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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

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  9,732 ratings  ·  1,075 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 (first published October 28th 2010)
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4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,732 ratings  ·  1,075 reviews

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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
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
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,
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
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
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
Nada EL Shabrawi
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio
Life changing book.
Apr 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Kinda skimmed this one. It's a good primer on attachment styles but it is mainly targeted at anxious attachment issues and totally vilifies avoidant attachment issues, without delving much in to why a partner might have formed one or the other style. It's a "avoidant as villian, anxious as victim" narrative that repeats throughout and seems mainly targeted at helping anxiously attached folks. Maybe the authors figured anxiously attached partners are more likely to seek out a book like this but i ...more
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
Nichole Dinato
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
Joe Farhaven
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
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
May 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm a bit miffed at myself for leaving this on my list to read for so long -- I wish I had read it sooner. It's a refreshing perspective on attachment theory as it relates to dating and relationships, and was extremely helpful in identifying some of my own tendencies and pitfalls, as well as observations of others. By helping to put things in perspective, I believe I can utilize the information presented to make mindful decisions about my interactions with others, as it pertains to my needs, my ...more
Aug 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
how come no one told me before? codependency doesn't exist...or at least is overblown "problem" in the self-help marketplace. it is a natural and biological response to be dependent on an intimate partner or caregiver, so of course we will be impacted by the actions, absence, etc of others. that's OKAY! wow! another (along with Wired for Love) validating and positive look at the potential for relationships to offer us support, understanding, and healing in a way our primary caretakers didn't--no ...more
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
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
this was more helpfull than i thought it would be and rlly,,, called me out on my bullshit at times
id really recommend this to anyone tbh its super insightfull
Laura Vanderslice Ratzel
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Overall, I thought this book was well written, supported by good research and full of helpful insight.

There were a few areas where I was left with questions or disappointments:

1. Why did they leave out disorganized attachment? It wasn't even included as a style.

2. I really appreciated the way they approached anxious attachment - describing it as an evolutionarily adaptive strategy, which should be embraced and used rather than changed or suppressed. Avoidant attachment was also described as e
Dec 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
(Mid-read: Part self-help and part research. I'm digging the ideas about adult attachment so far, and using it as a catalyst to reflect on the patterns between my partner and me.)

After finishing it, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in attachment research, especially what it means for adult relationships and how much control one has if early attachment was insecure. Because it gives anecdotes from several couples, and names a lot of actual research (that can be found in the biblio
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.
Apr 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Suffers from "Terrible Title Syndrome". Otherwise, good read that distills and explains attachment systems in adults.
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I feel silly admitting that I read this, but a good friend strongly recommended it. Now I want all my friends who date or are thinking about dating to read it. I haven’t started dating yet, so another friend joked that I can’t prepare for a relationship by reading a book like it’s some test. I kind of think I can. The anecdotes in the book feel a bit corny to read, but it has a lot of good therapy level insights. I’m tempted to list out my favorites, but that might give too much away. Basically, ...more
Kater Cheek
Mar 26, 2013 rated it liked it
I almost stopped listening to this in the first half hour, because it sounded like the worst of all possible pop-psych books, where it's mostly a sales-pitch for how this wonderful new science will solve all of your problems. I'd heard things about attachment parenting, most of which make me roll my eyes and/or fume about unrealistic perfectionists who tell you with a straight face how sacrificing 100% of yourself for your squalling infant will eventually be rewarded with unparalleled joy. So: s ...more
Aug 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people wanting a relationship, having relationship issues, or interested in adult attachment theory
Recommended to Faith by: Library
This book was such a revelation for me! Before reading it, I was only slightly familiar with attachment theory but after reading it, I can see how attachment theory applies to relationships. Whether you're anxious, secure or avoidant, this helps to explain so many relationship issues people have. Attachment really helped shed a lot of light on the issues in my relationships. I see now that people have different capacities for intimacy. Some people have a need and desire to be close and intimate ...more
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What's your attachment style? 2 28 Nov 05, 2017 01:46AM  
Key Takeaways 1 16 Dec 21, 2015 06:32AM  
  • Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us
  • Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner's Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship
  • Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships
  • Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships
  • Love Is Never Enough: How Couples Can Overcome Misunderstandings, Resolve Conflicts, and Solve Relationship Problems Through Cognitive Therapy
  • And Baby Makes Three: The Six-Step Plan for Preserving Marital Intimacy and Rekindling Romance After Baby Arrives
  • Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection
  • Love Factually: 10 Proven Steps from I Wish to I Do
  • Healing Your Emotional Self: A Powerful Program to Help You Raise Your Self-Esteem, Quiet Your Inner Critic, and Overcome Your Shame
  • The Journey from Abandonment to Healing: Turn the End of a Relationship into the Beginning of a New Life
  • Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl
  • Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma
  • How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It: Finding Love Beyond Words
  • Attachment in Psychotherapy
  • I Need Your Love - Is That True?: How to Stop Seeking Love, Approval, and Appreciation and Start Finding Them Instead
  • Rewire Your Brain for Love: Creating Vibrant Relationships Using the Science of Mindfulness
  • The Mindful Therapist: A Clinician's Guide to Mindsight and Neural Integration
  • Living with Your Heart Wide Open: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You from Unworthiness, Inadequacy, and Shame
“Most people are only as needy as their unmet needs.” 24 likes
“If you're still in a relationship, remember that just because you can get along with anyone doesn't mean you have to. If you're unhappy after having tried every way to make things work, chances are that you should move on. It's in your best interest to end a dysfunctional relationship rather than get stuck forever with the wrong person just because you're secure.” 23 likes
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