We all want to love and be loved. But many people who have experienced disappointment, pain or betrayal in relationships keep their hearts somewhat guarded, so that they don’t get hurt again. Are you afraid of falling in love? Maybe you have been rejected or wounded one time too many and are no longer willing to make yourself vulnerable. Or, maybe you felt suffocated and controlled in your previous relationships, and decided it is better to be alone than smothered. Or, maybe your pattern is that the longer you are with somebody, the more needy and insecure you become. And with your jealousy and lack of trust, you push your partners until they seem to need to get away from you to save themselves.
Stuck between feeling unsafe and misunderstood while being in relationship, and feeling lonely and unwanted without a partner, finding love may have become a dream you are about to give up on.
If you have struggled holding or maintaining deep, safe and long lasting love in your life, you may be very surprised at the reason. It’s not because you’ve been jinxed or because there is something wrong with you. It is because your brain has been mis-programmed. That’s according to the vast research done by relationship counselor Dr. Gary D. Salyer, author of the fascinating book, Safe to Love Again.
Here is what he writes about the three styles of love:
“Why were so many people annoyed with dating and love? What’s going on that so many singles are finding it hard to find a special someone to fall in love with for a lifetime? Here’s the first key to becoming Safe to Love Again; we must understand how our brains work. The science of relationships tells us that people are wired for love in three primary ways. These attachment or love styles are—secure, anxious, and avoidant. However, only 50 percent of adults are securely attached. That’s a fancy scientific term for when somebody feels really, really safe in a relationship.
“When somebody has a secure attachment, or what I call a secure love style, their systems are wired to pair up in healthy ways. They quite naturally and easily stay bonded with their partner. You often see such couples holding hands in restaurants and gazing into each other’s eyes. They’re masters of managing and savoring the little moments.
“The other 50 percent of adults are scared of love at some level. They’re what relationship science calls insecurely attached. That’s the expert term for people who are not safe with love at a deep level. Of these adults, 25 percent will run from love. They have what is called an avoidant attachment style, or as I put it, an avoidant love style. These folks have a flight response and run like hell from intimate relationships—especially when it gets to the commitment stage. These are the people who are gone for a week on a business trip and say they miss you terribly. When they get home Friday night they make passionate love to you, and promise to spend the weekend having fun with you. Then, magically, on Saturday afternoon something urgent comes up at the office. Poof! They’re gone again.
“Another 20 percent of adults have developed a fight response to managing their relationships. These folks have what is called an anxious attachment or anxious love style. They constantly worry that love will go away, and so tend to create a lot of drama around their relationships. They will often ask things like, “Where were you…?” or, “Do you still love me?” These types are the drama queens and kings of the dating world. They often drive their partners away due to the excessive tension they create around love. The other 5 percent of adults split the difference and are both avoidant and anxious at the same time.
“For many of us love is a kind of boogieman. The scariest thing for our generation is no longer the monster in the closet or the bad guy from the movies. These days, the boogieman for many adults is love. Most are scared to death of it, or mortified by its commitments. However, that boogieman that scares us is not what we think it is. Real, secure love is never the monster we feel, think, or fear it to be.”
Join Gary and I this Thursday, February 20th at 9AM PT / 12PM ET, and learn ways on how to become safe in love again. When you are truly safe in love, your heart will only settle for that kind of love that emanates passion, joy, intimacy, fun, peace and so much more. You can also join us on Facebook Live. Feel free to leave any questions or comments – we’ll be happy to answer them.