How to Build Trust

How to Build Trust
Trust is a difficult concept to define. There is some debate over whether it is a mental state or an action but in the spirit of simplicity, I will define trust as a relationship of confidence between people who hold certain expectations about how the other will behave.

Though it is a double-edged sword in many ways, trust is an important feature of romantic relationships. It is extremely difficult, if not outright impossible, for a relationship to really flourish without it. Because trust is so fragile, though, it requires a certain level of emotional risk and is prone to being broken easily. Nobody likes to feel betrayed, which is why some people find it particularly hard to trust others, a problem that is often compounded by insecurity as well as painful experiences.

Trusting somebody that you are dating can be especially difficult because there is so much about that person that is still unknown to you. To trust someone is a gamble in which you wager that he/she will not fall short of whatever expectations you may have. With emotional stability on the line, the stakes can get pretty high but if your bet pays off, the rewards of a gratifying dating experience can be substantial.

It is important to note that as with most things in life, there is a danger of over-indulging. It is possible to trust too much or to put trust into someone that does not deserve it. But if you are just starting out with a new partner who has not previously betrayed you and you want to establish a healthy and trusting relationship with that person, there are some things that you can do to improve your chances of success. Try to keep an open mind, watch out for insecurity, and consider the suggestions below.

Ways to foster and maintain trust in a new relationship:

  • Identify boundaries, discuss ground rules, and clarify expectations early on.

  • Be conscious of and respectful of your partner’s feelings.

  • Stay true to your word. Don’t make promises that you can’t or don’t expect to keep.

  • Keep the lines of communication open at all times.

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