April 03, 2023

What is Anxious Attachment Style? How Does It Affect Your Relationships?

Attachment is an important aspect of human experience. We all need to feel connected to others, and the ways in which we form these connections can have a significant impact on our lives. Anxious attachment is a common attachment style that can have a major impact on how we approach relationships as an adult.

What is Anxious Attachment Style?

Anxious attachment is a pattern of behavior that we develop early in life. It is typically the outcome of inconsistent or unpredictable relationships, in which a child may have felt a lack of emotional support or comfort. As a result, people who have an anxious attachment style crave closeness and intimacy while also fearing rejection and abandonment. When their partner is not available or responsive to them, they may feel anxious and insecure, and they may engage in behaviors aimed at reestablishing the connection, such as constantly seeking reassurance or becoming clingy (a).

This attachment style can have a significant impact on our relationships. People with anxious attachment may struggle with trust issues and may feel threatened by their partner’s independence or other relationships. They may become jealous or possessive, and this can lead to conflict or even the end of the relationship. They may also struggle with expressing their needs and feelings effectively, leading to misunderstandings and further insecurity.

Do I have an Anxious Attachment?

Here are a few questions to help you figure out if you have an anxious attachment style. Keep in mind that these questionnaires are rather a general checklist helping you identify anxious attachment style. You may need to see a therapist to verify your type of attachment style (b). 


  • Do you often feel worried or anxious about your relationships?
  • Do you feel a strong need for closeness and intimacy with your partner, but also fear rejection or abandonment?
  • Do you become clingy or needy when your partner is not available or responsive to you?
  • Do you often seek reassurance from your partner or become jealous when they interact with others?
  • Do you struggle with expressing your needs and feelings effectively in your relationships?
  • Do you often doubt your own self-worth or feel unworthy of love?
  • Do you find yourself frequently questioning if your partner truly loves you?
  • Do you often experience intense emotions in your relationships, such as anxiety, sadness, or anger?

You may have an anxious attachment style if you answered “yes” to several of these questions. Remember that this is not a diagnosis, and it is critical to seek professional help if you are experiencing difficulties with your relationships or your emotional well-being. A therapist or counselor can assist you in understanding your attachment style and working to develop healthier interpersonal relationships.


How Anxious Attachment Style Affects Dating Experience?

As we mentioned earlier, individuals with anxious attachment style fears abandonment and will go into great lengths to avoid such experience. For example, they might find themselves preoccupied and worried when the other person is not responding to their text message or phone. They may engage in unhealthy forms of communication which could perpetuate the relationship. Often their behavior can come off as controlling, needy, clingy, deterring the other person to move forward in the relationship.

It is encouraged that individual with anxious attachment style would seek help to heal from earlier wounds and form secure attachment style. Working with a therapist can help identify earlier relationships impacting your attachment style and healing from it. The following article explores the four attachment styles driven from the work of John Bowlby in the Mid-20th century. 

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