Adult Attachment and Romantic Relationships

Adult Attachment and Romantic Relationships

by Wyatt Fisher, Psy.D.

Adult attachment can significantly impact your experiences in romantic relationships. Attachment style refers to how comfortable and familiar one is with building intimacy in relationships. Believe it or not, this capacity begins in infancy. The first relationships we experience in life are with our caregivers; therefore, the quality of them will often have a profound impact on our development. Not surprisingly, these foundational years of infancy and toddlerhood are the building blocks for how most people relate to others for the rest of their lives.


The more sensitively and consistently one's needs are met as a baby, the more secure their attachment will become with their primary caregiver and they will develop a sense of trust towards others and the world. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. The less sensitively and consistently a baby's needs are met, the more an insecure attachment will occur and they will develop a sense of mistrust towards others and the world. Children with secure attachments tend to become more popular with their peers and well-liked by their teachers. Moreover, securely attached children tend to develop more successful marriages as adults.


When applied to the dating scene, the more secure one's attachment style, the more likely they will feel comfortable with open, intimate communication and commitment because it was modeled and experienced by them since birth. In contrast, someone with an insecure attachment style may feel uncomfortable with open, intimate communication and commitment, and they may feel suspicious and distrustful of their partner's motives. One of the best methods for discerning someone's attachment style is observing how comfortable they seem to feel with being close to others. In addition, observe their relationship with their parents or early caregivers. Typically, children with insecure attachments growing up will continue to be distant and aloof towards their parents as adults. In contrast, children with secure attachments growing up will usually continue to be warm and close with their parents as adults. If someone has an insecure attachment style it's important to remember that healing is always possible and generally occurs through an emotionally corrective relationship that provides unconditional love, acceptance, and commitment.


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 Dr. Wyatt Fisher is a licensed psychologist in Denver, CO and founder of a Couples Retreat, a Christian Dating Site for Christian Singles, a Couples Bible Study, and a Porn Addiction Seminar.



What else could help someone develop a secure attachment style?

Comments (2)

This rings true for me. I had a very nurturing mother, and I now feel very comfortable with intimate communication. People might find that surprising for an introvert, which I am, but I think thatís why I am actually more comfortable with a one on one intimate connection, rather than connecting superficially with huge groups of friends. My father, however, was quite aloof. That might be why I am especially mistrusting of men who resist transparency and like to keep secrets. I can only be with someone who opens up to me, and wants me to open up to him.
By on April 17, 2014 @ 4:13am MT 10
Dr. WyattThanks glad to hear you had such a loving and nurturing mother. Having at least one parent/caregiver like that can make all the difference.
By Dr. Wyatt on April 17, 2014 @ 7:33am MT

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