You can have lust, infatuation, and even passion without it, but True Love is always built upon, and maintained by, Trust. There’s simply no way to get around it. But, how can you build (and maintain) trust?
You Have to Be Emotionally Available
Right from the very beginning, Deborah was open with me about some painful things in her life. That emotional availability gave me the trust and the go-ahead to share some painful things in my life as well (not in the moment, and I’ll get to why in the next paragraph). Just the same, because I was so receptive to what she said, she felt like she could trust me with more and more personal information. That trust bred intimacy.
If I had said something like, “oh that’s no big deal,” or “some people have it worse,” or tried to one-up her, as so people do even without realizing it (this is really common), she naturally would have closed herself off. She would have gone into her shell and not revealed anything else too personal. We never could have developed a relationship, and if I started doing that now, our partnership would go cold.
Sometimes at the beginning of a relationship, someone will open up as something of a test. If you’re not emotionally available, you’ve failed the test.
Exchange Secrets, But Keep Them Secret
When someone makes themselves emotionally available to you, usually giving you something that very few people know, it’s not enough to be receptive. You also have to keep it a secret. Going and telling your neighbor, or your closest friends, or even your dog is a massive breach of trust, and you can expect the other person to be hurt when they find out (notice I said when, these things have an almost magical way of coming out). It might seem harmless, but it’s not. And even if they never find out, you’ll always know. It will, and should, lay on your conscience.
This is especially difficult for someone whose trust has been broken in the past, so please be delicate.
A husband, wife, partner who can’t keep a secret obviously can’t be trusted with private information, but just the same, it’s hard to trust the closest person in your life if they never reveal anything about themselves. If you can’t be intimate in this way, you may as well be roommates who also have sex sometimes (emotional intimacy is a very real problem, and for some, this comparison is not an exaggeration).
Every once in a while, my alarm clock doesn’t go off. What does that do to me? It makes me constantly worry about its ability to wake me up! When I have something important in the morning, I’ll even lose sleep over it.
Your relationship is exactly the same.
You rely on your wife to work a certain amount to pay the bills. You expect your husband to be there for you emotionally. You expect your partner to watch your daughter while you’re at work or school. You come to expect certain things out of a relationship, and when there’s a significant breach, your confidence, not just in the task, but in the person, goes down. If the task is important enough, you may even lose sleep over your partner’s ability to do it, and that can be a massive confidence killer for both people.
Show Confidence in Your Partner’s Abilities
One of my biggest problems is that I take over small tasks when people don’t do them exactly the way I want them done. This sort of person takes over the dishes, because his wife doesn’t clean them enough. Then, he takes over dinner, and of course, he takes over changing the baby’s diaper. At the end, he has the nerve to say, “I do everything around here.”
If you do “everything” around here, it’s because you choose to.
And you doing everything does more harm than good for your partner, because it leaves him or her undervalued, and it creates more of a his job/her job mentality. Consistency in your partnership doesn’t mean you each only have certain jobs. It means you can depend on each other to perform.
Trust is the most important part of true love. It’s my belief that without it, love just isn’t quite love. At least not the true, romantic-y love that should exist between life partners. Be emotional. Keep secrets. Stay consistent. Show True Love.
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