Secrets of the Securely Attached

If relationships were logical, it would be so much easier.

You’d understand going in that most relationships don’t last.

It wouldn’t hurt when things went wrong; you’d expect them to go wrong. Then you’d bust out your toolkit of strategies.

If the relationship ended, you’d reassure yourself that it wasn’t meant to be. You took a long shot, and it didn’t work out. Perfectly normal.

You learned from your mistakes, had some fun while it lasted, and are ready for your next adventure.

Wouldn’t it be nice!!

But most of us can’t live like that.

We don’t go into relationships with our heads. We go in with our hearts.

And our hearts tell us that every relationship is meant to be. There’s no one else like this person. If this doesn’t work out, it will be unthinkable. We don’t know how we’ll ever move on.

But all heart and no head isn’t always helpful.

We panic when things go wrong. Desperation drives us to act in ways we later regret. We obsess over the relationship. We scare ourselves with thoughts of breaking up.

There’s a middle ground.

For some people, it’s possible to love with all their heart and keep their head on straight.

Their secret skill is secure attachment.

These People Have It Easier in Love

Chances are, you’ve heard of attachment styles before. (Find out more here.)

Basically, your attachment style is the way you relate to people who are emotionally important to you.

Most of us don’t have any problem getting along with people who aren’t close to us. There’s no pressure.

But our relationships with loved ones have much higher stakes.

Say the wrong thing to someone you care about, and they’ll be offended and hurt. You could even lose them from your life.

No wonder close intimate relationships bring out insecurity and anxiety in many of us.

But there is one group of people that has an easier time of it:

The securely attached.

These people learned from a young age that they could trust the people in their lives to show up for them lovingly and consistently.

Now, as adults, they can relax into their intimate relationships. They don’t constantly feel on edge. They know they can handle themselves, no matter what happens.

But you don’t have to have had a perfect upbringing to steal their secrets.

Here are 5 secrets of the securely attached that you can put to use for yourself, starting today.

Secret #1.
Rejection doesn’t change your worth.

The very first people who loved us were our parents.

If they showed us love consistently and unconditionally, then we internalized the belief that we were lovable. We didn’t doubt it for a second.

As we went out into the world, we discovered that there were lots of people who didn’t love us. But that was okay. Just because someone didn’t love us didn’t mean we’re unlovable.

That sense of security is priceless. It reminds you that no one’s opinion of you can change your worth.

You are just as worthy and valuable after a breakup as you were before it.

Rejection will always hurt. But it doesn’t have to make you doubt yourself.

Secret #2.
Your worth is equal to your partner’s.

Many classic love stories glamorized the sacrifice.

The more you give up for your beloved, the more you must love him.

But today we know differently.

Love doesn’t require loss. Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you have to put your needs second or give up everything for him.

In a secure relationship, your needs are just as important as his. You’re equals. He needs you as much as you need him. It would be his loss if the relationship ended, too.

Secret #3.
Honest communication won’t wreck a good relationship.

When you’re feeling insecure, is this first thought that pops into your head?

“I need to tell him how I’m feeling.”

Probably not!

When we’re insecure, we clam up. We worry about how our partner would react if we told the truth. We don’t want to wreck things.

Secure people think differently.

They know that the only way out is through. Nothing will get fixed if they don’t talk about it.

Yes, being honest could scare away an unreliable partner, but that’s better than a relationship built on half-truths.

Secret #4.
Being reliable, trustworthy, and consistent is nonnegotiable.

Secure relationships don’t make good television.

That’s because they’re predictable. There’s no drama. They just keep showing up consistently for each other.

The more secure you are, the less drama you tolerate. That’s because you value yourself. (See Secret #2.)

Secret #5.
Everything good takes time.

It’s exciting to meet someone new.

It’s fun to fantasize about where it might lead.

But relationships are built one step at a time.

Don’t jump ahead when your relationship is unfolding day by day in the present. Pay attention to what’s happening now.

Can you trust him? Is he showing up consistently? Can you be honest? Does this relationship feel safe and secure, or does it feel like it’s been built on shifting sand?

Even if you’ve never had a secure relationship before, believe in the possibility for yourself. A man who makes you feel anxious and unloved is probably not the man for you. It might be hard for your heart to listen to your head, but together they’ll guide you well.

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