Is That a Secure Attachment or Are You Just Happy to See Me: All About Our Attachment Styles

At this point you probably know your love language, your astrological sign, maybe even your enneagram or your MBTI; so many ways to know about yourself and yet still not know why she hasn’t texted back yet! If you’re in therapy or therapy-adjacent, you might also be middlingly familiar with your attachment style; not really a personality type per se, it’s based more in attachment theory as it relates to how you developed as a child, and theorizes that behaviors you learned as a kid about how to try to have secure relationships with others in your family informs how you go about relationships with others as an adult. Woof! I know. Imagine how fun it was for the team when I cheerfully pressured them all to take this quiz about their attachment style and share their results with you all!

Archie Bongiovanni, Cartoonist

I took this quiz and got 65% secure and then the rest is split between disorganized/avoidant…which sounds about right. I do not believe this is always what I would have gotten–if I took this quiz two years ago my answers would be way different! But thanks to analyzing my past relationship mistakes, owning my fuck-ups, and *therapy* I’m able to mostly feel secure in relationships! I trust myself to clearly state boundaries and I also trust myself to only date people who can do the same. The disorganized and avoidant parts..those are probably here to stay. I think what I’d like others to be aware of, friends or partners, is that I process conflict slowly. My initial response lands in disorganized (I get confused or try to disconnect from the problem) or avoidant (I stop caring). I won’t stay there, I just need time to get through my muddled mind into actually addressing the problem.

Bailey , Writer

According to this test, carried out during 100+ days of lockdown and four months without intimacy, I scored relatively evenly across all four attachment styles but had a tendency toward ambivalent attachment. I’ve had a long history of seeking validation from others and thought of my worth in relation to other people. I try to surround myself with people I trust and own my shit.

I have a mostly secure attachment style, but… the avoidant part does creep in. I find it incredibly hard to ask for things that I need in relationships — not only with romantic partners, but with friends and family as well. I’ve gotten better about recognizing when I am refusing to name a thing I need, or when I get mad because someone doesn’t just magically intuit when I need something. Therapy was good for that! It is easiest for me if people ask me directly what I want or need, but I do need to trust that they actually mean that, at the same time. Not to bring in another relationship type, but I am definitely a words of affirmation person, so a partner who can express their feelings to me freely and openly is hugely helpful.

Drew Burnett Gregory, Senior Editor

So I just googled “Is it possible to have more than one attachment style?” and the internet has given me a resounding, yes! The quiz ranked my attachment styles as Ambivalent/Anxious followed by Secure followed by Avoidant all fairly the same with a bit less for Disorganized. I think I tend to feel insecure in my relationships, but I respond to that by trying to be perfect so people can’t help but love me? I do not respond by being clingy or needing reassurance, because I’m naturally pretty independent and also I know all that ever does is backfire.

I’m going to be honest. I am struggling with this question. In fact, my therapist brought up attachment styles a month ago and gave me a full worksheet and I still took another quiz before writing this, because I felt unsure what all this means. But I think, I think, I generally date people with every attachment style except Secure?? It depends on the definition. Some places are saying Ambivalent/Anxious means someone is into you until you express interest back, but others describe it more as being clingy. The first definition is… what I’m all about. The second is… my nightmare.

Wow I’m making myself sound so fucked up. I promise I got 30 whole percent in Secure attachment.

Heather Hogan, Senior Writer + Editor

My attachment style is pretty secure, but that has nothing to do with feeling secure as a child and everything to do with the fact that I’ve lived about a thousand lifetimes in my 41 years on earth and I have learned the kind of people I want — and can safely — attach myself to! It is not particularly easy for me to ask for what I want or need, but mostly because I’d honestly rather just do it myself. But I’m learning that asking for things opens up connections and intimacy in relationships in ways I wouldn’t have expected. Because the people I ask things from understand that I am making myself vulnerable in doing so, and they then reciprocate with more vulnerability for me too. When my partner, Stacy, and I started dating ten years ago, I’d say I was avoidant-dismissive and she was avoidant-fearful, and that was a real treat for both of us. But! We didn’t stay there! We actively worked to get secure with each other by getting secure with ourselves! And we did!

