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How to Build Trust in a Relationship

Aug 18, 2007
Trust is an essential part of any relationship and it should come in two parts. The first part is that unless you, and your partner, have a reason to distrust one another -- in which case you need to decide why it is that you're together -- then there should be an unconditional degree of trust that comes with entering the relationship. Why distrust someone you like enough to have a relationship with, or why have a relationship with someone you can't trust? This trust should remain in place until such time as you, or your partner, has a reason to doubt that what you say is the truth.

The second part of trust within a relationship, especially a new one, is earned. This trust comes over time. You may trust that your partner won't cheat on you, but do you trust them enough to reveal something that was traumatic to you earlier in your life? Do you trust them enough to tell them your secret dreams? Do you trust that they won't tell anyone else including their closest friends? At first, you probably won't -- just as they won't trust you. Over time you get a feeling as to whether or not the relationship is steady and has a strong possibility of becoming permanent, and at this point, the second trust level begins to establish itself.

Trust is built on a number of things. Reliability is one of them. Are you always where you say you're going to be? Is your partner? One of the warning flags on trust is that someone says they are one place, but if you try to contact them there, and they're not there, haven't been and aren't expected, then where are they? The first seeds of doubt are sown. Of course things happen and people do change their plans, but listen to the inner voice that tells you that you need to mentally note this and see if a pattern of unreliability starts to emerge.

If you tell your partner something, do you find that it somehow finds its way into the ears of other people? Keeping your partner's confidences is a major part of being trustworthy. You should never discuss your partner's personal information with anyone else --no matter how much you trust them. You should also be able to expect that your partner will keep your confidences to themselves. If they don't, another flaw in the trust issue appears.

You should be able to rely on your partner to do what they say, be where they say their going to be, keep personal information on you and the relationship to themselves, and never to give you reason to doubt that they are less than honest with you. Your partner should be able to have the same expectations from you. Any crack in these expectations and the integrity of trust in your relationship is damaged and you'll need to work on repairing it if you want the relationship to last.
About the Author
Jane Saeman runs a site called along with info on dating and relationship on her blog at at http://www.Hot-Firefighters.com/blog2
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