Wired for Love by Stan Tatkin

Referred to as “The complete insider’s guide to understanding your partner’s brain and promoting love and trust within a romantic relationship”, Wired for Love provides the reader with scientific principles that can help to avoid triggering fear and panic in your partner. The book offers valuable insights into the complex dynamics behind love and trust in intimate relationships.

Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT, is a clinician, researcher, teacher, and developer of A Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT). He has a clinical practice in Calabasas, CA, where he has specialized in working with couples and individuals who wish to be in relationships. The PACT Institute was developed for the purpose of training other psychotherapists to use this method in their clinical practice.

PACT is based in the science of neurobiology (understanding how the brain works), attachment theory (understanding the biological need to bond with others), and emotion regulation research (the ability to manage one’s energy and alertness).

Tatkin suggests in ‘Wired for Love’ that our neural wiring determines how we react when we receive signals from others calling for closeness and connection. He emphasizes the importance of two factors: the early attachments we form with parents and caregivers, and the relationships we witness in our family of origin. These factors shape the neural pathways in our brains that affect how we respond to intimacy well into adulthood.
Depending on the kind of attachment they form with their parents, people develop into one of three types in their romantic relationships as adults: anchors, islands, or waves.

‘Anchors’ are generally secure, able to commit to others, and adaptable. They form and maintain relationships fairly easily.

‘Islands’ are independent, self-reliant, and low maintenance, but in relationships they can be withholding and isolating.

‘Waves’ are generous, focused on caring for others, and happiest when around others, but they can run hot or cold in relationships, seeking constant reassurance from their partners and lashing out when their needs aren’t fully met.

In ‘Wired for Love’, Tatkin gives examples of couples with different attachment styles and provides specific exercises to help couples deepen their connection. These tools can be used to mend troubled relationships. On the other hand, Tatkin suggests that couples would be wise to figure out what makes their partners happy, then do it. This simple tactic can go a long way to preventing fights, grief and misery.