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Attachment Theory & Polyamory

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What’s your attachment style?

Secure? Anxious? Avoidant? Disorganized?

Chances are, you know the answer. And that’s no surprise. Attachment theory is all the rage in polyamory these days.

But what if we told you it didn’t matter?

Attachment theory is nice to know. But here’s the truth: It won’t fix your relationships. 

So let’s talk about attachment theory. The good. The bad. And what you REALLY need to be doing to get back the love and security in your polyamorous relationships.

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Josh 0:00
All right, everybody. So today, we're gonna be talking about attachment theory in polyamory. The Good, The Bad, and why at the end of the day, it doesn't matter. So stay tuned.

Cassie 0:35
Here at Touch of Flavor, we teach non monogamous folks how to overcome their obstacles and build thriving relationships.

Josh 0:41
This podcast is about answering one question, how do you create loving, passionate, secure relationships outside the box? Even if nothing has ever worked before? If you want to know the answer, you're in the right place.

Cassie 0:54
All of this information is 100% free. So please subscribe to and review our podcast.

Josh 1:04
Alright, everybody, so you know attachment theory has absolutely exploded. Boom! Exploded. Yeah, do I have an exploded sound effect? I don't know, has absolutely exploded in non monogamy here in the last little bit. Right. And everybody I talked to now on the phone is like here's my attachment style. I'm anxious attachment. I'm avoidant attachment. I'm you know, it's a Yeah. Everybody's talking about their attachment style, it is absolutely exploded. And since it is such a topic of conversation right now, and something that people are looking to, to repair their relationships, right, a lot of people who are going and they have challenges in their relationships, and they are taking the steps, which is awesome of looking to fix whatever is going on in the relationship. A lot of people are in a place where they're turning to attachment theory. And because of that, like I said, because it's become such a topic of conversation, we wanted to talk about it. So let's jump in and you have anything you wanna throw in there Cass, before we get rocking and rolling?

Cassie 2:25
I was just gonna add, it's not just about like, my attachment. It's like, what is my partner's attachment? And like, you know, can we relate if we have the same attachment or not the same attachment and it's a lot of this like, you know, the dynamics of our relationship based on our attachment styles.

Josh 2:43
So let's start and, you know, one of the obviously, you know, if you've heard a lot of this conversation, then you've probably heard of the book Polysecure that Jessica Fern wrote a while back and that book has been the big driver in the conversation about attachment theory in non monogamy. And Cassie, have you actually read it? I read it. I know you've done a lot of studying on attachment there. But if you actually read Polysecure.

Cassie 3:13
I've read most of it.

Josh 3:14
Okay.

Cassie 3:15
And I have read a bunch of other books on attachment theory as well.

Josh 3:19
Yeah. So I'll start with- I want to actually start with the book because again, that's driving a huge amount of the conversation and then you know, if you have anything definitely throw in but... I'm actually going to start and give a bit of praise that you might not hear me give too often right? I'm a little sparing with praise with people who are trying to help people, like for the people who are really, I think, making a difference and not just trying, but actually moving people in the right direction.

Josh 3:49
And I will give some praise here and say, Polysecure, I think is one of the best books out there, that I've read anyways, on non monogamy. I'll say that again. Right. Polysecure is one of the best books I've read on non monogamy. So, like some of you are probably like, whoa, like, I don't hear Josh especially give a lot of praise for different things. Um, but I want to talk about why actually, I like the book so much, because a lot of people like it. But I don't know if a lot of people are understanding the reasons that it is so powerful. And there's two reasons that for me personally, I think it's a very powerful book. And that I think that it is one of the best books that's out there on non monogamy right now.

Josh 4:34
And the first is that she takes attachment theory, which is a method right, that has- and a way to view things- that has a lot of research that has been done on it in the monogamous space. There's been a lot of practices around the monogamous space, there's been a lot of you know, just stuff that actually works in the monogamous space right that shows how important attachment theory is, and that kind of thing. And she's taking that, taking something that has been, you know, proven to apply in monogamous relationships, and is trying to break it down and apply it to non monogamy. And I like that a lot.

Josh 5:18
And I think that's really important because what Cassie and I see a lot when we look at people who are giving advice in the non monogamous space, even, you know, authors, even of books that are arguably way more popular than Polysecure, right, you see kind of two things that tends to happen. And, and too often we see people who really know like, very little about relationship stuff and practices that have been proven to work and healing relationships, and that kind of thing, right? They don't have any of the background on what works on that just in a typical relationship and what has been proven to work because that's where all the research around what's been proven to work has been done. And they just kind of like wing a whole book of polyamory advice on just based on basically how they think things should go. Right. But without taking any of the the principles and practices, the things have been proven to work in monogamous relationships, right.

