On The Fast Track

Is it really possible to fast-track trust in a relationship?

It’s not easy trusting a new boyfriend (or girlfriend) after a short period of time – and we all know that it’s a fundamental building block for a relationship to work. But is there a shortcut to speed up the process?

‘For some, trust in a new relationship is a "given", in other words, "I’ll trust you until you give me reason not to",’ says Sandton-based psychologist, Debbie Bright. Sometimes, however, trust isn’t simply there for the taking. ‘For others, trust is a real challenge, often as a result of hurt or betrayal in previous romantic relationships,’ says Bright. ‘In such cases, it isn’t really possible to "fast-track" trust, as there is often a deep-rooted belief that, sooner or later, he or you will be let down.’

Cape Town-based psychologist, Vincenzo Sinisi agrees: ‘We all trust at different speeds and the speed at which we do so will be reflective of our earlier experiences.’ If someone took advantage of your trust or you were let down in a relationship, says Sinisi, it will have long-term consequences. ‘Being cheated on in the past can leave an individual fearful in future relationships and make it difficult to trust, especially if there was difficulty trusting to begin with. Infidelity in a relationship can be extremely difficult to overcome and will often impact on trust for several years.’

But in answer our question, can trust be fast-tracked, Sinisi says no, it can’t.

‘There are no clever tricks involved in developing trust in a relationship,’ he says. Trust is built over time through consistency, saying what you mean, demonstrating a willingness to listen to and meet each other’s needs, considering each other’s feelings and being open, honest and faithful. ‘Your partner will come to trust you if they see that you are trustworthy,’ Sinisi says. ‘True trust is always built upon experiences that validate the trust we have.’

Building Trust Blocks
Going back on something you’ve said can lead to distrust and insecurity in your relationship. While we all like heading out with our girlfriends at night or over the weekends, let your man know your plans – it can help eliminate any suspicions he might have, as well as avoid future doubts and fears. Be honest; that way, he has no reason not to trust you.

Think he’s lying to you? Learn to read the signs.