What a weekend we have ahead of us - the Game, and Valentine's Day!
This is a good opportunity to bond with our loved ones, and yet our relationships might have been under a huge amount of strain over the last couple of years. We have endured a pandemic, and this might have brought financial pressures, a need to teach our kids at home some of the time, and to work and live under the same roof for longer periods of time than we have ever experienced.
Now is the time to fine-tune our relationship skills, and one of them is to remember that subtle balance of intimacy and independence, namely 'secure attachment'. In other words, we enjoy connecting with our significant others, but we also respect independence (theirs and ours). Going back to when we were really young, if we were securely attached to our caregivers, then we trusted that when they were out of sight, we were not out of mind. When they left, they were going to return.
If we are not securely attached, we might be anxiously attached, where we crave intimacy at the expense of independence. For example, the space in between each text message gets shorter and shorter. Or we have to know everything that they are up to, otherwise we cannot focus.
If we are not securely attached, and we are not anxiously attached, we might adopt a more avoidant style of attachment - where we leave longer and longer periods of time between communication with our loved ones, and we prefer independence over intimacy. And then there is disorganized attachment, which is a mixture of the two, leaving our loved ones bewildered by the disorganized nature of our relationship.
If all this gets you thinking of how you connect to your loved one, and if there are ways that you need to work on relationship conflict or anger, check out the relationship chapter of Beyond the Blue.
Chris Warren-Dickins LLB MA LPC
Psychotherapist, author of Beyond the Blue, and LGBTQ+ advocate