Josh 6:15
So they just kind of like wing all this information out there that really has not a lot of backing behind it. And you see that a lot. Right? So I really, really like that it's based on attachment theory, right? And it's bringing that into the space, which you know, which is something that again, has had researched on it and has a lot of stuff that you can find on that in the monogamous space. Right.

Josh 6:36
But then I also like that she's then bringing it and trying to apply it to non monogamy because the other thing that we see happen very often, when people are trying to help in non monogamous relationships, and you know, this is coaches, therapists, friends, anything like that, right, is you have people who might actually understand how relationships work, like they might have practices and principles that work really well in monogamous relationships. Right. But then they don't have the background in working with non monogamous relationships to have practiced and tested and to see what actually translates into non monogamous relationships and what you need to change. Because a lot of the stuff that works in monogamous relationships, you start there, but then you have to make shifts in it, to make it work in a non monogamous context. Right. So I, I love that it's taking attachment theory, and then she's moving it, like I said, like and trying to break it down into how that works and how it makes sense in non monogamy. And I think that's one of the two reasons that that book is really good. Do you have anything you want to say to that,

Cassie 7:38
I was just gonna add that, you know, as you said, taking something that has real research, something that has been studied, and applied in, you know, monogamous relationships in society as a whole over time is, is really, really, really important. And the fact that that is what she's applying these things from, is a huge, huge key point.

Josh 7:59
So that's, that's the first thing. The second thing that I really like about Polysecure is that overall, I think that book is very practical, right? A lot of the advice in there is very practical, as opposed to and is based on what actually works, right? And which research mission works, what experiences has shown works, versus what sounds good, or what might be the correct line to give in our community. Right. We talk a lot about the poly propaganda and a lot of the books out there on non monogamy are just full of it. Right? Which is why a lot of times we have people come to us and say I read this book and it destroyed my relationship. And I'm, there's, there's a couple really popular books we hear that all the time from, right, which is mainly because there's a lot of propaganda in those books, things that sound good, but don't actually work.

Josh 8:48
And so the second reason that I really think the Polysecure is one of the best books out there on non monogamy is because again, like the approach Jessica takes in that is very practical, and it doesn't have a lot of those polyamory platitudes as we like to talk about, right and you know, I imagine that's because she's not just an author, but she actually does work in this area. And you know, when you're actually somebody who does work in this area and trying to heal relationships, rather than just writing about it. You know, very quickly you see those platitudes, destroy relationships, and you start focusing on what actually works, right.

Josh 9:24
So for those two reasons, I think that Polysecure is one of the best books out there on non monogamy right now. Anything else you wanna say on the book? Cuz I actually want to move off of it.

Cassie 9:32
Nope.

Josh 9:33
Okay, so it's a great book, and we're not actually going to do a breakdown of attachment theory here. And try and teach you attachment theory. If you want to learn attachment theory, go read Polysecure. Or read one of the books, you know the monogamous books on attachment theory, there's some some really great ones, right?

Josh 9:55
But Polysecure would be a good resource. So, but then why are we talking to you about attachment theory. So, here's the thing, right? It is an awesome book, I love the attachment theory is being brought into, like I said, the non monogamy space, I think Jessica did an amazing job of it. I think a lot of people are getting a lot out of it, I really enjoyed the book, I learned some things, reading the book. It's a really good book.

Josh 10:20
And here's the thing when it comes to building a thriving relationship, knowing your attachment style, knowing why you show up in certain ways in your relationships, it's really cool to know, and it doesn't really matter. And that's what we want to talk about here. Because this isn't actually a rant about attachment theory. And what's wrong with it. Attachment theory is great, right? The problem is, what we've been seeing a lot of is people are expecting way too much out of attachment theory. And this is what always happens, right? When people get their hands on like a shiny new tool. And listen, and this is the thing, I want to take a step back here, right? Because the thing is, the reason that this happens is because there's a lot of people out there who are trying to heal the relationship, who tried a bunch of different things, that hasn't worked, right. And they're taking the steps. And so when something new comes in the space, like oh my god, can this be the thing that helps me? Can this be it? And people get caught up and wrapped up in thinking that now this has to be the thing, this is something that I haven't tried this before. This maybe is the thing that will finally turn things around.

