8 Trust-Building Exercises To Do With Your Partner To Strengthen Your Bond
Trust can be a tricky thing for some people, especially if it's seen as something that needs to be earned, and not necessarily given right off the bat. But whether you trust easily or it takes you some time, it can be comforting to know that trust can be built and improved upon with some practice. If you find yourself struggling to trust the person you love, regardless of the reason for your hesitation, there are several trust-building exercises to do with your partner that can help you get over that hump and learn to trust your SO.
"Trust is ingrained in our genetics," Dr. Benjamin Ritter, founder of The Breakup Supplement and LFY Consulting, tells Elite Daily. "Trusting another person could be the basis of your survival. Hence, trust is built through very specific experiences. Trust-building exercises and even something as simple as staring into the eyes of your partner for an extended period of time, are real and work." Trust is a fragile thing, and if it takes you some time to be able to trust someone, that's totally OK. Consider trying one of these eight trust-building exercises if you want to work toward further developing that bond with your partner.
1. Ask each other questions.
Sharing secrets or tidbits from your past can be a good way to start building trust between you and your partner. "Ask each other questions that elicit memories from the past," Dr. Ritter says. "Too often relationships are a combination of water-cooler talk, complaints, and sex. We get away from actually getting to know each other. Think of questions that you can ask your partner that are based on their past, that also share a bit about them." Getting to know little things about your partner's past can be an enjoyable way to build trust because you're confiding in each other with personal stories, and you're getting to know each other better at the same time. Win/win!
2. Be vulnerable.
While vulnerability can be really difficult for some people, it can also be incredibly important in your day-to-day life. "Make vulnerability a habit in your life and, in particular, with your partner," Dr. Gary Brown, a prominent couples' therapist in Los Angeles, tells Elite Daily. "Say the things that might be scary to say and even embarrassing." Allowing yourselves to be vulnerable is proof that you and your partner are willing to step out of your comfort zones and be totally honest.
3. Express your gratitude for each other.
Expressing gratitude doesn't come easy to everyone, but it can do wonders for a relationship. "This helps to build trust in the fact that you genuinely cherish your partner's presence in your life," Dr. Brown says.
4. Admit when you make a mistake.
I'll be the first person to say that admitting I'm wrong or that I made a mistake is really hard for me. But "the sooner you can admit and apologize for mistakes, the more you can grow trust," Dr. Brown explains. "Of course, if you keep on repeating the same mistakes and apologizing for making the same mistakes, the less your partner will be able to trust you."
5. Support each other.
Your partner can be your biggest support system, if you let them. But if you never tell them you need that support, they may never know. "Ask your partner for help," Dr. Ritter says. "When you experience the support of your partner, you start to trust them more. You feel you can depend on them." But don't just stop at asking them for help. Ask them if they need your help too, Dr. Ritter suggests. Be there for each other.
6. Always tell them you love them.
Saying "I love you" can be a big step in any relationship, but once you've said it, it's important to continue to say it often. "Tell your partner that you love them — and then tell them why you love them," Dr. Brown recommends. "This helps your partner know that they are loved and why they are loved by you," and can help them see they can trust you because your feelings for them are real.
7. Be honest with each other.
You've probably heard the saying "honesty is the best policy," and no where does that apply more than in relationships. "Believe in your partner and be honest," Dr. Ritter says. "Trust is built when trust is given. Give your partner the benefit of the doubt and answer any questions they have honestly. Build the expectation of trust." Once you've built that foundation of honesty, trust is likely to follow because it can show your partner you have no intention of misleading them.
8. Make talking a priority.
While talking seems more like an everyday thing than a trust-building exercise, it can actually really contribute to forming a better bond with your partner. "Take out at least 5-10 minutes a day where you both sit down and ask how each other's day has gone," Dr. Brown recommends. "This sends the message that you care enough to know and this, in turn, builds trust in your love."
And if these trust-building exercises aren't working or they aren't really your style, there's a really simple solution: Just ask. "Ask your partner if there is anything that they would like to help them feel more trust in you," Dr. Brown says. If you and you partner have the kind of relationship where you can openly ask them something like this, then that's all it really takes.
"A relationship can only survive in the long run if there is trust," Dr. Ritter states. "Trust-building starts from day one, even if you aren't intentionally trying to build it. You might as well spend some extra time ensuring that you build [it]."