Again, while i agree that our brain is powerfully shaped by our environment, i intuited that there’s more to this than a simple linear connection. And there is. I finally asked Bella DePaulo about it and she pointed me to some older posts of hers that summarize research on attachment.
This research clearly shows that there is no difference in attachment styles of single and coupled people. None. Zero. As DePaulo summarizes, “single people were no more likely than coupled people to feel anxious about rejection or abandonment. […] They were no more likely than coupled people to try to avoid intimacy or interdependence.”
Reading another post, i am beginning to wonder if there is another normative pressure at play here. One form of receiving comfort (from a spouse) is portrayed as healthy and well-adjusted; another form (self-soothing) is viewed as unhealthy or at least problematic. So, we are pushed into one form of coping that is consistent with couplemania. Why else would researchers focus their investigations in ways that are biased toward couples?
So, attachment research is plagued by couplemanic bias. The findings that point toward a variety of healthy coping and attachment styles are downplayed or ignored. Claiming that single people are single because of our attachment style is just another way of saying that there is something wrong with us that needs fixing. And that is, as i argued in my thesis, the basis of all stereotypes against singles. By focusing on attachment styles to help singles become coupled, we are perpetuating those stereotypes, especially the ones we’ve internalized as shame.