Reaching a point of true
security in your relationship can take some time. After all, as licensed marriage and family therapist, Maysie Tift, tells Bustle, the early stages of a relationship is, by definition, insecure. But if you can overcome the fears and worries that come with being in a relationship, experts say, it's a total game changer.
early stages of dating, you may spend a lot of time preoccupied with thoughts of how to keep it moving forward in your new relationship. "Sometimes we so get swept up in the excitement and infatuation of the new relationship that many of our other relationships and activities take a backseat for a little while," Tift says. Although that's completely normal, there's no real security in that.
In fact, being in a truly secure relationship doesn't mean being attached at the hip. "A secure relationship is one where there is a secure bond between two people," licensed professional counselor,
Casey Lee, MA, tells Bustle. That bond is predictable, consistent, and accessible to you. You'll feel like you can reach your partner emotionally and they'll be responsive to you.
"A secure bond is characterized by three things: A.R.E. (emotional accessibility, responsiveness, and engagement)," Lee says. "It gives affirmation and reassurance to the question, 'Are you there for me?'" It's
a type of bond that can make your relationship last a long time. Experts say that you'll know you're in one because the following interesting things will happen.
You'll Be More Emotionally Vulnerable Than You've Ever Been Before
When you're in a relationship that's truly secure, you will feel completely safe to take some major emotional risks. "It's human nature to
protect yourself from potential harm and hurt," Lee says. "The thought of opening your heart to share tender and vulnerable feelings with someone you don’t feel secure with can be terrifying." But when you're with someone who makes you feel safe, you'll have no problems letting them in. You'll break down your walls and will show them your vulnerable side. In doing so, you'll be able to form a deep and intimate bond that lasts.
When a relationship is good and has stability, some people may find themselves missing the unpredictability. But that's often what it takes to create a lasting bond. "A lot of [people] in truly secure, loving, supportive relationships can [...feel bored] in comparison to the constant newness and intrigue you have while dating," Jenna Birch, CEO of
Plum dating app and author of The Love Gap , tells Bustle. Just think of all the "drama" that comes with the early stages of dating. According to Birch, it's constant "curveballs and unknown," which can be its own kind of entertainment. "That rollercoaster of emotions and conflict is also the reason we love romantic comedies so much," she says. "But a healthy relationship isn’t built on constant excitement, which is exhausting and unstable." Instead, when you have a truly secure relationship, you can take comfort in the fact that you're with someone who's going to be there for you through the ups, downs, and all the little moments in between.
You Won't Be Afraid To Go Head-To-Head
When you're in a truly secure relationship, you've likely hit the point where you accept each other for who you are — faults, quirks, and all. But as Jenna Miller, relationship expert and creative director of
Here Comes The Guide, tells Bustle, "This also means a new level of comfort wherein you aren't afraid to speak your mind." That little voice in your head that used to warn you about whether something you say will be a dealbreaker may not be there anymore. Because of that, Miller says that you likely won't be afraid to have tough discussions. "You've likely developed a communication style that you're confident will see you through to a resolution," she says. "Nothing is considered off-limits when it comes to expressing yourselves, fully and honestly."
You'll Invest More Energy Into Relationships Outside Of Your Romantic One
In the early stages of your relationship it's easy to make your partner the center of your universe. Once you feel like you're relationship is in a really good place, Tift says you'll start to look for ways to bring more balance into your life. According to her, you may start putting more time and effort into friendships you may have neglected, working harder at school or work, and getting back into hobbies that used to mean a lot to you.
You'll Reconnect With Yourself
When you reach the point in your relationship where you're truly secure with each other, you'll be able to invest more energy back into yourself. "If the relationship is going well, the feeling of security grows because you now know each other more deeply," Tift says. For instance, you won't have to worry if your fights are going to lead to a breakup because you've learned how to fight fairly and effectively. If your partner needs space, it won't make you feel anxious or worried that they're pulling away. "At this stage, we can reconnect with ourselves and feel more in touch with who we are separate from (yet connected to) our partner," she says.
You'll Feel More Free Within Your Relationship
When you're in a truly secure relationship you'll often feel more freedom and independence within the relationship. "Some people might be surprised to hear this because they think couples should do everything together," dating and relationship expert,
Anna Morgenstern, tells Bustle. "But if you're truly secure, you'll want your partner to be happy even if it means spending time apart." The best part is, you won't be anxiously waiting for your partner to check in. When you're in a secure relationship, you just trust that they're always going to come back.
You'll Feel A Strong Sense Of "Me" And "We"
When you feel a strong sense of both "me" and "we," you've managed to find the perfect balance between doing things for yourself and doing things for the relationship. "When you are more secure with each other, you don’t have to bear the burden of being each other‘s 'all,'" Tift says. "You may have once felt that you 'completed each other,' but you can now show up as two independently whole people who enjoy sharing their deeply fulfilling lives together." It's an
interdependent relationship dynamic that's healthy, satisfying, and mature.
Feeling safe and secure in your relationship doesn't happen overnight. It's something you have to work at contantly and it's something that takes time. But if you and your partner can do that, you can have a strong, long-lasting relationship.