How Trust and Love Shape Relationships

Couple showing trust and love to each other
Trust and love are equally important in relationships.

Have you taken the time to ponder how much love and trust there is in your romantic life?

Because we’ve heard the love and trust message being espoused so often it’s become more than cliché. So much so that we forget what these things really mean, and how important they are.

And you probably dove straight into your relationship without a second’s notice, not realizing that you made a commitment without a foundation to stand on.

So how much of a prerequisite is love or trust to enter into a relationship? Can you have one but not the other, or do you need both for your relationship to last?

Is Love and Trust the Same Thing?

Every relationship needs both for its success. What’s the point in staying with a person if neither exists in your arrangement?

It’s important to note that love and trust are two different things. Let’s go over the things that separate them:

Defining Love

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes love as an “object of attachment, devotion, or admiration.” Therefore, we can say it’s an intense feeling of affection a person has over something or someone.

Love isn’t a simple emotion. It’s a complicated and challenging feeling that has many forms. Among them include platonic love, self-love, and selfless love. But perhaps the most popular kind is romantic love.

Loving people may open you to disappointment, pain, and heartbreak. Despite those drawbacks, love is a beautiful feeling worth chasing. It helps us build meaningful connections that add satisfaction and fulfillment to our lives.

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Defining Trust

When you trust someone, it means you find that person reliable. You’re sure they’re consistent with their character, actions, and truths. This feeling brings safety and comfort, which are great contributors to healthy relationships.

Although trusting people is important, it isn’t something you should do so readily. It may not be a prize, but someone should earn it from you over time. That person should show consistency in their words and actions if they want to receive such reliance.

What Makes Love and Trust Different?

Going by their definitions, trust and love are distinct things. Love refers to affection, while trust leans towards conviction. No relationship survives without both. Hopefully, this section should clear up any confusion you’ve had with the two concepts.

Is Trust More Important Than Love?

You may still wonder whether one carries more weight in the relationship than the other.

Couple kissing
Love and trust are two different things even if they work together.

We don’t have the exact answer to that question. However, here are some compelling arguments that state why trust is the logical choice:

#1: Love is selfish without trust.

Can you love someone and not trust them? For many people, the answer is no. Love may be powerful, but it’s not enough to sustain a relationship. You can get too enamored by its bliss and forget about considering your partner’s feelings.

#2: Trust is love’s foundation.

Every couple experiences times when they feel their connection fluctuating. If love fades in and out, trust should be the consistent element here.

Trust makes relationships stronger because it makes relationship dynamics healthy. If you and your partner strongly trust each other, the fluctuations become a little more bearable.

#3: Without trust, there is no love.

Per this argument, love comes alive through trust. Trusting your partner allows your relationship to grow because it makes you comfortable to open up and be yourself without inhibitions. When there’s a lack of (or total absence) of trust, it gradually erases love until your relationship becomes toxic.

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Love and Trust’s Role in Relationships

Since we’ve already established the importance of trust and love in a relationship, let’s answer the headline’s question: how do they influence one?

Giving and Take Love

Whether you’re the person giving or receiving it, you can’t deny love brings positivity to relationships.

Receiving love boosts confidence and self-esteem because your partner appreciates your whole being, flaws and all. It also makes you feel less alone and isolated because you have someone supportive in your corner.

Giving love feels just as good as taking it. It encourages your partner to continue demonstrating their love toward you. And with that, you’ll be motivated to open yourself further to them, unleashing your capacity for loving them unconditionally.

Trusting and Earning Trust

Trust is a vital element in relationships for various reasons.

One, it lessens conflicts. Trust helps you filter serious issues from petty ones and create solutions. It also encourages you to give your partner the benefit of the doubt, even if they make disappointing mistakes and choices.

Woman whispering something to a man
Without trust, there is no love. That must be the true foundation of your relationship.

Two, trust boosts closeness. The relief that comes with trusting your partner makes you feel safe around them. This comfort calms your nervous system, creating a relaxing environment in the process.

And three, trust promotes maintaining personal space. You feel secure about giving your partner some independence because you’re sure they won’t do anything hurtful while you’re away.

How to Build Trust in a Relationship

Now that you’ve seen how trust helps relationships, the next logical step is learning how to build that. Here’s a friendly reminder: trust doesn’t grow overnight. Earning it takes time and effort.

Follow these practical ways and get off to a great start:

  1. Don’t back out of commitments

    If you’ve made plans with your partner, the least you can do is show up for them. Yes, you may encounter situations beyond your control like work emergencies, but honor your commitments as much as possible. This shows you’re a man of your word.

  2. Admit your faults

    Mistakes are inevitable, so there’s no point in running away from them. Acknowledge them and apologize for your faults to show self-accountability.

  3. Raise issues as they arise

    Should relationship problems happen, don’t stay silent. You’re not doing your partner and yourself a favor because silence makes issues worse. Speaking up raises your partner’s awareness and encourages them to open up about their grievances.

  4. Let your guard down

    Vulnerability can be awkward and scary, but it’s a necessary risk. Don’t think of it as a weakness. Instead, see it as a strength that lets your partner know you better.

Small Acts of Love That Matter

Showing love to your partner doesn’t stop at grand gestures. Even simple actions can mean a lot to someone. Keep your relationship nourished through these thoughtful acts:

  1. Celebrate your wins, no matter how small

    No achievement is too big or small. Rejoice in your personal triumphs over a delicious meal and a good bottle of wine. You deserve to enjoy your wins.

  2. See how your partner’s doing

    Are you and your partner leading busy lives? Don’t forget to check in with each other. Even a short and sweet message is enough to make their day.

  3. Do small favors

    Doing your partner a little favor may be simple, but it’s a gesture that won’t go unnoticed. Not only does it reduce their to-do lists, but it’s also a great way to show you care.

Trust and love should go hand in hand. It takes great effort to build both, but the work is worth it.

The tips above should help you become a great partner for your potential match. May you love deeply, trust your heart, and be brave as you search for your true love.