Spotting the Secure Partner

secure-partnerThe secure partner in relationship attachment science is a partner who is comfortable with closeness and intimacy in relationships and is usually consistent in their feelings and actions concerning their relationship. A person with a secure attachment style may not be the most “exciting”, but their straightforward and open manner creates a comfortable atmosphere and is an asset to the health and stability of a relationship.

Secure partner are luckily fairly common in the population — one out of every two people has a secure relationship style. The bad news is that people with a secure style tend to find a partner early on and stay with them for a long time. So if you’re dating it may not be easy to find them. There are some out there though, and you may even be in a relationship with one. Here are some signs of a potential secure partner that you may want to look out for:

1. Discusses plans and makes decisions with you

The partner with a secure attachment style will rarely make important decisions about the relationship by themselves. Instead they wait and ask for your input, and make decisions that take your views into account.

2. Doesn’t believe relationships are hard work

Secure partners tend to be satisfied with their relationships, even during rough times. They don’t dwell on small problems or talk about how difficult relationships are. They are open to starting a relationship even when their life circumstances or potential partner aren’t “perfect”.

3. Trustworthy and reliable

When a person with a secure relationship style says they will do something for you, the chances are that they will. If they can’t follow through on a promise or plan they made, they will explain why, usually in advance.

4. Compromise

In disagreements secure partners like to reach compromise. They are less concerned with proving themselves right (and you wrong) than they are with understanding your point of view and coming to a mutually satisfying agreement.

5. Comfortable with commitment and intimacy

Secure partners don’t mind the closeness created by a long-term relationship. They don’t worry that you’re cutting down on their freedom or trying to trap them (as an avoidant partner might) or that you might find them inadequate or reject them (as an anxious partner might).

6. Effectively communicates

Partners with a secure relationship style share their feelings and opinion in a clear and straightforward way. They don’t expect you to guess what they are feeling or create a scene to get your attention. They are also clear about where the relationship is headed.

7. Flexible and open to adjustment

Secure partners aren’t looking for a certain kind of partner or relationship. They have a few basic requirements but they are open to various people and arrangements. In addition, they aren’t threatened by criticism and are willing to reconsider their actions.

The secure partner is not perfect — they have their flaws like everyone does. But a secure partner not only helps to create a healthy relationship but works to keep it that way for the long term.

Do you or your partner have a secure attachment style?

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23 thoughts on “Spotting the Secure Partner

  1. Sherry,

    That means you’re a dream! 🙂 …Didn’t you score secure on the attachment style questionnaire?

    But this is necessarily just an ideal of the secure partner; individual people may vary.

  2. Oh you do use a lot of IR couples in your pictures 🙂

    I did score secure! And I think my husband is as well. He is very comfortable in our relationship and says he is very lucky. He likes it just how it is and I do as well. I think he gets what he want out of our relationship and I do as well. He’s usually the quiet type and lets me babble on but if there’s issues he rather talk about it.

    less concerned with proving themselves right (and you wrong)
    I know this! He usually lets me win fights lol. Unless it’s something he really believes in.

    Combine it with all the rest, Financial security, great in laws and the rest makes him a great husband *brags* 🙂

  3. Nkosazana,

    “Oh you do use a lot of IR couples in your pictures”

    I hadn’t even noticed that. I just liked the photo and thought it illustrated the topic well. But maybe I’m just subconsciously used to them. 🙂

    It makes sense for you and your husband to both be secure types; your relationship sounds like a secure one, in every way.

    Your husband does sound great and I would’ve guessed him as a secure type. Remember, you were supposed to show us a photo or video that included him. We should all be able to bask in his secure awesomeness.

  4. Im with Sherry, sounds like a dream. I would love to find a man like that. I laughed out loud at this: They don’t expect you to guess what they are feeling or create a scene to get your attention.

    That is the exact opposite of me and im not proud of that at all.

  5. This sounds a lot like my husband.

    But it’s not like he’s perfect. He actually has issues, just not relationship kind. What’s good about this attachment style is that it makes bonding, intimacy and building a relationship seem easy. That not to say we don’t argue (we do). But he was never afraid of intimacy. I am an anxious type, so being with someone who doesn’t criticize you for it is a good thing.

  6. I think marriage makes some people more secure, especially men. Being flexible, making co-decisions, compromising, and communicating are all skills you get a lot of practice at in a marriage. Meanwhile skills like flirting, dating, understanding the dynamics of a new relationship are skills you forget, so it kinda evens out.

    I took the online test twice and one of the times I scored as secure. Maybe I shift between these styles more than most people and that is why it appears situational to me.

  7. Z and I are both secure, but I think I might have scored “more secure” than he did. Maybe I could be anxious (or could have been, when I was younger), but I could never be avoidant. I hate that!

  8. I hadn’t even noticed that. I just liked the photo and thought it illustrated the topic well. But maybe I’m just subconsciously used to them. 🙂

    Well, you know, if your in a IR couple your part of an exclusive club lol. Leaving it is not an option 🙂

    Seriously we BW in IR relationships should all get matching bracelets or a secret handshake.

    It makes sense for you and your husband to both be secure types; your relationship sounds like a secure one, in every way.

    I think it’s very important since we come from two very different cultures, it makes things easier..

    Your husband does sound great and I would’ve guessed him as a secure type. Remember, you were supposed to show us a photo or video that included him. We should all be able to bask in his secure awesomeness.

    Well he’s not perfect there’s some things, but whatever who’s perfect. Nothing major at all.

    I guess I CAN take some cool photos on our Brazil trip. But I still want to see a nice photo off you kissing the farm boy 🙂

  9. Jessica,

    “I laughed out loud at this: They don’t expect you to guess what they are feeling or create a scene to get your attention.

