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Attachment refers the particular way in which you relate to other people. Your style of attachment was formed at the very beginning of your life, during your first two years. Your experience with your primary caregivers formed a template for the way you attach to others. However, your attachment style can change with new attachment experiences. Understanding your style of attachment is helpful because it can help you understand your strengths and vulnerabilities in a relationship.
Your attachment style influences how you react to your needs and how you go about getting them met. It impacts which partner you select and how your relationship progresses. Often, we set ourselves up by finding partners that confirm our models. If you grew up with an insecure attachment pattern, you may project or seek to duplicate similar patterns of relating as adults, even when these patterns hurt you and are not in your own self-interest.
When there is a secure attachment pattern, a person is confident and self-possessed and is able to easily interact with others, meeting both their own and another’s needs. However, when there is an anxious or avoidant attachment pattern and a person picks a partner who fits with that maladaptive pattern, they will most likely be choosing someone who isn’t the ideal choice to make them happy.
This brief attachment style quiz will help you understand your own attachment pattern and what implications it might have for your relationships.
When completing this questionnaire, please focus on one significant relationship - ideally a current or past partner. This does not necessarily need to be a romantic relationship but must be the individual with whom you feel the most connection. Who is your primary "go to" person if you're sick, in trouble, want to celebrate, call with news. etc.
This questionnaire is designed to be a learning tool. Please comment on any statements that are particularly relevant to you or that you'd like to revisit for exploration with a counselor at a later time. You can print your results and bring them in for discussion.
I feel relaxed with my partner most of the time.
I feel like my partner is always there, but would often prefer to have my own space unless I invite the connection.
When my partner arrives home or approaches me, I feel inexplicably stressed – especially when he or she wants to connect.
I am always yearning for something or someone that I feel I cannot have and rarely feeling satisfied.
When I reach a certain level of intimacy with my partner, I sometimes experience inexplicable fear.
I find it easy to flow between being close and connected with my partner to being on my own.
I find myself minimizing the importance of close relationships in my life.
Sometimes I over-function, over-adapt, over-accommodate others, or over-apologize for things I did not do, in an attempt to stabilize the connection.
When presented with problems, I often feel stumped and feel they are irresolvable.
If my partner and I hit a glitch, it is relatively easy for me to apologize, brainstorm a win-win solution, or repair the misattunement or disharmony.
I insist on self-reliance; I have difficulty reaching out when I need help, and I do many of life's tasks or my hobbies alone.
Over-focusing on others, I tend to lose myself in relationships.
I have an exaggerated startle response when others approach me unexpectedly.
People are essentially good at heart.
I sometimes feel superior in not needing others and wish others were more self-sufficient.
It is difficult for me to say NO, or to set realistic boundaries.
My partner often comments or complains that I am controlling.
It is a priority to keep agreements with my partner.
I chronically second-guess myself and sometimes wish I had said something differently.
I often expect the worst to happen in my relationship.
I attempt to discover and meet the needs of my partner whenever possible and I feel comfortable expressing my own needs.
Sometimes I prefer casual sex instead of a committed relationship.
When I give more than I get, I often resent this and harbor a grudge. It is often difficult to receive love from my partner when they express it.
Protection often feels out of reach. I struggle to feel safe with my partner.
I actively protect my partner from others and from harm and attempt to maintain safety in our relationship.
I usually prefer relationships with things or animals instead of people.
It is difficult for me to be alone. If alone, I feel stressed, abandoned, hurt, and/or angry.
I have a hard time remembering and discussing the feelings related to my past attachment situations. I disconnect, dissociate, or get confused.
I look at my partner with kindness and caring and look forward to our time together.
I often find eye contact uncomfortable and particularly difficult to maintain.
At the same time as I feel a deep wish to be close with my partner, I also have a paralyzing fear of losing the relationship.
Stuck in approach-avoidance patterns with my partner, I want closeness, but am also afraid of the one I desire to be close with.
I am comfortable being affectionate with my partner.
It is easier for me to think things through than to express myself emotionally.
I want to be close with my partner, but feel angry at my partner at the same time. After anxiously awaiting my partner's arrival, I end up picking fights.
My instinctive, active self-protective responses are often unavailable when possible danger is present – leaving me feeling immobilized, disconnected, or "gone".
I can keep secrets, protect my partner's privacy, and respect boundaries.
When I lose a relationship, at first I might experience separation elation and then become depressed.
I often tend to "merge" or lose myself in my partner and feel what they feel, or want what they want.
Because I am easily confused or disoriented, especially when stressed, it is important for my partner to keep arrangements simple and clear.
Optional: Comment on statements that are particularly relevant to you that you'd like to revisit at a later time or discuss with a therapist.
Enter your email address to receive a copy of your results and what they mean.
Be sure to click Submit Quiz to see your results!
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