I Won’t Give A Guy My Trust — He Has To Earn It

“Don’t you trust me?” I hate it when guys I’ve just started dating ask me that. It’s like I’m supposed to make a huge commitment on the fly and say yes even though I don’t know them. Why would I do that? It’s not going to happen. I want a guy to show me that he deserves my trust – it’s not something I’ll just give away to anyone.

  1. Trust is earned. You know what they say: you have to earn trust. Yeah, I know it’s become a cliché, but trust isn’t something that you find lying on the side of the road. It involves emotional openness and honestly. Sadly, some people just aren’t cut out for that. Not only that, but it’s not something that happens overnight without a guy putting in the work.
  2. Trust takes time. My ex and I had a huge fight when, after two months of dating, he accused me of not trusting him because I expressed horror at him hanging out with his ex-girlfriend and not telling me. He just didn’t get that things were still new for us and it would take me some time to be able to rely on his word and give him the benefit of the doubt. He should have been trying to earn my trust by avoiding situations that would make me potentially doubt him.
  3. It’s not just about saying the words. In a similar way to how saying “I love you” doesn’t mean anything if it’s not backed up by loving actions, hearing a guy tell me that I can trust him does zilch for me unless he shows me that he’s trustworthy. The words aren’t enough. I need some cold, hard proof.
  4. I’ve heard it all before. Yup, I got the t-shirt. I know how this story goes. A guy says that I can trust him and then he behaves in a way that shows me the opposite is true, leaving me feeling silly and taken advantage of. It’s so horrible because by that stage I’ve already handed over my love and trust, and now I have to watch them burn.
  5. Trust is about character. If a guy’s trustworthy, his actions will reflect it but so will his character. I’ll be able to see by how he treats me and those around him that he’s worthy of my faith in him. For example, he’ll be honest about little things, he’ll be loyal to those he loves, and so on. These things are important for me to see.
  6. If I can’t trust someone, that doesn’t make me a bad person. The thing about trust is that sometimes we might battle to trust people because we’ve been hurt in the past. But this isn’t always the case, and it’s good to leave the issues at the door when proceeding with a new relationship. That said, it’s easy for people to think that I’m holding back or can’t commit when I take my time to give them my trust. I’ve experienced this with a few exes. It bugs me. I shouldn’t be made to feel guilty for not handing over my trust like it’s nothing special. It’s one of my most valuable possessions.
  7. Trust is tied to my standards. We always talk about how important it is to have relationship standards. You know, like not sticking with someone who doesn’t do us justice or violates our deal breakers. But sometimes trusting someone is actually about self-love. Hear me out. I’ve learned that before I can trust someone, I have to love myself and that means guarding my heart. If a guy I’m with deserves my trust, he’ll realize this and be patient with me. A guy who should be in my life will respect my standards.
  8. Trust is about making an effort. We don’t just fall into relationships. We have to work hard to get into them and keep them going. Trust is just like making that effort: it requires hard work. I want to show my partner that I deserve his trust and I want him to be the type of person who does the same thing in return.
  9. Trust is linked to relationship milestones. If the guy I’m dating has shown me I can trust him, I hope that he’s also shown me that I can trust that he wants to be with me. For example, maybe he’s shown me that he loves me by making me someone important in his life and talking about our future. This is important because if I can’t trust that the guy wants a future with me, then we’ve got nothing.
  10. His lies will be exposed sooner or later. If a guy says I can trust him and I do blindly, then I’m an idiot. So many people out there are so quick to lie and then hurt those they date. But if I take my time to get to know the guy I’m dating to see if he’s trustworthy behind his charming demeanor, then I’ll not only save myself from heartache but I’ll see him for what he truly is. A guy who lies about being trustworthy won’t be able to keep that charade going forever, so he’d better watch out.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.