Making of romantic attachment bonds: Longitudinal trajectories and implications for relationship stability

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Abstract

The current study outlined the timing of romantic attachment formation and its implications for relationship stability. People came to prefer their romantic partners for proximity and as a safe haven roughly 4 months after commitment; it took over 2 years to prefer them as their primary secure base. More anxiously attached people preferred their partner for proximity earlier than less anxiously attached people; more avoidantly attached people reported less preference for their romantic partner for all attachment components at the time of initial commitment compared to less avoidantly attached people. Those who more quickly represented their romantic partner as a secure base were less likely to subsequently break up; accordingly, normative attachment development may be prognostic for relationship stability.

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