How Your Attachment Style Affects Dating With Flora Ong
Jordan D’Nelle 0:01
Welcome to Vaginas Vulvas and Vibrators with Jordan D’nelle. This is a safe place to learn about women’s health and sexual wellness. I’m your host Jordan Danelle, physician assistant women’s sexual educator and intimacy coach.
On today’s dating with Jordan episode I have a special guest joining me to talk about attachment styles. This episode is super juicy. You learn a lot about the different attachment styles, how to date with them, and a little bit more about communication in a relationship. This episode is super juicy and I hope you enjoy before we get into today’s episode I want to tell you about my sexy box. Sexy box is the quarterly subscription box with all of the hottest intimacy enhancement products. This sexy box is valued at over $100 and it’s yours for only $74.99 and trust me usually they are worth way more than $100 I highly recommend getting yours right away. To get your sexy box go to sexy box.Jordandnelle.com link is in the bio. I also wanted to tell you about my new swag that is out I have created some new shirts, vaginas, photos and vibrators. Oh my, I masturbated today, manifesting dope shit, and it’s just a vibe. There are some awesome new shirts out there that you will want to wear to represent and support the vaginas phobias and vibrators podcast. So go to swag.Jordandnelle.com to get yours today. Link will also be in the bio.
Joining me today is Flora she is a dating coach and matchmaker specializing in love and relationships. She has set up hundreds of matches with an 85% success rate. After a failed 14 year marriage, she joined the millions of online and app daters in her search for love and a little fun. What she found was something she never expected, she found out that she had a no idea how to date, how to love and how to be loved. Boy, can I relate to that. Laura learned and made every mistake in the book and some of them twice. She put all of the details into a book that is coming soon. Having experienced a lot of pain and anxiety in this area of her life, she turned her blunders into a quest to not only find her way to love, but to help others who struggle with similar issues. Flora is a certified health and life coach who focuses on working with men and women helping them identify their blocks around dating. Her purpose is not only to find them what they want, but to make sure that they experience inner peace in the process. Flora, would you like to go ahead and tell us a little bit about yourself.
Flora Ong 2:58
Hi, my name is flora. I’m a dating and relationship coach as well as a matchmaker. I focus on attachment styles to help people understand their subconscious, which runs about 90 to 95% of all of our actions and behaviors. So if you’re unaware of what’s running the show for you, that’s a good time to to learn about that now.
Jordan D’Nelle 3:21
Right. So yeah, that’s I love that I just learned about attachment styles. Earlier this year when I read the book attached and I have an avoidant attachment style. I am working on that. So this conversation is really interesting for me, how did you get into this?
Flora Ong 3:41
So it was folly? My own personal like follies, right? I don’t know if you’ve heard the me my guess at this point is make your message your message. And so I got divorced, six years six years ago at this point and started dating for the first time I was married for 14 years. So started dating on the apps for the first time ever. And while it was a really like fun and interesting experience, I also started to notice that I had like very specific patterns, in relationships and in the dating process, and it took a minute it’s a Yeah, I had to really learn myself and understand myself to become a successful date or a person and a person who’s like ready for a relationship, right? You always think you’re ready for a relationship. I had no idea how much was stopping me and blocking me until I really started to dive into this work. So at the time that I got divorced, I was also studying to be a health and life coach. So I am a certified health and life coach but I had to switch my nation to dating and relationships, just because that’s where I feel like I can make the most impact.
Jordan D’Nelle 4:52
I love that and on my own journey I’ve found that there’s so many things that I keep discovering that are blocking me From dating, so totally can relate to that. What are the different attachment styles?
