If you are reading this there is a very high chance that you are one of the many people stuck between trying to make it work with an avoidant ex and trying to get over an avoidant ex. And you may have been told or read “why be with an avoidant when you can find someone more secure”.
I think that many people giving this advice mean well, but I also think they are making a secure attachment look like a super-mate, and that’s not necessarily true.
I’ve said this in many of my articles and will say it again and keep saying it: There is more to a person than their attachment style. I say this as someone who has been secure most of my life and dated people with an anxious attachment and avoidant attachment styles. I was also someone who was dismissive avoidant for sometime and you can say I’ve seen both sides of the an anxious-avoidant relationship and secure-insecure relationships. I dated a couple of people with an anxious attachment who were fun and honest and open with their feelings but too needy and co-dependent for me. I also dated an avoidant who was charming, laid back, intellectually engaging and responsible but sex once a week? Nah. And I’ve also dated secure leaning people who ticked every emotional security and safety box but who weren’t “my type” physically and I just couldn’t look past the fact that although they were securely attached, I was not physically attracted to them.
So while I encourage everyone to work towards becoming more securely attached because it makes relationships easier to navigate, last longer and just more fulfilling and satisfying, I don’t subscribe to “why be with an avoidant when you can find someone more secure” – assuming you meet one or if they’ll even want to be with you.
What about the notion that people with a secure attachment boring, is this true?
The simple answer is at first, yes. The complex answer is not necessarily, and I’ll explain this in more detail later.
A relationship with someone secure will feel boring and unexciting because the relationship will not have the toxic cycle of a push-pull or intense emotional highs and lows of an anxious-avoidant dynamic. There is no one person craving closeness and another actively avoiding it, and no deactivating without explanation or cause and re-engaging and getting close again.
People with a secure attachment are able to give someone space while also remaining close enough to work on building a healthier and more secure relationship. They’re consistent in how they love, and show care and support; without being pushy, needy, controlling or overwhelming. They openly show interest, communicate directly about their feelings and needs and are happy and willing to listen and hear the other persons feelings and meet their needs. They’re also empathetic to the struggles of an anxious attachment or avoidant attachment and demonstrate acceptance of who they are just as they are without demanding they change.
For many avoidants and anxious people, it may feel weird and boring at first. Where’s the emotional drama? Where’s the love bombing? Where is the making you feel like the most special person in the world then taking it all away? Where are the arguments, fights, and conflict escalation that lasts days and even weeks? Where are the unending relationship-repair conversations? Where vigilant watching of your boundaries because the other person doesn’t know or respect boundaries? Where’s the waiting for a response and that tight feeling in your belly that makes you feel like you’ll explode anytime? Where’s the feeling of ‘power’ that comes from withholding contact and making them wait? Where are the mind games?
You get none of this with someone securely attached. Most of the time things are calm and a secure is going about their life open to being loved and contacted and being expressively loving, caring and supportive in a way that not only protects the relationship but also nurtures it. No negative and toxic cycles and break-ups.
Sometimes feeling safe and secure can feel threatening and intimidating
Feeling safe and secure in a relationship is what you get with someone securely attached. But because most people with an anxious attachment, fearful avoidant or dismissive avoidant attachment have not experienced feeling safe and secure in a relationship – probably never in their lifetime– soon or later they start craving the familiarity of insecure attachment.
Anxious attachment miss the adrenaline that comes with chasing after someone. Fearful avoidants miss the internal and external chaos of a disorganized attachment. Dismissive avoidants feel like they lost the power and self-control that made them emotionally indestructible. But once the comfort and warmth of feeling safe and secure kicks in, they feel they’ve found what they’ve been looking for but didn’t know they were looking for.
It’s like a child who has been neglected or abused for so long, when you try to pull them close and cuddle them, they may at first struggle and try to get away because being loved that way feels threatening and intimidating. It’s not something they’re used to. But then they feel the comfort of warm arms wrapped around them and being rocked or sung to, they slowly calm down and cling to you, not wanting to let you go.
When you become secure, you gain more of yourself
When you become secure, you will be “boring” to someone looking to recreate their childhood attachment trauma. And if they’re not self-ware, they may even be addicted to the anxious-avoidant unhealthy dynamic and find a healthy relationship boring and unexciting. But to someone looking to escape from their negative and toxic attachment cycles or looking for another person who is equally secure, being secure makes you a very attractive partner. But there’s more. When you become secure, you gain more of yourself:
If you have an anxious attachment – you retain your ability to love deeply and generously but without the constant fear of losing someone or fear of your love not reciprocated. You feel confident that someone is choosing you because they love you, care about you and want to be with you now and for a long time to come.
If you have a fearful avoidant attachment – you don’t have to hide or be ashamed of your sensitive nature and can respond to your partner’s needs, but without the fear of you or them losing feelings or attraction; or the need to “test” their love. You feel confident that they’re not going anywhere because your worth being with.
If you have a dismissive avoidant attachment – you still have your much envied self-sufficiency and self-reliance but without the feeling of the “lone wolf” isolation. You can go and do your own thing and come back to share your experiences with your partner; and you have the energy to care for your partner without stressing about meeting their needs.
Does becoming secure make you an interesting date or partner?
This is the complex part of the answer to “are people with a secure attachment indeed boring?”
On the most part, a secure attachment style makes you emotionally attractive but someone’s attachment style doesn’t make them less or more boring as a person.
The definition of boring I’m using here is “dull and uninteresting that they make people tired and impatient”. This of course is subject as one person’s boring person is another person’s interesting and exciting person. But there are some common traits that make someone the person who makes other people around them bored.
My point here is that attachment styles only address the way you attach – how you seek (or not) attachments, how you think, feel and act within an attachment or separate from one, and basically all things “attachment” hence “attachment style”.
Becoming securely attached does not address or fix the common traits that make someone boring. Meaning, people with an anxious attachment can be boring people, avoidants can be boring people and secures can be boring people.
If you are a boring person, you need to separately work on becoming less boring and more interesting. Don’t think that becoming secure all of a sudden makes you confident, curious, passionate, open-minded, playful, creative, inspiring, engaging, funny, adventurous, good conversationalist, etc.
Just working on becoming securely attached will make you secure and safe, but you’ll still that person who makes other people around them bored.