Dr. Phillip Shaver and Dr. Cindy Hazan took the parent-child research and applied it to romantic relationships. Here is an explanation of each style and what percentage of the population displays it.
Securely attached people tend to be less anxious and more satisfied with their relationships. The children who were securely attached were happy to explore and bring toys back to the parent. In other words, their parent was a kind of base they could explore around and come back to.
People who anxiously attach tend to worry more about their relationships. They are said to experience an ’emotional hunger’ and are desperate for a fantasy type of love. Unlike securely attached people, people with an anxious attachment tend to be desperate to form a fantasy bond of ideal love–even when this might not be possible or reciprocated. They tend to look for a partner who can rescue them or ‘complete’ them.
Avoidant attachers tend to be emotionally distant from their partners. Avoidant attachers take pride in their independence and can see attachment as a weakness. They like to process emotions on their own and don’t like to share vulnerabilities with anyone else.
This also is called ‘disoriented’ or ‘disorganized’ attachment. These children seemed to volley between desperately needing their parents and pushing them away. People with this kind of attachment live in an ambivalent mindset where they swing from being afraid of connection to overanalyzing the equality or depth of their relationships.