DEAR LOVE | Battling With Trust

Trust – belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc.

That’s what Merriam tells me about trust. More simply defined than practiced though, right? Here is this huge word that honestly and truly is one of the biggest anchors in a solid relationship. Yet many, many, many of us struggle with trusting another person, myself included.

Now that doesn’t mean that I am a crazy that’s acting a fool and never believing a word someone says or searching high and low to find things that don’t exist. But I can honestly say that at times I have been afraid to trust. Mine mostly reveals itself in a fear of being truly vulnerable in my relationship. Often times I fight against the feelings of expressing myself for fear of being too vulnerable.

Nonetheless, lack of trust manifests itself in many different ways in our relationships. Women get antsy that men will never propose, Men are afraid that if they’re not prosperous their women won’t think as highly of them or respect them as a man. We often bring issues that we have had in past relationships into new ones and if we were hurt before, well, sometimes it is super rough for that next person.

I want to encourage you though that just because you may battle with trust doesn’t mean that it can’t be helped. Sometimes people will make you feel like you are doomed if you battle with trusting another person, but let’s be real, it’s really hard! I mean especially with cell phones, social media and DMs being added to the equation. There is so much more that you seemingly have to trust your partner with now days than there might have ever been before.

But here are a couple things below about trust that I think are important in regard to relationships.

  • Just like our relationship with God, it’s when we are present and given opportunities to see his goodness that we actually develop more trust for him. So essentially trust is earned. It’s not something you just start out with. So take your time in developing trust in your relationship. It’s okay if it’s not ALL there at first. It will grow.
  • Trust is scary. Period. Some of us think that there are supposed to be guarantees in relationships. There are not. And I think that once you get that in your head to know that getting hurt is a chance you take, you end up a lot better off. I mean I guess I could put that in a more sugar coated way but it is what it is. Loving someone is almost like a gamble, but you do your best to improve your odds in the selection process. Who you actually decide to give your heart to. Be aware of that.
  • People do dumb stuff. That is really something I have had to realize. Not only will my partner do dumb stuff that may hurt my feelings or make me uncomfortable, but I will too. We all make mistakes to a certain extent. I am not talking about deliberately being a jerk. I am talking about sometimes we say things or do things that we’re not necessarily thinking about that may not be pleasing to our partner. It happens, you communicate it, and do your best to move on with life.
  • Stop trusting people you never should have trusted in the beginning. You ignored every sign there was that this person did not have your best interest at heart, yet you still … It bugs me when people are so hurt when they knew from the jump this person was no good. Stop ignoring the Holy Spirit when it’s throwing up all types of warning signs. Use discernment.
  • Trust can be rebuilt. I don’t care what anyone says. I have SEEN it with my own two eyes. I have seen couples (married, because it is a little different when we are dating) that have been through the RINGER and have come out on the other side better than before. It is a process, it will be work, but it is possible. All things through Christ are. Even if it’s not a drastic thing, if both of you are willing it can be rebuilt. But it can’t if there is no remorse, no acknowledgement or changing of ways.

I just want you to know that trust IS everything, but it can be difficult too. Don’t be afraid to feel your own way out in it. Trusting that you can jump off the cliff and you’re significant other will be there to catch you takes some building FOR SURE.

Photo: Nellis Basson

What are some of your tips on learning to trust? How has trust flourished or failed in your own relationships?