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Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love
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Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  54,795 ratings  ·  4,887 reviews
Is there a science to love?

In this groundbreaking book, psychiatrist and neuroscientist Amir Levine and psychologist Rachel S. F. Heller reveal how an understanding of attachment theory-the most advanced relationship science in existence today-can help us find and sustain love. Attachment theory forms the basis for many bestselling books on the parent/child relationship,
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published December 30th 2010 by Tarcher
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Emily Pierce I agreed, I was really hoping it would break down the fearful-avoidant attachment style since that's the one my partner exhibits that prompted my ther…moreI agreed, I was really hoping it would break down the fearful-avoidant attachment style since that's the one my partner exhibits that prompted my therapist to recommend this book to me as well. There are plenty of articles and videos online about the fearful-avoidant attachment type--but just be careful, I got sucked down the rabbit hole and it was too overwhelming for me. The nice thing about this book is is skims the surface of each one, and you can see where the fearful-avoidant is a toxic combination of avoidant and anxious and what happens....wanting intimacy more than anything but being afraid of it and pushing people away when they get close and they love them. (less)

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Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
I'm convinced that all the 5 star reviews must be from anxiously attached people because this book offers nothing for anyone else lol. I knew something was up when the chapter dedicated to explaining anxious attachment was twice as long as the chapter dedicated to avoidant attachment. The glorification of anxious types only increased from there. The whole book is really filtered through an anxious lens.

The little bit I learned about the importance of having a secure base and deactivation techniq
Gretchen Friese
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I read this. Not because it wasn't good, but because I have this thing about posting relationship-y self-help books on here. I don't want people to know that I spend time thinking about my relationship status. I want to seem cooler than that.

This book is better than most relationship books I have read. The author describes how attachment theory can be applied to romantic relationships. There are three types of attachment: secure, anxious, and avoidant. Acco
Feb 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
Bleh. This book had a promising premise and while the underlying theory has some merit, I found the explanations too simplistic, and the examples too stark (almost caricature-like) to capture the nuances of human personalities and relationships. So, while the book had several “A-ha!” moments, the suggestions of what to DO with this information was lacking.

Also, as someone who fell into the Secure/Avoidant category, this book was a let down. There was little acknowledgment that some (most?) peopl
Nov 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
life changing. everyone should read this!!
Morgan Blackledge
Nov 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
The first (and maybe only) thing to understand about attachment theory, is that attachment is simply a fancy word for love. Plain and simple. Once you understand that, the rest of the theory makes perfect sense.

The next thing to know is that our patterns of bonding and repairing are conditioned i.e. learned, beginning in relationship between caregivers and infants, and continuing into adulthood.

The last thing to know is that our relational conditioning i.e. attachment style can be problematic,
Wesley Fenza
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was not a fan of this book. It has some good basic information about attachment styles, but it could have been communicated in about 20 pages. The rest of the book takes the form of advice on how to have fulfilling relationships, and it is saturated with the mononormative bias of the author.

The traditional lifelong monogamous pair-bond, throughout the entire book, is held up as the shining pinnacle of relationships and is assumed to be everyone's goal. Any desire for autonomy is evidence of a
Dec 31, 2013 rated it did not like it
Do not read this book. It may be comforting for someone to affirm that being needy or aloof is just your attachment style, but you're doing yourself a disservice. As someone with a degree in psychology, I disagree with the conclusions the author draws from the research. An distant or anxious "attachment style" is an unhealthy way to approach relationships, and likely a sign that there are deeper issues to work through. The worst thing you can do is to put on one of their labels, and use that as ...more
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you're avoidant, I hope you're ready to feel REALLY REALLY guilty because you will feel like a shit heel after reading this book.

Source: I feel like a shit heel

What I enjoyed about it the most was that feeling of "YES! That IS exactly what happens! Someone else finally gets it!"

It's a very heteronormative, monogamous book, so it was really interesting to read it through the polyamory lens. They put forward the idea that people can learn to become more "Secure" in their attachment. I hereby de
Nadeem Ahmad
May 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting read on the theory of adult attachments in romantic relationships. While the categorisation of every human relationship into 3 categories of Secure (50% of the population), Anxious (21%), and Avoidant (25%) may not be all inclusive and exhaustive for those with a discerning and scrutinising disposition; however, it does offer a useful insight into your relationships, if you can relate to one of the 3 categories.

