I am unable to trust my boyfriends (Photo: iStock)

Hi Chris,

I find it hard to trust my boyfriends. Some because they have let me down, of course, but others have been good men, and yet I still don’t trust them. Why am I like this?

Untrusting

Chris says,

Hi Untrusting!

We learn to trust as children. So if your parents loved you, kept their promises, and provided consistent discipline and a predictable home environment, then you grew up trusting and trustworthy. The opposite, and you end up distrusting and insecure.

.

Keep Reading

But it’s never too late to learn. Because becoming trusting is a choice. Even though you risk being disappointed from time to time. And it’s worth it, because being distrusting makes you difficult to deal with, unpredictable and insecure, and so your relationships will be awful.

First, you have to decide whether you can trust a new boyfriend. That starts with watching how he behaves. Does he listen to you when you are upset? Always put you first? Offer a helping hand?

Understand your emotions? Tolerate your different views and personality. You must do the same, of course. In other words, every moment you’re together you can either be there for each other and build trust. Or turn away, so you don’t.

Trust fades whenever you make a choice that produces a winner and a loser. What’s called a zero-sum game. Trust’s always low between zero-sum couples, and high when they think as a team. So that even when you disagree, you’re both still making choices that are in the best interests of the relationship.

Everyone thinks trust’s lost when something terrible happens, like if your boyfriend has an affair. But trust has usually gone long before something like that happens. Because affairs are far more common in low-trust relationships, and rare where trust is high.

So choose boyfriends you can depend on, and be the same yourself. Open and honest about everything. A good listener, who values your relationship more than short-term, selfish decisions. They might feel good, but you’ll lose in the long term. Endless misunderstandings, distrust and stress. Constantly drifting from one unhappy relationship to another.

All the best,

Chris