It looks like your relationship style is...

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Based on your responses, it seems that you feel comfortable in a warm, loving and emotionally close relationship. You have no problem depending on others for emotional support and having others depend on you. You’re not afraid of asking for help when you need it and you feel comfortable to express your emotional needs in a relationship.

While you’re not immune to moments of insecurity or occasionally withdrawing into your shell, you’re usually good at expressing how you’re feeling and asking for what you need in order to get the relationship back on track.

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When secure...

If someone close to you expresses a need for space, you generally don’t take it personally nor do you feel rejected or threatened. When there is a conflict in  your relationship, you also don’t take it as a sign that the relationship is over. You expect to be able to work through issues with open communication.

You tend to have realistic expectations of people therefore you’re tolerant of differences and forgiving of mistakes. You don’t usually harbour ill-will or hold grudges over past relationships, nor do you put previous partners onto a pedestal, reminiscing about the good times and glossing over the bad times. Instead, you have a balanced view of previous relationships and can take responsibility for your own part in any current or past relationship difficulties.


Sometimes you might find yourself feeling frustrated and perplexed by other people’s insecurities or what you perceive as ‘game playing’ in a relationship. Your challenge is to be aware that not everyone has the same core level of emotional stability as you do. For various reasons, usually through no fault of their own, some people have an attachment style that is either anxious or avoidant.

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But why am I like this?

Understanding our relationship patterns requires a bit of an explanation of attachment theory. What we know about human attachment relationships is that, from birth, infants and young children require the presence of a stable, attuned and loving caregiver who will hear and respond to their emotional needs. Through the consistent presence of a caregiver who delights in the child, soothes their distress, allows them to explore and welcomes them for comfort, the child internalises a ‘working model’ of relationships that allows them to feel comfortable depending on others for support, to believe their needs are valid, to feel safe to express their emotions and eventually be able to soothe themselves.

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This is the basis of a

secure attachment

What some people don’t realise is that our attachment needs don’t change across the lifespan. No matter what age you are, we all experience the same deep need to be seen, felt, heard and understood by another person. Of course, we don’t continue relying on our parents or other caregivers to provide that support. As we grow, our romantic partners and even close friends can play that role in our lives, as we do in theirs.

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Here’s the kicker: 

Only slightly more than half the population (around 60%) has a secure attachment. The other 40% have some variation of an insecure attachment - either anxious or avoidant. If your caregivers weren’t consistently available so that you didn’t feel you could rely on them to meet your needs, you might have developed an anxious attachment style. If your caregivers were physically absent or emotionally distant or unavailable and you learned that you couldn’t count on them to meet your needs, you might have developed an avoidant attachment style.

The figures (60% secure)  apply to both children and adults, although it IS possible for your attachment style to change over time, so even if you feel you didn’t receive the most positive, consistent and loving parenting, that doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to have an insecure attachment. And if you do, it’s entirely possible to change!

What can i do?

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1. Be compassionate

The biggest challenge for someone with a secure attachment style is understanding what might be driving other people’s behaviour when they don’t have the same sense of security. You might feel frustrated by someone’s constant need for reassurance or perplexed by someone who seems interested and then is distant and aloof but if you have a sense of the different attachment styles, you’re able to see that most likely these are self-protective mechanisms, and not about you or your behaviour. Having said that…

2. Be mindful of your own actions

It might seem like nothing to you to ignore a phone call when you’re in a meeting or forget to let someone know you’re going to be late. While these are harmless from your perspective, they might trigger someone else’s attachment insecurity. While you don’t necessarily have to pander to someone else’s insecurities (that’s for them to work on, with your support), you can do a lot to limit the possible emotional fallout and keep the relationship on an even keel by just being a bit mindful of how your actions might be perceived and making an effort where you can.

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3. Don't pretend to be perfect

Having the benefit of a secure attachment style doesn’t make you untouchable when it comes to problems in a relationship. We all have our insecurities, idiosyncrasies, personality traits and character flaws so most people are going to confront relationship challenges regardless of attachment style. Being more secure might help you to be more resilient, more willing to communicate and approach problems directly and less likely to take things personally but it doesn’t mean your partner or friend (if that person has an insecure attachment style) is to blame for every conflict. Being self aware and willing to take personal responsibility go a long way to ensuring a stable, happy and lasting relationship.

*Disclaimer: This quiz is not a validated psychometric assessment and is intended to be a guide only. If you're interested to know more about your attachment style, see this site.