9 Effective Ways To Build Trust In Relationship

Vulnerability, honesty, love, and trust are the building blocks of a healthy relationship.

Reviewed by Amanda Bennallack, Relationship Coach Amanda Bennallack Amanda BennallackRelationship Coach facebook_iconlinkedin_iconyoutube_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature), Certified Relationship Coach Shivani Chandel MA (English Literature), Certified Relationship Coach Experience: 4 years
Edited by , MA (English) Subhrojyoti Mukherjee MA (English) Experience: 4 years
Fact-checked by , Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Sneha Tete Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years

Starting a new relationship or rebuilding one needs trust. Without trust in a relationship, you cannot grow with your partner as trust is the foundation on which emotional connection, vulnerability, and our sense of security are built. Also, trust cannot be one-sided. Both the individuals in the relationship have to be open, vulnerable, and honest. This can be exceptionally difficult if you’re trying to rebuild a broken relationship. Trust, once lost, can be difficult to regain. Learning to trust someone, more so for those who hurt you once, involves patience, understanding, time, and effort. It means you give the other person the benefit of the doubt. Moreover, trust cannot be simply given; it is earned. Here are some steps you and your partner can take to grow your trust in each other.

1. Always Say What You Mean

People are perceptive. They can pick up on the clues if someone is saying things they don’t mean or aren’t true. We are all born with instincts that help us protect ourselves. These skills have been honed evolutionarily over thousands of years for our survival. People just know when someone’s crying wolf. And they adjust their expectations and behavior accordingly. They teach themselves not to trust that person the next time.

So, if you and your partner are trying to increase trust in your relationship, it is important not to say things that are untrue. Also, stop making promises you both won’t follow through on. Learn to refrain from saying things that don’t represent your true feelings. It can be hard if one has an issue with chronic lying or is a people-pleaser, but this is something that needs to be worked on. Even minor, white lies people tell their significant others can lead to distrust.

2. Learn To Be Vulnerable

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If you are so afraid of opening up and sharing your feelings that you never go beyond the mindless polite banter with your associates or loved ones, you will never develop trust in your relationships. The person has to know you to believe you or believe in you. The goal is to develop a bond that is tight and honest – which you can’t get with even decades of small talk. This bond can only be created through vulnerability. You have to be truly vulnerable with one another to be able to rely on each other.

In the relationships that we choose in our personal lives, we can only build trust through being open and vulnerable. Some of this automatically develops with daily interactions and time. However, the real test comes when we are talking about emotional vulnerability. Building trust takes blind faith, courage, and willingness on your part to open yourself up to getting hurt — whether it is talking about something you did in your past or letting them see a part of you that isn’t as attractive as the rest of your nature. The most beautiful thing about trust is that it is built when we give our partners the opportunity to hurt us or let us down — but they do not. However, in order for both of you to build that trust and pass the test, we must take a chance. But it is important to go about this gradually and not overwhelm your partner.

According to a study with 4,860 U.S. adults on tech-related challenges in romantic relationships, 51% of partnered adults find their significant other distracted by phones during conversations. Among those under 50, 62% feel the distraction. Meanwhile, 53% of social media users check on exes, and 81% see others posting about relationships. While 23% feel jealousy or uncertainty due to partners’ social media interactions, 33% of single social media users feel worse about their dating lives.

protip_icon Quick Tip
If you unintentionally hurt your significant other or could not meet their expectations, be honest and accept your mistakes. Put forward your perspective without trying to be coercive or defensive. This would help them see your true efforts and appreciate them.

3. Never Be Disrespectful

Build trust in a relationship by being respectful
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One of the most harrowing ways our partners can damage our trust is by belittling us, especially in public. No matter how angry we are, we should never make our loved ones feel less or view them with contempt. You need to maintain a basic level of respect. Respect should be the common denominator in all relationships whether it is between colleagues or partners. The more intimate your relationship is, the more important it is to keep the basic level of respect up.

Unfortunately, when we are deeply attached to someone, we tend to show them our worst. This does mean that we show our vulnerability as well. However, that can’t be an excuse for treating our partners badly. Respect is very important where our loved ones are concerned because constantly belittling our partner can do a lot of damage over time. You need not be formal or polite with your bae – just respectful. Every time you misbehave, treat them in a demeaning way or violate the basic minimum of respect and dignity, you damage your bond bit by bit. It then becomes hard for them to trust you.

4. Give Them The Benefit Of Doubt

When it comes to personal relationships, it is important to give our partners the benefit of doubt. Set your doubts aside and let the person explain themselves. Allow them the space to come through for you. In relationships where you are trying to rebuild broken trust, it may not be possible to set aside all your doubts all at once, especially if it involves substance abuse or infidelity. In such cases, you may still require a certain level of investigation to protect yourself from further pain. But with time, if you both truly want to rebuild trust, you have to be willing to take a chance and let the doubt go — or at least hold the thought before jumping to assumptions— and see if your partner comes through for you.

