The Not So Secret Ingredient Every Relationship Needs to Thrive published | 03 April There are many components that most healthy relationships need to thrive including communication, intimacy and honesty. The one element that remains at the top of relationship experts’ lists is trust. Trust is incredibly important to the success and fulfillment of all relationships, especially intimate or romantic ones. Whether you believe that trust is something to be earned or something that’s given freely until proven otherwise, it is true that we all carry around pieces of our past in some way or another. Perhaps we’re unconsciously referring back to lessons we learned as kids from the adult role models or parents in our lives. Maybe we’re having trouble learning to trust a new partner, rebuild trust in a partner, or even prove that we are trustworthy. Trust is necessary for healthy relationships to grow. Trusting your partner means you can count on them. It’s knowing for sure that they’ll do their best to get your takeout order right at the Thai restaurant on Friday night. It’s also about having faith that they’d pick you up if you were stranded on the side of the road and that they’ll handle any vulnerable information you share with care. Mutual trust means that they can count on you for all of the same reasons. Trust and communication go like peanut butter and jelly—you need both. And for an intimate relationship to grow deeper, you can’t have one without the other. Wherever you and your partner(s) are on the spectrum of trust—it’s often something that can be further enriched over time. So how do you do that? Here are some top tips we share with clients in relationship coaching. Showing your trust Even though the early stages of a fresh new relationship are filled with fun, they can also be filled with worry. Perhaps you’ve hesitantly sent a text and then didn’t hear back and the thoughts running through your head run from, “They don’t really like me,” to “They’re seeing someone else,” only to hear back, “Sorry! I was just driving!” The good news is that you’re not alone. Everyone has experienced something similar at one point or another in a past or current relationship. The early stage of a new relationship is the most essential time to focus on building trust between one another. Starting your relationship with honesty and transparency in all of your communication can go a long way. Do what you say you’re going to do One of the simplest ways to build trust is to follow through and merely do what you said you were going to do. When your partner(s) can rely on you to show up, be consistent, dependable, and honest, these easy actions will serve you for your entire relationship together. And if you happen to make a mistake (don’t worry, we all do), make it right as quickly as possible, apologize, and then avoid repeating that same blunder. Repair trust in a relationship Once broken, trust can be repaired—though not always easy, or quick. Regardless of the reason for needing to rebuild trust, you can make efforts to repair what’s been broken (in some cases). You can’t, however, control how the person you hurt or offended by breaking the trust will react, or even be sure that they want to correct what has happened. Regardless of the receptiveness of your partner(s), the most important move is to take responsibility right away—and doing it without acting in defense. It helps to show the other person that you value the relationship and want to make an effort to move forward while respecting the others’ needs. How to handle it if your partner doesn’t trust you If your partner doesn’t trust you, try to keep in mind that it’s about them—not you. Even if you trust your partner, you may have a trust discrepancy in your relationship. And it can be frustrating when nothing you seem to do can help reassure your partner that you’re trustworthy. Avoid taking it personally if you can, and know that it’s not a reflection on your behaviour (assuming you’ve been trustworthy). Then, all you can do is continue to show just how reliable you are. This can feel tiring if your partner is doubting you, but worth the effort if you value the relationship. Lastly, if your partner betrayed your trust and you’re feeling like it’s irreparable—it very well might be. Every situation and every relationship is unique. We’re here for you if you need to talk this through. Written by Bliss Sex & Relationship Therapist, Kelly McDonnell-Arnold. Learn more about Kelly and get her secret “Tips From the Couch” here. If you liked this article on trust you might enjoy these too: What Does it Mean to be Authentic? Others Will Treat You the Way You Let Them —3 Keys to Boundary-Setting How to Ask for the Sex you Want in 8 Completely Practical Tips Do you have any questions about trust in your relationship? We’re happy to help! Get in touch with us here. If you’re interested in booking your first appointment with Bliss, you can do that here.