Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love” as Want to Read:
Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  25,979 ratings  ·  2,515 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
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Attached, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Meredith Strunk My understanding is that the anxious-avoidant style is rare enough (less than 2% of population) that it does not make sense to cover in this book. Add…moreMy understanding is that the anxious-avoidant style is rare enough (less than 2% of population) that it does not make sense to cover in this book. Additionally, individuals with that style or those in relationship with them, need a much more comprehensive book. So this is written in simple terms for 98% of the population, which I believe it meets it's goal! (less)
Genevieve There are two quizzes to determine your own and your partner's attachment styles and one other part that you can fill out that helps you determine how…moreThere are two quizzes to determine your own and your partner's attachment styles and one other part that you can fill out that helps you determine how to be more securely attached. The majority of it is not interactive, though.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  25,979 ratings  ·  2,515 reviews

Sort order
Start your review of Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love
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
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
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
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,
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 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
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
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
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
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 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
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
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: life-changers, life
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
Radhika Roy
Jan 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Okay, so I understand that the title is EXTREMELY cheesy and I feel a teensy bit embarrassed to have read this. BUT, HEAR ME OUT because I'm not kidding when I say that this has been one of my most enlightening reads of the past few years (or maybe I'm just trying to justify to myself that this was worth reading, we shall never know).

I've always found the concept of "attachment styles" quite fascinating. While I've read articles here and there on this topic, I wanted a more in-depth understandin
Feb 24, 2020 rated it did not like it
I think someone who is anxiously attached could get some useful information out of this book because it caters entirely to them, but I would warn them to take with a grain of salt the evaluations of the other types, particularly avoidant types.

This book is hugely problematic in so many ways.

Some background on me: I am someone who is capable of secure attachment with a secure or fellow avoidant partner (with similar levels of avoidance), but become avoidant when triggered by particularly high l
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
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
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help
Wow this book literally dragged me. It allowed me to see where past relationships went wrong, ways that I can heal, and also affirmed my current relationship/dating choices. I wish I had read this book before I decided to seriously start dating, or at least read it quickly after my last breakup. My therapist recommended this to me, and I honestly urge everyone to read this book. I really liked how this book made me aware of the patterns I have, because now I have the opportunity to work on mysel ...more
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Stella Rae Book Club: dating + attachment styles 2 25 Feb 03, 2021 12:24AM  
What's your attachment style? 2 47 Nov 05, 2017 01:46AM  
Key Takeaways 1 24 Dec 21, 2015 06:32AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Insecure in Love: How Anxious Attachment Can Make You Feel Jealous, Needy, and Worried and What You Can Do About It
  • Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner's Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship
  • Avoidant: How to Love (or Leave) a Dismissive Partner
  • The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma
  • Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
  • Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life
  • The Unexpected Joy of Being Single
  • Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic
  • How to Not Die Alone: The Surprising Science That Will Help You Find Love
  • Healing Your Attachment Wounds: How to Create Deep and Lasting Intimate Relationships
  • Untamed
  • Breakup Bootcamp: The Science of Rewiring Your Heart
  • Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents
  • Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love
  • Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed
  • The Gifts of Imperfection
  • Attachment Theory: A Guide to Strengthening the Relationships in Your Life
  • Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
See similar books…

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...
79 likes · 7 comments
“Most people are only as needy as their unmet needs.” 51 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?” 47 likes
More quotes…