Is love really the most important thing in a relationship? Is it true that love conquers all? Trust is less sexy, but just as important.
If I could trace the reason people stay in bad relationships too long back to one issue, it is this.
They have blinding love without trust.
People hyperfocus on their shared love, while they let trust, sexual compatibility, collaboration and communication crumble beneath it. Romantic love is easy to find and it’s easy to put into action. If love fades, a gift, a kiss, an “I love you” can immediately alleviate the fading affection.
Trust on the other hand, is harder to earn. It takes time and effort and is compounding. It can’t be proven with one single act or statement, but has to be built with ongoing actions and communication. Trust can’t be half-assed or faked.
Love isn’t enough.
You’ve gotta have trust, dudes.
So maybe you’re in this sort of relationship. You have deep and true love for each other but over time your partner has lost some of that core trust. Not because they are bad people, but because they don’t have the emotional intelligence or capacity to fully show up for you.
We always talk about trust and fidelity in the same conversation when talking love, sex and relationships. I don’t think that’s the issue here. Most people don’t cheat. But not-cheating isn’t the only requirement for trust. More than anything else, I see people lose trust in their partners as they make small promises that they never act on.
Maybe your lover says they’re moving towards a goal that you realize they have no intention of ever reaching. Going back to school, getting a job, changing a job, starting a yoga practice… these small unfulfilled promises stay in the back of your mind when they start to promise they are willing to work on the relationship or want to get married.
Maybe they often promise to meet you somewhere, call you after work or pick something up, and they always forget. Not out of malice, but out of apathy or “busyness”. That inability to trust that they’ll show up for you physically makes it hard to trust that they can help and support you when you’re feeling vulnerable or have big decisions to make together.
Everyone should be able to trust that their partner will show up for them. Emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
Only when the two of you create a container to be completely yourselves, can you let go and grow in a relationship. You need to feel that security in order to surrender. Those two things grow in direct proportions.
And surrender is where it’s at!
Especially in sex, that safe space created by trust is necessary to let go in the bedroom. Surrender and trust together is where eroticism is able to get awesome.
If you want to go deeper in your sexuality, but are nervous that your partner won’t be able to understand or support your fun experimental process, you might hold back and not share your desires with them. This small mistrust can compound over time and cause serious sexual dissatisfaction.
Most people I meet aren’t nervous that their partner will leave them. They are nervous that their partner won’t be able to support them, or show up for them.
We just never let ourselves say those words, but that’s a real conversation you need to have with yourself.
Do you love your partner? And do you trust them just as much? Do you feel like you can let go?
I hope so.
So what do you do if you don’t have trust?
Obviously you only date people who are super solid – right??
No. Putting all of the pressure on your partner to be trustworthy is unrealistic.
You see, you can only trust your partner as much as you trust your self.
Even if you were dating the perfect person who always said the right thing, followed through on every promise and always called his mother; if you don’t love and trust yourself, it won’t make any difference.
Your ability to trust your own intuition and instincts will help you see any situation with clarity. Knowing what you need and want before setting expectations for your partner is a key part of creating your own container of trust, for yourself.
Many women I talk to don’t trust their ability to make good decisions in a relationship. They’ve failed so many times at past relationships that they rely on their partner to tell them when things are good and happy and are constantly anxious about their partner’s happiness.
Before you can trust your partner you need to trust your ability to read the situation for yourself and make decisions based on what is best for you. Only then can your partner trust you.
Trust is active. You have to be trusting to be trusted. You have to be creating trust together as a couple.