It turns out I have been in denial about my anxious attachment style

Adulting in your 30s
4 min readSep 26, 2023

It only took me 36 years to find out

Attachment style theory has been around for a while, and I’ve taken several quizzes and read some articles and books to try to figure out what I am.

However, I never felt like I quite fit into any of the styles.

Most of the descriptions for anxious attachment opens by talking about the intense fear that one’s partner would leave them.

I don’t feel this way. I don’t have constant anxiety that my partner would break up with me.

So, I must not have an anxious attachment style.

Wrong wrong wrong!

I was hypersensitive to any micro sighs of disengagement

I don’t obsessively send them endless texts until they reply. And I don’t get mad at them for not replying quick. So, I must not be anxiously attached.

Except, although I’ve rationalized and told myself to not act on these toxic behaviors, inside, I still felt triggered when they would take hours to reply to a text, and or didn’t text me for a whole day. I couldn’t help but feel like maybe they were mad at me? maybe I wasn’t important enough? how hard is it to reply to a text?

Not only that, I expected them to be always “on”. I looked to their cheerfulness and good humor to reassure myself that things were okay between us.

If they were less talkative than usual, or they showed frustration at something unrelated to us, I felt shaken.

Gradually these small uncertainties added up to make me feel paralized with dread and confusion, spiraling downwards until I felt convinced that things were off between us again, at which point I would shut down and be quiet and moody.

I didn’t see that this reaction, although not a fear that they would break up with me, was deep anxiety that I would lose their affection and love even temporarily.

When we have a fight, I need us to resolve it right then and there

They say don’t go to bed angry, and I really took this to heart. I didn’t understand that my partner may need some time to themselves before talking about the conflict further.

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Adulting in your 30s

Musings and self reflections of a 30 something who feels like an adult but a kid at the same time