The key to being happy with your partner is knowing how to build trust in relationships. It is one of the bedrock of a healthy relationship. You can never hope to have a successful marriage or a long-term relationship without the element of trust.
Agreed, this rings true in every other aspect of life from professional ties to personal bonds within the family and between siblings and friends but trust takes on a different meaning altogether in the romantic realm. The importance of trust in relationships cannot be emphasized enough. In its absence, you cannot build a strong and enduring partnership in true earnest.
Unless you trust each other fully and completely, you won’t let your guard down in front of your partner and vice versa. When you can’t be your most authentic self with each other, a strong, healthy relationship cannot prosper. Besides, lack of trust in a relationship can lead to a host of other issues, from insecurity to jealousy, possessiveness and clingy behavior, which can drive a wedge between you and your SO.
The long and short of it is that love and trust in relationships go hand-in-hand. One cannot grow in the absence of the other. That’s what makes building trust in a relationship paramount. Don’t know just how to do that? I’m here to hold your hand through the process of trust-building.
What Is The Importance Of Trust In A Relationship?
I would go so far as to say that without trust there can be no relationship. Every other quality that you cherish in a spouse – honesty, loyalty, kindness – becomes meaningless if it is not based on trust. Or let’s think of it this way – trust is the first brick in the foundation of a relationship that needs to be built on honesty, love, care and other traits.
The components of trust in a relationship become the stepping stones to a holistic, wholesome partnership. Hollywood legend Julianne Moore put it succinctly when she said, “Loving someone is giving them the power to break your heart but trusting them not to.” So why is it so essential to build love and trust in relationships? Let’s explore the importance of trust in relationships to understand:
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1. It teaches us that it’s okay to be vulnerable
When do you distrust someone? It’s when they let you down by not living up to some or all of your expectations. The opposite is true when you build trust with a man or a woman. You are confident to show your vulnerable side to him or her. With actions that build trust in relationships, you can cement your bond with your partner and see them for who they truly are.
Without getting to this level of intimacy, you cannot hope to build a lasting relationship. When the going gets tough and your relationship boat lands in rocky waters, it is this deep connection, a sense of knowing and accepting each other wholly that sees you through. That’s why love and trust in relationships always coexist.
2. You feel secure when you learn how to build trust in relationships
It doesn’t matter if you are in a long or short-distance relationship. Your past history won’t matter. Nothing matters if you have established a certain level of trust in relationships. You feel secure as you don’t have to constantly scrutinize or monitor your partner’s actions and motivations.
You don’t find yourself looking for the right words to build trust in a relationship because you are confident that your partner has faith in you. There is no second-guessing each other’s motives or questioning every action. There is an unchallenged certainty about having each other’s backs come what may when there is trust in relationships.
3. You become more true to yourself
The importance of trust in relationships isn’t just limited to a couple’s bond. Its benefits trickle down to you on an individual level as well. When you build trust in relationships, you become a more real person. Imagine living a life where you constantly doubt your partner’s intentions. That stress can kill every joy of togetherness.
But the psychology of trust in relationships is that you automatically become comfortable and authentic when you have faith in your partner. You don’t need to hide the not-so-nice sides to your personality from each other or pretend to be someone you are not. The more authentic you’re with one another, the deeper your faith in the relationship will be. In short, trust begets trust.
4. You make better connections
Connecting with your partner is as important as connecting with yourself. And to build a strong connection you should trust your girlfriend or boyfriend. When you build trust in relationships, even a daunting task seems doable. You can share your troubles because you know in your heart that you won’t be disappointed.
When love and trust in relationships exist in tandem, you rest assured that your partner will not abandon you when you need them the most or judge you, rather than being supportive, in case your choices backfire. That becomes the source of security, which helps you build a deeper, more wholesome connection.
