There are several different types of “attachment styles” in a relationship. One type is called Secure Attachment, but before we delve into that, first lets review the definition for intimacy.
While there are many definitions for intimacy, many marriage counselors think intimacy is a willingness to
- disclose your true thoughts, feelings, wishes, and fears
- rely on your partner for care and emotional support
- engage in affectionate and sexual touch with your partner
Research has shown that our ability to feel connected to our partner is largely dependent on our attachment style. There are three attachment styles: secure, anxious, and dismissive.
Secure Attachment Style in a Relationship
People who have what is called a secure attachment style are highly capable of a sustained, intimate relationship full of emotional connection. About 60% of adults have a secure attachment style.
These people are able to strike a balance between being intimate and being independent.
In other words, they can be emotionally close, and if on occasion their partner wants a little distance or wants more closeness, they can adapt easily.
These people are comfortable being both independent and or dependent.
Roots of Attachment
We develop our attachment style when we are very young through repeated interactions with our parents and other caregivers. If we felt our caregivers were helpful, supportive, and responsive to our needs, we may have concluded that it is safe to be close to others since they are responsive when we need them.
If we felt our caregivers were unreliable, inconsistent, or downright scary, we may have concluded it’s risky to get close to others. In this case, we develop a preference for one of the other attachment styles, either preoccupied or dismissive, which will be the topic of future blogs.
Do you have a secure attachment style? Answer YES or NO to these questions to find out.
- It is relatively easy for me to become emotionally close to others.
- I am comfortable depending on others and having others depend on me.
- I don’t worry about being alone or others not accepting me.
The more YES answers you gave, the more secure you are in relationships. If you answered NO to more than one, you can read our future blogs on the other two attachment styles, preoccupied and dismissive.