Kamala Puligandla, Former Editor-in-Chief

I’m mostly secure with a side of ambivalent-anxious and a dash of avoidant-anxious. I actually think my security scares most people. It’s only been in the past few years that it’s not totally off-putting to dating partners that I am comfortable with myself and openly declare my strong feelings and fully trust people until I have a reason not to. I hear it’s been intimidating. So I wish I could share that with people, but that’s also like the world’s cockiest thing to say and I do still have work to do on myself so…

I think the kinds of people I’m often drawn to — very ambitious, very independent, very confident, very hot — has meant that I’m not always their biggest priority. There is frequently a hot/cold allocation of love that can feel like scarcity around my needs, which has led me to develop some ambivalent coping strategies. So I recognize that and have been working to not accept when there isn’t room for my own needs. The project of learning to want and need deeply, badly, greedily is something I was working on with two of my close friends before quarantine — I think especially queer people of color need practice at feeling safe doing this — and we’d go to Pleasure Brunches to talk about the new things we wanted to want and to feel and practice proclaiming them.

I grew up in a family where avoidant-anxious life was the norm! I always wondered why I had so much shit to write down and work out on the page, and it was because we were all not engaging with emotions! I was sent such a strong message that my emotions were weaknesses and that logic was the only truth. So I’m kinda psyched that I’ve worked through that enough to just have this be a little sliver of my behavior now.

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya, Managing Editor

Due to extensive couples therapy in my previous relationship, I know that I have an anxious attachment style and tend to date people who have avoidant attachment styles (classic!). I used to skew a little more into secure attachment, but intimate partner betrayal pushed me into All Anxious All The Time Territory. It means I constantly have to be aware of when I am seeing conflict or tension where there is none. When people pull away from me, I smother them. I tend to blame myself for any discomfort or tension even when I KNOW it’s not my fault. I need to work on giving people space when they need it. I need to work on not automatically jumping to the conclusion that someone is mad at me when they’re upset about something. It is…exhausting! But necessary work! I don’t think attachment styles are the only framework people should use when it comes to understanding relationships, but they’ve been helpful for me. I’m able to better identify when I’m leaning into bad habits. It helps me contextualize the behaviors of others, too.

Ro White, Sex & Dating Editor

I can finally say that I primarily have a secure attachment style! Getting here from my previously anxious attachment style took a lot of therapy, a lot of reading and a lot of relationships crashing and burning. Historically, I’ve dated people with anxious attachment styles or dismissive-avoidant attachment styles. When I was anxiously attached and dating a dismissive-avoidantly attached person, I had to be very aware of my tendency to “fantasy bond” and idealize my partner instead of seeing the relationship for what it was.

Rachel Kincaid, Former Managing Editor

I think historically I was closer to an anxious/ambivalent attachment style, or what I used to think of as “the codependent one.” I never tended to get clingy or demand a partner’s attention if I was feeling insecure, but I would definitely overfunction as a person and a partner to try to control the outcome of the relationship and make sure they couldn’t live without me or leave. Typing that out feels weird and gross, wow!

After a drawn-out divorce process and several very tumultuous years in my personal life, I realized a while ago that I think I’m now… fully somewhere in the avoidant neighborhood? After having dismantled almost my entire life, moved across the country twice and experienced new and exciting ways to break my own heart, I found I could only handle the idea of “super chill, casual” relationships, was allergic to sleepovers or processing, and would have legitimate panic attacks if I felt like someone liked me “too much.” I had no idea attachment styles could shift, and was super confused about what was going on for a really long time! The more you know.

Shelli Nicole, Culture Editor

I got 68% secure and to be honest, hell yeah thats accurate. I say what I need and listen to my partners, people will always know where they stand with me and will never be left guessing. I don’t want to waste time. I often end up being perceived as dismissive though (which happened to be my second largest style on this test) which — I get.

