Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How it Can Help You Find – and Keep – Love by Amir Levine, M.D. and Rachel S. F. Heller, M.A. is a non-fiction novel that explores how attachment theory, a science that usually is discussed in children, pertains to adults.
This book walks you through the three different attachment styles – secure, anxious, avoidant – and gives you methods to determine which attachment style you lean towards. The authors also provide plenty of examples of relationships with a variety of pairings of attachment styles, and this, above all else, is the strength of this book.
I will admit, I got pretty bored in the middle of this book. I likely would have given up reading, but this was a selection for a book club I attend so I powered through. My main grievance at that end of this book became that I don’t think I totally believe in the science behind attachment theory. A lot of individuals fall into the trap of believing that science is “truth”, even sometimes treating it as almost a religion. But, you have to remember, “science” and the prevailing thoughts of the day have been wrong many times – remember when scientist believed the earth was flat? What about the sun revolving around the earth? Yeah, so “science” is not always set in stone – and this book is one example where I am just not a believer.
Mainly, I believe that the way we relate to people and our attachment styles are much more plastic than this theory leads one to believe. Yes, the authors mention that our attachment styles do change throughout time, but I hypothesize that they change based on the situation and a variety of other factors – like how much sleep you get.
Think about how you relate to your spouse. Are you likely to be calm and cool at all times or do certain situation make you more anxious or avoidant? What about if you haven’t slept well all week, are you more likely to text your spouse twenty times in an hour asking when they will be home? Yeah, I think it is much more situation depending than any one way…but maybe that is just my opinion.
Another thing I didn’t like about this book is that the authors are very down and seem to have a negative slant against people with avoidant attachment styles. Basically, it seems that if you are avoidant you are a bad person and no one should date you. And if you are in a relationship with an avoidant individual, you better get out quickly. Yeah – I don’t like that kind of thinking.
So one thing that I bring to reading these sort of books is that I like to look at them from a more spiritual perspective. I do not believe you should cut off a relationship with an individual who has an avoidant attachment style just because this book says so. What if that individual has some karmic energy that they need to work through with you? What if that individual can put you in situations where you learn more about yourself?
Attachment theory sounds interesting. Maybe some people like it, maybe not. It is a good method to look at relationships from a different perspective. Overall, this is a decent book to introduce the concept of adult attachment styles and get you thinking about relationships from a unique perspective.