One dimension to consider in a stranger you’re texting or in the dating phase is their attachment style. Attachment is the level of affection, sympathy, or dependency we form with someone we love. However, attachment does not proceed through the same pattern for every person. Attachment styles fall under three categories.
John Bowlby was the first psychologist to study attachment. Bowlby was impressed by the research of Harry Harlow, who reviewed monkeys in captivity and observed that their bonds fell into different categories. The safe monkey in this study was raised by a natural mother monkey who held and carried the baby and nursed it. This monkey felt cared for and protected. The anxious monkey was raised in a cage with a fake mother made of soft cloth attached to a bottle of warm milk; This monkey may attach and love but is needy, insecure, and cries a lot. Finally, the timid monkey was brought up in a cage with a false mother made of wire, whose cuddle was unpleasant. This last monkey is not attached easily, avoids close relationships, and is often hostile to strangers.
Bowlby studied children’s relationships with their caregivers and found that not only could Harlow’s types apply to them, but a child’s relationship with their caregiver also predicted future attachment style. Bowlby’s research showed that maternal deprivation negatively affects children’s emotional development and their ability to bond in healthy ways in the future. This was the basis of modern attachment theory, widely applied to adult relationships in psychological settings. Adults also seek intimacy—they are biologically driven to form attachments—and the process of creating these attachments is determined by experience.
Attachment styles in adults
Humans are not apes, of course. But we, too, can experience anxiety and loneliness with separation. Studies show that half of the human population is securely attached. These people are comfortable with intimacy and are more satisfied with their relationships. Securely attached people can be honest and supportive while allowing their partner’s independence. That leaves us with half of the adults who don’t react similarly to relationships. Anxiety-attached people have difficulty living in the moment and tend to overestimate their partner’s role in their lives. They may hold on to their partners for fear of being alone. Avoidantly attached people distance themselves from others and may sabotage their relationships to protect themselves.
You might also want to look for early clues to attachment style during initial messaging. Still, these usually take much longer to emerge, and the clues are not immediately apparent. But reviewing early indications and possible danger signs that can be recognized can be helpful. That’s why we’ve compiled five indicators of insecure attachment to watch out for when you start messaging new people!
Signs of Insecure Attachment During the Dating Phase
1. Quick sincerity
Some people try to form a deep connection right away. While this may sound seductive or reassuring during the dating phase, it can be a dangerous sign for problematic attachment in the future. A relationship without strong foundations seldom goes stable, and a sudden passion realized in this way is likely disappointing. These trends can manifest themselves as early as the first messages. People who quickly display intimacy may lack boundaries and revert to an anxious or avoidant pattern once the relationship has begun. In summary, establishing intimacy too soon in the first stage signifies that you should watch out for.
2 it. Monotonous affect
To connect, we rely on people’s candid expressions of emotions. In psychiatry, the variability in one’s facial expression, tone of voice, and emotional involvement is significant. Some people have atrophied or monotonous affect. These people maintain a bland expression emotional expression throughout their communication. They can be emotionally distant and rigid. Maybe they’re just shy, or they may think that revealing any emotion is too much of a risk. Seeing this situation early in messaging can be a potential danger sign. They may also hide mental illnesses such as major depression or schizophrenia behind this monotony. (Of course, this is just an assumption; it’s the job of professionals to diagnose.) People who experience these psychiatric conditions are as worthy of love or just a suitable date as anyone else. However, awareness of these situations is the most natural right of people’s partners.
3. Hostility at first sight
Although rare, you see any signs of open hostility at the beginning of your messages is terrible. If the person is constantly aggressive towards you, humiliates you, and makes you feel bad during the dating phase, the danger sign cannot be more evident than this. This person is almost sure to have attachment issues that could lead to a problematic relationship.
4. Control madness
Some people manage attachment anxiety by trying to control their environment. However, online dating requires caution, which handling types will have a hard time with. Imagine that these people are in a sea; they feel the waves tossing them. They are struggling with the instinct to stop this and secure the boat. So, in which case the problem may arise? Of course, you don’t agree to be on their ship.
Recognizing early signs of a controlling personality can give clues about a person’s attachment style and difficulties in forming secure relationships. A lack of flexibility or a desire to control early in your messaging is often dangerous.
5. Excessive knowledge
While quick intimacy may be too fast for some, it can still feel good. Fleeting intimacy, offering a kind of “instant confirmation” – the thought that this person must love me – ignites the pleasure centers in the brain. Excess knowledge is also an indicator of quick intimacy. Still, there is a fundamental distinction between the two: In fleeting intimacy, there is the promise of a non-existent connection, while in extreme knowledge, there is an assumption of a non-existent relationship.
The first messages during the dating phase are attempts to get to know each other, so we’ll see you online. Revealing too much too quickly is a danger sign, such as quick intimacy, lack of emotion, control, and hostile behavior. No one would want their flirt to cry on the first date, nor would they want to listen to the person’s problems in detail in the first messages. Someone who offers excessive information may appear to be revealing details about themselves, but what they’re showing is probably their needy, anxious, or selfish personality.