Q&A: How can you make your partner trust you more besides opening up to him or her?

The first question is what makes you choose to trust people? Why do you trust God, your mum or me (to a degree)? I believe you trust us because we probably lived up to something we said we will do. This, however, is only one level of trust. There are various levels up this mountain called trust. Trust is built when we prove ourselves in different areas of a person’s life. And once we are faithful with the little, they can trust us with bigger things. I guess your mum, for example, will trust you not to steal from her because you tidied up her room and left everything intact. This is the same way trust is built in romantic relationships.

In a romantic relationship, opening up about our past, sins and issues for example, is a way of saying to the other person that “I feel safe to let you in on a vulnerable side of me.” You trust that once they know that you had all “f’s” in school, they will still love and treasure you. And this makes it easy for you to tell them bigger mistakes when you need a shoulder to cry on. Should they fail you however, you can choose to open up less, advice yourself or fix things. That’s how trust works.

You can never progress in a relationship without opening up. When God says in Genesis 2:24 that “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”; it wasn’t only making reference to sex. It was also making reference to the oneness of a relationship: where you get married not to a stranger but someone who knows you in and out. That is all part of the joining process: you are joined to your wife intellectually, romantically, spiritually, emotionally and more. But it all begins by knowing the ins and outs of one another.

I will be honest with you, in the absence of knowledge or information, our minds scramble to fill in the blank spaces. When you see another guy chatting with your girl at a party and the next day realize that this guy wants to hang out with her; then you see messages from him on her phone; and all this while she just dismisses a conversation about this other guy, that’s room for concern! For your mind will definitely be flooded with ideas as to what is happening: stress that isn’t needed in this life of ours. This is why I personally believe in openness and respect. When your partner trusts and respects your views, feelings and you as a person, they will open up. They will open up on things not only because they are excited to share their life with you, but because they want to make you feel loved, safe and special as well. There is no true love in a relationship without trust.

To round up, trust is in levels and people need to prove themselves. So if you just started dating someone, it’s not wise to tell them your darkest or deepest secrets till they have proved themselves to be trustworthy. (If you think about it, you will realize that God Himself reveals mighty revelations and secrets to us only after we have proved ourselves—that is, after we have been faithful with the little things He first entrusted us with).

10 “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.

Luke 16:10 New Living Translation (NLT)

Lastly trust grows, no one can be trusted a 100% overnight. So focus on growth in your relationships, learning to trust each other day by day.

Stay blessed.

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