Romantic relationships are complicated, multifaceted, intimate human interactions. They’re not one size fits all, but the way I see it, one thing is common to all relationships: without trust, they’re doomed no matter how much you love the other person. Love isn’t enough and you need to have both in order to have a successful, healthy relationship. Here’s why:
- Trust comes before love. I have to trust the other person before I can truly let myself love or be loved by them. Depending on someone with my feelings, my heart and my affection is necessary to move to the next level. If you build a house, you definitely want a solid foundation before you start installing the floors and building all of the rooms on each level. Without it, your home won’t stand for very long despite all of the work you put into building the actual frame. Think of trust as the very necessary foundation to your romantic relationship.
- Love is only the beginning. It feels so good when you finally tell the other person how much you love them, but that’s only the beginning of a deep and meaningful relationship. So much more goes into maintaining and thriving your connection with another human being and we’ve got to start thinking about it that way.
- Love can be one-sided. Have you ever been over the moon in love with someone, only to find out that they don’t feel the same way? Have you broken up with someone you still love because you know it’s the best thing for you? My point is that love doesn’t have to be mutual to exist, even though it should be, and love doesn’t save the day. We should stop relying on love to make our relationships work. Love is necessary but it’s in no way sufficient.
- Love doesn’t get you through long distance. Shout-out to all my ladies in LDRs! Listen, if you’re like me, you know that entering into and maintaining a long distance relationship is a ton of work. It requires patience, time, financial resources and most of all, TRUST. If you can’t trust your guy to call you when he says he will, to make plans to visit you, or to just stick with you through the hard times when it hurts so badly because you can’t be together then it doesn’t matter if you love him or not. Trust is about dependability and when you’re doing long distance, mutual trust keeps you both in it through the long haul.
- Love doesn’t get you through the hard stuff. Love won’t get you through the tough life stuff. When you’ve lost your job and are feeling down about yourself because of it, love isn’t going to make that better by itself. If you gain a little weight and feel less sexy because of it, love might not make it better. Trust might. That’s because trusting your partner to stick by you through the hardest parts of your life also means that you can rely on them to be strong for you when you need it the most.
- Trust is fundamental to all kinds of relationships. All relationships need trust in order to function effectively. Think about your friendships and business relationships. A level of trust likely exists between you and the other person. That’s because trust serves as a foundation for you to grow together in whatever context it is. It should be the same way for romantic relationships.
- Trust is backed up by action. When my boyfriend follows through on something for me, it’s a demonstration of his reliability and commitment to me. It’s like he strengthens the trust between us one action at a time, further deepening our bond and reminding me that I can turn to him for anything. Similarly, I see my actions toward him as the same. My goal each time that I follow through for him is to reinforce the trust between us so that it never becomes a question.
- Trust fosters intimacy. In my experience, the more I trust a guy, the more willing I am to do things that are out of my comfort zone. In turn, those out of comfort zone moments transform into strong intimacy between my guy and me because through trust, we share our vulnerabilities, let down our walls, and become emotionally closer together.
- Love brings people together but trust keeps people together. The feelings of affection that you may have for someone definitely draws you in, but that isn’t what keeps you with them. It is the feelings associated with security, safety, and intimacy that keep you with someone. Those things, I believe, are inextricably linked to trust. Trust opens the door for all of those wonderful things to exist in your romantic relationship. I say we start aiming for unbreakable trust in addition to unconditional love.