Healthy Relationships and Attachment

Part of being in a healthy relationship, whether a marriage, friendship, or partnership for work, is being able to connect to others, on a deeper level.  Some people have that ability, but others have issues with trust that can get in the way.  How people grow up either helps with this issue, or places road blocks, but the road blocks can be overcome.  Knowing about your ability to connect with other people can assist you as you try to develop relationships.

When I work with patients, I talk to them about their relationships, from childhood to present, and how they manage relationships.  If they are adults, what types of relationships do they have, and what type of relationship do they want.  In talking about relationships, I usually find the people who can’t commit, the people who just want to get married, and the people who don’t know what they want.  I find people with lots of friends, but no one who is really close to them, and people who get into intense relationships quickly only to have that the relationship fall apart because they get controlling and overwhelm the other person.

Having a healthy relationship means that your relationship is two way.  That sounds simplistic, but a relationship that is too one sided, isn’t healthy.  I have worked with patients who chase people, do all the calling, and hound their partner or friend.  And I have worked with others who just seem to be floating from one relationship to another with no need to be real or to connect, or a fear of it.

Our ability to connect with others comes from our experiences learned over time.  From the moment we are born, we begin learning how the world works and how to move through it.  To truly be able to connect with others is an art.  It can be learned, as we learn about the world, but it can be something that you are born and that gives you the ability to related to people easily.   If healthy attachment is interrupted as a child, it can result in an Attachment disorder, but we will cover than in another post.

Healthy relationships start with the ability to connect on a deeper level.  That ability lets the other person know that you can be trusted, and they can rely on you.  It comes from good communication, being able to listen, and being able to compromise.  It comes from being able to work effectively with others and do amazing things, from creating a close loving family to building a business empire.  Trying to get into a relationships with someone who has trouble with attachment or connecting to others can be challenging.  Healthy relationships are not made of lies, aggression, manipulation, desperation, or threats.

I appreciate stories about people who have been married for so many years, that when one passes away the other passes soon after.   That kind of love doesn’t happen all the time, but illustrates a deeper relationship.  They had a connection and attachment, that was formed with love and tended over the years.  That connection helps people through the tough times, where nothing is going right  and they are fighting.  That connection can help friends repair relationships that have lasted through the years, but trusting and allowing yourself to be vulnerable like that is scary.  Healthy relationships have some give and take, but also have the knowledge that without the connection we wouldn’t be the same person.  We wouldn’t be as happy or complete.  To be able to have a true connection and attachment to others makes life happy.

As you think about all of this, and if you are worried about your ability to trust and connect to other people, get help.  Get the support of a therapist in your area, and dig a little deeper.  Is something holding you back?  Find out.  I can open your eyes to a better future and being happy for life.