Flora Ong 5:06
Okay, so there is the secure attachment style. So firstly, let’s Why don’t we just talk a little bit about what attachment styles are, right? It’s essentially the way that you learn to attach to people growing up, right? So this, while, some of the things I’m going to say are gonna relate to like being a little bit older, the, it really happens almost before the age of three before your cognitive, and before you have words to explain what’s going on. And the reason it’s so important is because it lives inside your nervous system, right? So it’s not about a memory you have about what happens, it’s about your bodies, your body learns to react in a certain way to certain cues, how somebody’s treating you. And so you are literally reacting from and that is what your subconscious is, right? It’s a reactivity that happens in your body that you have no idea. It’s what it is, all you know, is you have this unsettling feeling, maybe, and you react to that unsettling feeling in the way that you know how to react, right, and the way that you’ve learned to cope. And so people with insecure attachment styles have specific coping techniques, and they have specific needs in order to be successful in a relationship. But if you have no idea what your attachment style is, or anything to grab attachment style, and you just kind of floating through life thinking like kind of a lot of times externalizing, the blame, it’s everybody else’s fault, you know, what, or even internalizing, and on the other side saying, like, What’s wrong with me? Like, Why doesn’t anybody love me, you know, and that kind of becomes your narrative. So, there’s four attachment styles. The first one is secure and secure would be if you were raised in a way where your parents were able to be emotionally attuned to you in a proper way. So that means when you cried, they would come to you, they would support your emotions, they allowed you to have your emotions, whether they were happy emotions, or angry emotions, or sad emotions, they helped you to properly repair those emotional states, right? They didn’t dismiss it, they didn’t ignore it, they didn’t yell at you for having them. They allow they allow the proper space for them and then allowed you to healthily repair those emotions, and as an adult to grow up not being afraid of conflict in relationship, right? Because you know that it’s resolvable, right? where a lot of people with insecure attachment styles get immediately triggered by anything, any type of conflict in a relationship, or what they perceive as conflict, right. And so that is secure, people tend to be able to set healthy boundaries, they tend to be open with their emotions, right, because they’re not afraid to show emotion because it was properly accepted when they were growing so that supposedly 50% of the population is secure. But I think that’s a big fat lie. Because most of the people that I encounter express an insecure attachment self I this is what I do. So then you have your anxiously attached people, right, who in childhood very typically had inconsistent emotional attunement. So that would mean sometimes your parents were available. Sometimes they were, personally, I have an anxious attachment style, my primary attachment style is anxious, and my parents were immigrants. So when they were around, they were great. And they were wonderful, but they were busy, most of the time, they were working a lot. And I just didn’t get the attention that I needed when I needed it in order to feel, you know, secure in relationship. And so what happens is because it comes sometimes you end up developing like a hyper vigilance around when the attention is going to come or when the attention is going to leave. And the anxiously attached person ends up with an abandonment. Right, so they’re always afraid that they’re going to be left because they grew up always waiting for their parents to like, or their caretakers to leave. Right? They’re always afraid of that. That was like the worst fear and there they become very hyper vigilant about it. So naturally, as an adult and adult relationships, they’re always waiting for the shoe to drop. They’re always waiting for the person to leave. They develop coping mechanisms like people pleasing, or like being very needy, or trying to fix problems constantly. They’re not they feel very uncomfortable when there’s conflict in relationship or when they perceive that the person is leaving. They also ruminate a lot and they also romanticize very early on in NZ So first two dates. I know, we all have those friends that are like, Oh my God, oh my God is so amazing. I love him so much like, he’s the guy, this is it, you know, and it’s two or three dates, and you’re like, Whoa, chill, hold on a second, the next attachment style is you self proclaimed, is avoidant. And those are the kids that learned very early on that they weren’t going to get the attention from their caretakers that they needed. And so not only did they learn that, they’re not going to get their attention, but that also forced them to shut their own emotional site centers down completely. And so they stopped relying on people to get to meet their needs. And so they tend to focus on jobs, passions, hobbies, in order to in order to fulfill themselves, I see a smile. And, and they are, they tend to seem very, they are very self sufficient. They are very independent. They said, they tend to seem like they have a lot of self esteem and are very confident people, they tend to have a lot of friends and people in their lives, probably but nobody really close, or most people don’t get very close to them, not very on a deep, intimate level. And they’re the types of relationships that don’t stay in relationships longer than two or three months. Like when things are starting to move to the next level, they pull out kind of thing. They’re good, as long as nobody’s like pressuring them, nobody’s wanting anything from them. Nobody’s needing anything from them. But the second somebody starts that process of wanting a little more they would and then the last one is the smallest. So they say that avoidant and anxious are about 20 to 25% of the population. I these numbers to me are always funny, I’m I don’t feel they’re accurate, but who am I and the last, the last attachment styles are is fearful, avoidant, they are the smallest percentage of the population about three to 5%. And that’s typically with them, they were abused in childhood. So emotional, mental, physical, sexual, some sort of real type of chaos happens in the household. If it wasn’t actual abuse, that was something. And what happens is, because of that they are they want love, like we all do, right. And however, they’re also afraid of it. So they will go into a relationship, they kind of possess both the anxious and avoidant sides as they go through both. And so they will really want intensely a relationship. But then the second the person who’s close to them, they pull away because again, the people who love them also hurt them so they’re afraid. They’re legitimately I’m really afraid of love, and they’re in adult relationships with people who are typically hot and cold. Yes, I love those descriptions.
