If you’re dating someone who’s suffering from trust issues, then this article is a must-read. It’s not something to take lightly. This type of person will find it difficult to open up and share their emotions, which can eventually lead to tension in the relationship – and cause both parties to feel unhappy.
In order to maintain a healthy relationship with someone who suffers from severe trust issues, there are some steps that you can take. Let’s jump in.
1. Set expectations early on.
What are you expecting to get out of this relationship? What is your partner expecting from the relationship?
Although trust issues make things more confusing, it’s important that both parties know where they stand in the relationship. If your partner is already struggling with trust issues, it’s important that they at least reveal what they expect from you.
2. Encourage them, and be understanding.
Encouragement goes a long way in helping someone with trust issues, especially if they have underlying insecurities that are causing their lack of faith. Always remind your partner how much you care for them and help them through it with patience, love, and support when needed.
3. Don’t forget about your own needs.
If you’re the one dating the person suffering from severe levels of distrust, don’t neglect your own needs as well!
It’s important not to put all your time or energy into this relationship – because giving 100% when your partner doesn’t do the same will eventually lead to burnout, which can make things even worse than before.
4. Communicate effectively.
It’s important to make sure that you are communicating with each other when discussing any issues of trust. You’ll want to show empathy for their feelings, which will promote more openness in the future.
It’s important to encourage your partner to start talking about their feelings and past traumas. Start by asking them questions like “How does this make you feel?” or “What do you think we should do in regards to that?”
Make sure there’s an open line of communication between the two of you, and a safe space where they can express themselves without judgment. Check out 13 Tips for Communicating Effectively With your Partner for helpful tips.
If there’s any negativity, avoid shouting or verbal abuse. This will only worsen the problem, instead of encouraging a healthy dialogue between both parties.
5. Don’t give up!
You may find that it’s difficult to stay patient and understanding at times, but that’s okay – because you’re not the only one who has had to deal with this type of relationship before.
Show them some love and patience, and be there for them during their good days and bad ones. Always remember that you’re making progress.
Once your partner has been able to overcome their trust issues, you’ll find that they’ll become a better person because of it! It may not seem like much now, but it will, in the long run.
6. They may be clingy.
Prepare for this person to want constant updates about what you’re doing at all hours of the day. As you can imagine, it can be hard to date someone who is extremely clingy and insecure – but it doesn’t mean you need to keep them at arm’s length.
Understand your partner by listening closely to what they have to say and try not to overreact when they get anxious.
However, you’ll need to set boundaries if this is happening on an extreme basis. Don’t let this person control your life or make you feel guilty – it’s a slippery slope!
7. Think about your options.
The most important thing is that there should be an understanding about what can happen next if they’re unable to overcome their trust issues.
For instance, your partner may want to start seeing a therapist together or alone so that they’ll have someone else who can understand them better than anyone else could.
It’s also possible for one party in the relationship (usually the person without any history) to call off things altogether until such time as their partner is able to work through these feelings themselves.
8. Don’t take it personally.
Dating a person that struggles with trust issues can be difficult. You want to enjoy time with them, but they’re quick to question your fidelity, what you wear, or if you flirt with other people.
This person is always going to have a hard time trusting anyone because of what happened in their past. However, it’s important not to take things personally!
9. Beware of them jumping to conclusions.
It’s natural for anyone who suffers from trust issues to have some form of jealousy towards their partner, especially as many are struggling with self-esteem issues as well.
However, jumping to conclusions about what someone says or does without getting all of the facts first will only cause more tension.
10. Understand it from their view.
Remember, this person has a hard time trusting anyone because of what happened in a previous relationship.
If you’re a faithful person who has never had their trust broken, then understanding a person with trust issues won’t be easy.
Although this individual has trust issues, he or she was perhaps extremely trusting at one point in their life. There’s a layer of hurt and betrayal beneath every one of our wounds – and they may have been especially busted open in their last relationship.
Put yourself in their shoes…
How would you feel about dating again? Would you put yourself out there as easily as they do? Would you feel anxious if your date was hiding their phone and being secretive?
Because people with trust issues often have a history in which they experienced betrayal or abandonment, it’s possible that your own behaviors are reminding them of something painful from the past.
11. You can’t fix their past.
You can’t fix what happened between your partner and their ex, but you can let them know that what their ex did isn’t okay.
