Are you using “we” when referring to your relationship? Is your partner? If so, you’re on the right track according to psychologists!
People who avoid referring to the relationship collectively with we pronoun are more likely to have a hard time forming a healthy attachment. Separating the two individuals and avoiding the collective makes it easier to keep the relationship partners separate.
The research team from the University of California Riverside reviewed over 1,400 couples spanning seven studies. They focused on the attachments of each pair and the use of the “we” pronoun. Their findings? People with an avoidant attachment style, meaning those who struggle to establish intimacy and trust, tend to use “I” and “you” more than “we” and “us.”
Dr. Will Dunlop, the lead researcher, states, “Anxious and avoidant attachment styles capture individual differences in the ways people think, feel, and behave in romantic relationships.”
“Given that those with higher levels of avoidant attachment were found to demonstrate lower levels of we-talk when describing experiences from their romantic lives, considering the use of we words (e.g., us, ours) in the disclosure of previous romantic experiences may offer an indication of one’s avoidant tendencies. This is a relatively novel and indirect way of gauging avoidant attachment, as individuals are typically unaware of the pronouns they use.”
So next time you’re speaking with your significant other, listen for both their language and your choice of pronouns.