How to Know if You Can Trust Someone in a New Relationship
A new relationship is both scary and exciting, risky and rewarding! It’s even better when you trust your new partner. These tips on how to know if you can trust a new boyfriend are inspired by a reader who says…
“I’m a 32 year old woman, I’ve been in several relationships, and even though some were great they all had one big thing in common: I never trusted my new boyfriends completely,” says Amelia on 8 Ways to Build Trust in a Relationship. “I’ve always gone through their text messages, phone logs, Facebook chats, and emails, looking for proof that my boyfriend was lying to me. Most of the time I didn’t even have a reason not to trust him, especially if it was a new relationship, but it just felt like a compulsion. Logically I know I’m being an idiot, but I get this feeling of dread that washes over me, and I can’t calm down until I’ve looked through my boyfriend’s stuff for reassurance. I love my new boyfriend, even though we’ve only been together for 9 months. He’s never given me any reason not to trust him, but I just have this obstacle. I just have this sick feeling in my stomach. How do I learn how to trust in a new relationship?”
The truth is, you can’t know for sure if you can trust a new boyfriend in a new relationship. There are no guarantees – but there are lots of indications of whether he’s a trustworthy fella. And, there are many different factors that are involved in learning how to trust a new boyfriend.
- How long have you known him?
- How did you meet your new boyfriend?
- In what contexts have you known him? (eg, at work, at school, at church, in volunteer settings?)
- Do any of your friends or family know your new boyfriend, or have experience with him in different situations?
- What are your own issues with trusting in new relationships?
- How have you been betrayed or hurt by boyfriends or husband in the past?
Those factors can help you determine whether or not you can trust someone in a new relationship. In this article, I’ll help you find the most stable and secure foundation of trust. This will pave the way to a healthy, joyful, peaceful life that isn’t determined by whether or not you can trust your new boyfriend.
Learning How to Trust in New Relationships
Listen carefully, for you know more than you think. Trust yourself, for you are smarter than you believe. And look upwards, for there is a source of wisdom, love, peace, and joy that will help you through anything.
Dig up the roots of your distrust
If you feel the same way as my reader – you feel a compulsion to check up on your new boyfriend because you can’t trust him – then ask yourself why.
There’s a reason – or several reasons – you’re struggling to learn how to trust someone. Maybe your parents had an unhealthy marriage or unstable relationship. Maybe your family has a history of divorce, or cheating. Maybe you yourself are not a trustworthy person. Maybe you don’t trust yourself not to sabotage this relationship because you’re scared of intimacy, rejection, or abandonment.
Learning why it’s so difficult for you to trust a new boyfriend help you build a strong foundation for this relationship. The more you learn about yourself – the more self-knowledge and insight you have about your own psychology and behavior – the healthier your relationship will be. Don’t just focus on learning how to trust someone in a new relationship. Take time to learn more about yourself, about why you find it so difficult to lean into a trusting relationship with a new boyfriend.
Trust that still small voice
If the reason you don’t know how to trust isn’t because of your past experiences or family history, it could very well be that your new boyfriend is simply not someone you can trust. You may be picking up on little clues or red flags that are telling you that he – or this relationship – isn’t trustworthy.
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Listen to your intuition. Pay attention to that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach or in your gut when something isn’t quite right. If your boyfriend says or does something that doesn’t sit well, follow up on it. Do not ignore that still small voice inside of you, for it is wise! That still small voice loves you and is acting in your best interests, so pay attention.
Be as smart as a serpent and wise as a dove
Pay attention to what your new boyfriend says and does. How often does he follow through on his promises? How does he treat other people? Does he trust his friends and family? Do they trust him? You don’t have to watch a new relationship or boyfriend with suspicion or distrust…just pay attention to who he is and how he acts.
The foundation of a trusting relationship is knowing you can rely on your new boyfriend to be there for you. If he shows up when he says he’s going to, follow through on his promises, and has trusting relationships with his (and your) friends and family members, then you are in a better position to trust him.
Another thing to consider is how much your new boyfriend trusts you and others. Does he trust anyone in his life? Learning how to guard your heart in a relationship is one of the best tips for trusting someone new.
Follow up with questions when you feel a lack of trust
Imagine that your new boyfriend says something that makes you feel like you can’t trust him. Maybe he told you he was going to be at work until 8 PM, but later you find out that he actually got off work at 3 PM. Talk to him about this. Ask him how he spent his time. If his friends or family say something that contradicts what he’s told you in the past, talk to him about it. Don’t be afraid to ask your boyfriend questions. This is how to build trust in a new relationship – you talk about things that aren’t just fun and easy and romantic and sexy, but things that are confusing and difficult.
