In this post, we will go a bit deeper on the secure attachment style.
What is Secure Attachment
Secure attachment types enjoy intimacy and are comfortable with it.
They are comfortable in asking for intimacy, giving intimacy and talking about intimacy. They are emotionally centered and tend to trust their partners and their partner’s love for them without the need of always double checking on their relationship.
When secure people like you, they show you so and they tell you so. And they support you without withdrawing or playing any games.
When secure people date, they look for consistency and reciprocal investment -also read: the key to getting high quality men is reciprocal investment-.
They despise games and don’t make it a big issue to screen out people that don’t respond to them -also read why you shouldn’t be playing games-.
Are secure supermen? No, they’re not supermen, but they do have a higher level of emotional intelligence compared to other attachment styles and are better at understanding their partners.
But this is something you can develop -this is what’s this website is all about after all-.
Here is a quick overview of how secure types are like:
|No need for games|
|Comfortable with intimacy|
|Treat partners well|
|Give and take|
Secure Attachment in Relationships
In a relationship the secure types tend to be:
- Very good at conflict management: they don’t feed the need to act defensively or counterattack their partners
- Quicker to forgive: they tend to a positive outlook of the relationship and of their partner, thus they blame less and are quicker to forgive
- Ready to commit: they tend to view sex and relationship more like two faces of the same coin. They are not afraid of commitment and “labeling” the relationship
Where Does Secure Come From?
Some sources say a secure attachment stems mostly from parenting and to what’s called “attuned parenting” (read Getting the Love You Want).
But more recent studies say it’s a mixture of influences, including parenting, genetics and life experiences (read Attached).
Here is a list of what contributes to the development of a secure attachment:
- Mother sensitive to child’s needs
- Easy temperament of the baby (makes it easier for parents to be responsive)
- Good maternal conditions—marital satisfaction, low stress, no depression and social support
- Fewer hours with a non-parental caretaker
- Genetic predisposition
- Life experiences (ie.: avoiding big romantic traumas)
If you’re a mother, avoid this behavior (from the movie Terms of Endearment):
What’s wrong there is to wake up the child and then leave the room, which is the opposite of what a mother should do: help the child get to sleep and leave when the child sleep.
Science of Secure Attachment
A laboratory experiments showed that secure attachment types have easy access in their brain to themes such as love, closeness and hugs and they don’t register as easily topics such as abandonment, loss and separation.
And contrary to avoidants, they still didn’t access those areas when they were distracted. This makes secure people very confident in their relationship.
They are also more able to switch off negative thoughts patterns when they want to, which makes them bounce back quicker after an argument. That means that secure people don’t keep a grudge for days on end.
Secure Attachment Examples
I love the idea that a picture is worth a thousand words. And a good video is worth a thousand pictures.
These video examples will clarify for you what’s a secure attachment:
#1. Not Afraid of Emotional Pain
Secure doesn’t mean cool and loved all the times. It also means asking for the truth when that truth might hurt. It’s the power of vulnerability.
Some that Ted from How I Met Your Mother exhibits very well here:
#2. Not Afraid of Emotional Honesty
Unlickily for Kay, The Godfather was a damn badass secure attachment example. In this scene, and contrary to his future, he is also very vulnerable like only secure types can be:
#3. Secure is not confident
Since secure speaks his mind, is not afraid of commitment and doesn’t play games people might think of them as some sort of very confident, super-human types.
But that’s not the case. There are shy secure, 30 years old virgin secure and even insecure secure. Here’s an example:
Why Secure is Better
Research shows that the best predictor of happiness in a relationship is a secure attachment style.
And the great thing about secure partners is that they have the power to lift up in their relationship satisfaction levels both anxious and avoidant attachment styles.
Secure is a thing of beauty in relationships.
How to keep a secure attachment
Attachment styles don’t stay fixed for the whole life in every single case. A shift is possible and a secure attachment could become more anxious.
Secure indeed can exaggerate in feeling like their partner’s well being is their responsibility, and they can be overly inclined to forgiving.
One way that can happen is if the secure partner continually respond to their partner’s unacceptable behavior and keep tolerating it.
That’s more likely to happen in inexperienced secure attachment types, but make a mental note anyway: too much cr@p, and you cut the cr@p.
Signs to Watch Out For
Here is what to watch out for:
- If you start getting too jealous or worried (anxious)
- If you are less trusting, start playing games and find it difficult to talk (avoidant)
Then you’re in the wrong relationship.
Secure attachment types are comfortable with intimacy and they talk straight.
They have stronger, more stable relationships and are happier in them.
For those who are already secure, keep in mind that some very poor partner can make you regress to avoidant or anxious. If you feel you are losing your security, it’s best to end the relationship.