Cassie 11:28
Yeah. And that's what I was gonna chime in on is that it's when we're in a desperate spot to find a way to heal our relationship. Anything new seems like that could be that like, thing, right? Like, there is that thing that I could possibly grab onto. And could be the shift in my relationship and how me and my partner get along and can finally transform our relationship that I've been wanting to change for a very long time.

Josh 11:55
Yeah. So this is the the problem here. And the challenge that we're currently seeing, right, as far as this conversation in the space is that it isn't that again, there's anything wrong with attachment theory, it's that people are expecting way too much about attachment theory, and they're not learning it out of curiosity, right? People are learning it, because they expect it to help fix their relationships. And unfortunately, it just doesn't do that. Right. And let's talk about why this is and Cassie, do you want to start with this?

Cassie 12:32
Sure, yeah. Because the big thing is, is just knowing why you have a problem, or first off knowing that you have a problem. And then knowing why you have a problem doesn't actually fix the problem, right? Just because you know why your car isn't working doesn't mean you know how to fix it. Right, like so having an understanding of that doesn't actually move you towards the goals and the desires that you have in your relationship.

Josh 13:00
Yeah, and this is what we were seeing a lot of right is that people have this and they find this and they learn this stuff, right. And now they understand you know that why I have a problem? Like I'm, I have an avoidant attachment style, right? Like, that's the problem here. Right? Well, first off, that's a very simplistic way to look at the problem, because the problem is way more complicated than being able to slap one or four labels on and then to be done with it. Right. But even if that's the case, knowing that you have a problem, being able to put a very broad label on it, and, or even a specific label, you know, I'm talking about broad in terms attachment there, but even a really specific label, and knowing the history behind that, and why you came to it. And what happened in your childhood to bring you here?

Josh 13:58
Well, it doesn't tell you how to fix it. Knowing that you have a problem does not tell you how to fix it. Like Cassie said, having a car and your car being broken down and knowing it, it doesn't tell you how to fix it. Right. And I'd argue that it's actually even a little easier with a car because a car maybe once you know the problem, you can Google it. And you know, maybe it's simple enough to sort out on your own. But relationships aren't that simple. Right?

Josh 14:26
At best, what happens is you go in and like I said, people are looking at attachment theory as a way to solve their relationship problems. Right? Just like people look at love languages as a way to solve the relationship problem, right? That's one of the other big ones I've seen this with where everybody looks into their love languages thinking that's going to fix what's going on. I'd argue actually that knowing your love language gets you probably a little closer than knowing your attachment style because at least then you have like some practical ways to bridge.

Cassie 14:54
Yeah.

Josh 14:54
Anyway, that's a different.

Cassie 14:56
That's a different discussion.

Josh 14:58
But you wind up with You know, people go into it looking- expecting oh god like is this thing that's gonna fix my relationship gonna get out of the arguing, that's gonna make us stop feeling disconnected, it's gonna get us back to a point of feeling secure, get us to a point maybe a feeling Polysecure, right? Well, no, but I'm saying but that's what people want, right? Obviously that's what people want. That's why it's such a clever title for the book, right? And they go in looking for that. But really what they wind up with, isn't a way to get back to security, you gain some knowledge of where you can improve right, of why you have the problem, maybe some understanding of why your partner has the problems that they have.

Josh 15:44
And that has some value, right? There is some value in knowing that you have a gap and knowing why you have that gap. But that's only the first tiny step on the way to actually repairing a problem, right? Like if the path of the problem is like, this is way harder on a camera is like here to here, right? Knowing that you have a problem. And why you have it is maybe like this much of that journey. So people have way overinflated expectations, and it's causing a lot of problems, because they're trying to solve the challenges in their relationships with a tool that was never really equipped to solve the problems in the first place.

Cassie 16:31
Yeah. And the thing is, is, again, this is a tiny step, there is that little bit of value, right the value of like having an understanding of where your partner is coming from, those things. But it's only a tiny step. And this is the problem that we see is that although there is this value, right? It's not enough. And this is the problem that we see with therapy quite often.

Josh 16:58
Yeah, this isn't, I want to be clear, this isn't a problem with attachment theory. Right? Again, I think attachment theory is great. This is a broader challenge that we see a lot with therapy, right? Because therapy tends to be very past focused. And I'm going to, you know, I'm going to kind of expand here from attachment theory out to therapy in general. Right.

