5 Ways to Develop a Secure Attachment Style

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Published Date|
May 12, 2023

5 Ways to Develop a Secure Attachment Style


We all crave love. Whether you are searching for the perfect romantic partner or you want to nurture stronger bonds with your friends, it’s simply human nature to want to belong.


But sometimes, we can find ourselves standing in our own way.


Maybe you crave a deep connection, but the thought of adding another person to your daily routine makes you feel claustrophobic.


Maybe you’re seeing someone who seems perfect for you on the surface, but you can’t help but panic every time they take more than 20 minutes to reply to a text.


Our attachment styles develop for a reason – they’re trying to protect us from being hurt. But they can block us from receiving the love we truly need and deserve.


Here at KMA Therapy, we know you want to learn how to have the healthy relationships you deserve. For over 14 years, we’ve been equipping our clients with the skills they need to thrive in their lives and relationships.


After reading this article, you’ll know how your attachment style develops, how to recognize your own attachment style, and how to move to a more secure attachment style.


Where Does Your Attachment Style Come From?


Humans are hard-wired to seek connection from other people – and attachment theory explores how our earliest connections can impact us later on in life.


As children, if our parents aren’t able to meet our needs in the right way, it can have lasting impacts on the way we seek connection from others.


Although much of our attachment style is thought to come from childhood, it can continue to fluctuate throughout our lives – meaning we can continue to develop secure (or insecure) attachment traits as we get older.


What is My Attachment Style?


Your attachment style can explain how you interact with others, and it’s often easy to recognize your attachment style based on the patterns you tend to repeat.

what is my attachment style


An anxious attachment style is often associated with inconsistent caregiving in childhood – at times, your parent was able to meet your needs, but other times, they weren’t, leaving you confused about what to expect from them.


Signs you have an anxious attachment style include:


  • Questioning your worth or value
  • Waiting for the “other shoe to drop”
  • Craving constant validation and reassurance
  • Fearing that if this relationship ends you won’t ever find anyone else to love you
  • Feeling incredibly distressed if your partner misses your calls or takes a while to respond to a text


An avoidant attachment style is often associated with emotionally distant parents in childhood. Your parents may have provided for your physical needs, like food and shelter, but could have had trouble meeting your emotional needs.


Signs you have an avoidant attachment style include:


  • Avoiding emotional intimacy
  • Ending relationships when your partner gets “too close”
  • Feeling hyper-independent and reluctant to rely on others
  • A high level of self-esteem and a disregard for other people’s opinions of you
  • Feeling like you can’t rely on other people, so there’s no point in expecting their support


A secure attachment style is associated with parents who were able to meet your needs in childhood. Even if they weren’t perfect one hundred percent of the time, you were able to trust your parents to meet your needs.


Signs you have a secure attachment style include:


  • You feel worthy of love
  • You trust your partners and friends
  • You have a positive view of yourself and others
  • You trust others to support you and you support others
  • You’re able to build and maintain lasting, meaningful relationships


Can Your Attachment Style Change?


Yes, your attachment style can change. Although much of your attachment style is formed early in life, it’s not set in stone.


can your attachment style change

Even if you have an insecure attachment style, it’s fully possible to learn how to have healthy, supportive, and fulfilling relationships.


5 Ways to Nurture a Secure Attachment Style


You have the power to build a secure attachment style and nurture the healthy, fulfilling relationships you deserve.


1. Examine the Healthy Relationships You Already Have


Even if you have an insecure attachment style in romantic relationships, there’s likely an example of a secure relationship already in your life.


Do you have a close friend you trust completely? A sibling you know you can rely on?


When you look at these relationships, identify what makes them feel comfortable to you. This can help you create a list of things to look for in a romantic partner and help you identify potential partners who will also make you feel secure.


If you can’t think of any secure relationships in your own life, you can always look to outside relationships. If your friend has a healthy marriage you respect, or a couple on your favourite show has always had your ideal relationship, these can act as examples of what you want in your own life.


2. Build Your Independence


Some of the most annoying advice you can get when you’re single is to “learn to love being on  your own.” Connection is a human need, and it’s normal to want other people in your life.


That being said, building your independence and feeling okay without a romantic partner can be a great way to set yourself up for successful relationships.


When you know you’re okay being on your own, you’ll be able to choose partners from a place of wanting to be with them instead of just needing someone.


If you have an avoidant attachment style, try remembering that another person doesn’t need to threaten your independence. True independence isn’t threatened by another person – and having a stable relationship to rely on can help you feel more confident in trying new, exciting things.

forming a secure attachment style


3. Choose Secure Partners


When you look into ways to heal your attachment style, you’ll often hear the advice to simply “date someone secure.” And while there is some merit to this idea, it can feel like the power to change your attachment style entirely relies on someone else.


When exploring potential partners to date, remember the power you hold when choosing a partner.


Entering a secure relationship is not the only way to develop a secure attachment style. But choosing partners who support you, rather than trigger you, is a great way to nurture your own growth.


4. Learn How to Communicate Your Needs


An insecure attachment style can often make you feel like you’re trapped inside your mind.


You spiral about things your partner hasn’t even considered because you haven’t told them.


Learning to communicate your needs can be difficult, especially when you’re aware that they might sound irrational. But being open and honest with a partner who understands you is a great way to build more trust in a relationship.


5. Check in with a Therapist


Often, an outside perspective can be the best way to identify what’s really going on in your life.


Speaking with a therapist can help you get to the root cause of your attachment style, and tackle deep-seated fears that are keeping you from having secure relationships.


Next Steps for Developing a Secure Attachment Style


After reading this article, you know how to identify your attachment style and how to move toward a secure attachment style.


Here at KMA, our amazing therapy team is here to help you achieve the healthy relationships you want. For over 14 years, we’ve helped our clients nurture fulfilling, secure connections.


Book an appointment today, or connect with our caring team if you have any questions.


If you’re not yet ready to book an appointment, check out these resources to keep learning:


Author |
Emily Weatherhead (Guest Author)
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