Trust is a vital component in any relationship because it serves as the cornerstone upon which emotional intimacy is built. It's the foundation that allows partners to feel secure in a new relationship, knowing that their emotions, thoughts, and vulnerabilities will be handled with care. So taking the time to intentionally build trust at the start of a new relationship can make all the difference.
Trust promotes effective communication and encourages partners to share their true selves without fear of judgment or betrayal. This emotional safety fosters a sense of intimacy and strengthens the bond between two individuals. On top of this, trust helps to facilitate effective conflict resolution, as partners are more likely to work together to find solutions rather than resorting to blame or defensiveness. It helps you to think of yourselves as a team and to approach disagreements as opportunities to grow together rather than obstacles.
The way to maintain trust is to use similar techniques that you would use to build it initially. This includes demonstrating support, being open to compromise, respecting each other's boundaries, being reliable, and more.
But even the Dalai Lama has talked about how trust needs to be earned, that it can’t be bought or given instantly.
To find out the best ways to build trust in a new relationship, we spoke with Jessica Alderson, Co-Founder and Relationship Expert at So Syncd, so that you can ensure a strong, healthy and trusting relationship with your new partner.
One of the best ways to build trust in a new relationship is by being consistent. By doing this, you can be counted on. This reliability fosters a sense of trust because your partner knows they can depend on you. When your partner knows that your behavior won't change drastically from one day to the next and that you will be there for them, it helps to make them feel emotionally secure. That said, it is possible to be "too consistent" at the start of a new relationship, which can dampen attraction if the other person then feels that you are too “keen” - we really are complicated beings. So finding that balance is important.
Open communication is essential for building trust in a new relationship. It allows both partners to better understand each other's thoughts and feelings. When you communicate openly with your partner, it demonstrates that you aren't afraid to express yourself honestly and openly. This helps build a sense of trust because your partner knows they can trust you to tell them the truth. They know that they won't be left guessing how you feel, or feeling like they have to read between the lines to try to work out what you are actually thinking.
Accept your partner
It's vital to accept your partner for who they are rather than trying to change them. If you try to change your partner’s innate character traits, it can cause resentment between the two of you. To build trust in a relationship, it is essential that both partners feel accepted and respected for who they are at their core. This doesn't mean you can't help each other to grow as people or share honest feedback. It just means that you won't try to make someone into something they're not.
Sharing parts of yourself with each other is another essential aspect of building trust in a new relationship. When you open up to someone, it shows that you are willing to risk being vulnerable. The fact that you are showing you have faith in them to handle your inner world in a respectful way helps to build trust between you. At the same time, you should also be mindful of how much of yourself you are willing to share at the start of a relationship. There's a time and a place for vulnerability—it isn't always a good idea to share everything about yourself right away.
Respect is the foundation upon which all other aspects of a relationship are built. Showing your partner respect indicates that you value them as a person. This can involve actively listening to them, avoiding judgement, and taking time to consider their opinions. When respect is present in a relationship, it helps to create an environment of trust as it helps both partners to feel heard and valued. On the flip side, if you feel like your partner doesn't respect you, you can end up questioning if they are willing to invest in building a strong relationship with you.
Be open to compromise
Compromise is another important factor in building trust in a new relationship. Being open to compromise shows your partner that you aren't only willing to listen to their ideas but also that you value them enough to make concessions and try to avoid conflict. It demonstrates that you are willing to put effort into making the relationship work. Knowing that your partner is prepared to invest in the relationship, even if it means they don't always get their way, helps to build a sense of trust.
Respecting your partner's boundaries is key to building trust in a relationship. When you respect someone's boundaries, it shows that you genuinely care about their feelings and are willing to respect them. The reason this helps to create an environment of openness and trust is because it ensures your partner feels safe from being pressured into doing something they aren't comfortable with. Respecting boundaries also shows a willingness to prioritise your partner's feelings, which sends the message that you have their best interests at heart.
Being reliable is another important factor in building trust in a new relationship. When you follow through on your word, it demonstrates that you can be counted on. Reliability can involve small actions such as replying to texts in a timely manner or showing up to events that you've said you will attend. It can also involve larger commitments such as consistently being there for your partner in times of need or being responsible with finances. This helps to create a sense of trust as your partner knows they don't need to worry that you will let them down. Reliability is fundamental to creating a secure and trusting relationship of any kind.
Show interest in your partner
Showing interest in your partner and their life is another great way to build trust in a new relationship. Taking the time to get to know them on a deeper level demonstrates that you value them and want to understand who they are. It lets them know that they matter to you, which helps them to feel more comfortable opening up to you. We all want to feel like our partner is genuinely interested in us, and taking the time to listen and ask questions helps to communicate this.
Apologize when necessary
Apologizing when necessary shows that you are willing to take responsibility for your behavior. Acknowledging your mistakes at the start of a new relationship helps to build a sense of trust because it demonstrates humility and integrity. These qualities are essential as they let your partner know you are willing to admit when you are wrong and work together to come up with solutions.
That said, apologies should be sincere, so don't say sorry just for the sake of it. Instead, take time to consider the situation from your partner's perspective and really try to understand the impact of your words and actions.
Supporting each other is another important factor in building trust. Being supportive doesn't just involve cheering your partner on when they do something you feel proud of; it also involves being there for them during difficult times. Showing up for your partner communicates that you genuinely care about their well-being and that you will be there for them when they need you. This helps to create a feeling of trust as your partner knows that you are on their team and will have their back.