I, like an estimated fourth of the population, have an anxious attachment style (also known as a preoccupied style). What does this mean? Essentially, if you have an anxious attachment style you want, better yet, need to have a large amount of closeness and intimacy with your partner in a relationship. You live for the hugs, kisses, and long private discussions of a devoted relationship.
While anxious people can make the best and most committed partners, they are sensitive and demanding — their style of loving is not for everyone. They have certain needs in relationships that others may not. If your partner is anxious, it would help to recognize their unique approach to relationships. But how do you know you’re dealing with an anxious person? Your partner might be anxious if they..
7. Follow your lead
An anxious partner will let you set the pace of the relationship. They do this so they don’t get hurt by taking actions that are not reciprocated. For example, they will say I love after you say it (or hint at it) and agree to take the relationship to the next level if you suggest so.
6. Need to be reassured of your love and their place in the relationship
Anxious people are often worried about where they stand in relation to their partner — how important they are in their partner’s life, if their partner (still) feels the same way about them. They need physical or verbal reassurance of your feelings.
5. Try to keep you guessing/on your toes
At times a person with an anxious love style will play games or use extreme behavior to gain your attention if they feel neglected. They may pretend to be too busy to spend time with you or act uninterested and nonchalant. This is their way of expressing hurt (if in an established relationship) or of keeping their true anxious nature undercover (if dating or in a new relationship). They don’t simply tell you that they are feeling abandoned because they fear being seen as oversensitive or needy.
Anxious people usually long to find a loving mate and be part of a relationship. In moments of closeness they may talk about how your relationship makes them or how they’ve always wished for someone like you. You can tell they feel incomplete when not in a relationship.
3. Are sensitive to any signs of rejection/easily hurt
The anxious person is sensitive to their partner’s moods and takes any perceived slights as a rejection of themselves. When the anxious person feels a threat they may act out, usually by acting out or withdrawing.
2. Want a lot of closeness
A hallmark of the anxious love style is the great need for a high amount of intimacy. This means spending a good part of your time together, lots of physical contact, and a desire to rearrange your lives around the relationship.
1. Are preoccupied with the relationship
Another name for the anxious love style is “preoccupied”. Your partner most likely has an anxious style if they spend a great deal of time and energy on your relationship. If your partner is always planning things to do together, talking about or thinking about the relationship when you two are apart, or constantly wanting to talk with you about the relationship, there is a near perfect chance they have an anxious attachment style.
Does your partner have an anxious love style? Do you?
- The Anxious-Avoidant Trap
- Anxious + Avoidant — Making It Work