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Computer Cupid: A Safe(ly Sarcastic) Place Online to Talk about Love, Science, and Everything in Between. 

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wake Forest chapter.


So, I bet you are wondering what on earth makes me qualified to sit here and talk (and occasionally scream) to you about relationships, science, and all that jazz. Well, I am a senior in college who has seen her fair share of failed situationships and boyfriends. “Okay, all of us have the same experience, what makes you different?” I am a psychology major and like to look through all these experiences through the lens of a wannabe psychologist. I’d like to think this is why my friends trust me for advice. So, buckle up and let computer cupid (this is my online moniker for the blog btw, what do you think?) lead the way.

DO WE HAVE FREE WILL? How the past controls the present, and how realizing that can help YOU take control.

Something that has always plagued me is the notion of free will. I know you are thinking… “Why wouldn’t we have free will?” Well, here is my reasoning. We are the product of our experiences. We make decisions in the present based on what we have experienced in the past. Trippy, right? I know I am being super ambiguous right now, but I just need you to trust the process, okay? I know you could easily click out of this blog, but I am trying to sell it to the curious folks who want to stick around. Trust me, you will feel enlightened by the end of it. Now, let’s get this started!

Roots to Relationships

Ah, the complexities of relationships! They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and as it turns out, neither do our relationship tendencies. Last weekend, my boyfriend finally met my parents, and it felt like my two worlds were colliding. The dinner was a success, but it got me thinking – do I resemble my parents in more ways than just looks and humor? As it turns out, we inherit more from our families than we might realize, especially when it comes to relationships.

Think about it. We learn about relationships not just from books or movies but by witnessing how our family members interact with each other. Those quirks, idiosyncrasies, and even those awkward moments become imprinted in our minds and eventually influence how we navigate our own relationships when we grow up.

Now, I could go on all day about the “nature vs. nurture” debate, but let’s add a sprinkle of science to this. Let me introduce you to some intriguing studies that unveil just how much our upbringing can shape our adult relationships. Hold on to your seats; this is where it gets fascinating.

Research Reveals the Power of Our Upbringing

Imagine a study that spans a whopping 60 years! It’s one of the longest studies of human development on record, and it’s a heartwarming revelation. Researchers found that children who grew up in warm and nurturing families tend to feel more closely connected to their intimate partners six decades later. Isn’t that incredible?

But here’s the catch – it’s not just about warmth and nurturing; it’s about how these individuals navigate the twists and turns of adulthood. They tend to be less defensive and more realistic about life’s challenges, and they fully engage their emotions when dealing with those challenges. 

However, there is a darker side to these results. Childhood abuse and neglect can cast long shadows over our relationships. Studies have shown that dating couples who hail from harsh and conflicted family backgrounds tend to exhibit less positive communication behaviors. They find it challenging to control their emotions and often harbor hostile and cynical attitudes. Exposure to such hardships during childhood can predict problems in newlywed marriages, including increased psychological aggression, trust issues, and even a decline in sexual activity. It’s like the ghost of our past continues to haunt our present.

Now do you see where I was going with my whole “I don’t know if we have free will” spiel? We can’t control who raised us or what happened to us when we grew up, yet it affects us for the rest of our lives. This is because our childhoods determine our future attachment styles.

STOP! We need to get on the same page so let me give you the rundown on what attachment theory is, and what the specific attachment styles are.

Attachment theory posits that our attachment styles, which significantly shape our interactions and connections with others, are often rooted in our early experiences with caregivers, especially our parents. These experiences are like the building blocks of our emotional lives, laying the groundwork for how we approach intimacy and connection in adulthood. Here’s the rundown on attachment styles.

1) Secure Attachment

Imagine this attachment style as a well-paved highway, smooth and reliable. Individuals with secure attachment styles typically grew up in families where parents were emotionally responsive, nurturing, and consistent in their care. As a result, they tend to feel confident in themselves and their relationships.

Key Traits: Secure individuals are comfortable with intimacy and independence. They have a positive view of themselves and others, which allows them to form healthy, trusting bonds with their partners.Relationship Approach: They seek emotional closeness and express their needs openly. In times of distress, they readily reach out for support, believing their partners will provide comfort and reassurance.