I often end up dating/fucking/vibing with folx who feel they need to match my secureness instead of just being themselves. Communication & autonomy are the two sexiest things to me. I need to be more aware that sometimes, it can be new to people to not have to figure someone out. People are so used to reading into things people say, or trying to figure out what people really mean, especially when it comes to sex and relationships. I think I’m patient but i could use some work on realizing that a lot of people aren’t used to a real one like me :)

Stef Schwartz, Vapid Fluff Editor

I just learned that I’m anxious/ambivalent, which makes a lot of sense. A big problem I run into in really good relationships is failing to trust that my partner’s love for me is a constant, unwavering thing. I tend to not believe that I deserve perfectly reasonable things, and I have learned over time that I need a lot more reassurance than the average person. I can also fall into a pattern of doing too much, being too much, etc. This can be… mind numbing for my partners.

I am a big advocate for clear communication, and this is largely why.

I’m also single… most of the time. I’m no picnic.

Valerie Anne, Writer

My two highest scores on this quiz were Secure and Ambivalent/Anxious, and the description of “Secure” is basically my relationship with dad and the description with “Ambivalent/Anxious” is my relationship with my mom, so that’s that on nurture. I also have to believe that any “Secure” relationship skills I’ve learned over the years actually came from the found family I’ve built over the years in my adult life and doing everything I can to actively learn new habits. That said, reading “If the other person becomes available, they become unavailable! Unaccustomed to receiving love, having it available doesn’t fit their profile of ‘still wanting’.” explains a lot about how the least attractive quality in another person to me is them actually wanting to date me. I have to go sit in the shower and think about this for a while.

Vanessa Friedman, Community Editor

This is boring, but my attachment style is pretty secure. This doesn’t mean all my relationships have been healthy and it doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes behave in ways that are anxious or avoidant and it doesn’t mean that I don’t have to show up to every relationship I’m in and Do The Work as we say, but it does mean for the most part I feel safe when I am dating and/or partnered. The quiz Rachel suggested we take if we were unsure about our attachment style said I am 70% secure, 20% anxious, 7% avoidant, and 3% disorganized. That feels extremely right.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!

the team

auto has written 714 articles for us.


  1. These reflections are great! When I think about attachment styles I like to make sure to 1) understand them as continuums, not y/n binaries and 2) remember that context matters and ‘your style’ might be different in different relationships- you might be pretty secure in a relationship with another pretty secure person, but a more anxious partner might push you into more avoidant territory or vice versa.

    Archie, I loved what you said about trusting yourself in your choice of partners- that’s major. And Shelli, I had not thought of it this way but that is such a good point re: the adjustment process people go through as they realize they’re really in a ‘what you see is what you get’ situation.

    also infinite lol at “so many ways to know about yourself and yet still not know why she hasn’t texted back yet”

  2. I find it super interesting that no one here score high on disorganized!

    Personally, after reading up on this type, I feel simultaneously SEEN (in a positive way) and called out (in a negative way). A very characteristic disorganized response, in fact. 😂

  3. I am basically every single attachment style, with it being 13 across three of the four, and one extra point towards Ambivalent/Anxious. I do not know what to do with this information, which may mean this is an accurate assessment.

  4. I took the test for fun and honestly it’s impossible to answer because I’m so different with every person I date! I recently dated a girl on the autism spectrum and because I was making a lot of compromises to deal with her rigidity, I ended up being way more anxious/ambivalent than I normally would be, and not really recognising myself. The girl I dated before was the complete opposite. I got mainly “secure” but I really think it depends so much on the relationship you’re in, rather than just you. If you feel secure in the relationship, you’re more likely to have a secure approach to it. If you feel pestered, you’ll skew more towards avoidant; if you feel uncertain and need reassurance about it, you’re going to be more anxious.

    Actually hihello said this earlier and better than I did, so never mind.

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!