Worried About Losing Someone? How To Navigate Healthy Attachments

Updated April 9, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

Stable, long-lasting relationships are often built on trust. Sometimes, though, you may want to trust that your partner will not leave you or hurt you, but you might feel like cannot shake the fear that it is still going to happen. Having an unprecedented fear of losing your partner can be a sign that you’re living with an insecure or avoidant attachment style, both of which can impact the health and stability of your relationships. Often stemming from insecurities or trauma, this potential inability to properly bond with others can leave many feeling that they are not enough for their partner. These feelings can sometimes end up being validated if your behaviors put a strain on the relationship as well. Fortunately enough, attachment concerns can be often be addressed when you understand their reasons and how you can alter your behaviors.

If you have an overwhelming fear of losing someone, let’s take a closer look at why and what you can do about it.

What is attachment disorder?

While you may be currently experiencing attachment concerns in your current relationships as an adult, the truth is that these behaviors might stem from some of your earliest relationships. Attachment disorders that develop in some children can affect how they form bonds later on in life.

There are two types of attachment disorders that you can develop in childhood: 

  1. Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), a disorder in which children emotionally withdraw from their caregivers and refuse to seek help and comfort (or do not respond when someone tries to comfort them). 
  2. Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder (DSED), a disorder in which children are overly engaged with other adults and may often wander off and approach grownups outside their family without hesitation. 

Even if you don’t show signs of either of these disorders, your attachment style can still indicate how you interact with others. Attachment theory attempts to recognize how children form emotional bonds, which can be heavily reliant upon how well their caregivers met their needs. 

Want to work to understand your attachment style?

There are currently four different types of attachments styles, which include things like:

  • Anxious-preoccupied attachment: Not every child is certain that they are loved or cared for, which may inevitably lead to attachment anxiety. Adults who have developed the anxious-preoccupied attachment style typically need to be reassured that they are loved constantly, may be afraid that their partner will leave because they are not enough, and might easily grow jealous of anyone who has a relationship with their partner. 
  • Dismissive-avoidant attachment: Aptly named, individuals with a dismissive-avoidant attachment style may have a difficult time letting anyone in. They might think that forming close relationships will make them less independent or won’t be worth the time and will prefer to be alone because they think that they can’t rely on anyone.
  • Fearful-avoidant attachment: A fearful-avoidant attachment style, unlike the style listed above, can be characterized by an individual’s fear of getting close to others. These people may feel like they want relationships but might be worried about the outcome. They may also believe that they are not good enough for their relationship and can often push others away to guard themselves and their feelings. These relationships often have roller coaster highs and lows that may make it difficult to connect with other people.

Understanding your own personal style and figuring out where it might stem from can be important if you’re hoping to move on from it. This brings us to an important question: is it possible for someone to heal the damage of their past relationships and build better ones in the future?

Ways to overcome issues related to insecure attachment patterns

While it can be a difficult road, it certainly can be possible! Here are some ways you can begin tackling this process on your own.

1. Dig into your past and understand how it may have impacted your present

Every behavior in your life can stem from a specific moment or a culmination of several major events. Many people with an insecure or avoidant attachment style may develop one as a result of how they were treated as a child. It can therefore be helpful to go back and try to find out why you feel the way you do now. 

How did you feel in your home environment? What are some of your earliest memories? Many of us may not even think about how our childhood was, but upon careful reflection, you might be able to pinpoint experiences or relationships that helped shape how you feel about bonding to others.

2. Work on eliminating your insecurities

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Nearly everyone can have something they feel insecure about, but those who experience constant challenges in their relationships may encounter far more insecurities than the average person. Some common examples might include body image concerns, insecurities about your lifestyle (career, money, living situation, clothing, etc.), and the fear of others leaving you behind. 

The fact of the matter may be that there might be some things you can change and some things that you can’t. If you can’t change it, it may help to learn to embrace and celebrate it. If you can change it, you may want to determine whether you actually should and develop a plan of action that will help you build up your confidence and overcome it.

3. Challenge and change your thoughts on relationships

When we allow our insecurities to take the wheel, we can be in the most amazing relationship ever and not know it. Our overwhelming feeling of fear and anxiety may make it seem like there is always a threat to the relationship and lead us to act in ways that can actually end up driving us away from our partners. 

Just like you might need to cultivate awareness around why you act the way you do, you may also want to become more aware of behaviors and thoughts at the moment you experience them. Any time you begin to feel these fears creeping in or you begin to act a certain way in response to them, take a moment to pause and reflect on your thoughts or actions. Ask yourself, are these based on truth, or am I acting based on what I have experienced in the past? 

If you know that you are not behaving in a way that matches your current reality, it can help to take the time to calm yourself and replace these feelings with reassurance that everything is fine. It may take time, but behavior and thought modification can be

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Want to work to understand your attachment style?

Sometimes, it’s necessary to commit to working on yourself and addressing your insecurities to truly move past an unhealthy or challenging attachment style. You may be able to work toward these goals with your partner’s help, or you might choose to do it on your own. No matter how you proceed, speaking to a mental health professional like a therapist or counselor can be a great way to get started.

Additional support for developing secure attachments in relationships

That said, getting help may be difficult for some. The craziness of today’s world can make it near impossible to schedule therapy sessions, and you may be limited to the therapists around you. Seeking out online counseling that focuses on relationships or individual counseling may help make things easier. All you have to do to start working on your attachment style and other concerns is find a safe, secure place with an internet connection. 

Research suggests that online therapy can be an effective tool for addressing many mental health concerns, including signs of things like anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Even if you’re not living with a diagnosable mental health disorder, you may have experienced symptoms or concerns that share similar causes or manifestations. No matter your background, it’s likely that online counseling can help you change your behaviors and thoughts for the better.

Counselor reviews

Below are some testimonies from Regain users that illustrate how working with a professional can help shift the tune of your own attachment style: 

“Sessions with Natalie are very insightful and give practical advice on implementing new habits and changes. Be prepared to engage and be challenged to think in a different way. I know that my partner and I can already see improvements in our relationship and feel more positive about working through our issues together.”

“I don’t know what I would have done without Harry. I was in a super low place, and I was not sure what my problems were or how to solve them, but he was able to help me get to the bottom of my problems and work through them. Today I am happy and feeling like myself again. He was so easy to talk to and worked with me whenever I needed him. Even on vacation he took time to call me and talk through whatever I was going through. I would highly recommend him.”


If you often worry about losing your partner or others who you’re close to, an insecure or avoidant attachment style may be at least partially to blame. Regardless, working to understand what may be contributing to your fears and then unlearning these habits can help you move forward and form healthy, lasting bonds with others.

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