I've noticed a common thread in my conversations with friends and loved ones in the last week or so - trust. It still strikes me a little funny that they all think the single girl is good for relationship advice, but, hey, I'll give it a shot.
The truth is I've struggled quite a bit with trusting men after being cheated on in past relationships. So, I'm not quick to let my guard down and make myself vulnerable to being hurt. But just because someone in my past hurt me doesn't mean the next guy will. I have to remind myself of that sometimes in order to give a new relationship a chance. While still listening to my intuition, of course!
Some people treat trust like it's a thing. Not me. In my world, trust is a verb. It is an action, a choice I make each and every day. When it's been broken, the choice is harder. In fact, in my experience, it's pretty much the end of the relationship. When your partner doesn't trust you, can you really move past that? Can you fully love someone who doesn't believe in you? I can't. Feeling my partner's support and trust is vital to me in order to feel loved. I would almost say that trust is one of the best ways a man can show me he loves me, because then I know I'm getting to see the real person, the vulnerable and lovable man.
The only flaw in the car analogy above is that cars only have one gas tank. Relationships have two trust tanks, one for you and one for them. You're either filling up the gas tanks of your relationship with trust, or you're siphoning it out. You give trust to your loved one in your actions and words all day every day. You can add gas to the tank of trust by honoring your loved one's freedom, individuality, friendship, and time. And you can take gas out of the tank with every undeserved, jealous or insecure question or comment about how they spend their time or peek at their email or phone, and other invasions of privacy.
Some people believe jealousy is a sign of love. Real love involves trust and communication, not accusations and snooping. Signs you have a problem with jealousy include:
-- Calling your partner multiple times to check up
-- Becoming overly upset when your partner is unavailable
-- Feeling compelled to track your partner's every minute of time
-- Feeling tempted to flirt with others just to "show" a supposedly cheating partner
-- Interpreting a partner's fatigue, illness, or distraction as a sign that you are not loved
-- Compulsions to snoop into a partner's e-mail, cell phone records or other private communications
The tricky thing about trust is that it's totally up to you. You choose how much trust to put in your relationship's gas tank. I'm not saying you should place trust in a tank that has a big ol' leak and doesn't deserve it. Some guys (or girls) aren't ever going to be worthy of your trust, and you should walk away. Just remember you both have a gas tank to fill. You can fill his up by trusting him, but if he's not filling yours and trusting you, you still aren't getting anywhere.
I plan on going places with my full tanks of gas! Fill 'er up!