Creating a Secure Attachment Style (Even in Online Dating!)

advice: dating advice: relationship john gray

If you thought you’d finally found your match, you know how crushing and confusing it can be if he becomes distant out of the blue.

Out of all the fish in the sea, did you just find the guy who’s running away from commitment and intimacy because he has an avoidant attachment style? Or is there something else at play?

In this post, I’ll show you how you can reel in the right partner from the dating pool, foster a secure attachment style with that special someone (online and offline), and create a bond that’s so strong, he’ll keep coming back for more.


“Hi John,

I think my biggest struggle right now is trying to meet a man who has a secure attachment type, rather than an avoidant attachment type, through online dating in my 40s.”

– Ingrid


What Is a Secure Attachment Style?


Having a secure attachment style is the ideal when it comes to attachment in relationships.

This means you have a strong connection with your partner, but you don’t show any avoidant or anxious behaviors.


You are able to:

  • Spend quality time together
  • Experience closeness and intimacy
  • Feel safe with your partner


And, you also can:


You don’t avoid opportunities to become closer emotionally, as you would if you had an avoidant attachment style.

And there is less uncertainty and anxiety compared to an anxious attachment style because you feel secure in your relationship and in your love for each other.

And that’s the goal.

You’re able to balance your time alone, and your sense of independence, with the time you share together as a couple.

Isn’t that a great thing?

At this point, you’re probably nodding and thinking, “Yes, that’s it! That’s what I want. How do I find a man who can give me that?

Here’s the catch: A secure attachment style isn’t something you find; it’s what a partnership can create.

Generally speaking, men have more of an avoidant attachment style. And it’s not because of a traumatic childhood or whatever.

It’s just that he has different biological and emotional needs that make him seem avoidant (when in fact, he’s interested in you too).

But when you meet him, how can you tell?

And how can you get the love, intimacy, and commitment you need to feel like you’re bonding in a relationship with a secure attachment style?

Keep reading. The answer is easier than you think.


Does He Have Avoidant Attachment or…?


When a man first connects with a woman, he wants to go into her world. He wants to spend time with her and find out everything he can about her.

That makes him feel good. It makes him feel love.

But suddenly, his hormones shift. Testosterone, the male hormone, goes down. This makes him want to disconnect for a while.

He focuses on things he enjoys doing on his own or with his friends. And after a while, he says, “I miss her. I want to be with her.” And he reaches out.


It’s like a rubber band:

  • When testosterone is low, he needs to detach.
  • When testosterone comes back up, he wants to connect with her again.


But if you are a woman, and you don’t understand this is happening in the background, you might think something is wrong or that your man has an avoidant attachment style.

From your perspective, it’s all so confusing. He’s attentive one day, and distant the next.

When in fact, his behavior is not because of an avoidant style at all. It’s just that hormonally, he feels the need to detach.

He gets close, then pulls away. And, like a rubber band, he comes back.

Now, this is where understanding your other half becomes so important.

As a woman, your natural instinct is to connect.

So, in response to his need to dis-connect, you reach out. You want and need to bond. But he doesn’t respond, so you start to feel anxious.

You might even develop an anxious attachment style.

And this makes sense, right?

Because if you don’t understand why your partner is distancing himself, of course, you would feel a little insecure.

These anxious feelings may evolve into neediness — which always pushes a man away. (This time for real, regardless of attachment style.)

If you want to nurture a secure attachment style in your relationship, you need to remember how different you are in these moments and give him space.

However, this doesn’t mean you have to wait around for him to find his way back to you.

So, what should you do when he pulls away? And how can you react in a way that ensures he’ll always come back, again and again?


Secure Love Starts With Balance


For a true secure attachment to develop, there needs to be a balance between your life within your relationship… And your life outside of it.

You can’t just look at romance as the only thing that will bring you happiness and fulfillment.


There are so many other things that contribute to your well-being:

  • Family and friends
  • Work and career
  • Passions and hobbies

 And of course, your health — including mental, physical, and spiritual.


Now, when I say you need balance to foster a secure attachment style, you may be thinking it’s an even 50/50.


But the ideal balance is actually 90/10:

  • 90% is how we love ourselves, and how we nurture our life outside of our intimate relationships.
  • 10% is our need to be fulfilled by our partner. (That’s the dessert in life.)


The more we can create security within ourselves, the better we become at nurturing a secure relationship with our partner too.

So, to circle back: When you feel your man is distancing himself, there’s no need to worry. He just needs some time to himself to “recharge” his hormones.

Instead, go enjoy your life! Focus on yourself and what you love to do.

If you have a bond that is strong enough, he’ll bounce back shortly after.

Now, I understand it’s easier to trust that connection after you’ve been together for a while. If you’re in the early stages of dating, how do you know he’ll come back?

Is your bond strong enough?

Good news: You can create opportunities for him to stick to you like glue, as early as date #1.


You Have More Power Than You Think


Men bond with women by feeling successful. Literally.

In on and offline dating, that is the secret behind a man’s love and affection:

He wants to win you over. 

A man’s goal in a relationship is to “get the girl.” In other words, he wants to make you happy and to see you smile.

When he earns his way into your life, he feels a sense of achievement. That feeling grows into affection.

He worked hard to secure a spot by your side, and as far as he’s concerned, he just won the lottery in love. And this is the best kind of gamble because when he wins, you win too.

So, don’t give anything away “for free.”

This is the biggest mistake most women make, especially in online dating.

Everything is easy, immediate, and at the tip of your fingers. Men don’t need to work hard for anything. It’s low-hanging fruit.

For example:

If he says, “Send me sexy pictures? ;)”

That’s what he feels like he has to earn. It’s a grand prize for him.

You don’t know that, so you think, “Okay. Everybody’s doing it, so it must work. I’ll show my interest in him, and send him sexy pictures.

However, giving him what he wants in this scenario actually pushes him away. 

Because he achieved his goal, and he didn’t have to do anything.

If you want to deepen your connection with a new flame, don’t just put it all out there. And this applies even if you already feel good about him or if you’re already dating.


Let him do nice things for you, like:

  • Open the car door
  • Take you to a restaurant
  • Pay for the meal
  • Plan an outing or a romantic evening
  • Dress up to see you


In general, when your man puts some effort into providing fulfillment for you, this makes him want to spend more time with you.


Your affection and your happiness are important to him. But:

  • You have to let him earn it.
  • That way, he feels successful.
  • And he bonds with you.


Once he feels connected to you, he’s naturally going to pull away. Let him detach. (Remember, this is not about you. It’s just testosterone doing its thing.)

If he’s bonded with you, he’ll come back. Allow him to win you over again. If you’re the right person for him, and he’s the right person for you, he will want to form a commitment.


If he’s successful in reconnecting with you every time he pulls away and returns, the bond between you will only strengthen.

Before you know it, you’ll find yourself in the safety of a secure attachment style, and the warmth of a deep, loving relationship.


Grow in love,


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