Trust is a concept we put hand in hand with love. To be loved is to be trusted, it is an implicit faith that your partner will love and care for you no matter what. It is an expectation of behaviour, the ebb to your flow in the tides of love. Trust is indispensable and contributes to our social success, along with an array of factors. The link between love and trust is even demonstrated at a hormonal level, whereby an increase in oxytocin, the hormone associated with social attachment, increases the probability of trust within a relationship.
Within a romantic relationship, as well in other types of relationships, trust grows gradually. Its formation is based on the consistency of expected behaviours associated with trust, such as the verbal actions of your partner matching their physical actions. Do they demonstrate the ability to be there for you in a multitude of ways; emotionally, physically, mentally? By being there for someone you create the ability for your partner to rely on you and an anticipation that you will show up at any point in the future when they most need you. Only when there is a demonstration of steadiness in these behaviours and feelings do you feel a sense of trust building within the relationship.
Not only is trust formed with a demonstration of certain behaviours but it is also highly dependent on how we feel. You may very well have a partner who exhibits consistent actions and words but if you do not attribute this to trust then it limits its ability to cultivate. Trust is a combination of seeking and portraying these behaviours whilst choosing to associate them with trust. There can be a plethora of reasons why we choose not to trust our partner and sometimes the choice stems from a subconscious source.
In some way, shape or form there will be a point where you feel as though your partner has broken your trust. We are all human and make mistakes, in the context of romantic relationships, if trust is broken on a minute scale then it is more important to focus on the response of your partner. Do you both negotiate and repair the breach of trust or does your partner respond defensively when you tell that person about how you felt betrayed? By observing their response, you exercise the ability to see what having your trust means to your partner and in turn what your relationship means to them. However, if trust is broken on a larger scale, such as infidelity, it can never be fully restored, only somewhat repaired and again it is down to what you expect from your partner and their response to the betrayal.
In some cases, we carry the psychological harm that an intense breakdown in trust can cause from a past relationship forward. It is imperative for healthy a relationship that these negative associations are left in the past and with your ex-partner and are not brought into a new relationship. New associations need to be made in relation to your current partner, as opposed to subjecting them to the same low standard of trust from a previous relationship. It is unfair to hold a person accountable for another person’s actions. You need to wipe the slate clean and look at your new love with a new sense of trust. For, as previously said, to be loved is to be trusted.
“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody, is to trust them” Ernest Hemingway