Analyzing Attachment Theory playout in Indian Matchmaking
Lately, I read the book Attached by Amir Levine and Rachel SF Heller which talks of Attachment Theory and how each one of us has a different attachment style and how that plays out in our relationship dynamics
And I could see some of it play out on the show
Now, first, I am not a psychologist AT ALL so easily I will be wrong in my analysis BUT I am not doing guesswork but making logical conclusions which the book allows me to do. How? The book literally trains you to find attachment styles of people and how it plays out like there are even exercises in the book to check if you guess people and their attachment styles right so, here we go.
Also, I absolutely understand that it is a show and I don’t know the whole truth.
I will just give a sneak peek of what are these styles based quoting from an article by Mark Manson and describe them for the major characters on the show.
A. ANXIOUS — Anxious attachment types are often nervous and stressed about their relationships. They need constant reassurance and affection from their partner. They have trouble being alone or single. They’ll often succumb to unhealthy or abusive relationships. They have trouble trusting people, even if they’re close to them.
B. SECURE — People with secure attachment strategies are comfortable displaying interest and affection. They are also comfortable being alone and independent. They’re able to correctly prioritize their relationships within their life and tend to draw clear boundaries and stick to them.
They’re capable of accepting rejection and moving on despite the pain but are also capable of being loyal and sacrificing when necessary. They have little issue trusting people they’re close to and are trustworthy themselves.
C. AVOIDANT — Avoidant attachment types are extremely independent, self-directed, and often uncomfortable with intimacy. They’re commitment-phobes and experts at rationalizing their way out of any intimate situation. They regularly complain about feeling “crowded” or “suffocated” when people try to get close to them. In every relationship, they always have an exit strategy. Always. And they often construct their lifestyle in such a way to avoid commitment or too much intimate contact.
Aparna dislikes the idea of seeing her husband every day. She cant believe some people do that and actually like being with their spouses 24/7. And she is not lying that this surprises her because she truly AVOIDS intimacy. To her the idea that some people love and crave intimacy is alien. She, according to me, is clearly an AVOIDANT.
She is extremely independent, ambitious, and has created her lifestyle in a way that keeps her busy. It is not even clear if she likes all the parts of her life that keep her busy, it is almost like she keeps herself busy for the sake of it, for example, she keeps herself busy with a job that she hates. She has a grandiose sense of self much different from what one would call self-confidence. There is absolutely no problem in having high standards in dating life but she seems to belittle people and look down on others if they don’t meet her criterion not understanding that even if someone is not a good match for her they can still be a great human being. Also, she nitpicks problems in her partners to the point where her reasons to breakup look silly like she once broke up because her partner liked watching soccer. Avoidants are known to end a relationship by finding small-small faults in their partner to keep intimacy at bay.
Being a true avoidant, she is also not fearful of the consequences of being so picky, she is okay being single but does not want to be in a wrong relationship. She knows her strengths and value and does not want to settle for less.
Some parts of it probably are inherited from her mother who was let down by a man and has raised up two girls alone and her mother wants to ensure her daughter never compromises.
But, there is another catch towards the end that we see a more evolved and vulnerable side to Aparna that deep down SHE IS SCARED of being alone and being vulnerable and wants to find a husband. Fear of being vulnerable is often said to be DEEP DOWN every avoidant.
Nadia right from the beginning of the show is someone who you can see craves intimacy and thinks about her existing/potential relationships a lot. She badly wants to be in a relationship seeing how happy her parents are and her friends are in their relationship making herself feel even more lonely than she actually is. She looks Anxious to me.
She has a pattern of going into a relationship in, her own words — excited and coming out disappointed.
You expect from a woman as beautiful as her to know her value because she is gorgeous, successful and kind but it plays out differently because of her anxious personality it is almost like she is always giving so much affection to each of her dates while constantly guessing if the other person likes her or not. She is also so anxious and wants a relationship so badly that she is overlooking red flags from Vinay and she goes on to admit that she has tolerated worse behavior in her past relationships. But, it is nice to see Nadia move on from Vinay and being self-aware that she should not accept such behaviors. Also, using a matchmaker is a pretty good idea for her because the matchmaker and her parents can guide her through the process and point out the red flags to her because during dating on her own she used to find it difficult to read true intentions of a person.
She seems like an anxious version of Aparna.
She is successful, she is beautiful but she lets society dictate to her otherwise. The fact that in the past she has tried to fix men and accepted wrong behavior makes me inclined towards saying she has an ANXIOUS attachment style. Also, she has a hard time trusting people. But at the same time, she is extremely self-aware, she never gets worried about being alone or lonely and that she has reached a certain age and yet she is not married. She has also overcome her body image issues, she has decided that a man has to accept her for who she is instead of losing weight to gain acceptance and she is more than okay with facing rejection for it. She has also gained self-acceptance in the process and loves her work more than anything else and at the end of the day, marriage is not the goal but being happy is. Maybe she will find more happiness in her work.
