Have you ever been in love? We all have, at least once. The attachment bond is the term for your first interactive love relationship—the one you had with your primary caregiver as an infant, usually your mother. This mother-child attachment bond shapes an infant's brain, profoundly influencing your self-esteem, your expectations of others, and your ability to attract and maintain successful adult relationships. By learning about attachment, you can build healthier, attuned relationships, and communicate more effectively.
Attachment, bonding and relationshipsYou were born preprogrammed to bond with one very significant person—your primary caregiver, probably your mother. Like all infants, you were a bundle of emotions—intensely experiencing fear, anger, sadness, and joy. The emotional attachment that grew between you and your caregiver was the first interactive relationship of your life, and it depended upon nonverbal communication. The bonding you experienced determined how you would relate to other people throughout your life, because it established the foundation for all verbal and nonverbal communication in your future relationships.
Individuals who experience confusing, frightening, or broken emotional communications during their infancy often grow into adults who have difficulty understanding their own emotions and the feelings of others. This limits their ability to build or maintain successful relationships. Attachment—the relationship between infants and their primary caregivers—is responsible for:
- shaping the success or failure of future intimate relationships
- the ability to maintain emotional balance
- the ability to enjoy being ourselves and to find satisfaction in being with others
- the ability to rebound from disappointment, discouragement, and misfortune