Never lie to someone who trusts you and never trust someone that lies to you. – Deanna Wadsworth
Trust is usually only talked about when it’s broken. We shouldn’t wait to lose it before we deal with it in relationships. From the moment you figure out that someone has the potential to be a long term partner, you should be building the trust and communication that it takes to have a successful relationship together. It’s not about cell phones and social media. It’s about the connection that you have with your partner(s).
I have complete access to my partners accounts, not because I demanded it or needed it, she runs a business and I help her manage it. I couldn’t care less about what the content of her messages are. I see constant updates of Fetlife messages or notifications from social media. I don’t know what the first one says and never will unless it’s business related.
We have this connection and trust because we established it from the days before our relationship began, I have always been honest with her and she has with me. We don’t feel the need to hide or be sneaky. If I’m talking to someone new, she knows. If she has a fling with her girlfriend, I know about it. We don’t feel the need to hide anything. It’s complete trust and communication with each other.
That’s the only way to do it and be successful with it. Being upfront in the early stages of the relationship is super important. When I first met Princess, we were co-workers and had no intent of being in a relationship with each other. This allowed us to really open up and speak freely as friends, which I think is something most relationships lack, especially the ones that get built on dating sites.
I know that everyone doesn’t know how to open up and talk about things that can put you in a vulnerable position and allow your partner to really dive deep into your mind. I’m here to help. Later in this article, I will address the broken trust and recovery, but for now, I want to help establish how to build it so it doesn’t get broken.
A few years ago, I found the “36 questions to fall in love” concept pretty cool but I have found that the reason it’s effective is because it opens you up to build a bond and establish a trust with your partner(s) new or otherwise.
So I have gathered the questions for you here and we can discuss the process and how to best handle them as we go. I feel addressing every question and the reason they help you bond will make it more likely to help you than just doing a Q&A with your partner(s). The questions are in 3 sets followed by a 4 minute staring contest. I mean, 4 minutes of gazing into your partner’s eyes…
Let’s get to it, your time is precious.
Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
This question really has nothing to do with the dinner, but what they find important in the person they want to invite. People they have respect for and what values they hold. Some that hold religion dear to them may say Jesus Christ, Muhammad, or another religious figure. People with great family values may say their grandfather who passed away when they were a kid, etc.
Would you like to be famous? In what way? The fame question allows you to learn something they think they have a talent in, I want to be famous for writing, it’s my passion and I feel like a talent of mine. My partner wants to be famous for her crafts, that’s what she does in her business and she will eventually get there.
Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why? This question is about if they prepare for the most minor of tasks, unless it’s an important task, then they may only prepare in important situations
What would constitute a “perfect” day for you? This shows you what your partner(s) would enjoy and make them feel happy in all aspects.
When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else? This question allows you to see if they ever let their guard down even when no one is around. It also opens up to see if they are a bit charismatic or like to connect with other people in a way that would be dreadful for others to do.
If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want? This essentially shows if they value their mind or body more and what they feel will be the most beneficial to them in the long run.
Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die? This question opens up to understand a fear they have. No one wants to die and thinking about it puts you in a vulnerable position.
Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common. This establishes the three things your partner(s) feel most bonded to you by
For what in your life do you feel most grateful? This opens up your partner(s) to show you what makes them happy or has brought them to the point they are in life.
If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be? Another vulnerable question, it creates a moment to connect in their past and see what they will attempt to change for their children or themselves.
Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible. This is a highlight reel and only the most important events will make the cut, so keep notice of these things because they will be the most impactful moments in their life.
If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one non superhuman quality or ability, what would it be? This shows where they feel they may be falling short in life . Set II
If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future, or anything else, what would you want to know? The psychology in this question offers a chance to see what they have the most questions about and aren’t sure if they will ever have the answer.
Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it? This shows you the goals they may be placing on hold because of things in life or they don’t have the support to do so. Something I’ve personally dreamed of doing is writing a book, the reason I haven’t I don’t make time for it because I am worried I will fail or it won’t be as captivating as I aspire it to be
What is the greatest accomplishment of your life? This is the thing that brings them the most pride and helps establish who they are on a mental level.
