**Attachedto this book**
I'll admit it. I am totally attached to _Attached_. But, not in an unhealthy way, really. I've read my fair share of books on relationships (including textbooks during my clinical training as a therapist), and I can honestly say that this book provides the most elegant framework for organizing, explaining, and rescuing relationship problems that I've seen.
It clearly delivers on the hope that the authors have for this book:
"We hope that you will use the relationship wisdom distilled in this book, from more than two decades of research, to find happiness in your romantic connections and to soar in all aspects of your life. If you follow the attachment principles we have outlined, you will be actively giving yourself the best shot at finding-and keeping-a deeply gratifying love, instead of leaving one of the most important aspects of your life to chance!" (pp. 272-273)
Based on the science of attachment, the book looks at the three basic types of attachment: avoidant, anxious, and secure. In a nutshell: if you're avoidant, relationships feel like a threat to your independence; if you're anxious, relationships feel like a lifeline that is going to be yanked away from you at any moment; if you're secure, relationships provide you with peace of mind. Early on, the book helps you determine your style of attachment, and the style of your partner as well.
After helping to determine attachment styles, the book takes a closer look at how these three different attachment styles present themselves in everyday life, and when they are most likely to clash. Not surprisingly, the most clash-likely relationship is between a person with an avoidant style of attachment and one with an anxious style. (Can we say distancer and pursuer) The authors provide both insight and hope for helping avoiding the needless suffering often accompanying this attachment style mis-match:
"People have very different capacities for intimacy. And when one person's need for closeness is met with another person's need for independence and distance, a lot of unhappiness ensues. By being cognizant of this fact, both of you can navigate your way better in the dating world to find someone with intimacy needs similar to your own (if you are unattached) or reach an entirely new understanding about your differing needs in an existing relationship-a first and necessary step toward steering it in a more secure direction." (p. 270)
The book provides tools and communication strategies that use attachment principles to help you avoid the traps of mismatched relationships (and/or help you free yourself and survive one you may have fallen into), and shows you how to focus your energies on building secure relationships. Even if you're not the secure type (only about 50% of people are), it still is possible to be in a secure relationship-it just takes a good mix of self-awareness and ongoing work. Think of this book as the guidebook for doing that work.
The cherry on top of this deliciously satisfying book comes in the form of the authors' simple, but profound, summary of the key essentials for finding and keeping (secure) love:
***Your attachment needs are legitimate.
***You shouldn't feel bad for depending on the person you are closet to-it is part of your genetic makeup.
***A relationship, from an attachment perspective, should make you feel more self-confident and give you peace of mind. If it doesn't, this is a wake up call!
***And, above all, remain true to your authentic self-playing games will only distance you from your ultimate goal of finding happiness, be it with your current partner or with someone else. (p. 272)
_Attached_ should seriously be required reading for anyone who has been, is, wants to be, or will be in a relationship. Yep, it is that good. And, so can be your relationships if you take this book to heart!