Empathetic and able to set appropriate boundaries, people with secure attachment tend to feel safe, stable, and more satisfied in their close relationships. While they don’t fear being on their own, they usually thrive in close, meaningful relationships.
Having a secure attachment style doesn’t mean you’re perfect or you don’t experience relationship problems. But you likely feel secure enough to take responsibility for your own mistakes and failings, and are willing to seek help and support when you need it.
- You appreciate your own self-worth and you’re able to be yourself in an intimate relationship. You’re comfortable expressing your feelings, hopes, and needs.
- You find satisfaction in being with others, openly seek support and comfort from your partner, but don’t get overly anxious when the two of you are apart.
- You’re similarly happy for your partner to rely on you for support.
- You’re able to maintain your emotional balance and seek healthy ways to manage conflict in a close relationship.
- When faced with disappointment, setbacks, and misfortune in your relationships as well as other parts of your life, you’re resilient enough to bounce back.
Primary caregiver relationship – As someone with a secure attachment style, it’s likely your primary caretaker was able to stay engaged with you as an infant and effectively manage their own stress as well as calm and soothe you when you were distressed. They made you feel safe and secure, communicated through emotion, and responded to your changing needs on a regular basis, enabling your nervous system to become “securely attached.”
Of course, no parent or caregiver is perfect and no one can be fully present and attentive to an infant 24 hours a day. In fact, that’s not necessary to establish secure attachment in a child. But when your caregiver missed your nonverbal cues, it’s likely they continued trying to figure out what you needed, keeping the secure attachment process on track.
The strong foundation of a secure attachment bond enabled you as a child to be self-confident, trusting, hopeful, and comfortable in the face of conflict.
Secure or insecure? Some people may identify with some but not all of the characteristics of secure attachment. Even if your relationships tend to be stable, it’s possible that you have specific patterns of behavior or thinking that cause conflict with your partner and need to be actively addressed. Start by seeing if you relate to any aspects of the following three insecure attachment styles.