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Adult Attachment

contact and touch areas otherwise known as private. All of these bond creating behaviors that a mother and child experience seem to resurface when a person falls in love. (For a complete overview of attachment behaviors, see Shaver, Hazan, & Bradshaw, 1988) This leads to the current view that this infatuation period is setting the stage for the same type of bond experienced in childhood: attachment.


As stated earlier, it would not be evolutionarily productive for a man to mate with a woman and then leave her. There would be no guarantee that his genes (child) would survive without him there to protect and provide for it. So humans adapted a mechanism to fit this problem. The already established ability to form a lasting and secure bond with the mother was adapted for the purpose of keeping the two parents together. The behaviors exhibited in the infatuation stage are all devices for fostering the warmth and trust that is associated with an attachment bond. These types of behaviors are not typically displayed in any other social context. Girls may kiss their friends on the cheeks to say good bye, but it is unlikely that they will cuddle frequently. It is very unlikely that they will have private contact, but in a new romantic relationship these behaviors occur.

Another similarity between the bond formation in early childhood and the formation of a romantic bond is the chemical oxytocin. As was stated earlier, oxytocin is released when breast-feeding and leads to the warm, fuzzy feeling. It is sometimes referred to as the bonding chemical because of its role in the attachment bonds. This same chemical works hand in hand with vasopressin to promote romantic bonds. A female releases oxytocin when she has an orgasm. By contrast a male releases vasopressin. These chemicals combined are thought to lead to the after play of sex. There

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