Are you the girl who throws an Oscar-winning hissy fit if your boyfriend dares to cast a cursory glance in another woman’s direction? Are you the guy who can’t handle your girlfriend hanging out with other men, spinning that lame “It’s not you I don’t trust, it’s them” crap?
Do you feel upset if someone flirts with your partner, or do you take pleasure in the fact that others also find them attractive? Do you try to make you partner jealous, or do you communicate lovingly and openly? Do you attempt to impose ridiculous restrictions on your partner’s interactions, or do you trust them to interact with others in the way that feels most comfortable and natural to them?
Lack of trust is a relationship killer.
If you’re worried your partner will cheat on you, is it because you would cheat if you could get away with it? Would you cheat if someone came onto you strongly enough? Are you such a people-pleaser that you’ll bend to fit someone else’s agenda so they don’t think badly of you? What if you’re attracted to the person who shows obvious interest towards you? Are you strong enough to respect your morals and your commitment to your partner in emotionally or sexually charged situations? What if you’ve just had a fight with your partner? Would you intentionally do something to lash out at them? What if they cheated on you? Does that give you free reign to sleep with whomever you please?
…are you scared that your partner would give the same answers as you did?
It’s Not You, It’s Me
It’s easy to project your fear onto your partner and blame them for being untrustworthy. It’s much harder to look at yourself and realise the root of your concern is that sneaking suspicion that you’re not good enough. Your overactive imagination breeds fear by conjuring up all sorts of catastrophic scenarios.
These fears are often baseless in reality.
Your partner is with you because you have a particular combination of personality traits, physical features, and chemistry that appeals to them more than anyone else they have met. Imagine that! Out of every person with whom your partner has interacted, they have chosen to spend their time with you.
Great relationships are built on trust, not by drawing lines in the proverbial sand and demanding that your partner not cross them.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t discuss relationship boundaries with your partner. Honest communication and establishing your expectations upfront is important. It helps avoid misunderstandings and gives you insight as to whether you should choose to invest your time and energy into that relationship.
If you’ve chosen a partner whose values are compatible with your own, there should be a significant overlap between what you expect of one another. On the other hand, if you’re a monogamous meat-eating Catholic, you’re probably going to have a hard time finding compatible values with a polyamorous vegan Atheist. 😉
It takes persistence, willingness, patience, and Love to build trust with a partner. Some of the things you could do to build trust in your relationship are:
- Love unconditionally
- Avoid judgment
- Allow your partner to express themselves freely without taking their comments personally
- Let your partner be themselves without trying to change them
- Give without expectation
- Communicate your feelings in your own time and respect that your partner’s own time may be different
- Be there for your partner when they need you. This could take many forms: listening to them, a hug, a kind word, giving them a helping hand, etc.
- Keep your promises
- Communicate honestly, openly, and tactfully
- Care about their feelings and wellbeing
- Be sincere in your compliments
- Always treat your partner with respect, no matter how angry you may feel. Don’t yell, lose your temper, denigrate them in public, hit them, etc.
- If in doubt about how to treat your partner, imagine yourself in their shoes. How would you want them to act? What would make you feel the most Loved, respected, and appreciated if you were them in the same situation? What does your heart tell you?
Treat your partner with Love, trust, and respect instead of fear and jealousy. You’ll be amazed how quickly your Love and trust can grow.
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