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Trust in Romantic Relationships: 5 Surprising Importance of Trust in Building Relationships

June 12, 2023

11 min read

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Author : United We Care
Trust in Romantic Relationships: 5 Surprising Importance of Trust in Building Relationships

Introduction

Can you imagine a flourishing romantic relationship with no trust? Difficult, right? Trust is the foundation of every relationship. In a romantic relationship, you know that you trust your partner when there is unshakeable honesty and loyalty between the two of you. It also means that you are comfortable sharing your true feelings with your partner without the fear of being judged or blamed. Trust is never 50% or 70%. It is either that you have no trust or that you trust your partner 100%. Building trust might take time, but it is absolutely worth it to create a stronger and deeper bond with your partner.

“When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective.” -Stephen R. Covey [1]

Why Is Trust Important In A Romantic Relationship?

Mutual trust is extremely important in any relationship. In a romantic relationship, it can be a make-or-break situation [2] :

Why Is Trust Important In A Romantic Relationship?

  1. Emotional Security: When you trust your partner, you are able to create a space where both of you can be honest and comfortable in sharing your emotions and insecurities. This safe and secure environment builds intimacy and creates a deep and meaningful connection.
  2. Communication and Conflict Resolution: When you know that you and your partner are comfortable in sharing your emotions with each other, then talking about issues also becomes easy. This level of trust can help resolve the issues in a better manner and reach common ground. Doing so can further strengthen your relationship.
  3. Commitment and Longevity: You might have seen that when you trust your partner, your commitment to the relationship increases. You want to give your 100% rather than giving excuses. This commitment can lead to a long and happy relationship.
  4. Intimacy and Satisfaction: When you trust your partner, you will feel that there is a sense of satisfaction. You know that you’re home, and home is not a place but your partner. You feel closer and closer to each other with each passing day. With trust and a sense of satisfaction, sexual and emotional intimacy also starts increasing.
  5. Support and Reliability: When we enter into a relationship, specifically a marriage, we are together for better or for worse. Adverse events can come in anyone’s life at any time. However, if you and your partner trust each other, you will be able to handle the situation together. This dependability and reliability can create a relationship with your partner, which is almost unbreakable.

How Does Trust Look In A Romantic Relationship?

When I think about trust in a relationship, I remember Ben E. King’s famous song “Stand By Me.” He goes, “When the night has come, and the land is dark, and the moon is the only light we’ll see, No, I won’t be afraid. Oh, I won’t be afraid. Just as long as you stand, stand by me.”

To me, this song is the definition of trust in a romantic relationship. There are certain more qualities that show that there is trust in the relationship [3]:

  1. You are honest and transparent with each other about your feelings, experiences, and thoughts.
  2. You can depend and rely on each other to fulfill promises and commitments.
  3. There is no fear of judgment between the two of you.
  4. You both feel safe and find comfort in each other’s presence.
  5. You both respect each other’s boundaries.
  6. There is a sense of freedom between the two of you like you can be who you really are.
  7. You both are 100% committed and faithful to each other; there is no scope for infidelity or cheating.
  8. You both care for each other enough to listen to each other, verbally and non-verbally.

These factors make a romantic relationship trustworthy as well as a long-lasting loving relationship.

More information about Love Adddiction

Why Do Some Romantic Relationships Lack Trust?

There are various reasons why some relationships lack trust [4] [5] [6]:

Why Do Some Romantic Relationships Lack Trust?

  1. Insecure Attachment: I know of many people who grew up in insecure environments. If you are one, you probably didn’t feel safe as a child. Probably your caregivers were not loving and would neglect you often, or you faced a traumatic event in your life. Due to these events, you might end up developing an insecure attachment style, as per the attachment style theory given by John Bowlby. This insecure attachment can prevent you from trusting people in your life, even in a romantic relationship.
  2. Betrayal or Infidelity: If you have seen an event where your partner cheated on you or someone close to you, then trusting a new partner in a relationship can be tough. I remember a friend who faced infidelity; it took her three years before she could trust another partner.
  3. Communication Issues: When you and your partner do not have open conversations, then trust can be an issue. Lack of communication leads to a lack of transparency, more misunderstandings, and a pattern of dishonest behavior. A while back, I had a partner who would not share what he was thinking or feeling. I could never trust him because he was never honest with me.
  4. Personal Insecurities: If you are someone who fears rejection and doubts their own worthiness, then it’s possible that you can develop trust issues in a relationship. In my first relationship as a teenager, I felt that I did not deserve the person I was dating because he was beyond my league. So, I ended up doubting him even when he would so much as smile at another person.
  5. Lack of Emotional Closeness: People who find it difficult to express their emotions tend to develop trust issues. One of my very close friends takes a long time before he can open up to another person. He would always seem aloof and distanced. When he started dating someone, it took him almost a year before he could trust his partner and open up to her. Finally, his trust led them to be emotionally very close.
  6. Lack of Fulfillment of Childhood Needs: According to Erikson’s psychosocial theory, trust issues can arise during the first stage of development (infancy) if caregivers do not adequately meet basic needs for care and responsiveness. Suppose you had caregivers who would fall short in taking care of your basic needs as a child. In that case, it’s possible to develop trust issues and insecurity in your romantic relationship.

Read more about Attachment issues.

What Can Be The Impact Of Not Having Trust In A Romantic Relationship? 

