assessing the current situation

I mentioned that book about attachment awhile back, and I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’ve learned. Diving in:

Self-assessment:  Avoidant at the macro level; anxious on the micro. Keep in mind that this is a comprehensive review of past relationships, and not completely reflective of where I am in this moment. Still, I can see that I have to be very careful about the messages I’m sending, because the minute some new guy is really into me, I have a tendency to turn around and run. If he’s glomming on so quickly, he must be desperate or needy or something (I guess I must be thinking).

Of course I’m completely attracted to avoidant men, because I find them exciting and duh! it doesn’t take a genius to connect that attachment avoidant types might take it upon themselves to start companies, travel a lot and have fascinating interests. They generally introduce me to new bands or music which, in retrospect, I can easily put into the category of “anthems of the attachment avoidant.” But I like music. I am a total sucker for this kind of shit.

So when I find a guy who interests me and show it, he wants to turn around and run. And then my anxious behaviors kick in which really scare him away.

Current state:  All that said, I’ve matured and evened out a lot and I’m ready for genuine intimacy with the right partner. I don’t believe there’s only one possibility out there. I don’t expect someone to read my mind. I’m ready to work on it with a man who makes it worthwhile to work on it. I’m perfectly comfortable expressing to someone that I want and need to move slowly, that I want and need to develop a friendship first. It’s true that I have moments of wanting to turn around and run, and it’s also true that I’m a big enough girl to own my stuff and communicate through those times.

I seriously doubt that I will ever draw an attachment avoidant to me again, because I suspect he’ll immediately sense that my energy is not right for him. Either that, or I’ll be much more able to recognize quickly that he’s unwilling and unable to meet my emotional needs, so I’ll dismiss him much more quickly.

Meanwhile, I’m catching myself before I dismiss men for petty reasons and I’m opening myself to the possibility that someone who drives a car I don’t like or who lives in a suburb I don’t want to live in could still be a great guy. (Sure, he’ll have to buy a new car and move at some point — lol.)

Will I ever find the genuine intimacy I seek? I have to believe I will. It’s still going to take me a bit of work to open myself to a different set of possibilities about what will make me happy for the long-term, but I’m getting there.

are you available? or attached?

Long ago, I wrote a post entitled “are you available?” Back then, I was musing about whether or not the people I was meeting and encountering were truly available to be in a relationship with me.

I’ve recently learned of a new way of viewing this idea… You see, I had the opportunity to indulge in a free audiobook called “Attachment:  The New Science of Adult Attachment and How it Can Help You Find — and Keep — Love” by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller. While I’m not all the way through yet, I’m already planning to buy the book in print, so that I can take the assessments and use it as a workbook or manual. In addition to quizzes of sorts, I’ve already found a great deal of useful advice, as well as enormously useful insights that would likely have prevented most — if not all — of my worst relationship debacles, including the latest disaster.

(Downton Abbey helps, too, I find…if I’d known how to manage men as Lady Mary does, I’d probably be better situated at present.)

The book focuses on three degrees or styles of attachment:  the secure and two types of insecure, anxious and avoidant. It’s been fun to listen to the audio as I recall past relationships and how my or my partner’s behaviors have fit into these types or dynamics. I already feel infinitely wiser as I embark on my search… in fact, now I know what I’ve typically been drawn to and how to recognize right away those who are clearly avoidant, or unable to meet my emotional needs.

Let me know if you’ve read it and what you learned.