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  • Writer's pictureCarina V

Signs you are becoming secure in relationships

How to know that you are relating in a secure way

In this post, I will cover some ways of how to know that you are becoming more secure in your relationships. This is based on the ideas of attachment theory, which suggest there are secure and insecure attachment styles. Please note that what I share here is not exhaustive, and that while attachment theory can be a useful lens or framework to observe our ways of relating, it is not a perfect solution and has its limitations.

This post will not focus too much on attachment theory itself, but some concepts will be shared here as necessary to give some context. If you would like to learn more about it, you can watch a video I created on it, and also check out the resources linked at the bottom of this post.

Basically, secure people feel comfortable with intimacy and are usually warm and loving; anxious people crave intimacy, are often preoccupied with their relationships, and tend to worry about their partner’s ability to love them back; avoidant people equate intimacy with a loss of independence and constantly try to minimize closeness.

- Amir Levine, Attached: Are you Anxious, Avoidant or Secure? How the science of adult attachment can help you find – and keep – love

In brief, those who are natively secure, are those who were raised in conditions and environments that allowed them to establish a securely attached way of relating. Those who have insecure attachments are usually categorised into anxious-preoccupied, dismissing-avoidant, or disorganised (also known is anxious-avoidant or fearful avoidant). For those with insecure attachment, it is possible to earn secure attachment. To my knowledge, this can be done either through conscious work on resolving your attachment disturbances, through being in relationships with people that are secure, or a combination of the two. In this video I will share some ways to know how your way of relating could indicate that you are shifting to a more secure attachment style.

Signs that indicate you are becoming more secure in your way of relating:

  • You recognise that your needs are valid, and you are comfortable communicating your needs in relationships. You hold a positive expectation that your needs will be met, but also recognise that your relationships will not perfectly be able to meet your needs. Someone with secure attachment will seek consistently to have their needs met; as in, they feel confident in communicating their needs. There is room for giving people the benefit of the doubt. This generosity of spirit also translates into generosity in relationships in a broader sense. Being generous with time, energy, and other resources is a sign of secure attachment in relationships because you know your needs are being met.

  • You are comfortable communicating your boundaries in relationships, and recognise that you doing so does not threaten the security of the relationship. Please note, boundaries are not a form of avoiding closeness or attachment in relationships, at least, not from a secure attachment perspective. This includes being willing to walk away from situations or relationships. For me, this was one of the biggest ways insecure attachment manifested, feeling unable to walk away, or like I needed to stay and fight a one-sided fight. Those with secure attachment don’t fight what they consider to be a losing battle.

  • You feel able to talk through conflict, and to be able to resolve conflict situations. Conflict situations can also be seen as an opportunity to learn more about those you are in relationship with. When you are more secure in your way of relating, you also do not assume that conflict will mean the end of a relationship.

  • You are also able to forgive past hurts easily, and accept forgiveness from others in relationships. Most importantly, you also seek to forgive yourself.

  • You hold a positive view of relationships and attachment, and see the value in having close relationships based on secure ways of relating. More than that, you delight in those you are in relationship with, and you are able to feel delighted in by them. This mutual delight is a delight in their and your being, rather than doing.

  • You are able to hold space for your emotions, including uncomfortable or negative ones. Having secure attachment or a secure way of relating does not mean not having negative emotions, emotional triggers, or insecurities come up. As one of my mentors reminds me, there is no such thing as “perfectly secure”. Good enough is good enough.

  • Building on the previous point, when you are upset and have secure attachment, you are able to self soothe, and also comfortable relying on others in relationships to be soothed by them. You are able to strike a balance with this. You recognise that you can reach out for support and help when you need it, and you value receiving help and support.

  • You feel able to attune to others in relationships, and feel open to being attuned to. This takes vulnerability and a willingness to be present with your own and another’s vulnerability. This is one form of emotional availability which is an important component of secure attachment. Attunement includes but is deeper than just understanding; it is being present with and being able to connect with another in their state of being.

  • Finally, I think one of the surest ways to know that you are becoming more secure in your way of relating is that some of these previously mentioned things are not such a big deal anymore. That is not to say you take them for granted, or that, if you had to earn secure attachment that you do not appreciate what it took for you to earn it, but I think it becomes something that - once you integrate it - runs a little more in the background. It becomes second nature. It is not something that takes up as much emotional processing space as it once did. You don’t spend time worrying about it before and after engaging in your close relationships.

If, by reading some of these signs, you recognise there is an area of growth for you, that is a very good thing. Bringing awareness to it is the way to start creating positive change for yourself. This starts by working on these aspects in a relationship with yourself. As you start to feel more secure with your relationship with yourself, it naturally also begins to reflect in your close relationships. It is also helpful to consider whether those you are close to are able to be secure attachment figures, and perhaps to start to seek out those who offer that, if that is something that is lacking in your life, as a way to support you on your journey to becoming more secure.

If you would like healing support or guidance on your journey to becoming more secure in your relationships, you might like to consider working with me.



- "Attached: Are you Anxious, Avoidant or Secure? How the science of adult attachment can help you find – and keep – love" by Amir Levine

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