How Do I Build Mutual Trust in a Relationship?
Building trust within a healthy relationship is something that happens gradually. How do you know if you should trust someone? This can be a hard question to answer, especially at the beginning of a relationship. Your own instincts about a person and the way they behave over time are two important things to consider when making that decision.
Of course, in a healthy relationship it’s important for both partners to trust and be trusted, to open up and be vulnerable with each other. Trust can’t be built if only one partner is willing to do this and the other isn’t. Building trust requires mutual commitment. So, as your relationship progresses, ask yourself:
Are we both there for each other?
When there is trust, partners are there for each other not just physically, but emotionally as well. Does your partner listen to you and support you? Are they sensitive to your problems, worries and fears? Do they show compassion and genuinely care about you? A person who is trustworthy is able to demonstrate consideration and care of others. This also means that they trust you to know what’s best for yourself. A partner who tells you they know best, or that you don’t know how you really feel, isn’t showing that they trust you.
It’s also important to keep in mind that in a healthy relationship, you can trust that no matter what happens, your partner won’t react in a way that threatens your safety or harms you. Everyone deserves to be in a relationship with someone who can resolve conflicts in a healthy, respectful way.
Are we both consistent with each other?
Each person in a relationship demonstrates their trustworthiness through consistency in their actions. The first behaviors you look at might be relatively small, like showing up for dates at agreed-upon times. Keeping private information just between the two of you and respecting boundaries even when it doesn’t make one of you happy are other clues someone is dependable. Again, learning these things in a relationship happens gradually, as you both show that you are consistent with your actions not just occasionally, but all the time.
Do we both say what we mean and do what we say?
Another way a person shows they are trustworthy is when their words and behavior match up. For example, if someone says they love you, and then they act abusively toward you, their words and actions don’t match. When you love someone, you do not abuse them.