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Secure Attachment Style; The main attachment style in adult relationships

Updated: May 29, 2023

secure attachment relationship

What is a secure attachment style?

A secure attachment style is the ideal attachment pattern. Even if we have an insecure one, we are fundamentally designed for secure attachment, and with the right guidance we could shift towards it.

Secure attachment is one of the four attachment styles. Roughly half of us have a secure attachment, a psychological pattern shaped through our relationship with our primary caregivers, that determines how we relate to others as adults. It is characterized by trust, closeness, and comfort in intimate relationships. Caregivers of securely attached children were responsive to their emotional needs in a healthy manner. Growing up in such an environment, a child may easily develop a more positive approach toward relationships as an adult later in life.

People with this attachment style tend to feel safe leaning on their partners when they need help or offering support when their partner needs it. They know that the relationship will not end if they make a mistake and believe their partner will still love them in spite of it. A partner which developed a secure attachment style is more likely to express their fears and insecurities instead of denying them, trusting that their partner has their best interests at heart.

Individuals who are securely attached typically feel comfortable communicating their needs and feelings to their partner and feel confident that their partner will respond positively to them. Additionally, they tend to have a positive outlook on themselves, their relationships, and the world in general.

Secure attachment style in a relationship; how it differs from avoidant attachment and anxious attachment style.

People with a secure attachment style have early childhood experiences of a secure, consistent, and reliable caregiver. As adults, they are able to use their childhood experiences to understand that relationships are safe and trustworthy. In a romantic relationship, secure people are comfortable depending on their partner, while recognizing that they’re also able to take care of themselves.

They know how to ask for help and how to offer support in a healthy way that isn’t controlling. They don’t feel constantly threatened by their partners’ emotions or respond to feeling anger or disappointment with retreat. Instead, they’re able to “soothe themselves” by bringing positive feelings like love, gratitude, and empathy into the relationship when they are feeling upset or anxious.

In contrast to individuals with an avoidant attachment type, securely attached adults do not shut down when intimacy arises. Instead, they embrace it, knowing that closeness is a positive and nurturing thing.

When conflict arises, those with a secure attachment type would seek to engage and resolve it peacefully without any drama or accusations. This could often not be the case if your romantic partner is avoidant or anxious, as avoidants could withdraw from the conflict blaming the other person, and anxiously attached individuals may overreact for the sake of getting attention from their partner.

10 Common Signs of secure attachment

  • A positive outlook on themselves, their relationships, and the world in general.

  • Feel comfortable asking for help when needed or offering support when their partner needs it.

  • Feeling safe to express insecurities and feelings in the relationship.

  • Seek to resolve a conflict in calm ways while understanding that both partners are in it together.

  • Feeling secure when you’re apart - secure partners don’t feel a desperate need to always be together.

  • Embrace intimacy and closeness.

  • Easily transition from being by yourself to being with others.

  • Do not idealize an ex-partner or a potential one excessively.

  • Great listeners.

  • Having high empathy abilities - it could be really easy to form an intimacy with them.

secure attachment style

From Insecure To Secure - The four attachment styles in the attachment theory

The experiences that an individual has as an infant greatly determine his adult attachment styles and behavior in close relationships.

Secure attachment provides individuals with a feeling of confidence and comfort when in intimate relationships. However, people with anxious or avoidant attachment styles tend to obsess over their relationships or avoid them altogether.

Overcoming an insecure attachment style may not be easy, but it is possible when you put in the effort.

In order to change an insecure attachment into a secure one, you must first become aware of your attachment style. To change become aware of your triggers, feelings, thoughts, and actions surrounding relationships.

You could start with an attachment journal where you would identify and write down your triggers, feelings, thoughts, and actions. Additionally, you may find it useful to look back on your past relationships and write down observations about your behavior and that of your ex-partner.

If you are currently single and want a secure bond in your future relationship, the best thing for you to do is to date a securely attached person. Someone with this type of attachment style can help you shift from the type of insecure attachment that you may have to a healthier one.

We shared effective tips on how to build a secure and stable connection with your partner, and how to shift from insecure styles of attachment based on each attachment style.

How to stay securely attached in your relationship

Although it is easier for securely attached individuals to cope with rising conflicts and relationship pitfalls, attachment style could also change for the worst. Meaningful events in our adult life, like trauma, unhealthy relationships (such as codependent relationships), and more, could change the patterns of our relationship behaviors without our intention.

One of the most important things to do in order to maintain an interdependent relationship is to effectively communicate your emotional needs and thoughts about the relationship with your partner. Effective communication would help prevent unhealthy misunderstandings in the relationship and would keep it on a nurturing path. Listening empathically plays a key role in this kind of communication.

In addition to that, if you are single, dating another securely attached individual is a great way to help maintain and form a secure adult romantic relationship. In such a partnership, both could balance and meet each other's needs in the relationship.

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Final thoughts

A secure attachment is characterized by trust, comfort, and closeness in an intimate relationship. People who are securely attached have an easier time dealing with stressful events and are better able to handle negative emotions. They are also more likely to be healthier and happier in their relationships.

Securely attached individuals aren't always easy to find, but they definitely exist and they're worth looking for. It is the ideal attachment style, and it is completely possible to shift towards a secure attachment style and maintain it. If you recognize the signs of an insecure style in yourself or in your relationships, try using the tips given in this article and effectively communicate your feelings with your partner. Remember that you can always improve your connection with your partner.

You got this!

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