Pay attention if your new boyfriend gets angry, uncomfortable, or frustrated when you ask him questions about his life. If you can’t trust him to respond with kindness and respect the questions you ask, then how can you trust him with your heart and body and life? If you can’t trust a new boyfriend in the little things, then you won’t be able to trust him with the bigger things.
Go slow, for trust needs time to grow in a new relationship
There is no need to pressure yourself and decide if you can trust this new relationship today. If your boyfriend is pushing you to make a big decision that involves him, then it’s time to take your hands off the wheel and let the relationship coast for a little while.
Here’s an example: your new boyfriend – who you’ve known for, say, three months – wants you to move in with him. You don’t feel right about this decision. In fact, you feel like it could actually be a bad idea because you don’t know him as well as you think you should. This may not even be a question of learning how to trust someone in a new relationship…it’s simply a question of moving too fast.
You do not need to make any big decisions in your relationship today, do you? Likely not. Give yourself the time and space you need. If your boyfriend is moving too fast, then trust your instincts and back away from him.
Remember that trust needs time and space and room to grow. Give it the time it needs to grow. Maybe you can trust your new boyfriend, and maybe you can’t. If your intuition or that still small voice isn’t telling you one way or another if your boyfriend is trustworthy, then give him time to show who he really is. Don’t rush into any big decisions too soon, especially if you’re not sure if you can trust in this new relationship.
Trust that you will be taken care of no matter what happens
If you have a strong and healthy relationship with God, then you do not have to fear or worry about how this new relationship will unfold. If you are connected to His love, peace, grace, and freedom then you will have the energy and strength to deal with whatever comes your way! If you make God the center of your life – and if you enjoy this new relationship for what it is, for however long it lasts – then it won’t hurt as much if you do discover that you couldn’t trust your boyfriend.
My best advice for learning how to trust someone in a new relationship is to put your trust in God first. Trust Him to take care of you, guide you, speak to you, and show you what you need to know about this relationship. Trust God that no matter what happens, He will walk you through it. This doesn’t mean you will be safe from a breakup or pain or relationship drama! But it does mean you will be supported, loved, comforted, and uplifted no matter what happens.
How do you feel after reading these tips on how to know if you can trust someone in a new relationship? Share your thoughts below! While I can’t offer advice, I do read every comment. I encourage you to respond to other readers’ comments if you feel led, and to share your experience. Writing often brings clarity and insight, and can help you process your feelings.
Help Learning How to Trust in New Relationships
In Daring to Trust: Opening Ourselves to Real Love and Intimacy, psychotherapist David Richo says we learn early in life to trust others (or not to trust them). He describes why we fear trusting people, how to develop greater trust in ourselves as the basis for trusting others, and how to know if someone new is trustworthy. He also discusses naïve trust versus healthy, adult trust – and what to do when trust is broken.
Ultimately, Richo explains, we must develop trust in four directions: toward ourselves, toward others, toward life as it is, and toward a higher power or spiritual path. These four types of trust are not only the basis of healthy relationships, they are also the foundation of emotional well-being and freedom from fear.
In Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You And Avoid Those That Aren’t, Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend help you to recognize 20 traits of untrustworthy people in relationships. You’ll learn what makes some boyfriends safe to trust, and how to avoid unhealthy entanglements. You’ll also learn about things within yourself that jeopardize your security in relationships.
“Too many of us have invested ourselves into relationships that left us deeply wounded,” write Cloud and Townsend. “We’ve been abandoned or taken advantage of, and left with little to show for what we’ve given. We’ve lost our sense of security and personal value in the process. And what’s worse, we tend to either repeat the same mistakes of judgment over and over…or we else lock the doors of our hearts entirely and throw away the key.”
In Safe People, you’ll learn why you keep choosing the wrong men to trust, and how to change. Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend offer solid guidance for making safe choices in relationships, from friendships to romance. They help identify the nurturing people we all need in our lives, as well as ones we need to learn to avoid.
May you trust God’s still, small voice to show you the way. May you trust that God your Father loves you and wants the best for you, and will guide you away from unhealthy relationships if you listen to Him. May you learn what you need to know about how to trust someone in a new relationship, and may your love be founded on the solid rock of God’s grace, peace, and joy.
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