Book Review: Attached by Amir Levine & Rachel Heller

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“Adults show patterns of attachment to their romantic partners similar to the patterns of attachment of children with their parents.”

This year I wanted to change things up a bit from the usual self-love message and share a book I’ve recently read that’s improved the way I view relationship dynamics.

Whether romantic or platonic, everyone has specific needs that must be met in order to make them feel happy, fulfilled & secure in any relationship. Our actions in most relationships usually stem from a deeper attachment style we adopted as children. The trailblazer behind Attachment Theory, John Bowlby, hypothesized that individuals possess qualities of three distinct attachment styles on a broad continuum.

Rooted in science, written in a reader-friendly format and filled with numerous resources, Levine & Heller teach their audience how to identify their own attachment style as well as that of a potential partner. Each chapter is brimming with examples of couples possessing different attachment styles and how they navigate through their differences.

Whether you’ve been in a committed partnership for quite some time or are dipping your toes into the world of dating, this book is a great general resource for those interested in learning the basic premise of attachment theory.

“Attachment principles teach us that most people are only as needy as their unmet needs.”

273 pages | 4 distinct chapters | evidence-based | clinical examples

The three main attachment styles discussed in this book are:

  1. Anxious– desire a great amount of closeness in a relationship & have difficulty expressing what’s bothering them
  2. Avoidant- value their autonomy & tend to send mixed signals
  3. Secure– adopt a “flexible view of relationships” & are not afraid of commitment

Each attachment style has a designated chapter that’s comprised of clinical scenarios to illustrate key actions, behaviors, and traits of each partner. Levine & Heller do a great job of teaching their readers how to lookout for certain red flags, mindset mistakes and “smoking guns” when interacting with a new potential romantic interest.

Understanding the fundamental workings of each attachment style is useful in helping us avoid pitfalls in our most intimate relationships. Having the belief that it’s possible to find a long-lasting and deeply gratifying relationship is the first step. The journey of finding & keeping love starts with self awareness of our own behavioral tendencies – whether favorable or detrimental. There’s no one size fits all when it comes to attachment styles. We all fall somewhere along the spectrum depending on specific contexts of our interactions with others.

“One of the most important roles we play in our partners’ lives is providing a secure base: creating the conditions that enable our partners to pursue their interests and explore the world in confidence.”

Although this book isn’t the be all end all of the science behind adult attachment theory, it is however an accessible book that’s well suited for a broad audience. I certainly wouldn’t turn to this text to solve your deep rooted relationship issues, but rather use it as a tool to help you acknowledge your own patterns and kickstart your own growth.

I hope you found this book review insightful. I’ll catch you all on the next post!

Take care & Happy Valentine’s Day!

-Ashna

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