When it comes to a serious relationship, what do you usually look for in a partner? I mean, besides their looks, what are some things that attract you to a person and make you feel like they’re worth your long-term commitment?
Whatever your answer was, you might want to rethink it. Because, what you should first and foremost search for in a partner, is a secure attachment style.
Our attachment styles affect pretty much everything in our relationships. From our partner selection, and our relationship’s progress, to the way we approach and solve its issues and respond to our partner’s needs.
They are developed in childhood, based on the way our parents or primal caregivers cared for us at the time. And as we get older and we start to form romantic relationships, we exhibit the traits of these attachment styles — unless we make a serious effort to change them.
The secure attachment style the only healthy style out of all four. And indeed, secure attachment types make the best romantic partners, because they are confident in themselves, are trustworthy, feel comfortable with intimacy and commitment, and know the importance of boundaries.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the traits of a person with a secure attachment style and how you can spot them.
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1. They Don’t Play Games
A person with a secure attachment style will never play games with you to gauge your level of interest.
There are no lies, tricks, or drama. They don’t pretend to be someone they’re not in order to win you nor they play it hard to get. With them, things are always clear — they don’t expect you to read their minds.
If they want you, they’ll tell/show you. If they don’t, they’ll do the same. There will be no mosting, stashing, benching, or any other kind of manipulative dating tactic.
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2. They Feel Comfortable Opening Up
One of the main reasons conflict arises in a relationship is because one of (or both) the people involved finds it difficult to open up and share their inner feelings, desires, and fears.
Since no person can read their partner’s mind, confusion, misunderstandings, and conflict ensue.
When it comes to securely attached people, however, they are willing to share themselves, open up, and form an authentic connection with you instead of keeping things on the surface level. They allow you to know their inner thoughts and deeper feelings and never keep you in the dark.
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3. They‘re Not Afraid of Commitment
Chances are, at some point in your life you’ve fallen for an emotionally unavailable person — someone who didn’t want or wasn’t quite ready to commit themselves to you.
That’s not something you’ll have to face upon getting close with a securely attached person. These people aren’t afraid of close interpersonal relationships and feel comfortable with the idea of commitment.
In fact, they usually search for loving, lasting relationships instead of meaningless, short-term flings. I’m not saying you will never see them having a short-term fling, but they enjoy intimate relationships much more.
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4. They Set and Respect Boundaries
Setting personal boundaries is an important element of any healthy relationship.
As John Amodeo explains in his article in Psychology Today:
“Having boundaries means honoring ourselves as a separate individual with needs and wants that often differ from others. Without healthy boundaries, we allow others to override our own feelings and desires…Boundaries are an external expression of an internal self-affirmation, which means knowing and affirming what is important to us.”
A person with a secure attachment style not only sets some healthy boundaries in your relationship but always respect yours as well. They tell you when you’ve gone too far or when you’ve done or said something that hurt them and expect you to do the same.
They also understand that sometimes you might need some space and time and will freely give it to you, without starting to doubt your feelings.
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5. They Don’t Act Selfishly
Securely attached individuals understand that in a relationship, both people should treat each other as equals.
That means that they always ask, listen to, and value your opinion. They don’t ask you to change their personality and habits to match theirs.
They don’t expect to be the ones who will always call all the shots and they never insist that their perspective is the correct one — they accept yours, even if they disagree.
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A Look Inside the Mind of a Securely Attached Person
In order to better understand how a person with a secure attachment style approaches their relationships, it might help to take a look at what goes inside their heads whenever they think of love, commitment and relationships.
When it comes to themselves inside a relationship:
- I find it easy to get emotionally close to my partner.
- I feel confident showing my feelings to my partner.
- I always tell my partner when and why I am upset.
- I feel good enough for my partner.
- I have interests and activities I enjoy outside my relationship.
When it comes to their partner:
- I trust my partner.
- I respect my partner’s needs, desires, and boundaries.
- I give my partner space and time whenever they need it.
- I value my partner’s opinions.
- I want my partner to have other interests besides our relationship.
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If you are looking for a potential partner, it is important to take a look at how the people you’re interested in attach, because their attachment style will significantly affect your relationship and the way they treat you.
Please keep in mind that I’m not implying that other attachment styles are unable to form a loving, long-term relationship. However, with secure attachment types, things are always easier, because they are trustworthy, respectful, seek commitment and intimacy, and allow you to move freely.
As clinical psychologist Lisa Firestone explains in her article:
“Securely attached adults tend to be more satisfied in their relationships. Children with a secure attachment see their parent as a secure base from which they can venture out and independently explore the world. A secure adult has a similar relationship with their romantic partner, feeling secure and connected, while allowing themselves and their partner to move freely.”
Trust me, once you meet a securely attached person, you’ll never want to let them go.
This post was previously published on Medium.
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