Love has three strong pillars: honesty, communication, and trust.
Trust is undoubtedly what will build the foundation for any human relationship.
However, a lot of people fail to build trust because of personal issues or childhood trauma.
And without trust, a relationship will crumble and become toxic.
In this post, we discuss how to build trust in a relationship so that your relationship can become stronger and deeper.
HOW TO BUILD TRUST IN A RELATIONSHIP
Building trust in a relationship doesn’t happen overnight but with the right set of skills, you can create a deep emotional bond with your partner.
You need to take it one step at a time before you can get to a level where you trust each other completely.
Here are 11 tips on how to build trust in a relationship:
1. Understand that trust takes time
If this is a new relationship or you are still dating, know that trust isn’t built in a day.
Dating is data collection – it takes time to get to know a person and learn everything about them.
The only way you can do it is a little bit at a time. You cannot fall in love with someone in a few days.
It definitely takes much longer than that. So, it’s alright to take your time and build that trust slowly.
2. Let go of the past
Almost everyone has emotional baggage from previous relationships.
If you come from a broken family or have been cheated on in the past, it can be hard to learn to trust again and get over the fear of cheating.
But you need to realize that not everyone is the same.
A lot of people want long-term relationships and are willing to go the distance with their partner.
Not everybody cheats. So, if you’ve been hurt in the past, you need to let that pain go and learn to trust your current partner.
Give them a chance to show you who they really are and allow yourself to build that trust slowly, especially if they have given you no reason to doubt them.
There is no such thing as a pain-free relationship. We all make mistakes and learn from them.
3. Communicate with your partner
No two people are alike. We come from different backgrounds and are raised differently by different people.
All of this leads us to form our own unique personalities. This means that your partner is not a mind-reader.
It’s human nature to withdraw when we feel upset or angry. But you need to understand that your partner is not a mind-reader.
They may not be able to read you as well as you hoped, so you need to explain to your partner every time you are upset and hurt.
You have to tell your partner when you want space or when you want to be hugged.
My current partner has never been in a long-term relationship – I’m his first. He’d initially get confused when I would grieve for my late mom and he’d try to give me space.
But when I told him that I need hugs and more love when I’m grieving, he was able to understand my needs and support me fully and unconditionally.
If something is bothering you, don’t hesitate to tell your partner and be vulnerable with them.
4. Always be honest
If you feel like you have to lie to your partner to keep the peace, then the relationship is definitely not healthy.
If your partner screams at you or is abusive, these may be signs of a toxic relationship and you will have to consider going for couple’s counseling or walking away from the relationship.
But if you feel like you have to hide things from your partner, then there is something amiss.
You need to bridge that gap by being more honest and forthcoming. Remember what I said earlier – your partner cannot read your mind.
The more honest and open you are with your partner, the more trust you will build in your relationship.
5. Be a good listener
Being a good communicator is not enough to build a strong relationship.
Along with being able to communicate well, you also have to be an open and avid listener.
This will help your partner treat you like their equal and feel safe and comfortable talking to you.
This also means not getting upset or angry when your partner is opening up and telling you something.
You will have to provide a safe space for them to talk to you so that they know that they can come to you with anything.
Let’s say that they’re telling you something that you do not agree with. Listen to them without judgment first to get all the facts.
After they’ve provided you with all the information, talk to them. Bring up your concerns politely and respectfully.
This will help them see things from your perspective.
It’s very easy to fly off the handle and get angry, especially if we aren’t used to talking about difficult subjects.
But all this does is make your partner feel uncomfortable and insecure.
They eventually will end up feeling like you do not understand their problems and you don’t react well to their concerns, so they’ll stop coming to you with their problems.
That’s why it’s very important to be level-headed and calm when you’re listening to something difficult.
6. Set healthy boundaries
I remember when I was in my twenties, I believed that true love meant wanting to be with someone 24/7. But I was wrong.
When you’re with someone 24/7, your perspective gets cloudy and hazy because you’re not spending time with anyone new. There is no clarity and no breathing room.
True love is understanding that both partners need time and space for hobbies, friends, family, work, and other commitments.
Both you and your partner need breathing space from time to time. It is important to be independent in a relationship.
You need to spend quality time with each other regularly, but you also need to do other things that don’t involve each other.
My partner loves sports – I don’t. He swims daily and plays basketball with his friends. I use this time to draw, bake, or work.
Sometimes we even go out separately with our individual friends and sometimes we hang out together as a big group.
We definitely aren’t together 24/7 and it works out well. We have things to talk about when we are together and we never run out of things to say.
It is important for you and your partner to understand that the love between you both isn’t jeopardized in any way if you spend quality time apart.
7. Never jump to conclusions
Anxiety is real. It wasn’t considered a real problem in the past, but nowadays we are more aware of anxiety and its effects on our health.
No relationship is perfect. Sometimes misunderstandings happen and it’s easy to jump to conclusions.
Our minds can be our own worst enemies and can conjure up some horrible scenarios and if we act on them – it can lead to toxic communication.
So, before you go down the path of thinking the worst has happened, talk to your partner and tell them your concerns.
This is where communication and active listening skills come into play.
Listen to what they have to say, then give them a chance to explain. More often than not, the reality will be far better than what we’d imagined it to be.
8. Love and support your partner wholeheartedly
Love isn’t a chemical reaction nor is it destiny; it’s a decision. Love means wanting to be with your partner and choosing to be with them every single day.
We are human. And we all need a little validation to feel loved and wanted. So, show your partner you love them in little ways.
Learn their love language and give them a little bit of what they love.
If they love words, tell them you love them. Kiss them and hug them every day to keep the flame burning.
Compliment them daily. It can be little compliments like, “I love the coffee you made today.” or “I love how you answered them, that was clever!”
9. Keep regular dates
When two people are together for a long time, the romance can die down after many years because life happens.
People have children, new responsibilities like looking after old parents or siblings, work becomes more difficult and romance often suffers.
It is important to keep regular dates so that both you and your partner can reconnect.
Relationships are hard work – there is no denying it. But actively try to go on weekly dates.
On that date, don’t let anything else take precedence.
Hire a babysitter for the kids and take some time off to relish your partner and give them your undivided attention.
10. Learn what makes them tick
Spend quality time getting to know your partner fully. This means spending enough time with them to understand when they are off.
This skill will repay itself a hundredfold. If you can understand when they are upset or thinking about something, you can gently ask them what it is.
This is a skill that takes a lot of patience and time to learn but it’s worth it.
Always pay attention to how your partner is feeling. Check in with them at least once a day to see if things are okay and if they feel okay.
If they want to talk about it, then listen. Let them know you care and that you’re there to support them.
When they need space, give them some freedom to explore their Individuality.
11. Go to couple’s counseling sessions
If both of you have been through a lot of personal problems or you have tried everything on this list, but the situation doesn’t seem to get better, then go to couple’s counseling.
It’s very effective and will help you both get on track.
A relationship counselor will not judge or take sides, but will allow you both to present your situation and help you become more understanding toward each other’s concerns.
Knowing how to build trust in a relationship is not a walk in the park.
No relationship is easy and it takes a long time to create a deep emotional connection with your partner.
But it’s possible and with the right set of skills, you’ll be able to build strong trust in your romantic relationship.
The tips mentioned in this article can pave a way for you to become closer to your partner by encouraging vulnerability and increasing trust.
About The Author
Angela is a 30 year old Illustrator and Blogger living with her 2 adorable labradors in Bangalore, India.
She has a degree in Psychology and Human Relationships from the University of Toronto.
When she's not writing her heart out or drawing, you'll find her sipping chai and reading non-fiction books.