Relationships are hard work, consisting of building blocks you and your partner put together to form a strong bond. These building blocks — like patience, communication, and trust — take work. Trust, in particular, is crucial to growing stronger together in any relationship, and if you're wondering what it means to fully trust your partner, good news: It's hard, but totally worth it. Even though trust can be a tricky issue — since any number of things, like past relationships, can hinder our ability to trust — relationship experts say it's essential.
"Trust creates the essential feelings of safety, security, and openness for both partners," Anita Chlipala, dating and relationships expert and licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Elite Daily. "You can be more vulnerable and deepen your connection and love. Without trust, a relationship will have a lot of negativity, anxiety, and disconnection."
But what does completely trusting your partner look like? Do you just never have moments of doubt? Do you know how they feel about you? Honestly, there's a lot more to it than that, and it truly can make or break a relationship, as Chlipala says. Couples who fully trust each other don't deal with all that "negativity, anxiety, and disconnection," Chlipala says, so if you and your partner are struggling, she suggests looking at how you trust each other. It might be something you need to work on, and there's absolutely no shame in that!
The thing is, to trust your partner fully means so much more than just believing that they're at the grocery store when they tell you they're at the grocery store. "Trust is more than authentic awareness that your partner is telling the truth and reporting truthfully about his or her whereabouts," Denise Limongello, LMSW, psychotherapist, and relationship expert in NYC, tells Elite Daily. "Trust is also knowing that your partner can speak thoughtfully on your behalf."
Additionally, fully trusting your partner means that there is a high level of respect in place. "Trust is about a partner's intentions and actions toward the other," Chlipala adds. "You should treat each other with respect, kindness, and goodwill. It's also about feeling like you matter to your partner, that you are a top priority in your partner's life." Trust is beautiful, and it can make such a difference in your relationship.
That's all well and good, but how can you actually work on getting to that level of trust between you and your significant other? According to Chlipala, it's through open and honest communication. She says that in order to build trust with each other, you first have to be completely honest with your partner, even if it's scary. "You mean what you say to your partner, even if it means hurting their feelings for the greater good of the relationship," she says. "Even though you may not like hearing the truth, knowing your partner is not lying or hiding anything, and means what they say, builds trust." You and your partner have to put in the work to get to that level of trust, the experts agree.
Lastly, don't forget that total and complete trust isn't a final destination. "Trust is an on-going process, and one that each party should commit to working on everyday," Limongello says. "A great way to demonstrate trust with your partner is do something he or she asked you to do the very first time they ask. Feeling heard by your partner can not only facilitate trust but will also make you more willing to work with your partner." So, if you and your partner aren't there in terms of trust yet, don't worry. It takes time and effort, but your relationship will be so much stronger because of it. You deserve to be in a relationship where the individuals involved share mutual trust, so don't be afraid to put in the work, and you and your partner will both be grateful.