Love, Self

Why Trust Is Absolutely Essential To Healthy Relationships (And How To Cultivate It)

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Why Trust Is Absolutely Essential To Healthy Relationships (And How To Cultivate It)

In any relationship, couples should rely on being able to trust one another and show vulnerability in front of their partner.

When trust has been damaged, whether from past betrayals or because you keep dating the wrong guys, rebuilding trust in healthy relationships can be more difficult than it seems.

RELATED: Why You Have Trust Issues — And 5 Ways You Can Start Putting Your Faith In Others

What is trust, and how can you actually build it in your relationship?

Trust is a prevalent theme in our society. Trust in God. Trust in self. Trust in a partner. Trust the process.

But despite its prominence, many people don’t know how to trust. Or if they’ve been burned, they don’t know how to trust again. This is entirely detrimental to a relationship; it’s like taking a needle to an inflated balloon.

The reason is simple: Without trust, a relationship is really just two people giving each other the side-eye.

That doesn’t mean trust is always easy — some people, both men and women — are unable to trust because of previous trauma and pain they've endured. Trusting someone is risky, and you may have been hurt so badly that you're unwilling to take a step toward anything that risks the heart.

Some people may become shut down and closed off.

So, what happens here? What occurs when you elude trust? Can you cultivate a relationship that is “just good enough”? Can you fake it? The answer is no.

When trust is absent, insecurity steps into its shoes. And this doesn’t cultivate a healthy relationship; it only cultivates an avoidant attachment style.

While you may be nodding your head at the above, you might also be scratching it too, and wondering in what ways you're treating the concept of trust incorrectly.

A lack of trust starts when you fail to allow yourself to be fully in a relationship, even in the beginning stages. You may hold back and pretend to be someone you’re not, fearing rejection if the true you is revealed.

You may put your energy into several people (rather than one you really like) as a way to hedge your bets and convince yourself that one of them will stick. You might refuse to date someone because you assume that, somewhere down the road, they will hurt you.

RELATED: How To Let Go Of The Past & Overcome Trust Issues Caused By Emotional Trauma

What happens when you trust? When you can trust in dating, in men, in life, it allows you to show up in your full expression of playfulness, which is attractive. It allows you to open your heart and allow people to see you for who you are.

Vulnerability and trust allows you to find someone you are truly compatible with.

Trust is what lets you reveal the vulnerabilities inside yourself, the things that connect you with people. In real relationships, people don’t generally care about how much money you make, what kind of car you drive, or the jewelry you wear that makes the necklace from Titanic look like something purchased at a mall boutique.

Tell them, instead, about your fears. Tell them about your shame. Tell them about your biggest regrets. That is the stuff that is real. Everything else is a pretense upon which trust can not survive.

Trust not only allows you to reveal your gifts, but it also allows you to receive the gifts of others. If you lack trust, you enter into a relationship where you assume the worst about the person you are dating and adopt a “guilty until proven innocent” mentality. This leaves the person you’re dating feeling inadequate.

Men, on an innate level, want to impact the woman they are with, emotionally, physically, or spiritually. They want to feel as if there is a place for them in your life. This can’t be achieved without trust; the defense can’t be penetrated without taking a leap of faith.

Sometimes, this defense is viewed as "playing hard to get" or presenting a challenge, which can leave the man chasing after you. It feels good — of course — but it’s short-lived. After the challenge is over, the interest abates as well.

Thus, not trusting in your dating life can attract the wrong kind of guy (or people who also have trust issues). It can become a self-fulfilling prophecy where you're just confirming the negative beliefs you already have about men.

The invitation, therefore, is to begin shifting your perspective so that you can start to find and look for the type of men who are in line with the things that you want in life. These men are out there, but you have to be open to risk in order to find them.

RELATED: 7 Ways You Can Leave The Trauma Of The Past Behind So It Doesn't Hurt Your Relationship

Clayton Olson is an international relationship coach, master NLP practitioner, and facilitator who delivers private virtual coaching sessions and leads online group workshops. Register for his free webinar or grab his free guide 8 Secrets To Create A Rock Solid Relationship.