2)Anxious-Preoccupied Attachment

Picture this attachment style as a winding road with occasional bumps. Individuals with anxious-preoccupied attachment styles often had inconsistent caregiving experiences in childhood. As adults, they may struggle with self-esteem and doubt their partner’s commitment.

Key Traits: Anxious individuals crave intimacy but worry about rejection. They often fear abandonment and are hyper-aware of relationship dynamics.

Relationship Approach: They seek constant reassurance and validation from their partners. In times of distress, they may become clingy and overly emotional, fearing that their partners will pull away.

3) Dismissive-Avoidant Attachment

Visualize this attachment style as a road with detours and diversions. Individuals with dismissive-avoidant attachment styles grew up in families where independence was highly valued, emotions were downplayed, and caregiving was inconsistent.

Key Traits: Dismissive-avoidant individuals value independence and self-sufficiency. They often downplay the importance of emotional intimacy and can be uncomfortable with vulnerability.

Relationship Approach: They tend to keep their emotional distance, avoiding intense emotional connections. In times of distress, they may withdraw or dismiss their own and their partner’s feelings.

4) Fearful-Avoidant (Disorganized) Attachment

Imagine this attachment style as a challenging and unpredictable off-road trail. Individuals with fearful-avoidant attachment styles often experienced trauma or unpredictable caregiving in childhood. They may have a fear of getting too close to others yet also fear being alone.

Key Traits: Fearful-avoidant individuals have a complex relationship with intimacy. They want it but are deeply afraid of it. Their emotions can be intense and conflicted.

Relationship Approach: They may oscillate between seeking and avoiding closeness. In times of distress, they may struggle to navigate their emotions, leading to unpredictable reactions.

But here’s the silver lining: understanding these influences empowers us to navigate our relationships with greater awareness. As we peel back the layers of our past, we gain insights into our present and, ultimately, have more control over our future relationships.


Now, let’s dive into some practical strategies that can help you break free from the patterns of your attachment style and build healthier, more fulfilling connections.

 Deepening Self-Affirmation: Start by identifying a value that really means something to you. It could be personal integrity, community involvement, or any principle that strikes a chord with you. Then, take a moment to reflect on why this value is so important and how it has shaped your life and self-image. By reaffirming your core values, you’ll boost your self-esteem and sense of security. It’s a bit like grounding yourself in what truly matters

 Adopting Your Partner’s Perspective: Imagine walking in your partner’s shoes for a day—literally. Try to see the world from their eyes, understanding their emotions, challenges, and experiences. This exercise can help you build empathy and gain a deeper understanding of your partner’s world. It’s like building a bridge between your two worlds, making communication smoother and your emotional bond stronger.

 Elaborating on Compliments: Think back to a time when your partner complimented you on something special. Dive deep into that memory, and consider why their admiration meant so much to you and how it contributed to the significance of your relationship. This reflection not only boosts your self-esteem but also strengthens the foundation of your relationship. It’s like giving your relationship an extra dose of positivity.

Increasing Psychological and Physical Closeness: Take a journey into the depths of your emotions with your partner by exploring a series of intimate questions. Dive into topics that reveal your innermost thoughts and feelings. Ask questions like what you would regret not sharing if you had just one evening left. After this emotional exploration, deepen your physical connection with 30 minutes of shared gentle stretching and yoga. These activities promote vulnerability, closeness, and emotional connection in your relationship. It’s like creating a safe space for both of you to open up.

Wrapping it up

As I wrap up this blog, I realized I may have figured out some answers to my free will dilemma. We don’t have control over our pasts, but we do have control over our futures. Sometimes we need to just sit down and ask ourselves why we do things that sabotage our relationships. Awareness is the first step in healing. Once we become aware we can begin to take productive steps towards being the best we can be. I know this ending is more serious than usual, but that’s because I believe this advice is important, my dear readers.

XOXO, Computer Cupid.

Computer Cupid

Wake Forest '24

Hey! I'm a senior here at Wake and I am writing as.... Computer Cupid!!! I am coming at Her Campus with real, unfiltered, truth.