6 Principles for Secure Functioning Relationships

The following list is adapted from my study with Stan Tatkin and from attachment research. A secure-functioning relationship allows us to be the best we are as individuals. It doesn’t mean we will be consumed by the relationship, or will lose our freedom and voice. Ironically, we will have more of those as trust (synonymous with secure-functioning) puts several relationship insecurities to ease.

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) Know your partner’s vulnerabilities, also know how to provide an antidote to them.

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

4) 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.

5) 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. With such knowledge we can take things less personally – but always talk to each other about behaviors that are threatening or insensitive.

6) Be comfortable and confident to have difficult conversations.

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