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Understanding Trust and How to Build It in a Relationship

I have always been the go-to person for friends and family who are seeking advice. I love helping people.


What Is the Best Way to Build Trust in a Relationship?

So, you are starting a new relationship and want to know the best way to build trust in a relationship. Trust is one of the most important things in a relationship. It is actually the foundation of the whole union. It makes sense to want to know how to build that strong secure bond with your significant other. But the reality is that we do not need to know how to build trust. Building trust is easy. The real question is how do we learn to trust again?

The Truth About Trust

In reality, a relationship does not start off without trust. You have no reason not to trust this person. They have not given you any reason not to trust them. Keeping the trust is the hard part. As we get to know a person better we begin to see more into their souls, we learn who they are and what they are like. By seeing their actions and getting to know who they are on a deeper level, we allow a person closer and closer into our hearts. We grow fonder and more comfortable with this person, eventually falling in love.

In the beginning of the relationship, you are forming a strong bond, and in return you expect the other person not to break this bond. Breaking this bond would then break your trust. Once you feel a connection with this person, and they wrong you in some way, the trust is then broken. Rebuilding trust is the real issue. We already had the trust in the first place.


Afraid of Being Hurt Again

The first scenario is most likely for those who have never been in a previous situation where trust had been broken, or at least not very often. Like most of us though, we have had our trust broken a million times, therefore we find it difficult to start a relationship off from scratch, giving the new person the benefit of the doubt. When you have in the past allowed people into your heart only to be lied to, cheated on or mistreated, it is hard to allow your new relationship a fair shot. We build barriers around our hearts to protect it from being hurt again, which is totally understandable, because who wants to be hurt? But it can also prevent a potentially great person from getting close to us.

Can trust really be rebuilt? Once a person you love hurts you, it is very hard to get over it and hard to trust that person again. There really is no definitive answer to this question. Sure, it can be done. We do have the ability to rebuild trust. It just takes a lot of work and time on both parts. So, if you are willing to put the work in, you may have a chance to rebuilt the trust again. Should you do this is also a big question. I mean, people make mistakes. We are all human and go through different things in our lives. We make choices that are not always the right ones and we regret them or at least wished that we did things differently.

Every situation is different. That being said, here are some tips that may help you decide what may be best for you.

When Should I Put in the Time and Effort to Rebuild the Trust in My Relationship

  1. How many times have they done this before? If they are consistently breaking your trust and promising that they will never do this again, then no I think it is safe to say you are better off moving on and finding love elsewhere. Staying in these types of situations is very unhealthy. Not only does it really take a toll on your self-esteem, it makes it extremely difficult to remove yourself out of this situation when you stay in it too long. It becomes a dependence and if you do manage to get out of this situation, in the future, it is very hard to start off a new relationship without having a lot of deep trust issues.
  2. Are they putting in the same effort as you? Does it seem very important to them to rebuild this trust? Are they making an effort to show you that they mean business and they want this to work as much as you? If you are really giving it your all and they are not trying or not taking it seriously, it may be time to take a break or move on. If they are serious about rebuilding the trust and making this relationship work, then it will be just as important to them as it is to you.
  3. On the other side of that are you able to give them a fair chance? This one may be hard, but if you want to be able to trust this person again, you are going to have to allow them a fair chance. By this I mean you cannot accuse them of things before you know facts. You cannot become over defensive and start fights or arguments for no reason. I know you know what I mean. You snap at this person for no reason. You get mad at petty, insignificant things. This is because you are hurt and living in the past. If you are not able to forgive what they did in the past then rebuilding the future will never work for you. You may need time on your own to heal so you can then allow them or someone else closer to your heart again.
  4. Were you both truly happy before this situation occurred? If you really sit and think about it, how did you feel about the relationship before the trust was broken? Did it feel like it was more of a convenience rather than a loving caring relationship? Did you feel as if you were drifting apart? If this is the case you may have a chance if you find out what was causing the unhappiness in the first place? Once you work on that issue, it should be easier to build the trust back up. People can sometimes feel trapped not knowing how to express how they feel. They may make the wrong choice because though they love you, they may not be happy so they are caught in between looking for that happiness. Again, this one all depends on if you can work on the root cause of the unhappiness.

These are some of the main factors that may help you decide whether or not you should stay in your relationship and how to go about rebuilding that trust if you believe that you are both able and willing to work on the situation.

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Been Burned in a Relationship?


Being Burned in a Relationship Is Hard

The next thing I would like to discuss is how to go into a relationship with trust when you have been hurt in the past. This is very hard for a lot of men and women. Being burned is not easy. Like I stated, it builds a barrier that is hard for others to break down. The problem here is not how to learn to trust others. The problem is how do we learn to let ourselves trust others?

Keep this is mind. This person who you like and or attempting to have a relationship is NOT the person you were dating before. They have not hurt you in any way. You know that you are interested in them that is why you are dating them or attempting to get to know them better. Here is where communication is key. Allow this person to know how you feel and why you feel the way you do. People are pretty understanding and they may have been through a similar situation. By expressing to them the things that make you uncomfortable or where your issues lie, it will allow them to be extra cautious when it comes to those matters.

Communicating to Build Trust

For example, if you found out that your ex was cheating when he/she was supposed to be out doing a guy's/girl's night out, you may find it very hard to let your new significant other go out without you. I can totally understand that and see where you are coming from. BUT you have to allow the person space and trust. So, what do you do? I would most definitely explain to him/her that in a past relationship my ex told me he/she was hanging out with friends, but in reality, was seeing someone else. It is very hard for me to let you go out with your friends without feeling uneasy. Though you have never done anything to make me not trust you, I am working on myself and trying to allow myself to trust again. I would really appreciate it if you would check in with me a few times during the night.

What does this do? Well for starters it is communication. You are explaining to them why you are feeling a certain way allowing them the courtesy of knowing why you feel the way you feel. It also allows them to know that they are not the one to blame for your feelings. Blaming another person for something they did not do is well, annoying and a turn off. If you are always accusing someone of something someone else did, it gets old fast and the relationship is not going to work. Yes, trusting is hard after you have been hurt, but you have to work on it yourself, you can never expect another person to fix this. Sure they can be cooperative and help you along your journey, but you most definitely have to put in a lot of effort as well.

Lastly, will a phone call stop the other person from cheating? No of course not, but it will allow you to see that they want this relationship to work as much as you do. By granting your request of a simple phone call, it will show you that they understand you and except the fact that you are struggling with these issues. Being in a healthy strong relationship is all about working on the issues and building each other up by building a strong bond and security. It helps to allow you the feeling of knowing your feelings are important, at the same time allowing them the benefit of the doubt that they rightfully deserve.

Trusting Means Being Vulnerable

So, in the end I think we all have to remember that all relationships really start off with trust. It is when we are wronged that the trust is broken. If we try to remember this when we start a new relationship it will be easier to let the person prove to you that their intentions are good. We can try to protect our hearts from being broken and from hurting but it is impossible. If we realize that then it may be easier to let others in, people who may actually help heal us. Sometime true happiness comes with risk and being vulnerable.

And on a final note if you find yourself in a relationship that is not healthy or strong and you feel like you do not belong in this relationship any longer, remember loving a person sometimes means leaving a person. It is better to part ways than to break a person's trust. If more people would discuss their feelings and or take action by giving the other person the respect they deserve by leaving instead of lying, we would have a lot less distrusting people in this world. Though the truth may hurt, it is a lot easier to heal from being hurt then it is to learn to have healthy relationships when your trust has been broken.

A Strong Relationship Is a Happy Relationship


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 Jennifer Bates

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