Thought Catalog

It’s Not “Trust Issues” — You Just Keep Putting Your Faith in the Wrong People

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Tanja Heffner

Identifying oneself as having “trust issues” is a pretty common theme among the millennial generation. On one hand, how can it not be? With the predominance of “situationships” over real relationships and the existence of apps like Snapchat for “cyber cheating” purposes, it’s safe to say that today’s dating game can be, well, for a lack of a better word……fucked.

That being said, some of us (yes, mostly women) automatically attribute our “trust issues” to our inability to hang on to a strong, successful relationship. When we meet someone that we think just may be worth it, we’ll say something along the lines of, “He’s a great guy!! But ugh… I have SUCH bad trust issues.”

Sometimes, it’s time for us to stop channeling our inner Drake for a second, and realize that these so-called “trust issues” don’t always stem from others throwing us under the bus unexpectedly.

Instead, it can all come down to paying a little more attention – and gradually learning from bad experiences to break the cycle.

Here’s how:

1. Stop believing the bullshit, and pay attention to actions instead.

So you get a sweet text from the current bae about how much you mean to them, and how lucky they are to have met you. Awesome! But don’t start pinning wedding dresses just yet.

The key here is identifying substance behind the words. Does the person actively show you how much you mean to them? Is this illustrated in how they continuously make time for you, and exhibit little gestures that back up their oh-so-adorable sentiments?

Pretty words are nice – but ultimately, it comes down to how people act.

So basically, keep your roster stacked until one outshines the rest. (Basically, a not-so-subtle version of “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” #Romance)

2. Speak now, or forever hold your peace – pretending to be “chill” with ambiguity can only go on for so long.

Yours truly has been in this situation several times. I haven’t fully mastered it, but hey – sometimes my own articles can serve as a “get with the program” memo to myself. This works about 85% of the time.

It’s important to be up front with what you’re looking for – which is obviously easier said than done. We don’t want to risk ruining something good by being all “omg what are we”, but at the same time – seriously, what the hell are we doing?

Once you finally master the courage to “DTR”, the outcome may not be in your favor. However, it’s crucial not to attempt to fight it. You may think you can change their mind or trick them into dating you, but you can’t. And even if you succeed, why would you want to be with someone who didn’t really want to be with you in the first place?

Getting back to the whole “trust issues” thing, it’s not fair to say that someone “screwed you over” because they were honest with you. Would you rather be continuously led on with the idea that the relationship was more than what it was? Because that sounds like a much worse scenario to me.

3. Stop trying to force something that’s clearly not there – it’s better to be single than in a relationship where you’re “going through the motions.”

Sometimes, we’ll push for a relationship because we feel it’s what we’re “supposed to do.” Maybe your fridge is flooded with wedding invites, or you’re just starting to feel pressure that you’re approaching that “settling down” stage. When this occurs, we can sometimes put more focus on the relationship status than the relationship itself.

If the other person isn’t on the same page, we feel defeated and lost – but it’s not for the right reasons. It’s not because we truly believe we’re “mean to be” with the person – we’re just at that weird stage in our lives where the mere idea of being in a relationship gives us that little confidence boost.

Again, this person isn’t crushing your soul by being straight-up with you. With the right person, there won’t be any second thoughts or questioning as to whether you’re saying things you don’t mean.

When it’s the right relationship, our minds won’t toy with the potential of distrust – because the person hasn’t given you any real reason to. TC mark

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