So much goes into building a strong, potentially forever love relationship. Chemistry, common goals, common interests, communication, similar core values, same willingness to commit. In one way or another, it all comes back to building trust. In a relationship, nothing else is more foundational to standing the test of time.

Couple smiling and looking into each other's eyes

We’re all familiar with the “big” trust issues — don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t mislead or take advantage of one another.

And we’re all familiar with the feelings and long recovery that are the natural fallout of a breach of trust.

In these modern, hi-tech times, building trust in a relationship often starts before you even meet. 

Plenty of my clients have initiated coaching precisely because they’ve been jaded by online dating.

Regardless of who, what, where, when, why, or how, we’ve all been burned at least once. 

And the memories of those experiences don’t just disappear. They become part of your cautionary tale and hard-earned wisdom.

In many ways, this is all part of the process of maturing. You learn from hardship and loss how to balance your emotions and establish healthy boundaries.

And you learn the ins-and-outs and ups-and-downs of building trust in a relationship.

But it’s not easy after you’ve been hurt by a partner.

The topic of trust comes up with every client I coach. 

So, let me share with you 5 ways for building trust in a relationship. Five ways that will stand the test of time.

  1. Don’t assume. Ask.

    If something doesn’t seem right, ask your partner in a way that doesn’t sound accusatory. 

    “Help me understand. When I don’t hear back from you for a full day after I text you, I get nervous that we aren’t on the same page about this relationship. I don’t expect you to text me back right away; however, I would feel better if I heard from you within a couple hours. Just a message that you’re okay and there’s a time we can talk.“ 

    The trust that quietly develops goes both ways. 

    You quickly learn the degree of your partner’s concern for your happiness and emotional safety. And your partner learns that you can be counted on to express your needs without assumption or blame.

  2. Talk about your non-negotiables BEFORE you become exclusive (and before being fully intimate).

    Make sure you’re on the same path with respect to your goals, core values, and must-haves. 

    Also, do you agree on how often you’ll see each other and how long you’ll be exclusive before a more serious commitment like moving in together or engagement? 

    What about taking vacations (together?), spending time apart, interacting with friends and family, and planning to spend holidays together and with the whole family? 

    (The Motivated to Marry Dating Secrets Home Study program spells out 12 areas of alignment to discuss before becoming exclusive with someone.)

  3. Don’t jump to conclusions too quickly.

    When your partner spends time with an ex, for example, give him/her the benefit of the doubt. Don’t be a jealous hot mess. 

    Know there was a reason and ask in a calm manner, “What was it like being with your ex?” or “I’m sure you had a good reason to visit your ex.”

    And then listen for the answer. 

    Watch his/her body language to learn even more. It may not be what you think.

    You’ll always encounter uncomfortable situations that might naturally raise suspicion or doubt.

    But choosing your response and its tone helps to create precedent for the future. And, when it comes to building trust in a relationship, exercising self-control goes a long way.

  4. Get to know your partner’s family and friends.

    You can tell a lot about a person from the friends they keep. The age-old adage is true: You are who your hang around. 

    When someone has the respect, admiration, and trust of those closest to him/her, it is so much easier to have confidence in your own trust.

    It’s natural and easy for people to praise those they love and respect. You don’t have to ask because they are usually quick with their praise and character assessment.

    Spending time around a love interest’s family and friends is a great opportunity to look for consistency. Does everyone say the same thing? Or does everyone have a very different assessment?

    Consistency, after all, is a key ingredient to trust.

  5. Trust your gut.

    As you spend time with your partner and have experiences together, your instincts will be calling out to you. 

    You do have a good compass. Use it.

    Trust yourself first and foremost.

    Pay attention to inconsistencies, even little ones. 

    If things don’t add up, take note and go back to #1.

Relationships require a leap of faith and a lot of hard work.

I know personally how tough it is to allow yourself to be vulnerable while building trust in a relationship after experiencing loss or betrayal. 

My gremlins were all over me when I was dating men in search of a marriage partner after my divorce. 

Once burned, you become very cautious about taking the plunge again. Finding true love seems a little further off and a little less assured.

However, if you don’t overcome your fears, you may miss out on the love of your life.

So trust yourself first. 

Know that you’re older and smarter than you were before and that every relationship has taught you at least one valuable lesson.

Give someone the chance to show you that s/he is worthy of building trust in a new relationship, regardless of past relationship experiences.

And, if you need someone to support you and help you give yourself the best chance of finding and keeping love, I’m here!

So let’s talk. We’ll work to get rid of your gremlins, the fear that may be holding you back from finding true love. 

Go to so we can get to know one another better and schedule a time to talk. 

You deserve to be in a loving relationship with someone you can trust.

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