5. We feel more loved and less lonely
To build trust in relationships, you need to break the walls around your heart. When you have more reasons to trust someone, you have fewer reasons to give in to fear. And fear is what makes us lonely or depressed. The risk of misery and bitterness creeping into relationships as trust helps replace these negative emotions with positive ones.
When you truly trust your partner, it just becomes easier to love them too because there are no niggling doubts and insecurities holding you back from giving the relationship your all. This is among the key reasons why the importance of trust in relationships cannot be stressed enough.
Top 9 Tips To Build Trust In Relationships
Now, here’s an interesting fact about love and trust. Being in love may actually have nothing to do with trusting your man or woman. There are plenty of cases where love has led to jealousy, possessiveness or even obsession (which is a whole new dangerous territory).
Guess why that happens? Because the man or woman has invested many emotions but has failed to build trust in relationships and this is mirrored in overtly possessive behavior.
But can you make a man trust you completely or a woman shed her insecurities about the relationship? Or does it necessarily have to come from within? Ideally, yes, it has to be organic and not forced but if you value your love life, you can certainly learn how to build trust in relationships.
1. Be worthy of trust
Communication coach Alex Lyon has a simple principle. “If you want people to trust you, you have to be trustworthy yourself. You have to be honest, tell the truth and look out for others’ interests,” he says. Indeed, how can you build trust with a woman or a man if you can’t establish your character? That’s where prioritizing actions that build trust in relationships become your best ally.
This means being completely honest and transparent with your partner, and not spinning a web of lies or secrets to keep the pretenses of being the partner you want to be seen as. These elements become even more crucial if you’re trying to build trust in a relationship after cheating. Since the trust that bound you together is already shattered, you have to channelize the strength of your character – or cultivate it consciously – to make your partner see you’re worthy of their trust.
Character, as the famous saying goes, means what you do when no one is looking. Are you tempted to check your girlfriend’s phone when she’s away? Will you check her email if she hasn’t shut her computer? The honest answer to questions like these tells you if you are worthy of your partner’s trust.
2. Take responsibility for errors
Nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes. But when something goes wrong, do you take responsibility for it and try to redress it? Or do you try to smooth it over and pretend you had nothing to do with it?
Being responsible for your actions plays a major part if you want to build trust in relationships. It shows the strength of character and the ability to stand up for what is right. If you can’t be responsible for small things, how can you expect your partner to trust you with the big challenges?
If you have done something that has hampered the faith your partner places in you, then the right words to build trust in a relationship become as important as honorable actions. Using words or language that make you seem like an escapist is only going to hurt your prospects of winning your partner’s trust. So, do the right thing and take full responsibility for your actions, no matter how damning they seem.
3. Do not make empty promises
…And do not say things you don’t mean either. Often, people have a habit of making commitments that they don’t follow through. It can be something small from making it on time for a date to something as big as proposing marriage to your long-time girlfriend.
You cannot wonder how to build trust in relationships if you constantly resort to white lies, never fulfill your commitments and continue to make hollow promises, for these habits will reflect in all aspects of your life, from professional work to personal relationships.
For instance, when trying to build trust in a relationship after cheating, it’s imperative that you follow through on all the promises to make the relationship work again. It’s anyway hard to regain your partner’s trust after cheating. If you relapse into old patterns of lying, being secretive and shutting your partner out, you’ll never succeed in winning their trust again.
4. Be there for them
This is actually easier said than done. Standing by your partner when he or she actually needs your help is what you need to do to build trust in relationships. It also means responding to their needs and hearing them out when they speak to you. Listening is a form of caring. We all like our partners to be our true friends in need, so support them when they seek you out.
In other words, when you are spending quality time with your partner, pay attention to their words and deeds, do not fiddle with the phone or look disinterested. When you promise your partner to help with something, show up. When your partner leans on you for support, don’t push them away. Internalize the actions that build trust in relationships to foster unwavering faith.