Josh 17:18
But therapy seems to- tends to be very past focused, right? Like, how did I get to where I'm at today? What was it that happened in my childhood? What was the trauma? Right? What are the things that I'm carrying? You know, what was it that happened when I was six? Or what was that happened four and a half years ago at dinner? Right? How pissed off was i three years ago when my partner cheated on me? And how did I feel about that? Right.

Josh 17:47
Therapy as a whole and attachment theory. It's very, very past focused, right. And the problem, again, is that knowing why you have a problem and knowing how you got to where you're at, processing the feelings over how you got to where you're at. Right? Has value in it, but it doesn't solve the problem, knowing you have a problem does not suddenly show you how to solve the problem, right? I think a better example than a car, because cars are simple compared to relationships would be like, having a heart problem, right? Like knowing I have a heart problem, and I need surgery doesn't suddenly show me how to solve it, I can go and I can be like, Oh God, now I know, I have a heart problem. You know, I know I have this condition. And I can look and I can google and I can do all these things. And I'm not going to come out of that actually being able to solve the problem, right? Because to do that I need to go to school for eight years, and then I would need to be somebody else because you can't operate on yourself. And there's a whole bunch of stuff going on there. Right? You know, I probably need to practice for a lot of years for I was comfortable operating on myself.

Cassie 18:53
You're starting to sound like a sci fi movie now. Having to operate on yourself as a different person and everything.

Josh 18:59
It's like some chilling like, like the end of Repo. Yeah. So.

Cassie 19:05
You digress.

Josh 19:08
But so this is the challenge that I think because you know, the problem is people wind up stuck here, right? People spend and invest all this time, all this energy, all of the bandwidth in their relationships, because you only you only get so much time and effort and tries to fix problems. Right. As things are getting worse. And they invest that in these things that are cool to know but don't actually solve the problem. And what winds up happening is basically people come away you come away with all these ideas of why you're stuck and you're no closer to fixing it and your relationships are still suffering and you're still arguing and you still feel disconnected and you still feel insecure and You still don't know when somebody is going to give up. Right? And now you just know how to define the problem better. Like, what else do you want to say about like the consequences of like, what happens when people get stuck in just kind of like focusing on one really narrow area, figuring out why they have the problem.

Cassie 20:22
And something we see quite often is folks get fixated on the thing, right. So like, if I just figured out how to fix our attachment styles, then it's going to fix things. And you end up getting sort of like stuck in that place. And you start to lose hope, because you feel like you're doing- your doing attachment style wrong, right? Like, if I just figured out how to do it just right, then everything would be okay. So it ends up being this thing that actually in a lot of ways, causes people a lot of pain, because they feel like they're not actually improving. They feel like they're failing at what they're trying, because they have that intent of really wanting to work on their relationships. And it's not really like moving the needle on things.

Cassie 20:33
Well and you wind up with just this label of what's wrong with you with no way to fix it, which is never helpful. Right? So all this stuff happened, you know, I have anxious attachment. And that's just one more thing that's wrong with my relationship that I don't know how to fix. Right? And I've got something else, but go ahead.

Cassie 21:24
And it also ends up being something quite often whether it's consciously or not consciously, that you then end up weaponizing. It ends up being well, what's wrong with our relationship is you're an anxious attachment, right? Like, like, it ends up being this thing where it doesn't solve the problem and ends up being a sticking point of the problems.

Josh 21:49
And again, folks, this isn't this isn't an attachment theory problem, right? This is this is a problem we see all the time in different tools, great tools. But when people don't actually have the foundation to use those tools to solve the relationship. We see this with NVC, I think we're talking about NVC here. At some point, we see this with NVC, a lot, where we see NVC weaponized, right? We see this with

Cassie 22:15
Love languages.

Josh 22:15
Love languages, NVC is like I see that constantly.

Cassie 22:19
It's definitely at the top.

Josh 22:21
So it isn't an attachment theory problem. And there's one other thing I want to throw out here that that's also the problem, right. Is you're kind of setting yourself up for failure. And again, not because of attachment theory specifically. But anytime you focus on one, we talked about this as as as playing polyamory, whack a mole, or relationship, whack a mole, right? Anytime you're focused on fixing one small specific area in your relationship, you're always setting yourself up for heartache and pain and to have it not work. Because our relationships are all very interconnected. Right. And you can't separate out any one piece, you can't separate out your attachment style, in general, from your attachment style in this relationship, from your jealousy, from the agreements that aren't being met, from the needs that you've been asking for, but haven't been getting from the arguing from you can't separate it out. Right? All of these challenges in our relationships are interconnected and like, and of course they are, we all know this, right? Because whenever there's just one tiny thing wrong in our relationships, we generally can smooth that over without a lot of challenge- with a lot of problems, right?

