If you’ve been single for any period of time, you’ve probably wondered, “Why do I keep attracting the wrong kinds of women?”

This is certainly something I’ve pondered more than once.

I meet a woman.  We hit it off.  We start dating and then I learn she possesses traits and values that are the exact opposite of mine.

How could that be?

“Do I have some kind of radar that attracts women who are totally wrong for me?”

Well, there might be an explanation for this in the science of human attraction.

A number of studies have looked into the question of whether we are attracted to people with the same attachment style or the opposite and the results show the latter is true.

The research shows that avoidant people (those who need independence in a relationship and struggle with intimacy) actually prefer anxious people (those who need closeness, intimacy frequent validation from their partner) and vice versa.

How could this be?

Why would someone want to be with another who activates their insecure attachment style?

If I seek closeness, why would I want to be with someone who pushes me away?

Or, if I am someone who needs my space, why would I want someone who is clingy?

The research says these attachment styles actually complement each other.

Each reaffirms the other’s beliefs about themselves and about relationships.

An avoidant person has numerous opportunities to experience their independence every time their anxious partner needs closeness.

And the anxious partner gets to seek more and more intimacy every time their partner pushes them away.

While it may seem counter-intuitive on the surface, there is a gravitational pull among avoidant and anxious types.

The former’s belief that others want to pull them into more closeness and the latter’s belief that their partner will let them down are played out in their relationship with the other. 

Each style is drawn to reenact a familiar script over and over again.

And while this pull might be strong, each type can counteract it with awareness of their own style and how to identify the opposite style in another.

Both are better understood by reading the book Attached, which I highly recommend.

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