How to Build Trust in a Relationship

How to Build Trust in a Relationship

How to Build Trust in a Relationship

What Is Trust?

To have trust in a relationship means that you feel a sense of security and loyalty with your partner, says Sabrina Romanoff, PsyD, a clinical psychologist and professor at Yeshiva University.

To trust means to rely on another person because you feel safe with them and have confidence that they will not hurt or violate you. Trust is the foundation of relationships because it allows you to be vulnerable and open up to the person without having to defensively protect yourself,” says Romanoff.

This article explores the importance of trust in relationships and suggests some ways to build trust with your partner.

Importance of Trust in Relationships

Trust is a vital component in happy and successful relationships.

Below, Romanoff explains why trust is important in relationships.


Promotes Positivity

Trust is important in relationships because it allows you to be more open and giving. If you trust your partner, you are more likely to be forgiving of their shortcomings or behaviors that irritate you because overall you believe in them and know they have your back

Reduces Conflict

Trust also allows you to navigate conflict. When you trust your partner, you are more willing to overlook problems or commit to finding solutions to issues because you feel allied in areas that mean the most to you. Even if your partner does something disappointing, you are more likely to give them the benefit of the doubt and see the good in them if you trust them.

Increases Closeness

Establishing trust creates a strong bond and foundation to build on. Knowing you can trust your partner promotes increased closeness and safety. When you trust one another, you feel safe knowing that your partner has your back and can be relied upon for comfort, care, and support.


Trusting your partner also allows your nervous system to relax, rest, and reset. By establishing a strong foundation of trust, your relationship can be a source of healing for both parties involved, particularly if this has not always been the case in past relationships with family or past partners.

Impact of Lack of Trust

Trust takes time to build, and if your partner consistently fails to follow through on promises or commitments, you will begin to have low expectations of them, says Romanoff.


Lack of intimacy: When there is little trust in a relationship, intimacy tends to decrease. When your partner is being deceitful, you will likely want to distance yourself from them, both emotionally and physically.

Negativity: When you feel wronged by your partner, you may fixate on this feeling, which will not only cause you to withdraw from them, but will also cause you to be filled with anger towards them. This can stifle connection and closeness

.Insecurity: Lack of trust usually leads to insecurity in the relationship. In turn, you will constantly doubt what your partner tells you and may react by becoming more controlling. Paradoxically, the behaviors designed to gain control usually push partners further away. For instance, incessantly calling or texting your partner to keep tabs on them can drive them away.


Depression and anxiety: If there is little trust in your relationship, you might experience higher levels of depression or anxiety because you will constantly question whether your partner is lying or being deceitful.

Trouble concentrating: Lack of trust can lead to an inability to concentrate, especially if you are constantly worrying or wondering what the other person is actually thinking, feeling, or doing.

Fear: Low trust can cause feelings of fear and anxiety. You might be afraid of what your partner will do next, or you might worry that they won’t be there when you need them.

Loneliness: When you can’t trust the closest person in your life, you are bound to experience feelings of loneliness and isolation.


Building Trust in a Relationship

There are a number of things that you can do to help promote trust in your relationship. Romanoff shares some strategies that can be helpful.


Improve on Mistakes

An important step to build trust is to be honest and forthcoming when you violate expectations or hurt one another.


Another step to build trust is to engage in open communication. Secrecy tends to erode trust, so when your partner is able to be transparent and allows space to explore topics that might trigger your mistrust, you can begin to feel more at ease and begin to let your guard down

The more you are able to get on the same page, the closer you will feel toward your partner. Open communication makes it easier for you to discuss concerns about the relationship. When you can have open communication, you will feel closer to your partner.

How to Rebuild Trust

If trust has been damaged in a relationship, there are things that you can do to help rebuild your trust, intimacy, and connection. Steps you can take:

How to Rebuild Trust

If trust has been damaged in a relationship, there are things that you can do to help rebuild your trust, intimacy, and connection. Steps you can take:


Be open and willing to work on the relationship

Create new positive experiences together

Talk to one another

Find ways to connect

Say what you mean and mean what you say

Keep and follow through on commitments you make

Be consistent

Listen empathetically, be present with your partner, and ask questions to better understand them and your relationship with them

Continually deepen your own self-awareness so that you can share your most honest thoughts, emotions, needs, and requests

Acknowledge and take responsibility for mistakes made, apologize for the harm done, and be clear and specific about how things will be approached differently in the future

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