The Impact of Attachment Trauma On Romantic Relationships

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attachment trauma

Your attachment trauma directly impacts your adult relationships. Thais Gibson revealed the fascinating reasons why we choose our partners.

My podcast guest, Thais Gibson, spoke about attachment trauma and how it affects our love lives. She’s an author, speaker and co-creator of the Personal Development School. Thais is best known for her contributing work and research on Attachment Theory and the impact of attachment trauma on our adult romantic relationships. She’s the author of, The Attachment Theory Guide, and her YouTube channel often focuses on educating people on how to subconsciously reprogram this area of their lives.

In this episode:

  • What is Attachment Theory and how does it impact our romantic relationships?
  • What are the different attachment styles?
  • How do our early childhood experiences with attachment affect our subconscious mind?
  • How can we retrain our mind to transform any limiting program in each of the 7 areas of life (Mental, Emotional, Spiritual, Physical, Relationships Career & Financial)?

The Impact of Attachment Trauma On Romantic Relationships

What is Attachment Trauma and how does it impact our romantic relationships?

We have a subconscious set of rules established in childhood, depending on how we interacted with our caregivers. They impact our emotional experiences relative to relationships [in adulthood]. When you date someone with a different attachment style, it’s like playing a board game with a different set of rules than your opponent.

What are the different attachment styles?

There are four styles.

Securely attached. They learn that their feelings and needs are worthy of being heard, understood and met. Their caregivers made them feel safe.They are consistent and valued. The child’s needs are reinforced and met, and they feel worthy just by existing. They feel safe and healthy expressing feelings and needs and hold space for others to express feelings and needs. They’re more likely to have healthy relationships.

There are three insecure attachment styles.

Dismissive avoidant: They had some form of emotional neglect. Space wasn’t held for feelings. Caregivers were emotionally repressed. As an adult, it feels unsafe to express emotions. Intimacy doesn’t feel safe. They are afraid to commit to relationships. Vulnerability feels challenging.

Anxious preoccupied: They had a lot of connection to parents and caregivers, but there’s inconsistency. Parents might be loving but busy. Or one parent might be loving and the other distanced. They grow up with subconscious core wounds of fear of abandonment or being alone. 

Fearful avoidant: They had experienced the anxious and dismissive caregivers in their childhood. They usually had codependency or enmeshment in childhood. Or one parent was alcoholic or took out anger on them. In adult relationships, they want closeness and fear it at the same time. It’s combined with a fear of trusting others. They give signals to come close, but then back off. It’s confusing to be in partnership with them. 

How do our early childhood experiences with attachment affect our subconscious mind?

Three things create attraction. 

#1. If you grew up in an environment where your feelings didn’t matter, you’re attracted to that in adulthood. You seek out what the subconscious mind sees as familiar.

#2. We’re attracted to people who meet our needs.

#3. We are drawn to people who have what we suppress or lack. If we have weak boundaries, and someone has strong ones, we’re attracted to them. 

How can we retrain our mind to transform any limiting program?

To retrain our mind, we need to first look at the subconscious voice of our critical parent. It gets reprogrammed through repetition and opposing the pattern that elicits an emotional response.

To be less critical, isolate the pattern first. What are you saying to yourself? Ask yourself, what are the opposite things I’d like to do? Be more self-compassionate or gentle?

Write out some statements to re-frame and say instead.

Every time we see this painful pattern, say ‘cancel, cancel’ and replace with a cognitive re-frame. Lace as much positive emotion into it as possible. Be clear, and repeat as you fire new neuro-pathways and reinforce them. Within 63 days, change is permanent.

For people who have trouble feeling their feelings, create a feelings journal, and track your emotions from a list. Circle the ones you felt most often. Every evening before bed, practice going through your emotions and what they felt like. Visualize what happened and how it felt. Tune into the sensations in your body. Describe the feelings. Heaviness in shoulders, tightness in the chest. Know that you’re safe to feel. Repetition over time has amazing results. Our emotions are feedback for us tied into our beliefs. Ask yourself what stories you’re telling yourself around the feelings. 

What are your final words of advice for someone who wants to go on their last first date?

One of the most important things is to treat yourself the way you want others to treat you. When we do that, if we want someone to protect us, admire us, encourage us, give it to yourself first. The repetition of that creates a new comfort zone for attraction, and we become better receivers of the things we need. 

Get a free attachment style gift from Thais at

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