“Successful long-term relationships are created through small words, small gestures, and small acts. A lifetime of love is created every single day you are together.”
Words by John Gottman and Julie Schwartz Gottman, expert couples’ therapists and I couldn’t say it better myself. However, let’s expand on those sentiments.
Trust isn’t an instant part of any relationship, it is something that has to be earned from each side and develops over time. Qualities of couples building a trusting relationship would look like this:
- Those who listen warmly to each other, without comment or interruption.
- Couples that playfully tease, with affection and generosity.
- Partners that tell stories about each other from a position of appreciation and admiration.
- Having that feeling of “we” rather than a separateness.
- Those that are cooperative and mutually supportive.
As you start to build a trust, you will be looking for commitment in your relationship and wanting to become more deeply connected. To do this you need to build a mutual respect, have empathy and a profound understanding of each other. To build a strong lasting, loving relationship, it’s important to talk – relationships don’t last without discussion even if you or your partner are the strong and silent type.
Small but powerful ways to build trust and begin your commitment journey, could be to take it in turns to share these thoughts:
- 3 things that have made you feel Grateful during your day
- “Things I appreciate about you”- 3 things you appreciate about the other – clearly said without comment from the other
- What are your Hopes and dreams? Mutually share these, they can be for the next day, the next week, the next year, even forever.
To find commitment you need to agree together that you both want to make your relationship the very best it can be. By having these discussions, you will be listening to each other’s heart’s desires, which will be all part of your planning together.
Defining each other’s expectations, helps you both to understand if you have any conflicting assumptions. People don’t go into this deeply enough at the start of a relationship and you can get into quite a pickle if you didn’t realise you had conflicting expectations from the beginning of a relationship.
Making a commitment to each other means you need to know actual things, for example:
- Do you or don’t you want children?
- Where do you want to live?
- Are you strongly motivated by your career?
These are just examples of important life events that could turn out to be dealbreakers, I would suggest you do this in the earliest days of dating, before you get attached. Making compromises down the line can be difficult and painful.
To build trust and commitment in your relationship you need mutual respect and a promise to support each other both now and in the future. If you want to understand if you are on the right track, ask yourself some key questions:
- Do they have an honest curiosity, wanting to know more and more about you?
- Have you been taken you to meet his close friends and family?
- Do they enjoy being in your company and want to be around you?
- Are they your biggest fan and do they defend you?
- Do they really listen to you and value your thoughts and advice?
‘Love is an action even more than a feeling. It requires intention, attention and atunement’’. I wish you a wholehearted loving, trusting and committed relationship.