The two main attachment styles are secure and insecure. A securely attached individual experiences minimal problems in relationships. They experience the perfect balance between independence and dependence in relationships.
Insecurely attached individuals, in contrast, experience quite a lot of problems in their relationships. Their balance between independence and dependence is out of whack.
The insecure attachment style is divided into two types:
- Anxious Preoccupied
People with the anxious attachment style have strong connection needs, and people with the avoidant attachment style have strong disconnection needs.
The avoidant attachment style, in turn, is of two types:
- Dismissive-Avoidant (DA)
- Fearful-Avoidant (FA)
A DA is a highly avoidant individual who believes relationships are non-essential. They tend to have strong independence and space needs. They seem to have repressed their connection needs. DAs are cold as ice.
An FA is sort of a partial DA. They deeply desire to connect, but fear of intimacy kicks in when they get close. As a result, their behavior in relationships tends to be hot and cold.
Connection minus disconnection
In the case of an FA, and avoidants in general, the attachment equation looks something like this:
Attachment = Connection – disconnection (fear)
During the initial stages of a relationship, an FA will be warm and open up easily. When the relationship reaches the next level, fear will kick in, motivating an FA to disconnect (deactivate).
When an FA falls in love with you, connection is greater than fear. So, any behaviors that increase connection and decrease fear indicate attachment and love.
Signs an FA loves you
1. They initiate connection
If an FA initiates connection with you, it’s a good sign they’re attached to you. They’ll frequently text, call or meet you without hesitations. Initiating connection shows they have little or no fear of connecting with you.
2. They communicate freely
If an FA communicates freely with you, it’s a good sign they’re attached to you. They may freely talk about sensitive or mundane topics with you because they’re not afraid you’ll judge them. They’ll freely express their needs, opinions, and boundaries.
3. They allow you into their space
When avoidants avoid, they’re trying to reclaim their space. An avoidant’s personal space is their sanctuary. So, when an FA invites you into their personal space, it’s a huge deal.
This might look like inviting you to their place or letting you meet their friends and family.
4. They’re very present with you
FAs tend to be good listeners. They tend to be very present in their relationships. Again, this indicates an absence of fear and a desire for connection.
5. They’re vulnerable
Vulnerability is mainly about being authentic. Avoidants have a massive problem with vulnerability. They don’t like vulnerability because it exposes their ‘flaws’ to people. So, when an FA shows vulnerability, it’s a big deal.
6. They take accountability
Taking accountability for your actions and apologizing is a healthy sign for all attachment styles. When an FA takes responsibility, they’re interested in repairing the relationship. It means they want to stay connected.
7. They make huge efforts
Since there’s this constant push-pull between connection and fear in an FA’s mind, they sometimes tend to go out of their way to connect and invest in the relationship. They do this to overcompensate for their fear- to keep the connection side of the attachment equation as high as possible.
8. They’re consistently warm
Moving from their typical hot and cold behavior to being consistently warm with you is a massive leap toward connection for an FA.
9. They trust you
The fear side of the attachment equation for an FA is all about a lack of trust. If an FA can trust you, their fear of connection disappears. If they don’t trust you, their fear will win, and they’ll disconnect even if they have feelings for you.
10. They can disagree with you
Usually, disagreement equals rejection for an FA. But an FA is more likely to tolerate your disagreement if they trust and love you.