Jordan D’Nelle 12:55
I think that’s a good overview of the four different types. How does somebody who wants to discover their attachment style? Where do they start and how do they learn which one they fit into best.
Flora Ong 13:09
So reading the book attached, I think is a really great opener and it was it’s really like the premier book on the adult relationship side of attachment theory and so that is I highly recommend that all the time I have a quiz on my on my Instagram Lisa bio and on my websites, anybody can go there too quickly and three to five minute quiz and then you can learn what your attachment style is very quickly and then follow up with me for some clarity calm and always happy to chat with people about their attachment style and tell them a little more about it. And there’s a ton of resources now on the web on Instagram all over the place about attachment so because different than the love languages which I do think are important on a more surface level because I think a lot of people already know about the love languages right the attachment theory it’s it’s a psychologically tried and true tested scientifically tested paradigm right like it’s it’s the it’s the there’s several medical journal Science psychological journal articles about it. And it’s the real deal right? Whereas the while I think the love languages are important once you’re in a relationship, they don’t dictate whether the success of the relationship whereas your attachment style, does.
Jordan D’Nelle 14:30
That totally makes sense. And I can see how with the love languages, that is important for more than maintaining side in the attempt do physical touch gifts or words of affirmation, things like that. How does attachment styles affect dating?
Flora Ong 14:48
Well, it’s completely and totally parallels. So the your love relationships mirror are the closest mirror to your parental relations. To Jeff’s, right, because these are the people that you expect to take care of you, whether you look at it like that, or think about it like that, that is the mirror, right, you expect your partner to take care of you, then we expect to spend most of your life with your partner most people do, right. And so if you’re, it will mirror your parental relationships the most. And if you understand your attachment style, and you understand your natural coping mechanisms, and you understand your needs, as a result of your attachment style, you are just primed and ready to communicate about that, you know, and there is a way to move towards being secure. But the reality is, you will always default to your primary attachment style, because that’s what we do. our subconscious subconscious pulls us to our comfort zone. And our comfort zone is what we learned before the age of three, believe it or not, so yeah.
Jordan D’Nelle 15:59
Can you eventually, like for me, can I eventually become secure in my attachment style?
Flora Ong 16:07
Yes, we can all become secure in our attachment style. But part of becoming secure, is recognizing your natural tendencies, right? Your subconscious natural tendencies. And again, being able to communicate about it, it’s becoming secure, doesn’t mean you don’t feel the feelings, right? It just means that you’re cognizant of them, you understand them, and you’re able to make a decision that is taking all everything into account rather than reacting to your attachment style, right? Because as an avoidant person, you might be getting into a relationship with somebody who seems like ticks all the boxes, and is wonderful, and everything seems to be going great. And then that point comes where they want more from you. Right? And that natural tendency is to be like, it’s not just to say, No, I don’t want this. But what happens, what the subconscious does is it plays tricks on you, right? It will turn this person who you had really nice feelings for maybe loving feelings for, felt really good about and suddenly start finding things wrong with them as soon as they want something something, right. So it, it plays tricks on you. And then your mind decides, oh, yeah, those are all rational points. That’s why I can’t be with this person. Right? Because I know she has she has bad ankles, or he I don’t like the hats he wears or some like something. But it all makes a lot of sense in the avoidance brain as to why this isn’t going to work, you know, and it could be a lot more serious, like justifications. So yeah, so moving into security means like recognizing that being cognizant of that and really making a decision, is this person not worthwhile? Because they have bad ankles? Or am I being avoided? In this case, because those feelings will still show up.
