People who agree with the following statement don’t understand the nature of trust: “I trust until a person gives me a reason not to trust them”. Trust should be earned; trust should never be blindly given. It should develop over time after putting in work. In a new relationship there are so many variables to consider. The number one priority is getting to know a person. Ascertaining a person’s trustworthiness will be a part of this process. But don’t rush it. Trust involves reliability and consistency. These things can only be assessed over time.
In the early days, trust means believing in things seen. Thus a person must “show and prove”. Your job is to pay attention. Are a person’s words and actions congruent? Is there a consistent pattern of behavior that has been observed over time? Keep in mind that everyone is on their best behavior in the earlier days (months) of a relationship. Therefore, it may take several months before you see the true individual.
Another aspect of trust is feeling safe with someone. Feeling safe with your partner means that you believe they will not intentionally place you in danger or harms way. Ideally, your partner will not hurt you on purpose. In any relationship there is disappointment and hurt. But this should happen unintentionally as a result of a persons flaws. Hurt feelings should never be the result of your partner’s desire to see you in pain. When a person feels safe then they are more likely to open up and share. Sharing is the pathway to intimacy. Intimacy opens the door to pleasure.
Once trust is established then the relationship moves from the “show and prove” phase to the “believe in things unseen” phase. In this phase of the relationship, it is important to rely on the things that you have come to know about a person. When this occurs, the second guessing, suspiciousness, and anxiety are removed from the recipe, making room for other ingredients like intimacy, playfulness, and arousal. Yes, arousal. Trust allows a person to let down their guard, opening the door to unlimited possibilities, one of which is heightened pleasure. Feeling safe encourages freedom of sexual expression and this in turn affects levels of arousal and pleasure.
Trust after a betrayal is a completely different phenomenon. It involves forgiveness, recovery, and time – a lot of time. Once there has been a breach of trust the walls of defense get reinforced. When a person no longer feels safe the inclination is to withdraw and create distance. Of course, this stance interferes with intimacy and pleasure. To regain trust a period of transparency is recommended. This means an open book policy. No secrets. Unlocked phones. Whereabouts. Most adults don’t like to be held accountable in this manner. But if you have fractured the relationship and desire to repair it, then you must again “show and prove”. It is hard to predict how long this may be required. Remember that healing and growth take time. In this situation an individual has to trust their ability to live through this difficult period as they work to regain the trust of their loved one.
A person must first trust themselves before giving trust to someone else. Believing in yourself will allow you to open up and let someone else in. This is especially true of a person who has been hurt. A person must have faith in their ability to live through and recover from the pain of loss, betrayal, and disappointment. An inability to trust breeds fear and fear keeps people from growing, living, and loving. Don’t let fear run your life. Trust in yourself so that you can trust in others.
Trust takes years to build, Seconds to break and forever to repair. -unknown author