Clearly, even if she does seem anxious the fact that she is so self-aware helps her take action to help herself and her actions are close to that of a person with a SECURE attachment style
Rupam has had one of the toughest heartbreaks possible. She was married to a man she was in love with at a young age probably thinking this is her cinderella story only to divorce the guy for multiple reasons major being infidelity. Anyone can lose trust in love, marriage, and relationships after such a big heartbreak and betrayal but she DOES NOT. She does close down as a person for some time, takes three years to get over the relationship and to decide what she actually wants but once she DOES decide there is almost no anxiety or fear about her next relationship nor does she look like she is afraid of a commitment again or worried about her past repeating.
When Sima shows her prospective bio-data, she is not nitpicky about anything and does not seem anxious about things that others may find problematic. Like she is okay with the fact that the man in biodata does not want to talk of his divorce, she doesn’t suspect a foul play — she actually empathizes that he perhaps just doesn’t want to talk of it because he is uncomfortable. Her dad though being a protective parent is not okay with it.
She also reads her room well emotionally like she doesn't argue with her dad in this scene even though she feels it is unfair to judge the guy simply because he married an American in the past because she understands her dad is protective of her.
Similarly, she starts talking to another guy on Bumble, and nowhere do we see her being suspecting of anyone’s intentions or being afraid of falling in love.
She seems very secure in herself and is okay with giving love a chance again despite her past experience.
Mind you, she is not naive, she has seen a failed marriage and is a single mother, the fact that she trusts people is because she is courageous.
She does not hesitate from giving love despite everything.
Her dad perhaps also has a major influence on her who never seems to rush her into another marriage, he only and only focuses on the groom being right for her but never hastens the process given her age or marital status.
I think the comparison of her being like a male Nadia is pretty accurate. He is a very kind man at heart and though the show constantly shows him as not making enough money, I beg to differ because in my opinion he actually does something he loves doing and has the courage to follow his dream despite it not paying well which is not something everyone is brave enough to do so to me he is pretty successful just that his success is not the success which we conventionally understand.
He too is thinking about relationships a lot and fears being alone. He walks into relationships trying to impress rather than seeing if the other person matches up to his standards putting himself down in the process and not understanding the value he brings to the table.
He had probably also subconsciously bought some parts of the narrative that just because he doesn’t make a lot of money so he doesn’t get a big say and that others have the right to reject him for making less money.
Even further, he downplays himself by thinking he has a problematic past which is not even his own past but his dad’s past and feels he can be rejected for it( Although in all fairness he CAN be rejected in Indian families for such stuff) but, his anxiety towards this issue is more than optimal. It is not his mistake and if someone doesn't like him due to it then it should be not his problem.
Of course, patriarchy itself plays a big role in suppressing Vyasar and making him feel less masculine which seems like one of the many reasons for his anxieties in a relationship.
One of the most pleasant characters on the show. Sima starts with saying something like — his energy is positive enough to not get down by Aparna’s negative vibe.
He is charming and seems kind. He makes anyone and everyone around him comfortable from Aparna to Nadia to Nadia’s mom. In all honesty, we haven’t been shown Shekar’s conversations with Sima so my analysis is too much stretch but I feel he is very secure.
He stays true to himself. Doesn't look like he is trying hard to impress.
He also seems well aware of his needs in a relationship. When he meets Aparna, even though he feels she is someone interesting and someone he can learn from, he also notices other parts of her which he well understands won't gel with him and ALSO that she won't be happy with parts of him like his traveling style. His decision not only takes into account his own expectations but also the other person’s.
Even when talking to Aparna, he is nice to her even when she can be mean and even while rejecting her he doesn’t say she is problematic but only that they won’t be compatible which is very mature of him.
None of their relationships are shown much so I was not able to understand, to be honest.
Both are definitely entitled and superficial. They claim to want intellectual connection but finally, all they want is women who are good looking. They are entitled about their male privileges, wealth privileges, and frankly a bit immature.
Akshay knows he wants someone who should be a housewife but is never seen to have told Radhika this who wants to work. What is his plan? To deal with it later? To stop her LATER once she is married to him? Because he is entitled to tell her to do anything once she is married to him?
Pradyuman for all his talk of intellectual connection only likes a girl when he is attracted to her looks enough and the only one he seems to be attracted a lot to is a model. Models are professionals whose livelihood depends on maintaining their bodies including restrictive diets. Only someone who professionally maintains herself is attractive enough for him?
He seems very immature about making such a big decision in his life. He literally for the first time realizes that THE OTHER PERSON also expects things from him BECAUSE a life coach tells him before this, he was only thinking of his own expectations. Other people’s expectations did not even cross his mind.
I believe both are absolutely not ready for this huge step and are being forced by their families and are thus, doing whatever they can to tell themselves they are ready.
Akshay thinks his school type infatuation of Radhika’s beauty is enough reason to marry her.
Pradyuman thinks Rushali being a model is a good match for her.
The shallowness of the process is laughable with these two.
Do let me know what you think of the show.