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Relationship Attachment Quiz: Is My Relationship Secure?

Updated: Mar 9

The true essence of love lies in its ability to foster emotional bonds with those who provide us with safety and support. We possess an innate need for secure emotional connections in our relationships, which goes beyond mere feelings and encompasses physiological responses as well. When we feel emotionally safe and connected, our bodies naturally gravitate towards physical closeness, eye contact, and gentle gestures, signaling our presence and support to our partner.

Couples Attachment Quiz

In nurturing relationships, we seek someone who offers reliable emotional connection and support—a vital resource for navigating life's challenges. According to Dr. Sue Johnson, founder of Emotionally Focused Therapy, emotionally secure relationships possess three essential components known as the ARE:

  1. Accessible

  2. Responsive

  3. Engaged

What is Accessible:

Accessible answers the question “Can I reach you?” Accessibility is about being available and open to your partner. Accessible partners are available and open, capable of engaging with their own and their partner's emotions. They remain present and attuned even in moments of doubt or insecurity.

What is Responsive:

Responsive answers the question “Can I rely on you to respond to me emotionally? Responsive partners demonstrate sensitivity, acceptance, and care towards their partner's needs, acknowledging the impact of their feelings and expressing a desire to respond empathetically.

What is Engaged:

Engaged answers the question “Do I know you will value me and stay close?” Engaged partners are attentive and present, displaying a level of involvement and closeness that reflects deep emotional connection and commitment. Engaged partners gaze longer, touch more, stay close, and lean in.

The ARE framework emphasizes the importance of feeling safe to rely on attachment to a partner who embodies these qualities.

John Gottman, founder of the Gottman Institute, conducted extensive research on marital stability and divorce, identifying couples who practice the ARE as "Master Couples." John Gottman observed that couples who are high in ARE exhibit the following patterns in conflict:

  • Accessible partners maintain curiosity and interest, communicating their presence and openness. Accessible partners verbally and/or nonverbally communicate “I am here with you. I am open to this moment and experience with you.”

  • Responsive partners approach conflict gently, seeking to understand their partner's perspective. Responsive partners ask “help me to understand your point of view? I want to understand and respond.”

  • Engaged partners prioritize repair and trust, expressing confidence in overcoming challenges together. Engaged partners say “I know we will get through this. We will figure it out together.”

The ARE Questionnaire, adapted from Dr. Sue Johnson's Hold Me Tight, serves as a tool to assess the levels of Accessible, Responsive, and Engaged qualities in a relationship. This questionnaire enhances awareness of emotional attunement, identifying areas of strength and opportunities for growth.

By cultivating the qualities of accessibility, responsiveness, and engagement in our relationships, we can foster deeper emotional connections and create a foundation of trust and support that strengthens our bonds.

Feel free to utilize the ARE framework and the accompanying questionnaire to enhance your relationship's emotional attunement and deepen your connection with your partner.

Relationship Attachment Quiz

Accessible. Responsive. Engaged.

Read each statement and circle T for true or F for false. To score the questionnaire, give one point for each “true” answer.

From your viewpoint, is your partner accessible to you?

  1. I can get my partner’s attention easily. T/F

  2. My partner is easy to connect with emotionally. T/F

  3. My partner shows me that I come first with him/her/they. T/F

  4. I am not feeling lonely or shut out in this relationship. T/F

  5. I can share my deepest feelings with my partner. He/she/they will listen. T/F

From your viewpoint, is your partner responsive to you?

  1. If I need connection and comfort, he/she/they will be there for me. T/F

  2. My partner responds to signals that I need him/her/they to come close. T/F

  3. I find I can lean on my partner when I am anxious or unsure. T/F

  4. When we fight/disagree, I know I am important to my partner and we will find a way to come together. T/F

  5. If I need reassurance about how important I am, I can get it. T/F

Are you positively emotionally engaged with each other?

  1. I feel very comfortable being close to, trusting my partner. T/F

  2. I can confide in my partner about almost anything. T/F

  3. I feel confident, even when we are apart, that we are connected. T/F

  4. I know that my partner cares about my joys, hurts, and fears. T/F

  5. I feel safe enough to take emotional risks with my partner. T/F

If your score on the ARE assessment is 6 or above, congratulations! You're already on the path to fostering an emotionally secure relationship. However, if you scored lower than 4, there's room for improvement, and taking steps to understand the bond between you and your partner is crucial.

At The Relationship House, we specialize in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT), providing tailored support to help couples, families, and individuals cultivate healthy, enduring relationships. Our compassionate and experienced therapists understand the complexities of relationships and possess the skills to help you build strong, intimate bonds.

Whether you prefer in-person or virtual appointments, we offer flexible scheduling options to accommodate your needs. Don't hesitate to reach out to us today and take the first step towards enhancing your relationship and creating the connection you both desire and deserve.

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