There is one problem in love and sex—
how lovers manage closeness and distance.
Both partners want to be love and close but also want to be respected for their separate purposes. In a relationship, however, each partner primarily exhibits one attachment style. At Awakenings, we use the scientifically-researched attachment theory as our clinical orientation to help solve this problem. We teach pursuers how to feel less anxious and make direct requests. We coach distancers on initiating and nurturing.
Attachment theory demonstrates that our central drive in life is to be connected to another. We emerge from childhood usually with one of three attachmment styles: secure, anxious (pursuers) or avoidant (distancers.) If we are secure, than we do not fear being engulfed by our partner and we are not anxious when our partner is pursuing their own endeavors. Pursuers, however feel very anxious about the state of the relationship, vigilant to see if their partner has somehow become angry or upset with them. They frequently check in with their partners just to see “if everything is alright.” Distancers seem to not notice or care about the problems in a relationship. They feel things are okay if their pursuing partner isn’t complaining. They are often baffled by the upsetting effect that their distancing behavior has on their pursing partner.