Surely there are more than five myths floating around, but the authors of The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find — and Keep — Love are clearing up a lot of misconceptions.
We all have an attachment style in relationships (find out yours here). Anxious (20 percent of the population), avoidant (25 percent), and secure (54 percent) are the three top-level styles, though there are a few more if you dig a little deeper.
Of course, we'd all like to have a secure attachment style, but that's not the case for 46 percent of us. There's no reason, though, that anxious and avoidant people can't have successful relationships, and that's exactly what the authors of Attached set out to prove. So here are five myths that you should ditch right now, whether you're single or attached.
- Myth: You must love yourself before you can love another.
Fact: Not only is there no data to support this, but research shows one needs to be loved before they can love.
- Myth: The majority of men have an avoidant attachment style.
Fact: The majority of men have secure attachment styles (as 54 percent of the population is secure). Men may take a slight edge over women for avoidant, but they are by no means the majority of men.
- Myth: Most women have anxious attachment styles.
Fact: This is the same situation with men stereotyped as avoidant. Most women have secure attachment styles; however, slightly more women have anxious attachments than men, but it's not the majority.
- Myth: I never become dependent in relationships.
Fact: Once you are attached to someone, you are dependent. Couples are so attached that it does not just affect them emotionally, but physiologically, changing each other's blood pressure and nervous systems.
- Myth: Attachment styles are determined in childhood and set for life.
Fact: Yes, your relationship with your parents forms your initial attachment style, but other factors can change it for better or worse. An anxious person paired with a stable will become more stable and vice versa. In fact, researchers followed a group over four years and found 25 percent changed attachment styles.
Do any of these surprise you?