Attachment and the emotions associated with it are the core defining feature of close relationships.
It draws links to the evolution of humans as social animals and offers a universal perspective.
It reminds us that when the wind blows, it sting the eyes of all.
The fear of isolation and loss is found in every human heart.
Due to our cultural focus on the individual and valuing of self-sufficiency, it is difficult for some couples to think of adult relationships in attachment terms. Attachment is a lifelong affair, and it is perhaps worth pausing and explicitly noting the basic similarities in the features of the infant/child-caregiver and adult love relationships.
In both kinds of relationships there is a deep desire for attention, emotional responsiveness, and reciprocal interest. A child or an adult lover feels more confident and secure, and there more able to cope with stressful events, when the other is perceived as on hand and dependable.
In both relationships, people are happier and more outgoing and show a greater threshold for distress and tolerance of ambiguous or negative relationship events if the other is seen as basically accessible and responsive.
When an attachment figure is distant or rejecting, both infants and adult lovers become anxious, preoccupied, and unable to concentrate or typified by contact seeking and high levels of physical contact, such as caressing, hugging, holding, and kissing. When afraid, sick, or distressed, adults and children want particularly to be held and comforted by their loved one.
At all ages there is distress at separation from and loss of an attachment figure, and fear of this loss. Reunion is a sources of joy and comfort expressed by reaching and greeting; this is especially true when there was any doubt concerning the reunion.
In both relationships, experiences and gifts are shared, confiding is valued, and people actively reflect on how a loved one would react to events or interesting sights. These are the only relationships typified by prolonged eye contact-gazing and a fascination with the others physical features and a desire to explore them. Nonverbal communication is also very important, and both lovers and parent-child dyads coo and sign to each other.
Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy - Sue Johnson