Josh 23:23
Like, most of us, we can, we can compensate for one, one very narrow area in our relationship that isn't working. This isn't always true, but it's very often true, right? You know, like, just as an example, if the only issue that we have is time and spending time together. But our communications good, we know how to ask for the things we want and need, were able to come to good agreements,. We're gonna we're gonna find a way around it. Right? Just as one example.

Josh 23:55
So anytime you focus on one narrow area, what happens is you hit that area, you hit that area and hit that area, and maybe, maybe you see some improvements, maybe you don't, because maybe the other things that are going on are dragging you down. So maybe you start working on your attachment style, right? Which is a little vague to begin with, but maybe you start working on your attachment style, right and trying to feel and to connect and attach in a more secure way in this relationship. Right. So you're doing those things, but at the same time, like you're arguing, and also you're feeling jealous that your partner is spending, you know 80% of their off time with this other person and none with you. Well, guess what? Good luck feeling secure. Right? So a lot of times you can't even make progress when you're only focusing on one area, but even when you can, what happens Cassie?

Cassie 24:47
Well, something else pops up.

Josh 24:48
Yeah, as soon as you stop working on it.

Cassie 24:50
Yeah.

Josh 24:50
This is the one step forward to step back thing. Right. So that that's the other problem is anytime you try and focus on one narrow thing It doesn't work. And I want to reiterate something that's really important. This isn't a problem with attachment theory. None of this is a problem with attachment theory. Like I said, I actually like attachment theory quite a bit. Right? But this is the problem. Anytime you number one focus on something that's telling you what's wrong, what's not really how to fix it, right? Number two, anytime you're focusing on one, narrow area number three, anytime you have a tool that you can use to weaponize, but you don't actually know how to use to solve, right?

Josh 25:28
These aren't specific problems. attachment theory is just like, the latest flavor of the week. Right? Like I said, for us before this was NVC, that we'd have these same conversations, I think we're actually going to here soon.

Cassie 25:41
Mhmm.

Josh 25:42
So again, this is no, no, no attack on attachment theory, right? This is overall just problems with approaching things in this way, with very specific tools that focus on very specific things that are mainly backwards looking, right, and or that are too narrow and don't actually raise a relationship and get you to where you need to go. Anything else you want to talk about? Kind of the consequences of just sticking with just this stuff and not seeing the bigger picture. Before we move on?

Cassie 26:10
I think we covered most of it. I think we covered it pretty extensively.

Josh 26:14
Okay, so I'm going to let you hit this up a lot, right. But I want to talk about how people actually need to be approaching things, I'm just gonna say one thing, then I'll kind of kick it over to you. Right, which is, it is good to understand how you got to where you're at, it's good to understand why you do certain things, it's good to understand why your partner does certain things. Like that has value. Right? You know, if you look and you have like, something from three relationships ago, that's impacting your present relationship where you had some trauma there. Or you look at when you were kid, and you had some trauma there, and you can look, and you can draw a straight line, you know, figuring out why that happened, and dealing with those past issues. It always has value. And what has more value is actually solving the problem and building the relationships that you want, where you are actually secure.

Josh 27:14
And here's what's important to understand. Those are two separate journeys. The journey of looking at the past and understanding why you got here and dealing with the emotions and the trauma and the feelings is valuable. Fixing your relationships and having your family be intact. And being loving and thriving and secure, I would argue is more valuable, but they're both valuable. The important thing to realize is that they're separate journeys. Fixing now getting to an amazing relationship does not require and is not going to give you what dealing with the past is going to. Dealing with the past is not going to fix your relationship now. They are two separate journeys, and I'll kick it over to you for how people should be looking at this stuff.

