Monday, October 1, 2012

Avoidant Attachment - Huh?

I recently read an article about a guy who was lamenting the fact that his girlfriend had broken up with him out of the blue.  According to this poor guy, they had gotten close very fast and everything was going along great until suddenly and without warning it just ended.  She not only put on the breaks but actually pulled back and then did the “it’s not you, it’s me” thing.  He was hurt, blindsided and just plain perplexed by the whole thing. 

The article’s author explained it as “avoidant attachment style”.  Apparently there is this behavior where an individual is actually fearful of entering any type of relationship or becoming too close to others.  It’s like commitment phobia but with a twist: the person is not just afraid of being exclusive, but actually fears being too intimate and uses indirect strategies to remain elusive and mysterious – the uncatchable catch if you will.  This individual will go so far as to avoid any real communication regarding the relationship or the real issues leading to what will eventually be the break-up.  This is of course assuming there is some kind of relationship entered into in the first place.

The problem I see with this explanation is quite frankly that it is just too easy.  Instead of the person being a grown-up, facing the other party and saying,  “hey, this just isn’t what I want right now or ever,” they are given a really great out.  This is truly the “it’s not you, it’s me” and let’s face it – everyone knows what that lovely phrase really means.  It seems to me that instead of hiding behind some half baked theory called “avoidant attachment style” we should call it what really it is: he or she is just not that into you. 

Article referenced: Too Fast, Too Soon?, The Science of Relationships 

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