5. Build your self-confidence
Maybe your partner is ready to give you trust, but are you ready to receive it? Sometimes people find it difficult to trust because of their own low self-esteem or previous bad experience. For instance, if you have been cheated on earlier, you may find it difficult to trust a new partner.
Ultimately, you need to have faith in yourself to build trust in relationships. Bad memories notwithstanding, you need to let go, build yourself up and give love another chance. If you feel confident about yourself, you find it easy to place your faith in others.
In many ways, the process of instilling love and trust in relationships begins with you. You need to work on yourself, identify and resolve any underlying issues, from unhealthy attachment style to commitment-phobic tendencies and inherent insecurities, to be able to build trust in relationships.
6. Have clear boundaries and definitions
Life coach and YouTuber Alexandra Potora says, “The first step is to find out what trust means to you and your partner.” For example, you may frown upon your partner going for a movie or having lunch with his female friend while he may have no qualms if you do the same with a male friend.
Simply put, the same situation may have different connotations for different people. “Ask each other – what are the things that I do which make you uncomfortable,” says Potora. So it’s best to set different types of boundaries clearly and unambiguously beforehand so that there is little scope for misunderstandings later.
7. Communicate then and there
Here is an important tip for building love and trust in relationships. Do not stew on a point and bring it up later out of the blue during a fight or disagreement. If you have a problem, talk and resolve it then and there. If you trust your girlfriend or boyfriend, don’t wait to air your grievances.
Open communication helps strengthen a bond. It shows high levels of trust in relationships due to which you can have an honest conversation with your partner on any issue. Let your partner know what you want and expect from the relationship, and be open to listening to their needs as well.
The comfort to discuss potentially awkward or difficult issues is essential if you want to have a long-lasting relationship. It is also the key to build sustainable trust in the relationship.
8. Learn to let go to know how to build trust in relationships
If you claim to truly trust someone in a relationship, learn to let go in certain situations. Say, you have discovered a flirty to inappropriate message on his WhatsApp from a colleague. Do not jump to conclusions immediately. Instead, try and ascertain facts if they make you uncomfortable.
It is difficult to trust again if you are dealing with a lying partner or have been cheated upon. But if it’s a first-time transgression, give them the benefit of the doubt. The onus to build trust in a relationship after cheating or being lied to cannot be on the partner alone. While the cheating partner has to be prepared to do the lion’s share of the work, you too need to make an effort to create an environment where trust can thrive.
Let your beau prove themselves and come clean. It is natural to wonder how to build trust in relationships again after a bad experience but do not allow that to cloud your rational judgment.
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9. Don’t be afraid to get hurt
Most people have trust issues because they are afraid to get hurt or feel let down. They build up walls to protect themselves. But getting hurt is part of the deal that they call ‘love’. Trust issues crop up when you pay too much focus on the pain but not enough on overcoming the pain.
Give people a chance to show who they are. We live in an era of instant gratification but building trust takes time. So wait for it to happen naturally and don’t rush into anything. Do not seek perfection from yourself or others either. Have patience and gradually develop your relationship.
Building trust in relationships is as much about you as it is about them. Of course, individual experiences shape our larger worldview but it is essential not to be bitter about relationships. Give people a chance and you never know what surprise you will be in for!
If you are honest with each other, have defined boundaries of what you like and dislike and are willing to abide by it, if you stand by each other during tough times and are willing to let go of small things for the larger pictures, it can be said you have trust in your relationship.
If the person keeps his word, does not make promises he cannot keep, sticks to his commitment and supports you in your time of need, these are signs that he can be trusted. A trustworthy person will not make excuses and knows how to take responsibility for his actions.
Lack of trust can also build over time, especially if you have been let down time and again by one person. Constant white lies that get exposed, a lack of discipline or the ability to fulfill promises and deliberate betrayal are major causes of distrust in a relationship.
No. Trust is one of the most important ingredients in a relationship. It is the bedrock on which healthy relationships are formed. If you can’t have trust, it is difficult to have honesty, kindness or care in a relationship.