Is Trust More Important Than Love In A Relationship? Here’s What The Experts Say

When you think of a good and healthy relationship, there are two aspects that are pretty much a given: love and trust. If you are missing either of these, the relationship is pretty much destined to fail or at least be pretty miserable, right? But is that actually true? Can your relationship succeed with only one? Obviously, the goal is to be in a relationship where you don't have to choose, but hypothetically, if you had to pick one, is trust more important than love in a relationship? Or is love the one you can't make it without?

For me, the answer is clear: It's trust. The reason trust is more important to me is that feelings of love change, and over time they ebb and flow, but trust is the foundation that makes it possible to weather those changes and return back to the love. However, a loss of trust is like a slow poison to the relationship, killing the love off bit by bit. So, if I absolutely had to pick, I'd choose trust every time. But that could just be me, so to get a definitive answer, I reached out to experts for their take on this question. Here's what they had to say.

1Love without trust can be selfish.

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For Jennifer Rhodes, licensed psychologist, author, and founder of Rapport Relationships, the answer is clear.

“For a committed relationship to work, love is simply not enough,” Rhodes tells Elite Daily. “Trust involves being able to think about someone else’s needs and making choices that respect your partner’s worldview and values. Love is a feeling and is strongly influenced by biochemistry. If you are not truly open to a real relationship, your choices will likely be selfish even if you love your partner.”

Yes, love can be selfish when it's not tempered with trust, because it's a deeply personal experience and emotion. Love is powerful, and easy to get caught up in to the point where you forget to fully take your partner's feelings into account because you’re so swept up in your own. Whereas, as Rhodes explains, “Trust is a natural consequence to wanting the absolute best for your partner.”

2Trust is the foundation for love.

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It's natural over time for feelings of love and connection to fluctuate. Every relationship has emotional dry spells, but trust is consistent and is the foundation that a solid relationship is built on. When there is trust between two people, it creates a dynamic where it's OK for the ebbs and flows to happen, because you are confident in the strength of the relationship. Online dating expert Julie Spira agrees, saying, “Couples can fall in and out of love with each other during the course of their relationship. It’s not unusual to see a couple break up and get back together again.”

While ideally a relationship will have both love and trust, ultimately trust has the slight edge in terms of importance.

"You can have strong feelings for someone, you can experience lust, you can be emotionally tied to another, but for a relationship to work you have to have trust above all else,” Damona Hoffman, host of the Dates & Mates Podcast, tells Elite Daily.

3Love dies without trust.

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One of the reasons that trust is so essential in a relationship is because, when you have it, it creates the opportunity for love to grow, whereas when you don't, it slowly chips away at the love you share until the relationship is unsustainable. “Once the trust is gone, the relationship will suffer and you won’t be able to love someone unconditionally," Spira explains.

While the experts agree that trust may be more “important” than love, the reality is you don't want to be in relationship where you have one but not the other. It may make for an interesting hypothetical question, but IRL it shouldn’t have to be a choice you make. “The two are so closely related, and you really can’t love someone you don’t trust," says Spira. "You can trust someone you’re not in love with, but then they aren’t going to be someone you’d like to have a romantic relationship with.” And why would you ever settle for less?

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