Attachment style is something I refer to a lot and this week I had the pleasure of chatting with licensed psychologist Diane Strachowski. She has created a love style quiz to help determine someone’s needs and wants in a relationship (it’s often not what you think). Here’s everything you need to know before you take the test:
1. You have a love style quiz that helps you determine someone’s wants and needs in a relationship. What inspired it?
As a psychologist I work with singles on a daily basis. I use the Attachment Theory to help people understand themselves better. Attachment theory is one of the most well researched psychological theories. According to the attachment theory, half of all people are secure in a relationship.
However, in the past few years I’ve seen more insecure people. I wanted to understand if the high rates of insecure people I see in my practice are really what is going on in the population.
I searched quizzes on attachment styles, but the problem was most were very long (100 questions or more) and the results were negative, or they charged a fee. In attachment theory, the categories are either 1. secure, 2. anxious- preoccupied, 3. dismissive-avoidant, or 4. fearful-avoidant. Who wants to see themselves as “dismissive”? My goal was to create a very different quiz. I wanted to create a quiz that was short, the categories more descriptive, and the results meaningful and free. As a Stanford trained researcher, I wanted to collect current population statistics for which types are most common. I call my quiz Love Styles: which is a combination of attachment types + a person’s communication style. What I found is that people who talk easily in their relationship are ‘high expressive’ types they look dramatically different than the person who is ‘low expressive’ but has the same attachment style. I came up with 2 subtypes for each primary attachment style making for seven different love styles. Next, I came up with 30 questions and then met with my colleagues who also study attachment theory. Together we narrowed my questions down to the10 best questions that forced people into one of four different categories per question. I worked with a statistician and my technical web designer to rank order my items to get the correct result. I gave each Love Style type a fun name like Expressive Giver or Renaissance Lover. To date over 17,000 people have taken my quiz. I will use these statistics in my book I’m currently writing for singles. It’s helpful for people to know that love is not a one size fits all and that the majority of singles are insecure.
2. Is the love quiz only for people in relationships? How can singles benefit from an exercise like this?
I have two quizzes, one to determine your own Love Style the other to determine your Partner’s Love Style. For singles knowing your Love Style in a relationship is crucial. It is the first step to finding love. In my four-page handout, I give the single person a description of their traits, what their needs and wants are, their spirit animal and suggestions for what to do in dating.
3. You talk a lot about securology in love, why is this important for relationships?
My goal is to help my clients become Secure in Love, also the name of my website. I created the term securology because this is the therapy process I have developed to help people become secure. A secure relationship is important because people who have positive romantic relationships are generally more productive, healthier and happier. But not all relationships are secure, some relationships can make you feel more insecure especially if you are insecure or your partner is insecure. I am also a couple’s therapist, so I help couples deepen their relationships and particularly I help people with different love styles understand and communicate better. The ultimate long-term goal is to ‘earn security’ which means that even if you are insecure, to begin with, you can heal your old wounds by being part of a secure relationship. Communication skills are the glue that keeps people together.
4. Often the women I speak to just want to find a secure and stable relationship, What do you think is their biggest roadblock in finding one?
Despite there being more singles, navigating modern dating is tough. You never know if you’re going to meet a person you will spend your life with or someone who will waste your time. For the insecure person dating is even harder, the biggest roadblock is managing their insecurities and the feelings of vulnerability and getting hurt easily. The insecure person has trouble trusting the process and takes rejection personally. The goal of the insecure person is to become ‘secure enough’ to remain hopeful and to think, feel and act more like a secure person. Often the insecure person has blind spots and cannot see what they are doing or the patterns they have.
5. What is the best dating advice you find yourself repeatedly giving?
Don’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results, that is the definition of insanity. If you want to find a long-lasting love you need to have a plan. You need basic dating skills, and you need to find a partner who is a good fit. The first step to creating a secure relationship is to become monogamous. But you can’t convince someone to be committed to you if they don’t want the same thing. Don’t waste your time trying to convince the wrong person, timing is everything. The unique challenge for the low expressive person is to speak up and ask for what they want. The high expressive person might be too direct, or too pushy. How do you stay authentic to yourself but also be aware of your partner’s needs and how they communicate? Relationships are complicated, no one teaches you this stuff. Figure out who you are and keep working to improve yourself. Get help from a coach or therapist. Eventually, your efforts will pay off. Love is well worth it, you can’t give up.
To take the test visit: Secure in Love
Mini-course to attract healthy love
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Iona is a Wellness Coach specialising in relationships and dating. She works with single women to write their own love stories.