Charlotte Bridge, 24.07.2015

How to build trust in a relationship in 5 steps

EliteSingles psychologist Salama Marine examines the significance of trust in a relationship and suggests 5 ways in which it can be strengthened through honesty.

The facts

It’s no secret that trust is the foundation of any relationship. Yet despite the fact that many couples maintain that it is essential in building relationship security, research has proven that surprisingly, many pairs don’t practise what they preach.

According to a recent study by the American Psychological Association, those seeking love put trust as the most important quality in a partner - ahead of personality, values and sexual compatibility. Yet in spite of this, the research has revealed that humans on average, tell a lie every five interactions! The results also found that newly formed couples tend to lie to one another in every three exchanges, while married couples every ten.

Ironically, everyone agrees trust is fundamental to a healthy relationship, yet evidently individuals are frequently dishonest to those closest to them. EliteSingles psychologist Salama Marine emphasises the significance of trust in a relationship and indicates the 5 steps to attaining trust with your partner through honesty.

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5 Steps to building trust in a relationship

1) Be honest with yourself

To be honest with your partner, you must first be honest with yourself. Indeed, it is essential that you formulate your own opinions clearly, particularly your stance on relationships in general – what are your standpoints on marriage and children? Be clear in your mind of your own relationship goals.

Salama suggests: Knowing yourself and what you want is the first step towards building trust with your partner. If you are both truthful about what you desire from the relationship you will be able to trust one another whole heartedly.

2) Actions speak louder than words

When you’ve been in a relationship for a significant amount of time, certain words tend to lose their meaning. A typical example is the phrase ‘I love you.’ At the start of a relationship during the honeymoon period, telling your partner you love them is deeply meaningful, but unfortunately it loses its intensity when regularly expressed. Arguably it can become more of a mechanical term, almost part of your routine and subsequently lacking its original meaning.

Salama suggests: In order to avoid this, you should reinforce the meaning of words through action. Show your partner that you love them with romantic gestures and kind acts, not just with words. If saying ‘I love you’ is becoming more of a habit, it might help to break out of your daily routine – spontaneity can be a great way to show your partner you love them.

3) Don’t be afraid to show your vulnerability

Being honest with your partner may sound obvious but many people are mistaken about what this actually entails. When faced with the word, many assume this equates to being critical of one another. But there is much more to it than that. Being truly honest with your partner involves being consistent with your own feelings and not being afraid to show your vulnerability.

Salama suggests: If you feel like you’re not seeing your partner enough because of their work commitments, instead of criticising them and accusing them of caring more about their work than you, be truly honest and admit the reason you’re upset is simply because you miss them and want to see them more. Don’t be afraid of showing your vulnerable side.

READ MORE: How to build a healthy relationship is seven steps. Find out here

4) Accept criticism

While it’s important for you to be honest with your partner, equally, you must also be willing to accept their honesty. Indeed, in a relationship, it is imperative to consider your partner’s perspective. While it can be difficult to receive criticism, the best thing you can do is try not to become defensive and instead listen to what your partner has to say.

Salama suggests: The relationship will not work if communication is one sided – in order to build trust in a relationship you must be able to be truly honest with one another and criticise when necessary. The basis of a healthy relationship therefore, stems from the freedom to express your feelings to your partner without fear of the reaction.

5) Maintain your independence in your relationship

The temptation to spend all your time together as a couple when you’re in love is understandable but it will actually benefit your relationship to retain your independence. You don’t need to be inseparable to feel close to someone.  

Salama suggests: Building a truly strong relationship comes with independence of one another – having separate friends for example helps to maintain an equal balance between you. So that one partner is not more reliant on the other. If you can trust your partner and allow them to flourish outside of the relationship, you will ultimately flourish together as a pair too.

Salama recommends these tips to help you build trust in a relationship. They say honesty is the best policy – be true to it and watch your relationship succeed.

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About Salama Marine:

Salama Marine trained at the Paris College of Psychological Practitioners, and is now a registered Psychologist helping people with their interpersonal relationships in the realm of love, sex and marriage. She has worked extensively within the online dating industry, and provides consultation to those wishing to connect with like-minded partners online.

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