Relationships can be complicated. Whether you’re married or dating, your companion wants to know they can count on you; that you are a person of their word. They want to know you’ll keep their heart safe and catch them when they fall. They’re seeking those attachment experiences that make them feel respected, connected, and loved.
They want to trust you.
Your significant other is looking for reasons that confirm they have made the right choice in a partner. If this person is someone you want a future with and you’re doing any of the following, it’s time to reevaluate your behavior and make the necessary changes. If you don’t, they’ll leave. Maybe not right away, but eventually, they’ll be gone.
They want you to be the person they believe you are, and they’ll give you latitude for a while to prove it to them. But if they don’t see timely progress based upon your actions, rather than your words, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll find yourself alone and wondering what happened.
If any of the following sound familiar, you risk losing the trust of your partner as well as your relationship:
(1) You don’t call when you say you will.
We’ve all been there. You tell your partner you’ll call as soon as the game is over, the movie lets out, or you get back to your place. And then you don’t. Maybe you send a text instead and believe you’ve lived up to your agreement. You haven’t.
A personal call is not the same as a text and, therefore, does not fulfill your commitment to calling. If you said you were going to call, your partner has been looking forward to it; thinking about it and what they want to share with you. When you don’t follow through the first time, they may brush it off. When it keeps happening, doubt builds, and they start to question your integrity.
(2) You don’t bring them into your inner circle.
Most people neither want nor expect to meet your family or friends in the early days of dating, although they may not object if it were your idea. They also understand if you have a standing date for a friends-only get-together.
After a certain amount of time together (it’s different for everyone), what they don’t understand is why you haven’t introduced them to your friends and family. They view meeting your friends and family as a barometer of how stable the relationship is. They start turning a deaf ear and begin questioning their bond when you give them reasons why certain friendships aren’t ones you can enjoy as a couple. Even worse for the stability of your relationship is to tell them you’ll introduce them, and fail to follow through promptly.
(3) You don’t do what you say you’ll do.
I know, probably sounds the same as not calling when you said you would, but there is likely a clear difference to your partner, even if there isn’t one to you. Sure, we all forget things or have something come up that makes it difficult to follow-through on what we’ve said; they understand that. When it happens, again and again, the question they’re asking themselves is whether or not this is a pattern of behavior.
People in relationships want to know they can count on their mate to do what they say they’ll do. Consistently. Taking out the trash every week, showing up on time, and making the appointment you said you’d make is about much more than the actions you’re taking. By doing what you say you’re going to do and doing it consistently, you’re building trust in your relationship. And the more you create, the more secure your significant other feels in their relationship with you.
(4) You hide your phone.
Maybe you’re just hiding the screen when they come near or leaving the phone in your pocket or car while at the same time telling them you don’t want the distraction. You might excuse yourself to take or make a call in another room or even go outside to use your phone. Or worse, you have two phones, telling them one is for business only, and the one they have the number for is for personal use.
Whatever you’re doing, short of laying the phone face-up and powered on, or using the phone in their presence, you’re creating an environment that leaves them suspicious. And that’s true even if it never gets brought up. When you act as though you have something to hide, people will believe you are hiding something.
(5) You’re not where you said you’d be.
I get it; you have errands to run in the middle of your workday; you decide to leave work early or stop off somewhere on the way home. It happens to all of us. These circumstances do not usually show up like red flags for your partner.
However, when your partner realizes you only call them when you’re in the car, you’re running errands that could be better handled by someone else, or you’re frequently someplace other than where you said you’d be, the alarm bells go off in their head. And it doesn’t bode well for you or your relationship.
People generally don’t like playing detective, even if they’re good at it. They don’t want to monitor your movements or make you feel like you’re on a short leash. They want to trust their partners. They want to believe the mate they’ve chosen is a person of integrity and character. And those qualities are confirmed when your actions match your words.
Your partner wants to trust you. Don’t give them a reason not to.
If you’ve already broken the trust in your relationship, all is not lost. Rebuilding trust is a process that happens over time when you work at it. The sooner you acknowledge the behaviors that interfere with establishing and maintaining trust, the faster you’ll rebuild it.
Are your actions jeopardizing the trust of your partner?
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