Why do we attach and connect to certain people and not to others? Attachment is about seeking to get our needs met. If we are seeking to get unhealthy needs met that reflect hurts and wounds that come from our past, than attachments to unhealthy people and situations can occur. For example, if you had parent who was self-absorbed and abandoned you emotionally, your attachment patterns could go in several directions. You might become attached to people who are good at giving you attention but lack other qualities necessary for a healthy relationship. It is also possible that you could become so accustomed to not getting attention that you become attached to a narcissistic type person, who ignores your needs, which is familiar to you and therefore acceptable.
Another reason that we attach to certain people is that in our minds they embody attractive traits that we believe we lack. Self-esteem seeking attachments can feel fantastic in the beginning as a sense of worth can result in the experience of someone we admire being interested in us. However, over time such a relationship can fail based on feelings such as dependency, jealousy, and combative competitiveness. An attachment based on low self-esteem places a lot of pressure on the admired partner, and increases low self-esteem over time due to the reminder that you feel less than the person that you lean on for ego enhancement.
Raising your self-esteem and healing the trauma’s from your past increase the chances of developing healthy vs healthy attachments.
Rebecca Sperber, M.S., MFT