Jordan D’Nelle 18:12
Yes. And I have caught myself many times, feeling like that like creating things, issues with somebody, so that I have a reason not to like them or not to be with them. So I torturously do that? What are some ways to adjust and date with your attachment style?
Flora Ong 18:32
Again, I think that the recognition, the recognition is really important. But the recognition doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to stop doing those things. And I’m a prime example of that. Like, I am very cognizant of my triggers of my you know, of my anxieties and relationship. But again, it doesn’t mean that I don’t feel them. And so it’s there’s the recognition there’s the ability to communicate around it and then there’s finding the right partner that is willing to willing to deal with and uncertainty understanding around it right? Because not everybody, no matter how much you talk about something and no matter how much you know about something, people still do what they do, and that’s where you are that’s why I’m so hyper focused on people’s subconscious right? Because you do what you do because of your subconscious you don’t do what you do just cuz right. So again, being able to communicate what is going on with you, I think is a really important step in moving towards security. And now did I answered your question?
Jordan D’Nelle 19:38
You did what are some good ways to communicate how you deal with things in your triggers when it comes to telling your partner like hey, and I use myself in his as an example because that’s what I know but i chronically ghost like when things get serious I ghost I disappear. How do you effectively communicate that to somebody and tell them how to support you?
Flora Ong 20:03
And that is exactly it. I mean, just saying that, right? I also recognizing when things are getting a little serious, right, where you can say something like that, or where you should say something like that, right? Because it’s not something you’re good at thing to say until there’s a problem and you’re boasting. But by that point, you have the other person already freaking out, because you’re everything’s going well, and then suddenly are boasting. And they don’t understand why. And now we’ve triggered them. Right? And there could be no coming back from that, right. So the whole point is to be having these conversations before things get to that point, you know, and it could be as easy as just like starting a conversation one day and saying, so what do you like when you argue? Or what are you? How is it like for you to argue in a relationship, and kind of opening up the conversation like that, and also talking about your attachment styles. I mean, if your partner hasn’t taken the quiz, have them take the quiz and start to openly communicate about that. And the reality is that there are people that are open, again, the subconscious, your subconscious will run the show. So unless the person is kind of like really open in the work, they may not be able to meet you where you’re at. So sometimes saying, saying that, like I chronically goes, and that’s my life, that’s my coping mechanism will be fine until it happens. You know what I mean? Don’t be like, Oh, wait, thanks for telling me that. And I’m really glad that you highlighted that for me. And then when it actually happens, you get to see how they really react. Right? And so far, every I’m sure this, I’m imagining this would have been a question, but I will answer it before you even ask it. Most people are almost every attachment style is better off with somebody secure. And the reason is, again, that they have a calm, nervous system and conflict so that when you go, right, they are okay, even if they don’t understand this work, and they don’t know what their attachment stuff when you goes they’re capable of being understanding, maybe not every single time, maybe not, but they will have some level of understanding and be able to work through this stuff with you to some normal degree, right? Yeah.
Jordan D’Nelle 22:31
And that’s what I’ve learned in my dating is that when I tell them like, hey, by the way, I’m likely going to go shoo, when it happens. A lot of times, like I find, I met with support and like, maybe a little bit of pulling back and not progressing the relationship as fast so that I don’t run as fast. But how can you optimize your attachment style?
