Having Trust Issues Has Actually Helped Me In Dating

Most people that have been through their share of failed relationships come with baggage—that’s just reality. I’ve been careful to try and start each new relationship with a fresh perspective but it isn’t always easy. Some things from my past have caused me to have major trust issues. That would typically be an awful thing, but in a lot of ways, they’ve helped me grow as a person and that’s come in handy with dating.

  1. They’ve helped me to be a lot more cautious in the beginning. I’ve never been one to fall in love easily—oh wait, that’s a lie. After getting my heart broken multiple times, I’ve learned the importance of the phrase “proceed with caution.” I don’t want to be completely shut down, but I take my time when getting to know someone. I used to skip over that and fall into the routine of being a couple entirely too quickly. I can now appreciate dating and having a good time with a new person.
  2. I now know that I need to protect my heart until I’m ready to fully commit. As I’ve said, it’s so easy for me to get wrapped up in a new relationship very early on and sometimes that results in the inevitable breakup. It takes me a bit to recover from that these days so it’s important that I make sure I only give my heart to someone that deserves it. If someone is worth being with, they’ll understand why taking things a little slower is a much better option for both of us. I don’t have to go all at once; I can open my heart back up slowly and I feel that creates more of a foundation to build on.
  3. There have been times they’ve motivated me to face my fears. Trust is a key element to a lasting relationship but it tends to paralyze me more often than not. Being scared is real, but I can take it to the extreme and I often miss out on good things. I try to be honest with myself and that helps me figure out if I have reason to be scared or if I’m just using that as a crutch to avoid any sort of bad thing happening to me again. It’s caused me to ease up in appropriate cases and the majority of the time it has been the right decision.
  4. A lot of people have trust issues and knowing that makes me feel less alone. I have actually become pretty close with people by simply bonding over our trust issues. I found that even women I haven’t always been close with were willing to offer their own struggles with trust and we were able to relate on that level which brought a deeper friendship than we had before. That’s something I never thought was possible but I can now attest that it is.
  5. I now make sure I take the necessary time to grieve and rediscover myself in between relationships. I used to like the term “go big or go home” and I still maintain that can work in a lot of scenarios but for me, relationships aren’t one of them. While I like the idea of diving into one despite the risk, I’ve had too many hurtful breakups to know it doesn’t work for me. I won’t be good for anyone in the future if I don’t make good with myself first. I need to process things and get to the point where I can fully accept a relationship is over and only then will I be able to move on without it turning into a rebound.
  6. I’ve thought about and made peace with deeper issues inside of myself. Sometimes a trust issue is there because of something underlying. I’ve found that some of the things that have hurt me aren’t necessarily because of the other person. I tend to be either really blunt or really passive aggressive with no in-between. I noticed that I carry this with me and blame it on my past. Now that I’ve brought it to the surface I can actively make a point of correcting a really toxic behavior and find that middle ground.
  7. I definitely have learned to listen better. I will say that I’ve always been a good listener. However, I also know that when it comes to guys, my brain can take almost anything they say out of context and turn it into what I want to hear. I would trust their words too easily and I would trust myself better to know what they meant, even if they were saying something completely different. I now listen to their words and their words alone and take everything at face value unless I’m told otherwise.
  8. I know that I can’t assume things that aren’t said. Just like I learned to listen to what is said and not put my own spin on it, I also have to pay attention to things that aren’t said. I know if I do that, I’ll start to doubt my partner so instead if anything is unclear I just ask. I don’t go overboard and ask for every little detail to be clarified but I listen to my gut and if something just isn’t registering, I make sure I speak up.
  9. They’ve made me realize that no matter how bad a breakup is, I WILL survive it. Having gone through multiple heartbreaks, I get now that just having those experiences alone says a mouthful. Where I’ve done it more than once, clearly I can make it through and try again. This is an amazing reassurance when I’m feeling down on myself and have no will to ever date again. I don’t want to be the girl that gives up just because something didn’t work out. I think all the agony will be worth it someday and that keeps me moving forward and it always will.
jordan is a writer from salt lake city who enjoys a good steak, her dog, and conversations about how radiohead is awesome. she hopes to be a talking head on some VH1 pop-culture show someday and can curate a playlist for any occasion. when she grows up she wants to be an olsen twin.