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In a relationship with an anxious attachment style

Updated: Sep 17, 2023

Anxiety is making it hard to be in a relationship

anxious attachment style

What is an Anxious Attachment Style

Anxious attachment is characterized by fear of abandonment and need for constant reassurance. People with this type of attachment can be overly clingy and preoccupied with their relationships. They often worry that their partners don't care about them and may act overly dependent or demanding. With an anxious attachment style, they might struggle with saying no out of fear that the other partner will be mad. As a result, they believe the partner will leave them. The thing is that people with anxious attachment styles are usually always worried that the relationship can end at any point. They often find themselves in partnerships with people that make them work for their approval. We often see that those with anxious attachment styles often get paired up with those with dismissive attachment styles. This can be a mentally and emotionally draining situation for the person with anxious attachment style, as their partner may not be able to provide the emotional support they need. As a result, they may become even more anxious and fearful of the relationship ending. This can lead to a vicious cycle of insecurity and fear.

How do people with an anxious attachment style feel safe? Well the truth is they hardly ever feel safe. They overthink.They usually think others don't like them, people can get tired of them, and that people can leave. As a result of this style you might struggle with managing your emotions and cut people off when you feel threatened. People with anxious attachment styles usually feel on edge. With this attachment they might struggle in uncomfortable feelings from the unknown, such as not receiving a call or text back. They might constantly worry that their partner isn't interested in them. This consistent worry might make their partner get tired of their anxious thoughts and if the partner leaves because of it, it would reiterate those core beliefs "no one can stay with me, I'm too much."

What we also see with some of these anxious behaviors in partnership when faced with uncertainty is:

  • Excessive attempts to make contact: calling, emailing, texting even when not receiving a response

  • Withdrawing self

  • Threatening to leave the partner

  • Manipulative behavior

  • Relying on your partner to calm you down

  • Testing behaviors

  • Struggling to hear no

sex and intimacy

Despite all that was listed there are positive traits associated with anxious attachment styles. They tend to be loyal, caring, thoughtful, caretakers, attentive, reliable, detail-oriented, protective, and compassionate. These traits can be a great strength in relationships, as long as the anxieties that accompany them are managed and understood. For example, an individual with anxious attachment style may be incredibly loyal to their partner, staying in a relationship longer than is healthy due to their fear of abandonment. People with an anxious attachment style may benefit from seeking help from a mental health professional. A therapist can help them identify and work through the underlying causes of their attachment anxiety, as well as develop tools for managing their anxieties in relationships.

Counseling for anxious attachment style

Reliable counseling for anxious attachment styles focuses on helping the individual build self-esteem and learn strategies to cope with feelings of insecurity, anxiety, and fear of abandonment. Counselors can also help individuals become more comfortable expressing their needs and feelings in a healthy way. Additionally, they can assist individuals in establishing healthy boundaries and developing communication techniques to maintain them. Through counseling, individuals can work on understanding how their attachment style has impacted their relationships in the past and can learn to create positive and secure relationships in the future. They can also learn to recognize and manage their triggers and build better communication and trust in their current relationships.

If you're ready to get support for your anxious attachment style to enjoy your relationships, working with a licensed therapist would help.


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