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The topic I chose for my essay is attachment theory and romantic relationships. I will first start off with a story of a romantic relationship that will portray one of the attachment styles. Then, I will give a brief description of the attachment theory and the attachment styles and finally, I will explain what kind of attachment styles does one of the characters has.
Anna and Christopher met each other in high school. They started off as friends and eventually, started dating. At first, their relationship was great, but after both of them got accepted to different colleges, the relationship went downhill. Christopher began losing self-esteem since Anna didn’t hang out with him as much as she did before and seemed more distant. Because of this, he became clingier with Anna which resulted in her becoming even more distant. He started to believe that Anna didn’t love him and that she would break up with him eventually.
Attachment theory has two components to it: self-esteem and interpersonal trust. Self-esteem depends on the reaction others give you. For example, if someone is cold towards you or is avoiding you, you will feel like you are not valued or loved but, if the person seeks out for you and wants to talk with you and be with you, you will feel loved and valued. Associated with self-esteem is interpersonal trust. Interpersonal trust is believing that others are trustworthy and dependable. Now that we know what the components of attachment theory are, attachment style is basically these two attitudes, but varying in levels. It can be high in self-esteem and interpersonal trust which is the secure attachment style. It can also be low in self-esteem and interpersonal trust which is the fearful-avoidant attachment style. Lastly, it can be high in self-esteem and low in interpersonal trust which is the dismissive attachment style or low in self-esteem and high interpersonal trust which the preoccupied attachment style. Between all of these attachment styles, secure attachment style is the best since it makes long-lasting and satisfying relationships. In contrast, people with fearful-avoidant attachment style are unable to form close relationships and even if they do, the relationship won’t be fulfilling. While people with fearful-avoidant style can’t form close relationships, people with preoccupied attachment style form relationships easily since they want closeness and want others’ approval. This type of attachment is also destructive since they believe that they will be rejected since they think they don’t deserve attention or love. On the other hand, people with dismissive attachment style believe that they deserve to be in good relationships, but they fear getting too close with others since they expect the worst from them.
If I had to guess, Christopher’s attachment style is the preoccupied one. He is always clinging on to me. If I go hang out with my friends rather than hang out with him, he would say I don’t love him. If I don’t talk to him for a whole day, he starts believing that I want to break up with him. The only reason I don’t get to talk to him for a whole day is because I am busy studying or if I’m not studying, I’m busy with my part-time job. We don’t need to be around each other 24/7. We both have our own lives to live. The thing that hurts me the most is the fact that he doesn’t believe that I love him. We’ve been together since high school and yet, he believes that I don’t love him. Just because I want to spend time with my friends that I don’t see that often, doesn’t mean I love him less or don’t love him. Christopher also started telling me is that I don’t support him as much. When was the last time I didn’t support him? I’ve always did, even for things where I knew the results wouldn’t be as good. Another thing Christopher started doing is asking for my opinion before doing anything. Before getting ready, he would FaceTime me and ask me what I think about his outfit. Before buying anything, whether it be clothes, shoes even house decorations, he would always ask if I like it or not. I get it if he asks sometimes because you might need a second opinion on some things, but he does it every time and it gets very annoying. I really hope that Christopher can get rid of this behavior.
In conclusion, there are 4 different types of attachment styles, but only one of them is good for a healthy relationship. In the relationship that I created, Christopher started off with a secure attachment style, but then transitioned to a preoccupied attachment style because his self-esteem went down.
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