There is no such thing as normalcy in relationship. The one exciting thing about dating is to see how different we are, how much we can be alike over times, and how can we sustain being different. Looking back at my previous relationships, I find things interesting how everyone’s comfort zone is different, and moreover, how I react differently to the different types of men. Understanding the differences that you and your partner has can either bring your relationship to the next level or give you a good clue as to why you need to dump him right now. Most of these behaviors reflect early childhood relationships with their parents or close ones. Those relationship builds the framework for the attachment style a person develops. It’s helpful to understand your partner by knowing more about their childhood.
Attachment Styles in Adults
Before we get to know much about our partners, sometimes we get surprised by how similar we are, but surprised more by how different we are. I believe that the make up of an adults behavior have to do with how successfully they formed the relationship with their parents in early age. By generalizing it, there are four different types of guys: a sane type, an insecure type, a carefree type, and child-rape victim type.
1. Sane Type (Secure attachment)
This type is the one that carries a relationship steadily. He is a lover, and he trusts you. He cares about you, and he gives you enough control and privacy at the same time. He is supportive in what you do and worth considering as your long-term life partner. These type of guys probably had positive and close relationship with his parents. Without setting several goals together, he can bore you quickly. To avoid being bored out of your mind, do more activities together. Play tennis, go on a short weekend trip to Connecticut beaches or grow a pet together (before a real baby pops out).
2. Insecure Type (Anxious-preoccupied attachment)
This is a type of guy who will stalk your Facebook , MySpace and countless Xanga blog entries that you wrote during high school, trying to figure out who you still talk to among your EXs. When I was living in Boston, I dated this guy who lived in Washington D.C. During our six month relationship he drove from Washington to Boston every (when I say every, I mean “EVERY”) weekend from Thursday night to Sunday midnight. The relationship required too much of time and loving attention. Even the break up was long and drawn out. He was the youngest one in his family; oldest brother was 13 years older. He often complained how everyone didn’t take him seriously at dinner table regardless how hard he tried to voice about whatever his family was talking about. I could see why he wanted to be around me so much. I was providing him the attention that he lacked growing up. With this type of guy, set your boundaries early on so that he knows that he can’t call you at 3 AM hoping that you’ll talk him to sleep.
3. Carefree Type (Dismissive-avoidant attachment)
This is a type of guy who has too much going on with his own life, and so independent that he has no time for you. I am not sure what’s a good solution for this type of guy is. He probably isn’t in a relationship anyway. Even if he is forced to be in a relationship, “He’s-not-that-into-you”.
4. Child-rape Victim Type (Fearful-avoidant attachment)
This type of guy is the trickiest partner to be with, because what they feel and how they act are completely different. He wants to be with you, love and be loved, but he will react defensively. In college, the guy that I dated got raped when he was 7 in front of his younger brother. He got an unforgettable shock, and never talked about this with his younger brother, his parents or therapist. I was his first girlfriend and I always had to get a permission to hold his hands, and otherwise he will freak the hell out and run away. Before I left him each day, he’d get an anxiety attack being anxious about the next time that he’ll see me. We would have to plan our next meeting so that he would feel comfortable letting me go. In this situation you have to really be patient and understanding so that you two can work through all the painful memories of his past. If you can’t deal with it (I couldn’t after a while), I suggest cut your losses and move on to one of the other types of guys.
If you are having issues with your partner’s behavior, it probably stems from early childhood relationship with his close ones. Most of these issues can be worked out through repetitive practice together. I hope what I have written can help you, but if not, life is short, just leave him.
Jade is a cool ass co-worker of mine. She down to earth, fun and energetic. When she’s not in the office she’s either designing something, painting something, drinking something, drawing something, cooking something, or roaming city streets on her longboard skateboard (cool, right?). I have nothing but good things to say about Jade and I’m happy she was able to contribute to Seriously-Maybe.