I'm not an expert in anything except my own life and experiences, but I still love offering advice to help others with their relationships.
Trust Must Be Earned, Not Given
In relationships, trust must be earned, and not given. After it is earned, you then must aspire daily to maintain what has been established. Once trust is lost, however, the attempt to rebuild it can seem almost impossible at times.
One of the key components to any healthy, stable, and long-lasting bond is trust. Without it, the foundation in which your relationship rests on is more susceptible to cracking, and eventually crumbling.
Being able to trust relationships with others relies partly on your previous life experiences. Scenarios including infidelity and lying are two of the biggest occurrences that cause trust issues between couples.
Whether you're earning, maintaining, or rebuilding lost faith, lack of trust can cause more than an unstable foundation. Use the tips included here to focus on gaining trust, as well as avoiding a lifetime of relationship problems.
"Earning represents achievement of anything rewarding. You can build a sandcastle, but to be considered big, important, life-changing, or beneficial, it must be earned."
— Lucas James
How Do You Define Trust?
Before we go any further, let's take a look at the dictionary definition of trust:
- Reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.
- Confident expectation of something; hope.
Depending on the person, trust can have a variety of definitions, and being able to trust relationships depends partly on the person's preconceived notion of the word.
It can be the security of watching your spouse leave for work, without the worry of a secret affair. Trust can be watching your child step onto the school bus each morning, knowing that they will arrive safely. It can mean loaning a friend money, with the expectations of being repaid.
What Brought You to That Point of Trust?
Whatever your definition of trust may be, think about what brought you to that point of trusting that person or situation.
Perhaps repetitiveness? Your spouse has never arrived home late from work with the scent of someone else; your child has been riding the same school bus for several years, and has always arrived safely; you've been repaid every penny you've ever loaned.
Lack of trust is developed, not just a given. Much like earning it. You and your partner's life experiences, your bond, and honesty is what aids in earning trust, or the lack thereof.
How to Earn Trust
Earning trust in relationships can be difficult, yet a very rewarding satisfaction once achieved. Being consistent with the people in your life is the best way to earn trust.
The tips below are simple, and following them will prove to your partner that you're reliable, honest, and faithful.
- Never break your word. If you tell your partner you're going to do something, even if it seems insignificant to you, simply do it. Over time, your partner will see that you keep your word, and you're dependable.
- Never feed off your partner's insecurities. Sometimes in the heat of the moment, especially when you're feeling hurt or attacked, it's easy to throw out slurs that you know will hurt the other's feelings. Eventually, your partner will feel they can't tell you their inner thoughts or matters that bother them.
- Never intentionally lie. Small white lies can even cause mistrust in your relationship over time, and your partner will begin to wonder what is truth and what isn't.
- Never cheat. No matter what happens within your relationship, cheating is never acceptable and is an instant trust-breaker.
Once You Gain Trust
Once you gain trust in your relationship, it is very important to maintain it. Depending on your personality, earning trust may only be half the battle.
In the beginning of relationships, you naturally try to see the best in the person you've chosen to be your partner. This will help the process of earning trust initially, but maintaining will help to keep the foundation in which you're building to be more stable.
Lack of trust in relationships is one of the leading causes of break-ups. With time comes accusations, doubts, worry, stress, and fighting when trust is lacking. This is why working hard in the beginning to earn trust is vital to the success of your relationship, and ultimately, happiness for you both.
Things to Remember About Trust
- Trust is earned, and not given.
- Figure out what your definition of trust is.
- Building trust with your partner can help your relationship's foundation become more stable, and consistency is one of the best ways to build trust.
- Once trust is earned, aspire daily to maintain what has been established.
- Lying and infidelity are two of the biggest causes of trust issues between couples.
- If you lack in trust, try to figure out why, and then work on gaining from there.
"Sometimes in the heat of the moment, especially when you're feeling hurt or attacked, it's easy to throw out slurs that you know will hurt the other's feelings. Eventually, your partner will feel they can't tell you their inner thoughts or matters that bother them."
Patience and Time Are the Best Remedies for Trust Issues
Patience and time are the best remedies for those with trust issues. Again, every person is different, and being able to trust relationships can be scary—especially depending on what your definition of the word means.
In terms of relationships, trust is definitely worth working for. It can be a rewarding experience, and possibly the factor that keeps your bond stable and happy for years to come.
It's okay to be a bit leery of trusting, but one of the most satisfying achievements you can obtain in a relationship is trust.
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.
© 2011 Heather Lea