Certain types of anxiety can cause massive ups and downs in relationships. Partners who have attachment issues cause considerable instability in their relationship, research finds.
One type, known as ‘attachment anxiety’ by psychologists, involves see-sawing feelings. It is the same reason that babies cry when they are taken from their mothers. Around one in five people have an anxious attachment style. A classic sign is having wildly varying feelings about the relationship from one day to the next. People experiencing attachment anxiety spend a lot of time thinking about what the other person wants. They can easily move from feeling strongly attached, to wanting independence.

Ms Ashley Cooper, the study’s first author, said:
For people anxious in their attachments, they have anxiety as to whether the person is going to be there for them and whether they are worthy of others. I was interested in how attachment security impacted partners’ experiences in their relationship on a daily basis. Some couples experience instability from one day to the next in their relationship, so we sought out to explore what could increase or decrease this volatility.”

The second problematic type is ‘attachment avoidance’.
This is someone who wants to avoid getting too attached to the other person. Around one in four people has an avoidance attachment style. High levels of attachment anxiety are linked to more ups and downs in the relationship, while avoidance is linked to low relationship satisfaction. The study of 157 couples — half of whom had been dating for two years or less — found that high attachment avoidance in one partner was linked to low relationship satisfaction for both.

Ms Cooper said:
For the average person, stay attuned to what your partner is saying and avoid making assumptions that can escalate conflict.
Trusting in your partner and your relationship is important to daily interactions and stability for your relationship

The study was published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships (Cooper et al., 2017).


Oluwole Olusanya
Oluwole Olusanya is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of one of the fastest-growing lifestyle and entertainment website in the country. He is a banker, writer, blogger, public affairs analyst and a tax consultant. He anchors Trending Topics on SHEFFA where he shares his thoughts and opinions on trending issues. He is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Business Administration at the University of South Wales, Wales, United Kingdom. He has diplomas in Banking and Finance, Investigative Journalism, Creative Writing, and Linguistics from Lagos State Polytechnic, Isolo, Lagos, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland and The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.