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Relationship Attachment Quiz: Is My Relationship Secure?

Updated: May 31

The true purpose of love is to drive us to bond emotionally with those who offer us safety and support. We have an intimate need for safe, emotional connection in our relationships. Safe emotional connection is not just something we feel, it is also a physiological response. We can see and experience safe emotional connection physically. When we feel emotionally safe and connected, we move physically closer to each other, we have more eye contact, we physically reach to touch, and our tone of voice softens. The body sends messages that say “I am here with you.”

Couples Attachment Quiz

In our relationships, we need someone we can depend on, someone who offers RELIABLE emotional connection and support. This support is a resource that helps us cope with the challenges of life. According to Dr. Sue Johnson (Founder of Emotionally Focused Therapy), emotionally secure relationships have 3 essential components, known as the ARE:




What is Accessible:

Accessible answers the question “Can I reach you?” Accessibility is about being available and open to your partner. Accessible partners have the ability to struggle with and make sense of emotions, instead of fighting or running from emotions. Accessible partners tune into themselves and into their partners. They make themselves available to their partners even when they are feeling doubt or lack of security.

What is Responsive:

Responsive answers the question “Can I rely on you to respond to me emotionally? Responsive partners are sensitive, accepting, and caring of needs. They let you know that your feelings have impact and that they want to respond to your feelings.

What is Engaged:

Engaged answers the question “Do I know you will value me and stay close?” Engaged partners are attentive and present. They show engagement that only a loved one gives us. Engaged partners gaze longer, touch more, stay close, and lean in.

We feel safe to rely on attachment to a partner who is Accessible, Responsive, and Engaged.

John Gottman (Founder of the Gottman Institute, Researcher of Marital Stability and Divorce) did extensive research focused on understanding the traits of relationships that can help predict whether a couple will stay together or separate. John Gottman called couples who practice the ARE as “Master Couples.” John Gottman observed that couples who are high in ARE exhibit the following patterns in conflict:

  • Even when they disagree, Accessible partners express interest and remain curious with each other. Accessible partners verbally and/or nonverbally communicate “I am here with you. I am open to this moment and experience with you.”

  • Responsive partners remain gentle in conflict and ask “help me to understand your point of view? I want to understand and respond.”

  • Engaged partners are willing to repair negative interactions and trust to see it through. Engaged partners say “I know we will get through this. We will figure it out together.”

The ARE Questionnaire (adapted from Dr. Sue Johnson, Hold Me Tight) can help you begin to assess the levels of ARE in your relationship. This Relationship Attachment Quiz will give you increased awareness of the emotional attunement in your relationship. It will help you observe areas of strength and areas of improvement in your relationship.

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 you scored 6 or above, you are well on your way to an emotionally secure relationship. If you scored lower than 4, there is some work to do. Understanding the bond between you and your partner, and sharing how you see it, is the first step to being able to create the connection you both want and need.

The Relationship House can help you improve areas of your ARE assessment. We are a Relationship Therapy Center that specializes in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT). We are dedicated to helping couples, families, and individuals create and maintain healthy, long-lasting relationships. Our team is made up of compassionate and experienced couples therapists, family therapists, and marriage counselors. We understand the complexity of relationships and have the skills to help you build strong, intimate bonds. We offer in-person and virtual appointments to meet your scheduling needs. Reach out to us today!

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