The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines trust as the “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something. One in which confidence is placed.”
Trust is fundamental for all relationships, and this is especially true for dating, courting, and marriage. Trust is not so easy to build and, once broken, can be extremely difficult to repair.
Some people find trusting others quite natural. It may be the way in which they were raised and the good role models they had.
For others, it’s extremely difficult. They have a hard time believing that anyone has good intentions and will follow through with what they say they will do. These people may not have had good role models or may have had trust shattering experiences.
For me, trust comes easy. I trust almost everyone. It isn’t until you do something that violates my trust that we’ll have problems.
When someone has lost trust in you, it’s extremely difficult…if not impossible to get back. Here are some tips to be trusting and trustworthy.
Don’t hold yourself hostage to your emotions.
Forgiveness is a huge part of being able to trust again. It’s not as much about forgiving whomever broke your trust as it is about forgiving yourself. Why do you need to forgive yourself? It’s because you’re more than likely being too hard on yourself for past mistakes.
Forgive yourself for the bad choices you’ve made. Forgive yourself for being abused. Forgive yourself for not walking away sooner.
Don’t hold yourself hostage to other’s actions.
It’s very easy to set your expectations of others so high that they’re unrealistic and unlikely to ever be reached. We all make mistakes. None of us are honest 100 percent of the time. People make mistakes. Try to be discerning and determine which people who have made a mistake and are truly sorry.
Seek to understand what caused them to behave the way they did so that you can be more compassionate toward them and ultimately forgive.
As I’m sure you’ve heard more than you care to admit, forgiveness is not for the other person, it’s for you. Once you truly forgive someone you release yourself from having to relive the pain over and over again. Forgiving does not condone the action. Forgiving allows you to move on.
Your past doesn’t equal your future.
Just because someone has hurt you in the past doesn’t mean that everyone is out to get you! You have to judge each person on their own merits. Do their words match their actions? How do they treat you? How do they treat others?
Not everyone has dubious ulterior motives. Learn to recognize that the next person you date is not your Ex. If they say or do something that your Ex used to do, talk to them about it. If their action triggers negative emotions in you, share that with your partner. Let them know what triggers negative feelings.
Great communication is the only way to move forward in a healthy way. If the other person tries to dismiss your emotions or your triggers, then they probably aren’t the right one for you. A great mate is going to listen, be open, and willing to try to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
If you’ve built up walls that are too high and too wide, not only will you keep out any possibility of hurt, but you’ll also keep out the love and communication you’re looking for. You won’t be able to effectively share what’s on your mind and heart.
Establish healthy boundaries.
Part of the reason your trust may have been broken in the past is that you may not have been committed to healthy boundaries.
You teach people how to treat you by the boundaries that you set. If you say, no sex before marriage then don’t be jumping into bed on the third date!
If you say no kissing until you’re in love because you cherish that as something extra special, then don’t start kissing on the second date.
If you believe in traditional values and chivalry, don’t let yourself be treated like a doormat.
Don’t expect anyone to automatically know your boundaries. Not everyone thinks like you do. What’s important to one may not be to the other. However, if you have good communication and they respect you, they will respect your boundaries.
If they don’t respect your boundaries then it’s time to move on because they’re not worthy of your trust.
You can’t control how others act, but you can control your response to their actions. Human beings are resilient. When you choose to do so, you can rise above any adversity and become a better person than you were before the hurt or betrayal.
Always act with integrity and honesty even when that goes against the grain of the expectations of others. Believe in yourself. Believe that you are worthy of love, trust and respect. Believe it is possible to have relationships built on the solid foundation of trust in your life once again.
I hope you’ll use this information to help you step out of your comfort zone and to be more proactive in your dating life.
Don’t let my blog be your soul source of information on this topic. Read other articles or books to help you move forward and protect yourself from being over trusting, lack all trust in others, or to become more trustworthy.
Join me next week for “Where are all the good one?”