What I liked about the book is that it doesn't tell you which is the best
Apr 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Don’t be fooled by the title.
The title is like wishy washing voodoo magic to suddenly make a sparkly relationship appear. And that’s bullshit of course. The actual content of the book is not bullshit though. It opened my eyes, and so many puzzle pieces finally came together.

The premise is that your childhood, but also any experience you had afterwards with intimate relationships, lead to certain attachment patterns. If you’re lucky, you’re securely attached. If you’re slightly less lucky you mi
Jul 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
**Attached…to this book**

I’ll admit it. I am totally attached to _Attached_. But, not in an unhealthy way, really. I’ve read my fair share of books on relationships (including textbooks during my clinical training as a therapist), and I can honestly say that this book provides the most elegant framework for organizing, explaining, and rescuing relationship problems that I’ve seen.

It clearly delivers on the hope that the authors have for this book:
“We hope that you will use the relationship wis
Aug 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
I'm interested in adult attachment theory, and how adults develop attachments to support persons. I am not interested in heteronormative, dyad-enforcing, pathologizing, or reductionist guidebooks to finding "that special someone."

I would like to read a book that shows the research surrounding attachment theory as applied to community- not just monogamous relationships between straight folk. This book just doesn't cut it.
May 04, 2021 marked it as dnf
Honestly, if I needed further proof about why I needed to toss my wanker of a boyfriend to the curb him recommending this book to me would be it.
So basically the book just lumps people based on so called attachment styles and has a clear bias to the anxious folk.
My boyfriend (soon to be EX) is in the secure section and boy aren't they put on a pedestal whilst not to either of our surprise, I am an avoidant and according to the author, all avoidants are bad! bad! bad! Cold SOBs who should be bur
Nada Elshabrawy
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio
Life changing book.
Meghan Hughes
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was incredibly insightful & helped me figure out my own attachment style & ways I cope with issues in relationships. It also made me aware of the reasons why friends & family stay with the people that they do even if they know the relationship doesn’t serve them. This book is a study on the relationships we hold & how they make us react to issues when they arise. It dissects the secure, anxious, & avoidant attachment styles. It was incredible well-researched & provided significant reso ...more
Aug 26, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is so simplistic that it reads like a personality quiz in a women's magazine. It complexity ignores issues of gender, simply stating that most people of both genders fall into the "stable" category rather than the "avoidant" or "anxious" groups. What would have been more interesting would have been an exploration of why women are perceived as falling more often into the "anxious" category. This book also seemed to ignore the importance of other personality traits that make one person a ...more
jasmine sun
book exists purely to tell anxious people to date someone secure; avoidance is conflated w abusiveness and villainized throughout 🙃

each of the 294728 examples is the same hetero couple with names swapped from John to Mike and Lucy to Mary or something
Mar 25, 2021 rated it did not like it
Don’t even bother wasting your time with this book.

The examples are way too simplistic and the author tries to link every behaviour a person might have to attachment style, which may not always be the case. For example, he uses the example of Tamara and Greg at the beginning of the book where their relationship seems to start off normal until Greg starts to pull away and gives mixed signals. The author concludes that if you start to get bothered and clingy from the sudden change of behaviour to
Caitlyn Kilgore
Nov 05, 2015 rated it did not like it
While sharing the occasional snippet of relationship wisdom, this book far from delivers what I hoped for. It is full of rhetorical questions and long introductions that waste the readers time (have you ever heard of citation? Or APA style? Footnotes?). Additionally, it makes people's relationships out to be nothing more than a reflection of one of three (or four) attachment styles - which, by the way, means that no one has a "unique" attachment style. Much of the book reads more like a Cosmopol ...more
Ellen Andromeda
Apr 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
It was a interesting and thought-provoking book. However, it's very simplistic and basically says the solution is to date a secure partner and then everything will be fine. Unless you already are secure, and then you can date almost anyone and everything will be fine. I don't think things are ever that neat. Also, a weird omission was that they never talked about a partnership with two anxious style people. They at least mention a few times that two avoidant people rarely get together and why, w ...more
Aug 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: life-changing
I don't even know how to express how life-changing this book was/is for me. I read it in two days, devoured it. I think every person on earth should read this book, it would make all relationships and interactions better, giving us all a common language to use to talk about how we act, what we fear and what we need.

