When Insecurity Becomes Security In Love

In deepening my understanding of relationships and attachment styles, I’ve come to realise that my upbringing, feeling insecure as a child, created an unhealthy relationship with security. While other children may have felt secure in a stable, non-volatile, or emotionally receptive world, being shown instability, insecurity, uncertainty, and never knowing if I was going to be acknowledged, seen, or heard led to feeling secure when feeling insecure.

This created my anxious attachment style in relationships and was the reason why I was always, in the past, attracted to and drawn to avoidant attachment styles. It stands to reason that in the dating game, there are probably more avoidant singles out there than secure attachments, because secure attachments when in love tend to be in long-term committed relationships.

Avoidants tend to be single because:

Children whose caregivers did not respond sensitively and responsively to their needs and signs of distress often develop an insecure attachment style.

If the child’s bids for closeness, comfort, and safety were rejected and their emotional expression was punished or shamed, they may develop an avoidant attachment style.
Children with an avoidant attachment may have experienced a lack of emotional or physical responsiveness from their caregivers. When they sought comfort or connection, their needs may have been consistently dismissed or ignored, leading them to believe that reaching out for closeness is futile or even met with rejection.

This leads a child to learn that it is best to suppress or minimize their needs and emotions to avoid disappointment or rejection.

These children tend to develop a highly independent personality, learning to rely on themselves for emotional support and soothing. They tend to become self-reliant and develop a strong desire for autonomy.” – Simply Psychology

So avoidants tend to have acquaintances and sexual partners rather than close friendships or committed relationships.

Knowing The Signs

Signs of an avoidant are:

  • Being comfortable without close relationships

  • A deep need to feel independent and self-sufficient

  • A tendency to not want to depend on others or have others depend on them

As a result, avoidants tend to keep love interests at arm’s length and friends at a distance, and if someone like me comes too close due to my anxious attachment, they tend to run for the hills.

Looking back over my life, I now see in shocking details how, due to this attachment style, I actually found men who were distant, ignored me, yet gave me a small breadcrumb or slight attention as security instead of insecurity. It made me feel like it was love instead of an unhealthy way to be.

Seeing My Dating Life More Clearly

Yesterday I was doing a spiritual journey of sorts and realised that my best friend Michael, who passed away in May 2023, was the love I had been looking for all along, but I didn’t see it as the right type of love. He was securely attached. I was blessed to have met a man who was securely attached. We lived together for 20 years, and he was like a husband to me, but in a general sense, we were not in a romantic relationship. During the time we were living together, I had a relationship with an Eastern European man called Michal, who was a textbook narcissist, had a sh*tload of red flags, and clearly told me he just wanted someone for sex, not a relationship. But uncertainty and insecurity led me to feel I was in love with him. There was security in this deeply unsatisfying relationship for me.

Later, when I became a member of a local resistance group (resistance to what was happening during the ‘pandemic’), I fell head over heels in love with the leader of the group. I was his right-hand woman; we became good friends, but it was a push-pull friendship. I told him how I felt; he told me twice he was not into me that way, and as I pulled away, he pulled me back. I still love him, but now I realise the excitement of uncertainty, not knowing, the closeness, then lack of closeness, and the pushing me away made me feel it was an even deeper love. I cared for him as he was dying of cancer and was devastated when he died.

Now, I see all my attractions have been towards avoidants. A relationship became ‘boring’ to me if the person was stable, the relationship was safe and secure, and he tended to my needs as well as his own. I had been looking for love in all the wrong places, and it was in my home all along. I feel a lot of regret now knowing this, but I am glad I am aware and glad that Michael was in my life to show me what secure people are like. While Michael and I didn’t match in other areas, in love, he showed me true security, which I had never had in my life until I met him. I hope he knows now what he gave to me and what his death is revealing to me as I grieve.

I realise now that a secure partner gives me peace of mind. I feel safe, calm, and held. I’ve also come to realise that it’s not wrong to want deep intimacy with another human being; it’s not ‘too needy’; it’s not too much. A secure partner won’t feel enmeshed or engulfed by the connection; they will welcome it and will help me feel safe and secure, not insecure or uncertain all of the time.

This realisation has taken me 47 years to understand, and I am so grateful that even in death, my beloved Michael is teaching me.

We can all change and grow, no matter what age we are, in relationships and friendships. A couple of weeks ago, I delved deeply to find out what my core commitment was in my life. I shared more about how to find this at the bottom of this blog post, and interestingly, my commitment was related to relationships, not other areas of life. My core commitment, as I was shown, is secure attachment. So while I may have walked another road for a long time due to childhood programming, I can now get back on track with my core commitment to myself and my life.

Do you feel secure when faced with insecurity in relationships?

If you feel you have an insecure attachment style be it an anxious attachment or avoidant. I highly recommend a book I am reading called ‘Attached – Are You Anxious, Avoidant or Secure?’ by Dr. Amir Levine and Rachel S.F. Heller, M.A you can find it on Amazon HERE


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Kelly Martin
Kelly Martin

Kelly Martin, author of ‘When Everyone Shines But You’ is a dedicated writer and blogger who fearlessly explores life’s deepest questions. Faced with a decade of profound anxiety and grief following the loss of her father and her best friend Michael, Kelly embarked on a transformative journey guided by mindfulness, and she hasn’t looked back since. Through her insightful writing, engaging podcasts, and inspiring You Tube channel Kelly empowers others to unearth the hidden treasures within their pain, embracing the profound truth that they are ‘enough’ exactly as they are.

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