Cassie 28:02
Yeah, so the first thing is, is, you know, take it for what it is right? Take it for the value and the knowledge that it is. The good stuff, right? Recognizing that, and getting that little bit of understanding for yourself, for your partner. And that ability to have that knowledge, right? Like that's the first thing is embracing that, like this is something that you can definitely get some good knowledge and understanding around. But from there, you have to if you want to start really tackling the problems in your relationship, you need to know the steps that it takes to get you to where you need to go, right? Like what comes first, what comes second. And kind of just categorizing your relationship into like one or four categories, isn't going to do that, that doesn't give you the steps and the process to get to where you need to go. To really feel like you are in a secure relationship to feel connected to your partner to feel that your relationship is something that's going to stand the test of time, right? It's that you have to be able to work on those problems in the step by step process that needs to happen, which again, has to be a process that isn't just focusing on one thing, that's looking at the relationship as a whole.

Josh 29:26
Yeah, listen. Like I said, Knowing attachment theory will not fix your relationships. Right. But what it will do and I think the biggest power of looking at attachment theory is that I think it gives you a very clear idea of what you want in terms of being securely attached. Right? And the gap in what you're actually doing and what you actually have and how you're actually showing up and that is valuable. Like I said it's valuable because it gives you a chance to fix it. It doesn't fix it, knowing it. But knowing it is the first step, of course, to fixing it.

Cassie 30:07
There's a lot of power in knowledge.

Josh 30:08
There's a lot of power in that. And I think that is I think that is probably the single biggest thing, that attachment theory and, you know, this coming into the mainstream and non monogamy, although it's been mainstreaming in monogamy but coming into the mainstream and non monogamy has really done for people, right? Is it's given them a place that maybe before you had this sense that something was wrong, you were unhappy or unfulfilled, you were scared, you're worried, you're anxious. And it's given you a way to conceptualize and put into words, but more importantly, to look for yourself at what that gap is. And it's always important to have a really clear understanding of that gap between where we're at and where we want to be. And I think that that's one thing, maybe the biggest thing, that attachment there has done for a lot of people.

Josh 31:02
And, again, knowing that won't fix it. But what's awesome is you have the opportunity to start fixing it. Once you know what the gap is. The question becomes, what do you do from there? And like Cassie was saying, you've got to actually figure out what are the steps? I know I'm here. I know, I want to be over here, this camera is flipped and it's given me just a hell of a time with this. Here, right? But now, what are the steps that I need to get from A to B to C to D to all the way to where I want to be and having secure and attached and loving and connected passionate relationships? Right. That's the second piece, the first piece is figuring out the gap. The second piece is figuring out the plan to get there. The third piece, I would suppose is following that plan to get there. Right.

Josh 32:01
But there's a couple things when you're looking at a plan that you need to be looking at. Right, so Okay, let me I'm gonna roleplay this for myself a little bit. But so I've discovered that I'm, I have more of an avoidant attachment style, which when I don't attach correctly is definitely where I default. And I could go into my childhood and all the reasons that that's exactly makes sense. Right, but I won't. But so I say, Okay. I have an anxious attachment. And listen, folks really get more specific than that. Like, it's great to know that. But what's actually going on, I'll give a very easy example place I've had to do a lot of work on, right?

Josh 32:41
In conversations that I don't like how it's going, I tend to shut down. That's my default. Right? Some people get angry, my default is to shut down. That's how I tend to operate in that. Right? And like, I'm done talking, I'm good. Like this is Yep. We will re-address like three years. Right? That's my default when I don't work on it. Okay, so number one, obviously get a little more specific about what that gap is like, what the problems are, where you want to be, like, I want to go from anxious attachment, or avoidant attachment to secure attachment. I mean, okay, fine. Like that's a great starting place. But really sit down, actually define that for yourself, right? What is it that you want to change.

Josh 33:21
And then when you're looking at a plan, from there, you need to look at a planet specifically moves you from where you're at, to your goal. And this is, again, one of the places I see people with attachment theory kind of dropped the ball is even when they do try and form some kind of plan based on attachment theory and attachment theory methods, right, which you can feasibly come up with some kind of a plan looking at that stuff. The problem is it's not a plan that's specific to their situation, and their relationships, and their goals and where they're currently at. It's a plan that's like in order to get from this attachment, this attachment, here's the steps you take, well, great, but like I said, your relationships are really unique. And when you're looking at, there's three categories of bad and one category of good, and I'm going to get from bad to good, you're not nearly specific enough to be coming up with any kind of a plan that would work for you, even if everything else was workable in that solution.

Cassie 34:16
And I would even argue that a lot of times, it's not plans. It's here are some tips to work on your attachment style. So if you're anxious person, here's a couple of tips that you can do. Meditate, walk away and do some breathing exercises. It's like a couple of little tips to try to ease some of the challenges that you're having, versus an actual plan for healing the relationship and the entire dynamic that you and your partner have beyond again, just your attachment style.

