Love Style

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I, like many women my age, was pretty obsessed with Sex and the City. I watched it at a surprisingly young age - um, 14. And couldn't get enough of Carrie's adventures in Manhattan dating life. 

I had an unquenchable thirst for Carrie's on-again off-again romance with Mr. Big. 

Mr. Big had dreamy eyes, an air of mystery and he kept pulling Carrie into his world over and over again. 

One of the scenes embedded in my memory and let's be honest, I recently watched it because you know, "research" - was when Big told Carrie he was moving to Paris.  

He did it at a point in their relationship when things were heating up and he and Carrie were beginning to form a more solid bond. 

And then BAM...he's off to Paris. 

I remember Carrie throwing her McDonald's french fries at the wall, screaming, "I'm such an idiot!" 

It was the moment when she knew Big wasn't emotionally available. 

Now that I've had my own relationships and have chosen to be a therapist, I look at Big and Carrie with a different perspective than I did in my teenage years. 

I look at their hot and cold on-again, off-again pairing through the perspective of attachment style. 

Now, "attachment style" is one of those psychological terms that sounds strange. When I first heard it I thought, "What? attached to who?"" 

But what it basically means is how we connect and relate to others.

Traditionally speaking, there are four types of attachment styles, or ways of relating to people: 

// Anxious
// Avoidant
// Anxious-Avoidant
// Secure

For example, Carrie was a classic example of "anxious attachment style" when she was dating Big.

She was always questioning his commitment, afraid he'd leave and she always craved "more." 

Big was classically avoidant. He craved space - lots of it - had a harder time committing and as Carrie eloquently said after his Paris reveal, "You had to put an ocean between us!" 

Now, I am SO not about labeling people - personally, it's one of my pet peeves especially when it feels constricting - and also because I don't think people fit into nice little categories 100% of the time.

It's also possible to have different attachment styles to different people in your life.

Matters of the heart can always be fluid, so please keep that mind whether you're in a relationship, looking for one or something in-between :) 

But - sometimes it's nice to know the rules before you can break them, so to speak.

And it can helpful to at least know how you relate to others at any given moment in time. Just know you always have the capacity to change and grow at any given moment. 

As for Carrie - if she had done some deeper digging - she did see that therapist in the episode where she dated Bon Jovi, but she had to quit for um, practical reasons - she might have grown aware of her attachment style and used the info to help her navigate her relationship. 

In fact, she might have benefited from reading one book I highly recommend on the topic. 

The book is Attached by Dr. Amir Levine and Rachel S. F. Heller

It's an easy read and so helpful in terms of understanding your own personal attachment style in romantic relationships.

I love how the author describes all the different styles in a non-judgmental way. 

And you'll be able to see where you fall on the spectrum and ways you can support yourself in choosing a partner or living more harmoniously with the one you have. 

For example, you might feel immediately nervous if someone doesn't text you back within 10 minutes or you might crave lots of space when you're in a relationship. 

Or you might have a hot little medley of these two types of styles.

I mean, any time we're in engaged in relationships, especially those of the romantic sort, it can inflame all our quirks and personality traits (I'm raising my hand here!)

Personally, it helped me look at my own patterns and natural instincts in relationships, especially the very beginning stages of that can feel less defined. "Are we exclusive? Is he going to call?!" 

It's so easy to have lots of noise in our heads when we're dating or in a long-term relationship. There's a reason relationships are part of our spiritual path in understanding and knowing ourselves. 

But it always starts with us - knowing thyself. 

The more we have a solid understanding and appreciation for who we are - the more we'll be able to be connect with others in an authentic and supportive way. 

Click here to check out the book!

Also, I'd love to hear from you! What are the relationship and self-help books you love? Men Are From Mars? Love Languages? 

Leave a comment below and let me know! Or email me at devon@devonmcleod.com

I love hearing from you and I always love a good book recommendation! :) 

From my heart to yours, 

Devon McLeod, LCSW
Holistic Psychotherapist