laws of romantic bonding:
1. Bonding with a trusted other is a compelling drive wired
into the mammalian brain by millions of years of evolution.
This is all about survival.
This little girl was born expecting loving hands to be there – our nervous system
is designed to connect with others. We never outgrow this. We know in our bones –
if we call and no one comes we are 'oh so vulnerable.'
Love – infant or adult –is an ancient wired-in survival code
(not a psychotic mixture of sex and sentiment that we can take or leave).
2. Loving connection offers us a safe haven to go to
where we can maintain our emotional balance, deal optimally with stress,
be flexible and move in any direction – and a secure base to go out from to effectively explore
and discover our world.
Knowing someone has your back, that you are not alone,
grows the ability to be independent –
and to be curious about your inner and outer world.
3. When we lose this sense of connection with a loved one we experience emotional isolation, loneliness, panic, pain and helplessness.
This distress can heighten or it can crowd out other concerns –like sexuality.
4. We now know the key elements that define an attachment bond
the perceived Accessibility, Responsiveness and Engagement
we have with loved ones (as in “ARE you there for me?”).
Responsiveness shapes bonds.
These 4 laws tell us what is normal in love–
they offer us a map for love and loving.
Law 5 tells us about differences in how we see
and set up bonding relationships.
5. Secure connection with a responsive loved one promotes
healthy development and functioning including a positive coherent sense of self
and attunement to others.
Whereas insecure connection – anxious or preoccupied bonding and dismissing or
avoidant bonding constrains us – limits our growth.
These labels, secure, anxious and avoidant simply describe
a partner’s habitual ways of dealing with emotion and responding in intimate situations.
Anxiously attached, fired up nervous systems are tuned to cues of rejection and abandonment, these partners seek ongoing intense connection for reassurance, and they also have a hard time trusting and taking in this reassurance.
To avoid the pain of expected rejection, avoidant partners tend to numb out, stifle their longings and reject support from others. They shut down and shut their partners out, especially in situations where closeness is called for or vulnerability comes up.
Regardless of the style of connection, partners can find the means to communicate their individual needs within a relationship and find the connection they seek. Remembering the cue that your partner may be asking for, "Are you there for me?" which asks for that security within the relationship.
Dr. Sue Johnson - Hold Me Tight