Attachment style and the structure of romantic love


Department of Psychology, Bar-***Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel 5 2900


Three studies (N = 337) explored adult attachment processes. Studies 1 and 2 examined differences between secure, avoidant and ambivalent people in the concept of romantic love, and Study 3 examined differences between the three groups in actual experiences in ongoing love relationships. Study 3 explored relationships from the point of view of both partners, and examined differences among attachment groups in perceptions of both actual and ideal relationships. Findings indicated that secure people put more emphasis on intimacy than avoidant and ambivalent people, and that their relationships were characterized by high intimacy and congruence of real-ideal and self-partner loves. The romantic relationship of ambivalent people was characterized by their failure to realize their desire for a warm and secure love. Avoidant people experienced less intimacy than secure people, but more commitment than ambivalent people in their relationships. They were found to underestimate partners' love and to want less intense love than secure and ambivalent people.