Remember Cal from the movie ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love’? He was an amazing and loyal partner to his wife, Emily. When Emily cheated on him, his whole world came crashing down. Now, although that was a romantic comedy movie, real-life trust issues can be drastic [7]:

  1. You might start having more fights.
  2. You might not want to share your real thoughts and emotions.
  3. There can be a lack of emotional and sexual intimacy.
  4. You might start feeling unhappy in the relationship.
  5. There can be a greater tendency to look for love and commitment outside the relationship.
  6. You might feel jealous and insecure about your partner.
  7. You might not feel supported, or you might not even feel like supporting anymore.
  8. You might think about breaking up.
  9. You might feel more anxious about having to talk at all to your partner.

Must Read about Relationship and Love in the Time of Screens 

How Do You Build Trust In A Romantic Relationship?

Building trust in a romantic relationship requires consistent effort and commitment for the rest of your life. There are several strategies to build trust [8] [9]:

How Do You Build Trust In A Romantic Relationship?

  1. Open and Honest Communication: You may want to begin by encouraging your partner to speak more honestly and openly about their thoughts, feelings, concerns, and insecurities. However, you must remember to listen actively without interrupting and judging.
  2. Reliability and Consistency: One of the most beautiful ways of building trust is by being a person of your word. If you have given a commitment, try sticking to it. You can even focus on being punctual to places, which can show that you are reliable and dependable. Through your consistent actions and behaviors, your partner can build everlasting trust in you and the relationship.
  3. Demonstrate Empathy and Understanding: When your partner is sharing their emotions and experience, do not mock them for that. It might have been very tough for them to have expressed themselves to you. Show empathy and compassion. That way, you will be able to create a safe space for both of you.
  4. Apologize and Forgive: When you make a mistake, it would be great to accept your mistakes, take responsibility, and genuinely apologize to your partner. But, if your partner makes a mistake, remember to forgive them, specifically if they are genuinely sorry and showing remorse. Acceptance and forgiveness can help you and your partner heal from the effects of the mistake and build a deeper connection and trust.
  5. Maintain Boundaries and Respect: You and your partner might be in a relationship, but you both are two different people as well. Allow each other to have enough space and respect it so that you both can grow individually and therefore, together as a couple as well. Respect each other’s boundaries and personal space.
  6. Build Intimacy: When you are responsive to your partner’s needs, you show that you are genuinely available for them emotionally. This emotional availability can help build intimacy- emotionally and sexually between you and your partner.
  7. Consistent Trustworthiness: Trustworthiness comes from small actions. If you show through the little things that you can be trusted, then your partner will commit to you wholeheartedly and be willing to put an effort into increasing their trust in you.
  8. Understand Love Languages: In a romantic relationship, it is important to understand each other’s love language. Love language is the way you express love. In order to increase trust levels, know your partner’s love language and use it to tell them that you care.

More Information about Healthy Relationship

Conclusion

Trust is the foundation of a romantic relationship. If I can trust my partner, then I will feel comfortable to share my feelings and get close to them emotionally. However, it can take a few days to years for trust to be built. Remember that if you really want to be with someone, have patience and give them the space to find ways that they can trust you. Just support them in every way possible. When they are ready, the effort and the patience will all be worth it.

You can take the Trust in a Close Relationship test here.

If you face mistrust in your romantic relationship, connect with our expert relationship counselors or explore more content at United We Care, wherein a team of wellness and mental health experts will guide you with the best methods for your well-being. Additionally, you can join the Conflict Management in Relationships Program at United We Care.

References

[1] “A quote from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” Quote by Stephen R. Covey: “When the trust account is high, communication i…” https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/298297-when-the-trust-account-is-high-communication-is-easy-instant

[2] J. K. Rempel, J. G. Holmes, and M. P. Zanna, “Trust in close relationships.,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 49, no. 1, pp. 95–112, Jul. 1985, doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.49.1.95.

[3] E. F. Admin, “What Does Trust Look Like in a Relationship By Eagle Family Ministries,” Eagle Family Ministries, Sep. 30, 2021. https://www.eaglefamily.org/15-important-signs-of-trust-in-a-relationship/

[4] “How Attachment Theory Works,” Verywell Mind, Feb. 22, 2023. https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-attachment-theory-2795337

[5] “Trust vs. Mistrust: Psychosocial Stage 1 | Practical Psychology,” Practical Psychology, Mar. 21, 2020. https://practicalpie.com/trust-vs-mistrust/

[6] A. O. Arikewuyo, K. K. Eluwole, and B. Özad, “Influence of Lack of Trust on Romantic Relationship Problems: The Mediating Role of Partner Cell Phone Snooping,” Psychological Reports, vol. 124, no. 1, pp. 348–365, Jan. 2020, doi: 10.1177/0033294119899902.

[7] J. S. Kim, Y. J. Weisberg, J. A. Simpson, M. M. Oriña, A. K. Farrell, and W. F. Johnson, “Ruining it for Both of Us: The Disruptive Role of Low-Trust Partners on Conflict Resolution in Romantic Relationships,” Social Cognition, vol. 33, no. 5, pp. 520–542, Oct. 2015, doi: 10.1521/soco.2015.33.5.520.

[8] L. Bedosky and A. Y. MD, “Love Languages 101: History, Uses, and How to Find Yours,” EverydayHealth.com, Feb. 10, 2022. https://www.everydayhealth.com/emotional-health/what-are-love-languages/

[9] H. C. BPsySc, “10 Ways To Build Trust in a Relationship,” PositivePsychology.com, Mar. 04, 2019. https://positivepsychology.com/build-trust/

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Author : United We Care

Founded in 2020, United We Care (UWC) is providing mental health and wellness services at a global level, UWC utilizes its team of dedicated and focused professionals with expertise in mental healthcare, to solve 2 essential missing components in the market, sustained user engagement and program efficacy/outcomes.

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