    That is the exact opposite of me and im not proud of that at all.”

    Ha, yes, it’s fairly common with anxious types to create drama/a scene. It can just be a private drama though; like sulking or becoming snappy. Avoidants want you to guess what they’re feeling. And anxious-avoidants are an awful combination of the two. 🙂

    Mira,

    “This sounds a lot like my husband.

    But it’s not like he’s perfect. He actually has issues, just not relationship kind.”

    Yes, secure partners can have their own issues. They can be arrogant or a 24/7 partier. But what they aren’t is insecure or unsteady in relationships.

    “What’s good about this attachment style is that it makes bonding, intimacy and building a relationship seem easy…I am an anxious type, so being with someone who doesn’t criticize you for it is a good thing.”

    Exactly. I advocate for anxious types to enter relationships with secures (or sometimes other anxious types). You’ll feel accepted for who you are, and RA studies show that people with an anxious attachment become more secure if their partner has a secure attachment style.

  10. Tim,

    “I think marriage makes some people more secure, especially men.”

    Yes, it does. If your partner is secure or you two work un/knowingly towards secure characteristics. But some people (try to) keep their pre-marriage ways.

    “I took the online test twice and one of the times I scored as secure. Maybe I shift between these styles more than most people and that is why it appears situational to me.”

    What styles?

    I think the questionnaire is helpful if you understand how you relate and think in relationships in general and if you’re strongly one way or the other.

    Jasmin,

    ‘Z and I are both secure, but I think I might have scored “more secure” than he did.’

    I know the attachment styles are not personality types; people with a certain attachment style can appear in any way. Yet I often think of the anxious and avoidant types as having particular personality traits, and I would’ve guessed anxious, borderline secure for Zek. But then he says some things that most anxious types definitely do not believe (e.g. there are lots of “perfect” partners for them) — lol. So I go “Hmmm.”

    “Maybe I could be anxious (or could have been, when I was younger), but I could never be avoidant. I hate that!”

    People tend to hate avoidant style behavior, but lots of people also try hard (very hard) to get avoidants to like them and commit to them.

    Nkosazana,

    Too funny. I just hope the bracelets don’t have a brown and vanilla swirl design. 😛

    We’ll see about those photos. We’ll see..

  11. Alee,
    I think I go through all three styles at different times and I am never strongly in any one camp.
    Did you mean what was the other score I recieved?
    Libra. The computer said to me… You are a libra. 🙂

  12. I dated another anxious style before. It didnt work cause even though im anxious, his being anxious turned me off and made me avoidant towards him. Yeah Ive got problems lol.

  13. Tim, lol, Libra it is.

    Jessica,

    You’re a weird anxious type… sure you’re not anxious-avoidant? 🙂 It’s rarer than the rest, but some people have a combo of both styles. I can only imagine an anxious type would be happy having another person completely understand their view on relationships, especially since anxious traits tend to be the most discouraged in relationships.

  14. No I dont think im an anxious-avoidant or at least not in most of my relationships. I just think in that particular situation I was because seeing a man showing the same anxious traits I have turned me off. I want a man that can express his feelings and be affectionate but when he starts to seem needy or desperate, he loses some of his appeal for me. I tend to be attracted to Alpha Males and when I can see a man is anxious (especially when its on a regular basis) I start to see him as more feminine. I KNOW I am wrong for this. Its a double standard and I expect to be understood for my anxiousness yet cant apply the same thing to a man. Well I CAN understand it and sympathize, I just cant be as attracted to him. A secure partner is what I really want and need.

  15. Jessica,

    “I want a man that can express his feelings and be affectionate but when he starts to seem needy or desperate…”

    “Needy”? “Desperate”? *coughs*Avoidant*coughs*

    😉

    Lol, but seriously, I don’t think I’ve heard a person with an anxious style use that sort of language. If only because they’ve probably been called needy and/or desperate in the past.

    You might be borderline? Where did you score on the questionnaire?

    “…when I can see a man is anxious (especially when its on a regular basis) I start to see him as more feminine. I KNOW I am wrong for this. Its a double standard…”

    Right, and further, attachment styles know no gender boundaries. Because of gender stereotypes some may think anxious = feminine and avoidant = masculine, but there are plenty of anxious men and avoidant women. Plus, most men and women (50 percent) are secure.

    “A secure partner is what I really want and need.”

    I agree a secure type would be good for you. You can use this article as a checklist if you ever think you might have run into one. 🙂

  16. Well I went back and took the test and found that I am secure which is surprising and not surprising. In my 1st marriage I would have called myself anxious and him avoidant and I think he did that purposefully to keep me off kilter. I was always off kilter in that relationship. But with Matt, I’ve never felt so secure, everything about our relationship just makes me relaxed. Although I can be kind of high-strung when I’m with him, I just relax he’s got such a calming vibe, I can’t help but be calm. It’s a nice change.

  17. Eugenia,

    “Well I went back and took the test and found that I am secure which is surprising and not surprising.”

    I’d say the latter. 🙂

    But yes, if you date an avoidant, even if you’re secure you can become more anxious. Whereas being with a secure makes you more secure, naturally. The relationship styles describe how you are in relationships in general, not just in your current relationship.

  18. Yippee we are the secure+anxious couple. and it IS comfortable, and sometimes boring. But it’s comfortable! Comfortable is good

  19. well hell. Now that I’m reading this I’m confused about my last relationship. He seemed to fit the secure in the beginning but got distant and his reasons seem petty. He has been very open to taking responsibilty, but not willing to fix things. He said most of his relationships are easy and harmonious, which fits with the above, but yet he hasn’t had one work out long term and admits that he “gives up easily”. He’s also been very willing to talk everything to death with me after he ended things, but refuses to change his mind.

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