Flora Ong 22:55
That’s a good question, because each attachment style has things that come along with it that can seem negative, but are also super positive. So for example, the anxious person is extremely hyper vigilant, right? So they’re very, they pick up on their partner signals very quickly and very easily. And they know when somebody is not in a good mood, they know when somebody is like pulling back, they know when, you know, they can tell in an instant, and most of the time, they’re correct. A lot of times however, the problem is that what they make that to me, isn’t accurate, because we’re running on stories that we’re programmed with, right from childhood, right, somebody might pull back, like your partner might be pulling back, and they may just need some space, I’ve had a bad day and like to deal with it internally, they maybe just need a minute to regroup or whatever, right? Or maybe they’re just literally busy at work or something like that’s coming up. But the anxious person will make it mean something that will Oh, they don’t like me anymore. Oh, that’s it these problems back and I’m never going to see him again. And so and then they then they they lean into that and start creating that negative vibe. So what’s really important is being in control. What’s really important is recognizing that this hyper vigilance is actually can actually be like a superpower. So you’re recognizing something is up, but it doesn’t always mean the thing you make it to be. And that’s where the work comes in. Right? That’s where like getting a coach therapist, whatever it is, that can support you. It’s turning that what it was a negative coping mechanism into a positive positive superpower, like almost, you know, and it’s something that can be done but it takes takes a lot of work to get.
Jordan D’Nelle 24:47
Absolutely. When you work with your clients. Are you helping them more with like their attachment styles? Are you helping them more meet somebody with their attachment styles,
Flora Ong 24:57
my work, the name of my brands is redo Love. And the whole concept of that is redoing the idea of the external, that external level make you happy, right? So it really is about making yourself happy first, wherever you are in your life, feeling good about you. And then you don’t have to try to get a partner partners come to you. Right? You just need to clarify your own. First of all, you need to become happy on your own. And then second of all, you need to clarify what it is that you’re really looking for. So that when people do start coming to you, that you can use stay on that healthy path, right? You don’t get pulled back into those toxic relationships that people have come to me with. But But yeah, the so my focus is really to help people find happiness and peace and joy within themselves. And then the dating part of things just becomes easy. That’s beautiful.
Jordan D’Nelle 25:54
I think that that’s so necessary. And there’s such a need for really falling in love with yourself first. If the listeners take away one thing from today’s conversation, what would you want it probably that
Flora Ong 26:09
there’s no amount of wanting relationship trying to be in relationship being the perfect partner type of thing that will register or resume until it’s truly coming from a place of personal self worth and happiness from the inside out. And happiness is an unfair word, right? Because happiness is a PR maybe it’s like contentment and inner peace. It’s better to say
Jordan D’Nelle 26:36
that sounds much better. Just having that inner peace because we’re not always you hear a lot of the talk about positive vibes only. And the reality is like life isn’t all positive there is there’s some lows, and just being content and happy with your inner peace. That’s beautiful. I
Flora Ong 26:53
Jordan D’Nelle 26:54
Thank you so much for joining me today. Is there anything else you wanted to add?
Flora Ong 26:58
I am starting group, my next group cohort is starting at the end of September. And if anybody’s interested, they can get in touch with me via my website, which is www dot WEIU doubt love and I really do doubt love on Instagram as well. So anybody can reach out to me. And yeah, I’d love to chat and help guide people through this stuff. Tell me more about your group program. What does that look like is a six week program that takes people through the journey of getting into all those deep parts of their subconscious that have been keeping them blocked because to your point, they just kind of said it we were a lot of the self love stuff is about thinking positively talking positively having positive vibes. But if you don’t believe it from a subconscious place, then it doesn’t, it won’t work, right all that positive talk, you can talk talk talk positively, but if inside the field like shit, or like you’re lying, or like it’s not real, that none of the positive positivity is going to is going to actually work. And so I help people to unblock that subconscious side of themselves. See it, learn it, become friends with it. So that all of that positive speak and then work. Yeah, I mean, we want it to work, we just sometimes don’t know what’s holding us back.
Jordan D’Nelle 28:26
Right? And figuring out how to move past that can be so hard to like, what tools to even use. That’s I have a business coach, and I have a life coach. And that’s one of the biggest things I struggle with is like, okay, I recognize this now what, what do I do with it? So I am really excited for your group program. I’m definitely gonna have to check that out. And I will put all the links in the show notes. So thank you so much for joining me. I really appreciate it.
Flora Ong 28:55
Thank you. This is lovely and you’re lovely and I thank you for having me. Thank you.
Jordan D’Nelle 29:01
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