What do you value most in a friendship? This teaches you about their friends and the values they have in all of them
What is your most treasured memory? This is the go to place when they have a bad day, keep note of it and find a way to activate the memory when they may be down or stressed to take them out of the bad moment for just a minute and possibly allow them to get back on track.
What is your most terrible memory? If it’s something they have done, this is a regret they have and can’t forget. If it’s something someone else did, It’s a moment that defined and changed them on a core level.
If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why? This shows what they may be waiting for a push to accomplish or shows you what they are ready to stop doing if it means they won’t have to deal with the consequences.
What does friendship mean to you? This is like the other question and establishes what makes their friends important to them, but allows a deeper answer
What roles do love and affection play in your life? Love language type of question, it helps determine what they need to feel more completed. Some don’t have a large role for it because they are career oriented or they may need a lot of it because they love the feelings it beings
Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items. What they value most in you
How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s? Helps to establish their family values they feel and what they will adapt to when they get older and have children
How do you feel about your relationship with your mother? This can show you how the family matriarch molded and gave them values and feelings about women in their lives.
Make three true “we” statements for each person. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling…” It helps to create the connection and bond between the two of you. You don’t have to agree with the statement but it shows what they are feeling
Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share…” It shows what they desire to do in a relationship or a core value in the relationship
If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know. This is a key question, the topic usually brings out something they feel is a foundation to the relationship
Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met. Self Explanatory but it offers a chance to know what they really like.
Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life. This one can be difficult to read, if it’s funny then it’s just a bonding story that they love. If it’s embarrassing in a negative way, they are opening to give you top secret info. Keep it stored but never use it against them.
When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself? What made you cry? This can lead to learning about a moment they felt low and that’s the most open a person can get.
Tell your partner something that you like about them already. This allows you to establish something that you value in them
What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about? Establishes how serious they feel about certain topics. The answer to this question is usually a dark humor topic (abortion, dead babies, rape, etc)
If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet? Shows someone that may still have an important connection with or business they need to deal with but have been avoiding.
Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why? Shows what single material item means the most to them.
Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why? This shows who they care about the most and provides the most value in their family
Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen. Creates a chance to see how you both deal with and react to a situation.
Stare into each other’s eyes for 4 minutes without saying anything or touching
These questions are fun to do. They really bring you closer together. I feel the most effective way to use them is to ask them to your partner(s) first and then they ask you after completion. This prevents the issue of waiting to answer and allows you to give full attention to them rather than waiting for your turn to speak and missing out on what they may say. Most of us tend to do that.
This isn’t the absolute answer to build trust but it’s a damn good building block. Trust is important and learning about your partner in these vulnerable questions really strengthens that bond in a major way.
It’s important to build trust, because once it’s broken, it’s possible it will never be mended to be whole again. Most infidelities are the death of a really good relationship, even if you make it through the infidelity it will linger forever between you two. That’s a fact and it doesn’t matter how much therapy you seek together. Broken trust is almost never repaired.
It’s important to be honest and open about the things you desire and expect. When Princess and I were on a friend level, she learned I was polyamorous and what that meant, she learned about someone I loved and still care about. She got to see the real me and not the highlight that most people give until the relationship is established and the revelations that come about are enough to tear the foundation out.
Trust isn’t about not looking in your partner’s social media or text messages. It’s about not needing to because you know that they are honest and love you enough to open up to you. They believe in the relationship, and you, enough to know that the storms that can be prevented will be and the moments of doubt won’t exist.
I couldn’t possibly begin to explain all the ways to build or break trust in one article. I just wanted to give you somewhere to start and build it up. Trust is a topic that will be written about many, many times and will never come close to completion. Trust, Jealousy, and Compersion articles will always be something to read and build on, they will never be the complete answer.
Love you and Peace Out Cub Scouts