Posted By: Jennifer Foster Date: 11-28-2016 Comments: 0
If you’re an adult not living under a rock, you have trust issues.
If you think otherwise, I don’t believe you 🙂
We’ve heard it many times before: trust is the foundation to any valued relationship.
Yet try as we might, trusting someone can be one of the most difficult aspects we face while dating. If you’ve struggled with trust issues in the past, or it’s something you’ve only just recently experienced, you are not alone.
It’s good to remember we all started our lives capable of trusting others. In fact, as children, we innately trusted everyone without question – partially because we didn’t have much of a choice.
Over time, the people we love let us down, others didn’t accept us, and some broke their promises. These experiences ultimately changed our attitudes towards trust. However, the sheer knowledge that you’ve been able to trust before should give you hope that you can trust again.
Then it’s time to start overcoming some of your trust issues. Here are five of my best matchmaker tips to help get you started on the path to increasing the flow of intimacy in your relationships and creating a more meaningful connection between you and your partner.
Start trusting yourself.
Everything in life starts with one’s self. This is never more true than when we want to be better at trusting others. You know more about what works for you, what you need in a relationship and what feels right to you than anyone else.
All your life experiences have brought you to where you are today. Take those life lessons and make them work for you, trust your gut and know that you can trust yourself enough to make choices to benefit your life and continued journey.
The more you trust yourself to be honest, reliable and loyal, the more you will see these qualities in others. You may have heard this before – the person in a relationship, continually accusing the other of unfounded betrayal, is more than likely the one committing the betrayal.
Sometimes, trusting yourself starts with forgiving yourself for not trusting yourself in the first place. Often times, we feel foolish for trusting someone once we discover a betrayal. This can deteriorate the trust we have in ourselves if we don’t make it a point for forgive ourselves first.
Communicate what trust means to you.
All relationships require communication, but to obtain trust in a relationship you must be willing to communicate on a much larger scale. If you are someone who avoids confrontation or awkward conversations, this may seem like a difficult task.
Start with simple things like where you stand on punctuality, following through on obligations, honesty and lying. Dive into these topics with the person you want to build trust with, and try to stay on each topic for at least 30 minutes.
It’s important to focus on how you feel about these issues, and truly listen to how the other person feels. Try to avoid setting the other person up for failure or pushing your opinions on them. Remember, you want to hear how they feel, not how you want them to feel.
You might disagree on some principles – do your best to walk away without getting angry, sit with it for a while and in a few days, if needed, you can discuss the topic with a more rational outlook. Once you’ve mastered the easy topics and built a foundation for open communication, start discussing the more difficult issues like loyalty, sex, gender roles, etc.
Identify your baggage and trust issues.
Acknowledgement is half the battle! Ideally, you you want to know what’s triggering you and why it’s triggering you so you can properly address the problem before you can resolve it.
Most people think of baggage as negative emotions, experiences, or mindsets that we drag along from one relationship to another. Although baggage can be negative, it can also be positive experiences that we now hold as expectation for all future relationships.
If you have a difficult time self analyzing what you carry around with you, it could be beneficial for you to talk to a friend or people you’ve dated in the past. If you prefer a neutral, third-party perspective, then it might be worth the investment to hire a therapist, life coach or personal matchmaker.
Trust is ultimately a choice.
I know, I know, if trust was that easy, why is it so difficult for us to trust people, right? But hear me out. Trusting someone is as easy as deciding and choosing to trust them. It’s making the choice and losing power in the relationship that is difficult.
We’ve all learned to play games and hold onto as much power in a relationship so we can to protect ourselves from preconceived pain. The problem with this mindset is you can’t control someone else’s actions or if they will hurt you. All you can control is yourself, what you bring to the relationship, and how much you’re willing to put into it.
If you never choose to trust someone, you’ll never know if the relationship can work. That outcome is just as painful as a relationship that disappoints you, nor will you get to experience all the good stuff and lessons that being in a relationship 100% gives to you.
Learn to accept that everyone will at one point or another disappoint you, whether it’s intentional or not. So why not jump in, make the choice to trust and give it everything you’ve got?
As the British poet Alfred Lord Tennyson once wrote, “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
No one can earn your trust.
This is probably the most widely misunderstood belief about trust. It is nearly impossible for someone to earn trust. Past, or even present, behavior will only tell you about someone’s actions in that moment. At best, it will tell you how likely someone will behave in such ways again in the future.
Unfortunately, people are not machines that can be evaluated by an algorithm. You can study their character for years, test them and even go “crazy stalker” on them, but you’ll never know what you don’t know, and you’ll never get closer to trusting them.
Have you ever been this person in a relationship or had someone do this to you? If your answer is yes, I’m going to guess it didn’t work out very well.
Trust is more of a belief that something that can be quantified or measured. To trust someone, you’ll have to jump off the cliff and believe enough in yourself (and your partner) that everything will work out exactly as it should.