“Boring and more sedate is good for you.” – Doc
As he read off the characteristics, one-by-one, I wanted to laugh. There I was in black and white. Well, actually he was reading off of his e-Reader, so maybe black and beige. But still…
At the start of our session today, I asked Doc to talk more about attachment styles. He had spoken about it last session and I wanted greater detail.
So, to drive the idea home, Doc pulled up the style we had agreed I was, anxious/avoidant. I’m a mixture, so I guess I’m kind of special in the not-so-fun way.
(For reference, about 50% of the population is secure, while the other 50% are insure/ambivalent/anxious, avoidant, or a mixture.)
As he read, point after point hit home.
– Has a hard time not making things about themself.
– Lets partner set the tone. (That one got a big guffaw.)
– Fears small acts will ruin the relationship.
– Difficulty explaining what’s bothering them.
– Expresses insecurity in the relationship.
– Puts their partner on a pedestal.
– Feels like this is their only chance for love; it’s too hard to find someone compatible for them.
And this was only the anxious side. When it came to my avoidant nature, though it was not as prominent, still a few points resonated.
– Values independence.
– Unrealistic romantic views.
– Mistrusts; fears being taken advantage of.
– Doesn’t make intentions clear.
– Difficulty talking about what’s going on between them and their partner.
– Says or thinks they are not ready to commit, but stays with partner for years.
– Forms relationships with impossible futures.
So, with that info dump, Doc and I then started talking.
We pinpointed that I am more anxious than avoidant, and many of my avoidant traits come from my reactions to avoidant people.
Unfortunately, because of my parents as models, I subconsciously seek out avoidant people as potential partners because my father was avoidant (my mother was/is anxious).
Doc cautioned me about my “in love” feeling. For me, we’ve identified “in love” as the reved up feeling I get from being juiced by someone who is avoidant (see The Gent). I get a taste of the person, and then they pull away.
Doc pointed out because I am so used to the up and down, to the high, I have yet to feel the secure middle. He explained that that security is what love feels like. Feeling secure in yourself, your relationship, the person you are with; no constant emotional roller coaster. Yes, there will be highs and lows, but the “boring and sedate” baseline is what I now must work towards.
Doc asked me to think about my friends. What kind of attachments do I form with them? Are they secure? Avoidant? Anxious? He encouraged me to use these examples when looking at potential partners.
And now that I’m armed with the knowledge that this is how my brain works, Doc also encouraged me to try to remember this each time I worry that a small faux pas will create turmoil, or when I think so highly of someone else while putting myself down.
But, most importantly, Doc reminded me to go for security, not instability; love will flow from there.
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