5. Express All Your Feelings Functionally

Emotional intimacy can only be built if you know that your significant other will be by your side even if you can express your deepest feelings. They won’t dismiss you and your feelings, and will be willing to listen. They will make the effort and time to understand your side of the story, and not shut you down. This will enable you both to talk about feelings without ending up fighting, verbally attacking, or shutting down the conversation.

It is very easy to develop an intimate relationship that is not emotionally close. Here, both parties pretend everything is fine and none of the partners lets the other one in. However, it is not a true relationship. Neither person trusts the other to handle their awkward feelings and thoughts.

Work on ways you both can talk about difficult subjects while being respectful, collaborative, and helpful. You need to learn to discuss challenging subjects in ways that don’t automatically end up in conflicts. If you truly want trust in your relationship, you need to give your partner the opportunity to make a connection with the real you.

protip_icon Pro Tip
Openly communicate about your insecurities and secrets that might trigger misunderstanding and mistrust in your partner. It would build a foundation for you to discuss your relationship concerns maturely.

6. Take A Risk With Each Other

Being vulnerable has to be a mutual endeavor. It has to be a joint effort toward achieving something rewarding. Do something new together – go on a vacation or open a joint savings account. Put yourselves out of your comfort zones. The reward would be increased trust.

7. Be Ready To Give And Receive

Build trust in a relationship by giving and receiving
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Reciprocity is essential to build a solid relationship. It is not necessary that each one of you has to give exactly as much as you are expecting to receive. In fact, both partners have to be comfortable with the expectations, and they should feel equal. In a close emotional relationship, it is understood that this balance could and would shift once in a while. No one actually keeps tabs of who is doing what for whom – and that’s because of trust.

In a healthy relationship, you know you won’t end up simply giving, giving, and giving without your partner ever doing something for you in return. That is why a significant component of building or rebuilding trust is to let this complicated process happen. Of course, the expectations change from couple to couple, but the point to be noted is that none of the partners should ever feel chronically unappreciated or undervalued.

8. Show Empathy

Expressing empathy can help foster a safe space for trust in relationships. When you genuinely understand and validate your partner’s feelings, listen without judgment and offer support, it creates a deeper connection and builds emotional intimacy. This shared vulnerability helps strengthen the bond and establishes trust as the foundation for a healthy relationship.

9. Show Gratitude Towards Your Partner

Acknowledging and appreciating your partner’s efforts, even for the smallest things, helps communicate respect, fostering a positive atmosphere. It shows that you value and recognize their contributions, and it creates a sense of security and mutual regard and understanding. Furthermore, gratitude contributes to the formation of solid trust in one another, and thus reinforces the emotional connection between romantic partners.

That was our list of the ways you can build trust in your relationship. No matter how hard things get, those who have trust in their partners can deal with them way better than those who feel that they have to fend for themselves. Building trust is essential. Without trust, it is hard to truly love and be a part of an emotionally fulfilling relationship.

Trust is one of the foundation stones of a relationship and should be taken seriously. While it takes time to build it for some partners, it may be an instant phenomenon for others. However, this is not to say that you should work actively towards maintaining this important aspect of your togetherness. You should always be respectful towards each other, constructively communicate your feelings, and do not hold back from sharing your vulnerabilities with your partner. The ideas mentioned above can ensure that you flourish as a couple without the hurdles of doubt and negativity.

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes a lack of trust in a relationship?

The lack of trust in your relationship can be attributed to several major factors. Some of them are:
• Individual trust issues
• Inconsistent values
• Unrealistic expectations
• Incompatible attachment patterns
• Past trauma

Is trusting someone a choice?

Yes, trusting someone is indeed a choice. You must actively decide to trust someone rather than wait for them to prove their reliability.

Can trust be repaired?

It can be challenging to rebuild trust in your relationship once it has been compromised. It could seem impossible to win back your partner’s trust after making some serious mistakes. The good news is that it is possible to repair the trust between you two. It can be repaired if both individuals are prepared to put in the time and effort.

Key Takeaways

  • It’s critical not to say things that aren’t true if you and your partner are attempting to build trust in your relationship.
  • Maintaining a basic level of respect is required.
  • Reciprocity is necessary for the development of a strong relationship. But, in truth, both partners must be at ease with the expectations and must be on an equal footing.
  • Remember that it is difficult to fully love and be a part of an emotionally happy relationship without trust.

Trust is the underlying essence of any relationship. For a better understanding on building trust in relationships and fostering emotional connections that stand the test of time, check out the video below!
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