Establishing Trust in Dating and Relationships
To paraphrase the opening lines of one of my favorite movies, Casino, spoken by Robert DeNiro; “When you love someone, you trust them, there is no other way. You give them the keys to everything that’s yours, otherwise what’s the point”. For me, those words sum up a lifetime of dating and relationships for the very essence of any relationships is quite simply, trust.
It is a word that we mention regularly without really thinking about what it really means. Well we kind of know but rarely do we talk about its importance. Trust is when we implicitly rely on the truth about our situation and what we are told and what we are led to believe. We give trust and we take trust at face value. We believe in the person we are dating, in the person we love and we do not question it. Trust is unspoken, it is not denied, it is part of everything we place our faith in. When we talk about ‘head-games’ we are often referring to trust or a lack of it.
Trust is the foundation of our dating experience because we want to be able to rely on someone and be relied upon. It is a tow-way faith experience where both parties have a support system that has undeniable truth at its core. In the first hours of our first date with someone we really like, we attempt to establish that trust. We ask questions and receive answers and we rely upon the basic truth in the picture that unfolds.
I often hear people saying that trust comes in time and that there will be no true love until trust is created. The issue I have with that is in its inherent lack of faith. When someone says they want to build up a level of trust they really mean that their trust in someone previously had been badly damaged and that they are cautious and have barriers that they need to remove over time. Totally understandable in this day and age. However by not trusting in the beginning you are denying the possibilities of truth at the early stages. You are skeptical and unforgiving to avoid hurt. Do you believe that love at first sight requires months of trust building afterwards?
Caution is inherently valuable when dating and being careful with what we are being led to believe is wise, but only up to a point. To not be believed takes away the romance of an occasion. Love is often about spontaneity and risk and to this extent we often find that powerful kind of emotional love when we are younger. As time goes by we are adept to trust people less due to a history of deceit and being lied to. It is often said that we get harder as we get older. That is a shame. How then can we hope to regain that level of innocent and powerful love and romance we may have experienced when we were, say 18 years old?
Think about the opening quote I made, and ask yourself how open you really are to new people,situations and emotions. Have yo reached a point where it would be impossible to go back and be immediately trusting, or do you think that with the right person you could throw caution to the wind. By analyzing yourself in this way, you can interpret how a future relationship might develop. Where a previous relationship has been abusive, trust will of course take time to build up but at the same time you can be cautious and semi-open. To do this you must date wisely and you must select potential partners well. This is why I often emphasize how and why you must plan your dating carefully.
To find a future relationship that has romance and passion you do need to open up your heart and you do need to find a level of trust in someone fairly early on that will allow your potential partner to feel that sense of romance and passion too. Someone who constantly feels that have to prove themselves will quickly get tired if they are genuine and will ultimately move on. None of us want to be seen as untrustworthy so keep that in the back of your mind.
When you date it is very natural to ask lots of questions and note the answers, even if they are hidden deep within happy conversation. Cross checking on the first few dates is natural too and often the path to quickly building that trust. Few people are expert liars and this is because it requires an stupendously good memory. Most people who try and mislead you will be caught out by the second or third date. This is why you should never sleep with a person too soon either. So taking your time when dating will allow trust to build because you will feel confident in what you are being told.
The other thing to bear in mind is that the specifics of trust are not written in stone. There are few people in this word who haven’t told a little white lie. Dating can be a powerful and emotional experience and people want to make a good impression. Therefore on any first few dates you can imagine that some minor details may have been exaggerated. This does NOT mean the person you are dating is bad. But you do need to satisfy yourself of the truth and decide accordingly. Where you do need to be cautious is when you are kept in the dark about more key details such as career, area they live in, friends, and family etc. A person who is open and truly honest will be able to talk for hours about anything that crops up. Evasive behavior should always be treated with caution.
Once a relationship has developed then you will have already covered the foundations of trust, otherwise you will not have got this far. But caution still prevails which is why people like relationships to develop slowly as they grow older. Your levels of trust in someone may well be gradual until you reach a plateau where you can then make some major decisions to take your new relationship to another level. Such as moving in together or making vacation plans.
The key aspect of trust in any relationship is trusting your own judgment. It has got you this far in life so why start worrying now? If you truly believe you are right then go with it because as I said earlier, putting your faith in someone always involves risk. If you are unable to take that risk, your new relationship cannot grow. Buy a calculated risk is different than throwing caution to the wind, which is why you must be patient. Chemistry plays a major part in successful relationships and therefore you will know when things feel right.
Whilst I agree fully with the opening sentiment and I personally do trust from the very start because that’s the kind of person I am, my own rule about trust when dating and in any relationships is a very basic premise: “If you suspect something, you are very probably right.”