Secure attachment develops in childhood. This means that adult relationships either thrive or struggle according to how we were raised.
From an early age, we learn to develop relationships with other people in our lives. These relationships can either be secure or insecure attachments depending on how we are treated. It starts with our parents who reinforce our attachment by how they raise us. Love, acceptance, and other traits help cultivate secure attachment.
Secure attachments in relationships promote honesty and assertiveness. Unlike anxious attachments, secure attachments aren’t jealous or self-conscious. They are confident and accepting of each other’s faults and imperfections.
Promoting secure attachments
It’s important to cultivate secure attachments. If this isn’t done early in life, then healing any unhealthy attachment issues will need to be done before or during your relationship. If you do not strengthen your attachment habits your relationship will suffer from all sorts of problems.
Here are a few ways to cultivate a secure attachment.
1. Stay independent
Creating a secure attachment in a relationship can be done by staying independent. When I say independent, I don’t mean do whatever you want. Obviously, you cannot do whatever you want anymore because you are in a partnership with another person.
What I mean is that you should never lose sight of yourself when dating someone. Staying an independent while in a relationship means continuing to appreciate the things you love outside the union.
For instance, if you loved going camping but your mate does not, you should still find time to go camping without them. You should never give up all the things you love about yourself in order to create a better bond. In fact, staying independent in this manner should actually strengthen the relationship.
2. Stop playing games
If you are being manipulative in your relationship, then this is not a secure union. A secure attachment style doesn’t afford toxic behavior such as this. A few ways you might be acting in a manipulative manner is if you’re withholding intimacy as a form of punishment for something that didn’t go your way, and things of that nature.
You can also play games by avoiding your mate when angry or bribing them with rewards for doing things you want. If you’re playing games, your relationship will suffer and your mate will grow to resent you. Secure attachments have no need for game playing.
3. Release control
If you are in an unhealthy attachment, you will notice the fight for control in your relationship. Either you or your mate will always have the upper hand when it comes to conflict. Controlling behavior, while it does seem powerful and useful, is a negative tool in relationships.
As this behavior may work for the time being, in the long run, it will kill any love that you have for each other. You absolutely have to get rid of controlling behavior in order to cultivate a secure attachment.
4. Stop being fickle
Have you ever watched a leaf being blown in the wind? If so, that is a good symbolic example of being fickle. If you are in love when you’re happy with your partner and not in love when you’re angry, then you might be a fickle person.
This stands to reason that you might not really be in love at all. You need to examine this area closely to understand the truth. A secure relationship does not change according to mood. True love is not fickle, even when it acts in a petty way.
No matter how angry you get at your mate, you should never feel a loss of love. While some issues are serious, no doubt, most issues are never supposed to make you question your love for the other person. If so, you are fickle and you are insecure. Take the time to introspect and stick with your decisions.
5. Kill insecurities
Being insecure will definitely create a shaking relationship between two people. While one will be frightened of losing the other, the other will be irritated by their mate’s jealousy and anger. Being insecure creates an uncomfortable atmosphere which makes it hard to feel free and happy.
An insecure person will always feel anxious because they are waiting for the next situation to threaten their relationship. This is the exact opposite of having a healthy attachment type.
There’s plenty of time to change
If you weren’t raised in a secure home and suffered in a dysfunctional family, there’s still hope. Even though your childhood does have a huge influence on your adult relationships, you can heal. Make a decision today to let go of the lies from your early life, and decide to build upon what you know to be true.
Yes, it does require a positive attitude, but what was done in years of upbringing cannot be transformed overnight, so it will take perseverance.
I encourage you, however, to make the choice to better yourself and your relationships. After all, this is not only for your benefit but for whoever decides to share this life with you. Remember, relationships should be sanctuaries, not battlegrounds.
By Sherrie H.