh, I’m anxiously attached.
In a way, psychological labels work similarly to astrological signs or love languages. They are a generalized, stereotypical way of looking at certain groups, homogenous by specific attributes. They are not genuinely wrong, but they are not precise enough either. They are there to explain certain aspects — which they do — but while doing that, they also create barriers and limiting beliefs. This is what’s happening with taking attachment styles too seriously. I was watching an Instagram reel from a dating coach, and his take on letting go of attachment styles made me think about how we are limiting ourselves unnecessarily with just another categorization.