I'm starting to put the lessons into practice, and it's scary. Terrifying! But, I know I'm on the right path and with lots of practice and a little time, I'll be successfully managin
Mar 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Wasn't quite what I was expecting, there was less science and more practical advice. I don't think I got as much out of it as some people might (omg if you actually try to make your partner jealous and you are not in middle school, read this book asap), but I think the overall framework they presented is a useful concept.

By classifying folks as anxious, secure and avoidant and not attaching any value judgments to those relationship styles, I think that is helpful for everyone. Sort of like how r
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: life, life-changers
Looks fascinating, and I really want to read it, but it can't be renewed any more.


Picked the book up to take it back to the library and got completely sucked in. Finished with two days to spare!

This book proposes to explain the recurrent relationship disaster I've reenacted for most of my life ( with 1.5 exceptions). The idea is that there are basically three attachment styles, much like the styles babies have of attaching to their mothers: anxious, secure, and avoidant. The authors propose t
Abeer Hoque
Oct 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-recommend
Leave aside for a second that "Attached" by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller slots everyone into 3 relationship attachment categories: secure (50% of the population), anxious (25%), and avoidant (25%) (I'm as suspicious of GUT paradigms as the next wannabe scientist).

However, the authors are both experienced and practicing psychotherapists, and use case after case to provocatively and persuasively put forth their theory, and explain how recognising your own category (and/or sub category) can help
Mar 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I read this. Not because it wasn't good, but because I have this thing about posting relationship-y self-help books on here. I don't want people to know that I spend time thinking about my relationship status. I want to seem cooler than that.

However, I recently found myself dating a person who had me absolutely flummoxed. A friend suggested this book to me thinking it might offer some insight, and I read it rather quickly.

This book is better than most relat
Jen Serdetchnaia
Mar 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In a culture that scorns dependence and exalts self-reliance, Levine and Heller make the argument for the Dependency Paradox—that the more effectively dependent people are on one another in their inner circle, the more independent and daring they become in the greater world. Or the opposite of Kanye’s central thesis in The Life of Pablo.

The basic premise of Attached is to challenge present-day thinking that dependence is weak and that mastering and controlling our emotions is strong. Not only is
Mar 15, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction, science
I read this book immediately following "Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents" and it did not hold up in light of what felt like a revelatory examination of emotional maturity and relationships.

A few things irritated me as I read this book. First, it's extremely heteronormative; all relationships examples given in the book were between straight, cis couples, and secondly, in my opinion most were stereotypical in their portrayal of the kinds of problems experienced between men and women.
Nov 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
This is what I get for not properly vetting my interlibrary loan requests. Contrary to what I thought I was checking out, this is not a popular science non-fiction-type book about the psychology of adult attachment. This is a self-help book, which now that I re-read the subtitle, is clear before even opening the book. Mea culpa.

Ok, but dating sucks and is generally demoralizing and I can think of about a million other unpleasant activities in which I'd rather engage, so I gave it a quick read/sk
Krishna Chaitanya
A life transforming book falls a little short of a solid 5 star material.

This is my first reading on marriages and relationships, obviously I want to get better, accept my limitations and become my better self as a partner and as a parent.

This book introduces to Attachment theory and it's types, barely reading the first chapter I got to know my attachment style and my partner's and that clearly explains the trouble in our marriage. Instead of getting disappointed, I started focusing on what this
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was GREAT -- very enlightening around the three types of relationship styles: anxious, secure, and avoidant. One of the most enlightening things for me was that anxious-avoidant is a very common combination -- one person is looking for more closeness, and the other is actively avoiding it. Pretty soon, they both propogate each other's exact triggers and only make things worse! Avoidants don't date each other (they are both on the look-out for new and shiny), and an anxious-leaning pers ...more
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Dr Amir Levine, MD, is an adult, child and adolescent psychiatrist and neuroscientist. He has been conducting neuroscience research at Columbia University, New York, for several years under the mentorship of Nobel Prize laureate Eric Kandel.

Articles featuring this book

Lori Gottlieb is a bestselling writer, psychotherapist, and author of the weekly "Dear Therapist" advice column for The Atlantic. Her new...
88 likes · 7 comments
“Most people are only as needy as their unmet needs.” 73 likes
“Instead of thinking how you can change yourself in order to please your partner, as so many relationship books advise, think: Can this person provide what I need in order to be happy?” 65 likes
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