Josh 34:50
Well, that's a really good point and everybody we've talked about what makes a plan to heal a relationship before, right? But just in case you've forgotten or you Haven't heard us talk about it before, it's: Here is exactly where I'm at, here's exactly where I want to go, here are all of the steps that I need to get from A to B, like Cassie said, it's not just some tips, but here are all of the steps that if followed in sequence will get me that loving, secure, connected relationship, right. And ideally, there should be a timeframe attached to that, so that you don't wind up, you know, working on this for the next six months, a year, 18 months. And meanwhile, your relationships are falling down around you, you're continuing to argue and fight and be upset and avoid each other and disconnect and shut down. Right.

Josh 35:35
So you need a plan. But here's the other piece, it isn't just about having a plan again, and being super specific. The other piece that any plan has to cover is it has to avoid this problem of playing whack a mole, and only addressing one tiny thing, because as we said before, when you do that, and this is kind of the traditional approach to fixing relationships, right, where you focus on one tiny little thing and just sit there and whack on that whack on that whack on that, you know, and maybe you solve it maybe you don't because again, the relationship dragging it down. But even if you do, okay, now you finally got the the communication a little better. All right, now you're going to focus on something else. And all the sudden now that's coming right back, right, you have to focus, you know, we like to talk about the synergy of the relationship, right?

Josh 36:23
Like, you have to focus on raising the level of the relationship as a whole. So when you're looking at a plan, you need to not just be asking yourself, How do I improve my attachment style, you need to be asking yourself, what are the things I need to fix my relationship? And does this plan address them. Because so far as you're just trying to address one tiny little thing, you're never going to get where you want to go. Right, you will sabotage yourself every step of the way, you will backslide, the only way to raise the level of your relationships, you have to work on the communication, the connection, the agreements, there's something else that is slipping in my mind, but you have to work on those core areas at once, and raise the level of your relationships as a whole. And that's the only way you make real progress. It's no you don't sabotage yourself in your progress. It's the only way you get to keep the gains that you make, instead of sliding back. Does that make sense?

Josh 37:12
So like I said, Knowing attachment theory gets you the knowledge, some knowledge, it gets you I wouldn't even say knowledge of what the gap is it gets you the knowledge that there is a gap. And that's good. And that's progress. But to really move forward from there, you have to look at again, what is that gap? Exactly as opposed to just slapping one of three labels on it? Where exactly do we want to go instead of just slapping a label of secure on it? Right? And then what are the steps I need to take to get us from A to B and not just to address this one tiny little area, but actually to raise the relationships that we actually get there and actually get the loving, thriving, fulfilling relationships that we want where our family safe and more secure. And we're happy, and we're all moving forward into the future. And we can put whatever insecurity and worry about where this relationship was having like behind us in the rearview mirror and forget it ever existed. That's what has to happen. Right?

Cassie 38:09
Yeah, and I think really, what you're saying is, is that, you know, once you do approach it this way, you then can have a secure attachment style, right? Like you can then have secure attachment in your relationships, because all of those things are there. The things that are needed to have a secure a really, really truthfully secure relationship. When you're at a place where your needs are getting met. There's good agreements in place where there isn't arguments where there isn't that conflict, that's when you feel truly secure in your relationships is when you have all of those pieces together.

Josh 38:47
Yeah, and you know, I'd argue this isn't about creating secure attachment. I mean, if that's the label that works for you, great. And obviously, you know, when you're looking at what a secure attachment style looks like, and the characteristics of that those are obviously things that you want for yourself, right, but I would, I would really shift this for you and say you're not looking for a secure attachment style, you're looking for secure relationships, at the end of the day, because we can talk about attachment styles. But you know, again, anything with with attachment style is also to be looked at in the context of, of the relationships that you have, you know, it's really easy to have secure attachments in certain relationships, and really hard to have it and others depending on the relationship. So I'd argue you know, we're not really talking when we're talking about actually taking the steps and making a plan to solve the problems like what your goal should be isn't a secure attachment style. Your goal should be secure relationships, and becoming the kind of person who is able to have and form and maintain secure loving relationships for yourself. That is bigger than just talking about your attachment style. That's what you really should be aiming for. And when you approach your relationships from a perspective of how to get there instead of just looking at, I want to get my attachment style from A to B, right? You're looking at where you want your relationships to be, where you want your family to be what you want your future to be, you're a lot more likely to have that than simply focusing on your attachment style. Does that make sense?

