Do You Need to Be Married to Be Secure in a Relationship?

By Kristine Tucker ; Updated September 26, 2017
Secure relationships are built on mutual respect.
Secure relationships are built on mutual respect.

A secure relationship is one that has a strong foundation that can withstand hardships that come its way. You don't need to be married to enjoy security, but you do need healthy traits that encourage a long-lasting relationship. When both partners are equally invested and each respects and honors the other, a marriage certificate isn't necessary to ensure a long and happy love life.

Quality Time Together

Marriage isn't the key to a secure relationship, but spending quality time together is vital. Married couples may have an advantage because they live together and regularly share fun activities and household responsibilities. Cooking, yard work, shopping, home repairs and house cleaning are common ways to encourage your love for each other, according to professor of psychology Susan Whitbourne in "Psychology Today." When married and unmarried couples live separate lives, it can lead to poor communication, neglect, loneliness, and distrust.


Some people need a ring on their finger to prove their loyalty and commitment, otherwise they may be tempted to stray. Secure lovers -- married or unmarried -- have a relationship that's built on trust. The exclusivity of their relationship helps each feel confident, knowing that they don't have to worry about cheating or dishonesty. Even though marriage is a legally binding agreement, it doesn't ensure that spouses will live with integrity and honor their allegiance. Unmarried partners can feel secure as long as their relationship is built on honesty and loyalty.

Positive View of Partner

Unmarried couples can have security in their relationship when they view each other positively. According to Whitbourne, positive thoughts about your partner's character traits can lead to long-term satisfaction. Your ability to view your partner in a positive light affects your general outlook on the relationship. It forces you to consider how unhappy you'd be without that person in your life. Marriage doesn't usually influence your view of your partner, but your outlook does.

Personal Contentment

It's difficult for married or unmarried couples to feel secure in their relationship if one or both partners aren't content with who they are as individuals. Neither relationship partners nor spouses can make you happy. They may be able to increase your happiness or help you find more enjoyment and satisfaction in life, but personal happiness rests on your shoulders. Lovers who know little about themselves, have low self-esteem, experience neediness, or spend all of their time trying to please their partner, often feel insecure in the relationship.

About the Author

As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.