11 Tips for Secure-Functioning in Intimate Relationships

The following list is adapted from my study with Stan Tatkin, and from attachment research. Secure-functioning relationships allow us to be the best we are individually. It does not mean that you will lose your identity or freedom. In fact, you will have more, since trust is a guarantee you two make. Your relationship will become a place of support and love. As well as a place to call home and restore life-energy.

couple-meditating1) The purpose of a serious relationship is not what you can extract or gain from it. It is about the safety, security, and mutuality you create with your partner.

2) Our intimate relationships have the power to unlock joy and confidence that could not be achieved on our own. Have a secure relationship and become a better you!

3) A pro-relationship orientation over a pro-self orientation paradoxically will benefit you more. You will not “lose yourself” if security is guaranteed. You will have more resources to achieve your personal goals.

4) As relationship experts state: “Marriage is a three-legged race.” If one partner goes down, both go down.

5) What is the purpose of being together? What guarantees can you two provide each other? This discussion will be important as novelty and excitement of the courtship phase transitions into a sense of stability and permanency in the relationship. Remember, we are not necessarily wired for monogamy.

6) Become interested in ways you can uplift your partner and positively affect his or her mood.

7) Become aware of your partner’s vulnerabilities. With this awareness, you have more agency with your partner. If you avoid triggering vulnerabilities, there will be less conflict and more harmony.

8) Your partner should not have to compete with anything or anyone for your resources. Common examples are work, in-laws, friends, porn, or alcohol/drugs. If your partner feels like they are losing, you are losing. You both need to be winning.

9) Usually, partners don’t wake up on a mission to annoy the other. It is helpful to remember that your partner is usually on automatic pilot with a program from childhood. Generally, things can be taken less personally – but always talk to each other about behaviors that are perceived as threatening or insensitive.

10) Be comfortable and confident to tell your partner everything.

11) How do you want your family, friends, and kids to view your relationship? Have a goal and work towards it.

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