a person sitting on the floor with their hands covering their face

Do you struggle with feeling unworthy of someone’s attention? Or do you avoid fights just because you don’t want to deal with the emotions that follow? The way you handle issues in a relationship depends on your attachment style. Typically, there are four attachment styles – secure, anxious, dismissive, and fearful-avoidant. Understanding your and the other person’s attachment style helps resolve key issues and build a healthy, loving relationship. 

Here are 7 tips to fix attachment issues within your relationship: 

1. Identify Your Attachment Styles

Psychologists Mary Ainsworth and John Bowlby developed the attachment theory to study how the absence of a primary caregiver affects children. Since then, the theory has been applied to people of all ages. We introduced the four attachment styles in the introduction, so let’s understand them now. 

  • Secure attachment – people in this category are comfortable when they are vulnerable. They express themselves and help those in need. They respect your boundaries and feel secure in the relationship.  
  • Anxious attachment – people with an anxious attachment style often have a negative self-view but think highly of others. They tend to regularly seek attention from others, especially when in a relationship and being away from their partner makes them feel anxious. 
  • Dismissive attachment – very different from the previous style, dismissive attachment people don’t show their vulnerability and have difficulty forming serious romantic relationships. 
  • Fearful-avoidant attachment – if you didn’t fit in either of the three or felt like you share traits of all, then you fall under this category. Your attachment style is ambiguous, which means you display traits depending on how secure you feel emotionally

2. Communicate Openly and Honestly

Talk openly about your feelings, fears, and needs with your partner. It helps them get an insight into why you’re feeling what you’re feeling and builds trust and security within the relationship. Without them knowing, you’ll be in a never-ending cycle of fights caused by miscommunication. 

3. Practice Empathy

Try to see things from your partner’s perspective. Empathy can bridge the gap between different attachment styles. For example, if your partner has an anxious attachment style, they might need more reassurance and closeness than someone who is avoidant. Talk to your partner about what acts you can do that will make them feel more secure. It could be something as simple as cooking or eating meals together or not going to bed without resolving a fight. 

4. Set Healthy Boundaries

Look for signs that cause issues within your relationship and together, find solutions for them. Here are some signs of an unhealthy relationship: 

  • Overly possessive 
  • Worrying too much about what you think about them
  • Lack of boundaries 
  • Distancing during an argument or fight
  • Oversharing sensitive information about themselves or your relationship
  • Giving others too much importance 
  • Struggling to ask for help 
a person sitting on a couch with their head in their hands in front of a psychotherapist

5. Seek Therapy

As a mental health professional in Toronto, I’ve seen time and again how therapy makes relationships better. It isn’t a magical solution but a tool that tells you what’s right and wrong and helps you and your partner find techniques to overcome attachment issues. A person’s attachment style depends on what they’ve gone through in life and therapy targets those deeper wounds and creates a safe space for healing. 

6. Educate Yourselves

Knowledge is power. The more you and your partner understand about attachment theories and their practical implications, the better equipped you’ll be to handle challenges. Websites like Charlie Health and Psychology Today offer blogs and resources. You can also find real-life experiences and tried and tested advice on forums like Reddit and Facebook groups. 

7. Talk to Someone in a Secure Relationship 

Whether it is a friend or family member, talk to them about how they manage issues within a relationship. This will give you a perspective into how healthy relationships work and identify triggers to avoid within your own. 


Changing attachment styles doesn’t happen overnight. It requires patience, persistence, and consistent effort from both partners. Celebrate small victories and remain supportive as you both work towards a more secure and fulfilling relationship.

Jennifer Pinto

Do you struggle with feeling unworthy of someone’s attention? Or do you avoid fights just because you don’t want to deal with the emotions that follow? The way you handle issues in a relationship depends on your attachment style. Typically, there are four attachment styles – secure, anxious, dismissive, and fearful-avoidant. Understanding your and the…

Hi, I am Jennifer Pinto. I am a registered Social Worker and obtained my Masters' Degree from University of Toronto in 2010 with a specialization in Children and Families. I also completed an Honors BA in Psychology and Women's Studies from York University in 2003.

For more than 20 years I've worked with various populations and different settings ranging from pediatric healthcare, mental health community agencies and education systems.

https://jenniferpintopsychotherapy.ca/