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How to Build Trust in a Relationship

Overcoming Trust Issues
  • 5 July 2023
  • 3min

Building and maintaining trust in a relationship is crucial. When there is trust between partners, it contributes to a sense of openness, security, and stability. Conversely, when trust is broken, it is easy to feel insecure, uncertain, and sometimes as if everything is falling apart. But how does one actively engage in the process of building trust in a relationship? What are the key foundations of trust, and how can one rebuild it if lost?

Rebuilding trust in a relationship: key steps

If trust has been compromised, understanding the root cause is the first step in the rebuilding process. Trust issues often stem from acts of betrayal, ranging from significant breaches like infidelity to repeated smaller betrayals like broken promises.

How to build trust in a relationship - practical steps

To build trust, one needs to be open and honest with each other. But what does that actually entail? How does one work on trust? Here, we will go through 4 important steps to increase and build trust. Examples of behaviors that promote, or rebuild, trust include:

Keep promises or agreements

The first trust-building step: If you have promised something to your partner, follow through on it. It can be about anything - from small things to significant commitments. Like coming home at the agreed-upon time you've stated, not sharing something your partner confided in you, or doing what you said you would do, no matter how small. Broken promises or unfulfilled agreements will gradually erode trust in your relationship.

Apologize when you make mistakes

No matter how hard you try and how much you want to do things right, you will occasionally fail. It's part of being human. If you have disappointed your partner, you need to genuinely apologize. A good apology includes fully taking responsibility for your actions, showing understanding for your partner's feelings, and offering hope for change/improvement.

Open communication

Being clear and open about your own feelings, thoughts, and expectations is crucial. Otherwise, your partner won't have a chance to get close to you and understand you, and in turn, you won't be able to receive the response you need. Similarly, it's important to show that you are willing to listen to and be open to your partner's thoughts, feelings, and desires. Mutual openness about what is happening between you reduces the risk of misunderstandings and betrayals.

Acceptance of differences

In a close relationship, it's important to feel loved for who you are, to feel that you can be yourself. Respecting differences in personality, opinions, and life choices is crucial. Of course, you need to be able to compromise on matters that concern both of you, but it's important to start from the assumption that the other person means well and is good just as they are.

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