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There are two relationship attachment styles – what's yours?

Prima (UK) logo Prima (UK) 2018-02-14 Anya Meyerowitz
There are two relationship attachment styles – what's yours? © Strawberry Mood Photography / Getty There are two relationship attachment styles – what's yours?

A 'relationship style' sounds very much like the outfit you pick out for date night but it actually refers to the way you think, feel and behave with loved ones. 

Though you may think this is hard to quantify, apparently it's actually pretty easy. According to research, reported by the Mail Online, there are two types, and you are either one or the other: anxious or secure.

A study, lead by researchers at the University of Kansas, looked at how we form bonds with others and found that people with an anxious attachment style tend to push others away, causing ties with people in their networks to sever while those who are secure are better at managing connections, and reap more benefits.

'Attachment theory describes how people are creating bonds in their lives,' Omri Gillath, professor of psychology at the University of Kansas, explains. 'Attachment style is basically a relationship style. It's the way we think, feel, and behave in our close relationships. It's known to affect relationship processes and emotion regulation.'

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Omri and his team carried out four different experiments to collect results, looking at the relationship between attachment style and the management of social networks.

Participants were asked to define their own attachment style before having researchers check their social networks to find common characteristics of those around them.

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(Provided by Reuters)

The results revealed that people who exhibit an attachment style exhibiting higher levels of concern, and the desire to merge with others actually tend to push people away and find it harder to retain strong bonds.

While those who felt secure seemed to enjoy a wider network of secure relationships.

Ironic, hey?

But here's the good news: if after reading this article you have identified you have an anxious attachment style and are about to send frantic messages of 'please, don't leave' to your friends, you can change.

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It's called priming and the study's authors found that those who employed it were able to benefit from stronger, more maintainable ties with others.

All this means is putting an emphasis on relationships in your life that do make you feel secure. So less time stalking your ex online and more time flicking through your friend's album of that hilarious trip to Italy you all took.

Omri confirms: 'If you're using your social networks for fulfilling or serving your attachment needs – such as a secure base or safe haven – that's likely to result in positive outcomes.'

Also just think about all that free time you'd have if you didn't spend so much time on the profile of that man you dated for three days, five years ago.

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