Most of us have been through the gauntlet. We’ve been cheated on, had our hearts stomped on and crushed to pieces, and yet we trudge on to someone else in the hopes that maybe – just maybe – that person will be different. However, with that movement often comes a giant duffel bag (or six) filled with trust issues. That baggage has to go somewhere, and you have two choices: you can either carry it with you and dump it into the next relationship or you can do everything in your power to slowly unpack along the way. One thing for sure is that is if you don’t work on getting rid of the issues, you will very likely push away the one who has your heart and miss out on something truly wonderful. So how exactly do you go about trusting the person you’re dating and not drive them crazy in the process?
Invite an open dialogue
I’ve dated guys who made me feel like I couldn’t talk to them. They would come down on me for things I said and, if there was any type of issue, almost scolded me like a child. They didn’t last very long. You need to feel like you can open up to the person you’re dating without getting yelled at or attacked. You’re going to have arguments, but for the most part, both of you should have the ability to go to each other without fearing World War 3. If you don’t invite an open dialogue, there’s going to be a build-up of secrets just to avoid confrontation.
Many will agree that any sexual physical contact between two individuals is cheating, but there’s a lot of other things, such as flirting on dating sites, getting phone numbers, having sexual conversations, etc, that could also be cheating. Considering each person and relationship is subjective, it’s vital for each of you to discuss what your definition of cheating is so you ensure you’re on the same page without assuming.
If you want to trust your partner, you have to be a person worthy of being trusted. For example, I can’t expect a guy I’m dating to not ask for a woman’s number if I’m giving my number out to guys, and I can’t expect a guy to be exclusively seeing only me if I’m not only seeing him. It’s hypocritical, and certainly not something I’m interested in having looming over a relationship. Plain and simple, if you don’t want your partner doing certain things, you shouldn’t be doing them either.
Take trust slowly
You never know when you’re going to meet someone new after one relationship ends. It could be weeks or it could be months and that’s just the way things were meant to happen, however, that doesn’t mean you should jump in and trust the person 100% right away. It’s perfectly okay to build up trust as you go along so each of you has the chance to earn the trust of the other.
When you smother your partner, such as calling them ten times a day to find out what they’re doing, it’s almost as if you’re holding their head underwater and they’re going to do whatever they can to grab a breath of air, even if it means getting away from you as quickly as possible. Your partner needs space and alone time for their own relaxation and thoughts and to do what they have to. Trust that they’re doing it for themselves and the relationship and that it’s nothing against you.
There are many who have a tendency to work themselves into a frenzy by conjuring up all the negative scenarios that could be going on, then letting it affect things with their partner or, even worse, unleashing their wrath on their partner because of it. For example, if you call your guy while he’s at work and he doesn’t answer, that doesn’t mean he’s sleeping with the secretary, it’s very likely that he’s actually doing his job. Over-thinking isn’t a habit that’s easy to break, and even once you get it under control, you’re likely going to have moments spring up every once in awhile, but the more rational you are regarding your thoughts, the more you can work to trust the person you’re with.
I’m a big proponent of a guy I’m with feeling free to ask me anything he wants. He knows that, even if he has a jealous or insecure moment, or even if he’s just curious, he can ask me anything he needs to without receiving backlash. For example, he can ask me who I’m texting, what I did during the day, where I’m going, etc, and I’ll be honest about it. There are times I’ll offer up the info before he asks. I have nothing to hide, and I don’t see it as “nosy” or “reporting,” I just see it as having comfortable openness and communication. I’ve noticed the more I have this rapport with a guy I’m dating, the more he’ll have it with me, which allows both of us to continue to build trust with each other.
Be honest about where you stand
No one likes being left in the dark, so if you have trust issues, be open about it. This will help your partner have a better understanding of where you’re coming from and why you say and do certain things, and it will allow them to not take certain things personally. However, as you start to trust your partner more, let them know. It will definitely make them feel good and feel as though the two of you are moving ahead and making progress.
Choose someone with a moral compass
Your partner isn’t stupid; they know exactly what’s right and wrong and what they could do that would ruin your relationship, and the closer you get and the longer you’re together, the more each of you will figure that out about the other. For example, if your partner thinks it’s okay to chat with others in a particular manner, cheat, get numbers, or go on dates knowing that it will wreck you and your trust in them, it’s time to run for the hills. It’s a strong sign of selfishness and blatant disrespect for you and your relationship. There’s temptation everywhere, and there’s always going to be someone willing to help your partner cross certain boundaries, but it’s what your partner choose to do with that temptation that makes all the difference. If your partner’s moral compass is broken, your trust for them is going to quickly slide downhill taking your relationship along for the ride.
Be with someone who’s actually your partner
Above everything else, the best way to trust the person you’re dating is to choose someone who you feel is actually your partner in every sense of the word. They respect your feelings and wishes, hear you out, give you room to breathe, openly talk about how they feel toward you and other things, make an effort to put a smile on your face, share chores and responsibilities, appreciate you, stay faithful, and work with you to strengthen your relationship instead of letting it go to hell, even if that means having the understanding and patience to help you unpack those aforementioned duffel bags of trust issues.
When it comes down to it, you can only control what you do, not what your partner does. If they’re going to cheat, that’s on them, and there’s nothing you can really do about it. It’s a scary concept, but there’s no such thing as cheat-proofing your relationship. Cheating is a conscious decision, it’s not accidental, which means they could try to throw blame your way and say “You didn’t do this in the relationship or didn’t do that” but at the end of the day, they chose to be unfaithful rather than working on the relationship, not you.
You deserve love and happiness, and you deserve to trust someone who adores you. Not everyone will betray your trust or cheat and, in fact, there’s someone out there, maybe even in your own life right now, who could give you the type of mature and loving relationship you’ve always wanted. Don’t be afraid of that, and don’t ruin something great with someone incredible because of something an ex did. Take the chance and it could very well be worth the risk, but pass up on it because of a lack of trust, and it could be the biggest regret of your life.