Josh 40:15
So if you need help doing that, and coming up with a plan and narrowing down, like, what exactly is that gap? And what are the exact steps you need to take to close it, we're happy to help you do that, right? Coming up with a plan like that is what we help people do every single day. And if you want to do that for yourself, it's really simple what to do next, right, just go to atouchofflavor.com/talk.

Josh 40:39
It'll take you to our calendar, find a time that works for you. Book it, it'll take it a little page, fill out a little short application, to get some information we need to prepare for your call, what we'll do is we'll get onto that time with you. And we'll really dive deep into, like I said, going deeper than the labels but what, what are the challenges that you're actually facing? Right? What are the problems and how you are approaching your relationship? Whatever the cause is, right? Where exactly do you want to go and really narrowing that down more than just secure. But where exactly do you want to go? What do you want your relationships to look like? Like what would make you do the happy dance, would make the people in your life, do the happy dance? What would improve your life and your kids lives and your partner's lives and the lives of everybody there, right? And then lay out a step by step plan to get from A to Z, right? So if you want that for yourself, let's go and go to atouchofflavor.com/talk and book it.

Josh 41:36
But I just want to sum up and make sure that you're taking away the things from today, right? Number one, attachment theory. Awesome. Right. And number two, like I said, if you want to learn more about attachment theory, and particularly in terms of non monogamy, read Polysecure, like I said, it's a fantastic book, it is one of the best ones I've read in the polyamorous space, period. Like, I love so much about the approach and taking things that work in the monogamous world, applying it to the polyamorous world and giving practical advice that doesn't buy into that poly propaganda and really focuses on what works for people. It's not something- you don't get that combination very much in this space, even in the really mainstream well known authors, posts, podcasts, things like that. So read it if you want to know more about attachment theory, it's a good book, right.

Josh 42:23
But then also, don't expect too much from attachment theory, right, knowing why you got to where you're at. And even being able to put a label on that gap is just the first very small step. And the terms of actually fixing a relationship and getting there and getting to fixing the relationship involves knowing exactly what the problems are exactly where you want to get, and having a step by step plan to get there. That doesn't just focus on one narrow thing and plays whack a mole to where you know, you make a little progress. But as soon as you stop focusing on it, it stops working, but actually raises that synergy of your whole relationship, raises the level of your whole relationship so that you can make real, true, lasting progress and transformation and get to those loving passionate relationships you deserve. And again, if you want to help reach out, we're happy to help. Anything else, Cassie?

Cassie 43:11
No, I think that wraps up our show for today.

Josh 43:14
All right, folks, I think is this gonna be our last show of the year?

Cassie 43:19
I think so. Yeah.

Josh 43:21
Probably with the holiday. There's one more there's like one more week this year. But with the holiday and stuff. This is probably our last show of the year.

Cassie 43:29
That's at least getting out before it's the New Year. We might record something, but it might not be out by that point.

Josh 43:35
So yeah, so with that folks like, we hope you had an amazing 2021. We're wishing you were 2022 that brings you healing and brings you your dream relationships and brings you that life and that love and that passion and that connection. And we're gonna be here with you to help you achieve that. And again, if you want our help in a more intensive way, reach out. But other than that, we're gonna be you're helping you every step of the way. And everybody have a fantastic time. And we'll see you all next year.

Josh 44:12
Thanks for tuning into today's show. We release new episodes every week. So make sure to subscribe.

Cassie 44:19
if you're ready to transform your relationship and you'd like to see if you're a fit to work with us. Here's what I want you to do next, head over to atouchofflavor.com/talk and book an appointment to speak with our team. We'll get on the phone with you for about an hour and we'll get you crystal clear on three things. What's really not working in your relationships, what your dream relationships would look like and a step by step plan to close the gap and save your family even if nothing has worked before.

Josh 44:46
We talk with hundreds of non monogamous folks like you every year and here's the truth building loving, thriving relationships that doesn't happen on its own. You need expert guidance to make that happen. And unfortunately, when you were building relationships outside the box That's impossible to find and we get it. But that's exactly what we do. We've helped clients all over the world, save their families, get the passion back and become fast friends again.

Cassie 45:10
So if you want to see if we can help you do the same head over to atouchofflavor.com/talk. I'm Cassie.

Josh 45:17
And I'm Josh. Let's talk soon.