The theory of attachment was developed by the English psychoanalyst John Bowlby in the 1950s to capture different ways in which people go about forming intimate connections with others. This brief questionnaire, designed by The School of Life, aims to determine - to use Bowlby’s term - your particular and distinctive ‘attachment style’.

Your style of attachment will determine a great deal about your attitudes to and behaviour in relationships - your capacity for intimacy, the amount of trust you place in others, your emotional resilience, even your definition of the term ‘love’. Knowing your own style can therefore help you make wiser decisions in relationships.


(1 / 10)

By chance, you meet someone attractive in a bookshop and exchange a few pleasant but not very consequential remarks. They leave by saying, ‘See you around.’ What do you do next?

(2 / 10)

You arrange to go on a date with a charming stranger who you meet at the gym and have a very enjoyable time. When it’s time to part, what do you do?

(3 / 10)

Your partner of five years says they will be home to enjoy the dinner you’ve cooked for them at 7pm. It is 8.30pm, you haven’t heard anything from them, and the dinner is going cold. What do you do?

(4 / 10)

An old friend has borrowed £50 from you and is late paying it back. What do you do?

(5 / 10)

At a dinner party, your partner makes an unkind joke about your choice of outfit in front of all of your friends. What do you do?

(6 / 10)

As you lie awake in the early hours, you go to check the time on your partner’s phone and inadvertently discover a text from one of their exes saying how much they enjoyed catching up over drink together the other night. What do you do?

(7 / 10)

Early in a new relationship, your partner sends you a message that ends with the words ‘I love you’. While you like this person, you aren’t yet sure whether you feel the same. What do you do?

(8 / 10)

Eight months into your relationship, you realise you and your partner have gone a whole week without having sex. How do you feel?

(9 / 10)

Imagine you are a 10 year old child, and your mother is an hour late to collect you from football practice, leaving you sitting alone on the curb in the winter cold. When she finally arrives, what do you do?

(10 / 10)

Which of the following is the most accurate description of the phrase ‘true love’?

That’s the end of the questions. To see your results enter your email address below.

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Attachment theory divides humanity into three categories according to how we characteristically negotiate the challenges of being close to others. Your answers suggest you are:

Each of these patterns relates back to particular experiences in childhood and ways of having been parented. 50% of people in the US are estimated to be securely attached, with the other half divided into anxious and avoidant quarters.

Knowing that one’s way of relating to others carries a name is one step on the path towards greater self-knowledge and change where change feels necessary. We don’t need to be free of psychological hurdles to deal with life, but knowing how to explain in good time who we are, and where we might be tricky, is a central to forming good enough relationships.

If you’d like to find out more on this topic, you might be interested in our film on the subject:

Film: What is Your Attachment Style

How Can We Help You?

The School of Life has developed a wide range of classes, special events, therapies and emotional well-being tools designed to help people with their relationships and to gain self-knowledge. If you have further questions about your attachment style and how it relates to these areas, discover how The School of Life can help you.

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