In today’s video, I want to talk about how to build trust in a relationship. I’ll share my perspective on this important topic and offer some suggestions based on my own experience.

Read or watch below to learn more about how to build trust in a relationship.

Zachary Stockill: I am a person who speaks publicly about jealousy and possessiveness in relationships and dating, and thus, I’m often approached by people who ask me:

“How do I build trust with my partner? How can I let myself trust anyone in my relationship? And how to build trust in a relationship?”

This has been a challenge of mine in my life, and thus, I feel like I have some wisdom to offer, hopefully. So, in today’s video, I’m going to talk about how to build trust in a relationship.

There are a lot of opinions out there when it comes to how to build trust in a relationship.

Trust comes very easily to some people. Some people seem to be born with some open heart, where they find it very easy to give people the benefit of the doubt. To let themselves love and be loved.

I’ll state, in the interest of full disclosure, that is not me. For whatever reason, I approach trust-building a little differently. 

So, number one, the most important component in trust building for me is time.

My trust in someone increases over time: the more data and evidence I receive, the more I trust a person.

As an example, my current girlfriend and I have been together for about three years…

how to build trust in a relationship

I met her, she’s wonderful, and I trusted her, to a large extent, very, very early on.

But I’ll tell you: I trust her more now than I did a year, two years, and certainly three years ago. It’s something that has built over time because I have way more data and evidence that I can trust her.

So, the most important component in trust for me is time. As I often say, giving people enough time to show you who they are. Because if you give someone enough time, eventually, they will have no other choice, no other option, but to show you who they truly are. 

At the same time, it’s mostly about looking for patterns rather than perfection.

This is something I say all the time.

People will have moments of betraying your trust, even just slightly, in subtle ways. Sometimes, people will make mistakes the same way we all do. People will have moments where they do not show their best selves…

But I’m far more interested in the overall patterns that make these people who they are over long stretches of time.

So if they have a general pattern that is consistent over time–of showing up for me, of proving to me with their actions and not their words that I can actually trust them, of having my back when I really need it, of demonstrating a relatively consistent pattern of behavior…

I’m going to trust that way more than a one-off event. Some terrible fight we had one night two years ago, for example…

I’m going to judge them based on their patterns rather than looking for some unattainable standard of perfection. 

You can trust someone’s patterns a lot more than you can trust one-off events that might constitute imperfections.

When you’re building trust with someone, I also think it’s important to consult your circle of trust. 

In other words, it’s worthwhile, quite often, to get your friends and family’s feedback on a person who you’re inviting into your life. What do they think of them? Your mom’s view? Your dad’s?

I’m not necessarily saying that you should make decisions about your future or your dating life based on the opinions of your friends or family members. But having those opinions in your circle of trust can be very, very helpful.

Asking people who you trust deeply: what do they think of your new boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife?

What do they think of this person you’re considering trusting more?

And of course, at the same time, it can also be useful to have some unbiased outside perspectives.

So you can talk to someone like me who’s a coach. You can talk to a therapist. You can talk to a psychiatrist or psychologist. 

how to build trust in a relationship

Get some unbiased outside feedback as well.

If you’re having moments of maybe questioning whether or not you can trust someone, if you’re having a little difficulty clarifying your relationship goals, if you’re thinking this person you’re dating is a bit sketchy in certain ways that you can’t quite put your finger on, getting some unbiased outside opinions can be very, very helpful at the same time.

However, above all, when building trust with someone, I have to come back to this main thesis, which is: “give them time.” 

how to build trust in a relationship

If you meet someone and it takes you a little bit of time to trust them more, of course, take that time. At the same time, don’t judge them based on one moment…

Look at the overall patterns of who they are, and how they show up in the world, when you’re trying to make any kind of character assessment.

And if trust-building takes you a little longer than others, that’s okay. But try to approach it with an open heart.

Don’t look at it as this daunting, scary, terrifying thing. Realize that everyone is a risk in certain regards, but if you close yourself off to any risk in your dating life, you’re going to suffer. 

If you’d like more information about my work or you’d like to work with me one-on-one, please visit this page.

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Zachary Stockill
Zachary Stockill

Hi! I'm a Canadian author and educator whose work has been featured in BBC News, BBC Radio 4, The Huffington Post, and many other publications. I'm the founder of RetroactiveJealousy.com, the author of Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy and The Overcoming Jealousy Workbook, and the host of Humans in Love podcast.