While lasting relationships can’t thrive without love, trust in a relationship may matter most. Feelings of love come and go in long-term relationships, but trust withstands the test of time. Any healthy marriage goes through phases where the couple may fall out of love temporarily. However, if they have trust, it can keep the ship afloat on the stormiest of waters.
Any two people can fall into love, but those feelings tend to fade over time. After a while, relationships form into more of a loving friendship as the honeymoon phase ends. If the couple continues to build trust and work as a team, then the relationship stands a good chance of lasting forever. Simply put, you can have faith without love, but you can’t have love without trust.
In a successful relationship, you have to believe you can trust your partner before giving them your heart. Below, we’ll talk more about why trust predicts relationship success more than love.
Science says that trust matters even more than love in relationships.
In a nutshell, a successful relationship hinges on kindness and trust more than anything else. The feelings of infatuation will fade, but if you have confidence, nothing can take that away. People underestimate this and expect that they’ll feel the same in 20 years as they did in the very beginning. When their love starts to wane, couples assume that their relationship won’t make it.
However, they forget about the importance of trust. Even if you don’t feel in love with your partner anymore, you can still love and respect them. You can still hold onto the positive aspects of your relationship and choose to focus on those. The Gottman Institute says that accentuating the positives in a relationship is one of the most significant predictors of success.
John Gottman, a leader in studying what constitutes a healthy marriage or relationship, believes the little things matter most. After studying couples over the past 35 years, he says the following items ensure success in relationships more than anything else:
Building love maps
Learn your partner’s inner psychological world, such as their biggest hopes, fears, worries, and joy. This will help you bond with your partner and know their needs.
Share fondness and admiration.
Gottman refers to this as a solution for contempt since it promotes affection and respect for each other. In other words, you want to focus on the positive things about your partner rather than the negatives.
Lean into your significant other instead of away from them.
State your needs and respond to your partner’s attempts to connect. For example, if he or she points something out to you, or tries to engage in conversation, put your full attention on them. The smallest moments and interactions matter the most in relationship success.
Maintaining a positive perspective.
Try to have a positive approach to solving problems, as trust in a relationship comes from how you respond to conflicts.
Part of building a healthy marriage or relationship comes from how you deal with conflict. It can either make or break a relationship, so make sure you work as a team. Listen to your partner and try to come to a resolution together. Conflicts are typical in any healthy relationship, as long as you treat your partner with love and respect.
Work on making each other’s dreams a reality
Let your partner talk openly about his or her desires and dreams. Create an open environment where they feel safe and heard talking about the future.
Create shared meaning
Every relationship needs something that unites it, whether that means kids or perhaps a shared business. Or, maybe it means getting involved in something you both enjoy, such as biking or hiking. No matter what the trouble is, make sure your relationship involves something that matters to both of you.
Of course, this should remain a priority in a relationship. Without trust, you won’t have a foundation to build upon for a successful partnership. You want to know that your partner will have your back and that you can count on them for anything. Building trust in a relationship takes time, but being vulnerable with your partner will help the walls come down little by little.
Any successful relationship requires a commitment to your partner to make it work. If you want to remain with this person long-term, you need to embrace both their negative and positive qualities. However, you shouldn’t dwell on their negative traits, which will skew your image and perception of them. You will start noticing more of the things that you find annoying about them rather than what you adore about their personality.
In other words, admire them for their positive traits and learn to accept their flaws. If you can do this, it will ensure a successful union for life. Also, make trust your foundation early on in the relationship, as everything else hinges upon it.
So, why is trust more important than love in a relationship?
You can’t have love without trust.
If you can’t count on your partner and you feel uneasy around them, you can’t possibly become vulnerable enough to fall in love. Love will fade over time because some days, you’ll get under each other’s skin and take each other for granted. Other days, it’ll feel like you just met and you want to spend all your time with them. However, these feelings will fluctuate with the situations and experiences you go through as a couple.
Trust will remain steady throughout your relationship as long as you don’t do anything to betray it. If you stay faithful to your partner and put their needs first, you’ll never have a doubt in your mind if you can trust them or not.
It allows you to have boundaries in the relationship.
If you have love without trust, it may lead to codependency and attachment issues. However, if you cultivate trust, it brings a sense of security into the relationship. You can each go your separate ways at times without having to worry about each other’s whereabouts constantly. This way, you can develop a strong marriage by having your alone time as well as time spent together.
You’ll have a sense of peace when you have trust in a relationship.
Without trust, you constantly feel on edge or just unsure of where you stand with your partner. Will they suddenly break up with you or say they’ve been seeing someone else? Do they want a future with you? If you cannot answer these questions honestly, you need to have a serious talk with your partner and communicate your needs.
Everyone deserves to have a loving, supportive relationship where they can fully trust their partner. The person you love should eliminate your stress, not add to it by being unclear about their intentions. When you find a secure partnership, you’ll have a sense of peace.
Trust allows you to gauge how much you give of yourself to others.
If you don’t trust someone, you won’t want to open up to them about the details of your life. Trust gives us a way to decide the level of emotional intimacy we wish to experience with someone. It helps us control our emotions, in a way, because not everyone gains access to the deepest parts of ourselves. Trust in a relationship helps peel back our layers, slowly showing our partner more vulnerable sides of ourselves.
Love is blind, but trust never fails you.
You can love someone who might not love you back in the same way. You could bend over backward for someone you’ve fallen head over heels for, but that doesn’t guarantee they’ll reciprocate. Many people get involved in one-sided relationships where the other person doesn’t have their best interests in mind, unfortunately. When you jump too quickly into a relationship out of loneliness or desperation, you may not see the person.
However, if you build upon the relationship slowly and get to know the person, you can establish trust. This way, you can gauge if your partner deserves your time, commitment, and heart. While love can overpower and blind you, faith will illuminate your path and steer you in the right direction.
Any healthy marriage or relationship requires trust as the foundation; without it, love cannot grow. You can’t plant a garden without tending to the soil; similarly, you can’t have a thriving relationship without establishing trust. All successful relationships require this faith because it helps you grow closer to people. It enables you to realize how much of yourself you should give away based on their input.
If someone only gives you 50%, why should you bother giving them 100%? If you care about trust in a relationship, make sure of your partner’s intentions before committing fully to them.