Unfortunately, you’re not a therapist – and shouldn’t try to be one. The best you can do to help them is to help them work through their past and learn to live in the present.
12. They may want to keep things casual.
Many people have a deep-seated fear that prevents them from having serious relationships. As such, you’ll notice that many people prefer short-term flings. These individuals have difficulty trusting others to the point where they don’t want an emotional relationship.
If you think he’s giving you mixed signals, Here’s What You Can Do About It.
13. Agree on some ground rules.
A person who has been severely hurt by someone else in their life may have trust issues because of what happened before. When trying to date this type of person, start with boundaries so they feel safe opening up for fear of being pressured again.
Setting boundaries for your relationship will make sure there are ground rules set for discussing sensitive topics, which will hopefully stop your partner from being triggered from past trauma such as physical abuse or sexual assault.
Ground rules could include no name-calling, showing empathy instead of judgment, etc.
14. Reassure with actions.
If your partner has trust issues, it’ll be difficult for them to openly share their thoughts and emotions because they are always guarded against being hurt again.
Take time to prove how trustworthy you are – which can be done with a few consistent actions. One concrete way of doing this is when you say you’ll be home at a certain time, show up no later than that time.
15. Give them space when needed.
It’s important to be mindful of their personal space and boundaries. They won’t want to open up if they feel pressured, so make sure you give them the time they need in order for them to trust you.
Be patient with yourself as well, as it takes a lot of vulnerability on both ends before things can progress any further than casual dating or friendship status.
16. Expect setbacks.
You may find that one day your partner is opening up more than another, and vice versa. Make sure to expect this – because it’s normal for people who have endured emotional trauma to cycle through periods of reacting differently to external stimuli.
Don’t take it personally! Just keep doing what you’ve been doing – and know that you’re making an impact.
17. Reassure them.
Make sure that your partner knows how much they mean to you! You could constantly remind them that they’re not alone by telling them “I love being around you” or “You make me happy.” Also, let them know what’s ok and what’s not ok.
18. Set boundaries.
Abuse within relationships is something that nobody should have to deal with. It’s fine for your date to be worried about you leaving, but it’s not okay for them to start controlling your life and monitoring your every move.
Make sure your partner knows that they don’t have the right to control who you talk to or text. Set other boundaries as needed, such as:
- How many hours you spend together on a weekday
- How private you are with each other
- Whether you get keys to each other’s apartment
- How often you text and communicate
If things aren’t improving, the only solution is to leave the relationship or stop going on any more dates. It’s imperative to put your own overall happiness and safety first – regardless of your emotional attachment to them.
19. Don’t get defensive.
If your date feels attacked and lashes out, respond calmly by asking questions about their concerns rather than attacking back. It’ll show them that you’re mature enough to listen and work through any problems.
20. Go slow.
You’ll have to take it really slow. It’s one of the most important things in this type of relationship because they’re going to be wary of everything and everyone – including you!
You can’t expect to erase all of your partner’s past trust issues overnight. Just saying how much they can trust you is not going to work.
Your partner needs time to work through their issues and start trusting again. You may encounter setbacks on the way, but try to be supportive and build something that is meaningful.
21. Share your own feelings.
If your partner doesn’t want to be vulnerable, then show them that sharing their feelings will make everything easier for everyone involved.
Just keep in mind that it may take time for them to fully understand why they feel certain ways and how to deal with those feelings.
22. Trust is earned.
Trust is something that takes time to earn and shouldn’t be taken for granted. If you want someone to trust you, then show them your worth by going out of your way to help without asking anything in return.
Check out our comprehensive guide to 9 Ways to Build Trust in a Relationship for ways on how to earn their trust.
23. Seek professional help.
You can always use a professional counselor if you think talking about this on your own won’t work out either! In the end, just remember that getting through these trust issues is a team effort – and isn’t something that one person alone can accomplish.
It’s important to talk openly about what each of you wants so there isn’t any confusion down the road! Setting expectations early on and following through with them, is the key to success in this process.
The Bottom Line
Successfully dating a person with severe trust issues will take time, but it can be done! Remember to always show your partner love through patience, kindness, openness, and understanding. They deserve the best of you.
It doesn’t matter if your partner suffers from severe or mild trust issues. What matters most is having open conversations about this issue before anything bad happens.