Trust. Or don’t.

If you ask anybody (okay, most people) what the fundamental building block of any relationship is, they will probably say trust. There’s no real relationship without it, and this obviously goes for familial, romantic, business and all other relationships. It’s a lovely thing to be able to say about someone that you trust them completely, but it feels to me as though people don’t really think too much about what trusting someone really means. In this post, I’m going to look at trust in romantic relationships (because I want to and that’s that).

First and foremost, trust is not a given. It’s something that’s earned, and it can be far more easily lost than gained. People who tend to trust easily often find themselves becoming jaded as their trust is broken and misused again and again. It’s an unfortunate thing, but it can be a learning curve if looked at in the right way.

When you tell your partner “I trust you”, you are telling them, perhaps on an unconscious level, that you believe that they have your best interests at heart. That they will consider you in decisions made, that you will be near the top of the list of things considered important. “I trust that you will not cheat on me” means that in the face of a potential sexual encounter with someone else, your partner will remember the promise made that it is only the two of you, and nobody else can enter or destroy that partnership except for the two people involved in it.

As with many people who suffer from any kind of anxiety, their mind and thoughts are often plagued with insecurity. Hell, you don’t need to be anxious to be insecure. Insecurity is arguably more insidious than anxiety though – anxiety is something that can be calmed with medication, therapy, meditation. Insecurity needs reassurance and a strong, unshakeable love for yourself in order to be bested. Insecurity at the hands of someone else, ie: insecurity in a relationship, is a dangerous, dangerous thing.

When you wait until your partner is asleep or showering to quickly skim through their photos, Whatsapp, Instagram or Facebook, you are doing two things. Well, three, if you count going through the phone, but I mean two things in light of the relationship itself. One – you are breaking the trust of your partnership by invading their privacy (which they are completely entitled to), and you are also accusing them of breaking that trust agreement – even if you don’t find anything suspicious. By looking for evidence of unfaithfulness based on an insecurity, you are essentially saying “I do not think that you, as my partner, are keeping to your word.” That’s dangerous, yo. Really. It’s actually insulting, if it turns out that you were completely wrong. And blaming it on an insecurity is actually a bit of a cop-out. It’s saying that the trust that you have built together was not enough to placate an insecurity that was really put there by your own perception of something.

I also understand that a lot of the time, people are afraid to communicate. Communication builds trust, as long as it is not taken personally. My boyfriend asked me to be a little more quiet in the evenings, because sometimes I talk. A lot. And I know that. My first reaction was to be all downtrodden and to take it to mean that he doesn’t want to talk to me. And then I realised that that was completely ridiculous, because if he didn’t want to talk to me, we wouldn’t be dating. I just needed to be more mindful of the amount of talking that I do – and that wasn’t an unfair ask, because anyone who knows me might be laughing and agreeing that I do talk a lot. And I do. So – we communicate, leading to a stronger bond, and greater trust that I will do everything in my power (and within reason) to help him have a happier, more fulfilled life, and that he will do the same.

If you find yourself reaching for your partner’s phone this evening while they’re in the shower, take a second and ask yourself a few questions before you unlock it.

1 – Is there any evidence to suggest that what I’m doing right now is justified?

2 – Would they do this to me?

3 – In the history of our relationship, have I ever been given a real, concrete reason to believe that I’m going to find something to prove me right?

4 – If I’m doing this, do I really, truly trust them?

It’s a scary thing, trust. Allowing someone else in and giving them the power to really, really hurt you can be – and should be – terrifying. But the payoff, if it works out, is worth it. A beautiful partnership of two people who want nothing more than to help each other live their best lives.

And in the end, isn’t that what a relationship should be?

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Why nobody gives a shit if you haven’t watched Game of Thrones

Look, I get it. Everybody on Facebook and Twitter loses their mind for Game of Thrones, there’s memes that are created and shared, reaction videos of the episodes come out weekly.

A lone voice calls out into the night – “I have never watched an episode!” Someone on Facebook sees a post – “Share this if you’re part of the 1% of people who have never seen an episode of GoT!”. They whisper to themselves, “I relate to this.”

You don’t deserve a medal.

Game of Thrones is clearly insanely popular. A lot of people enjoy it. Some people don’t. I don’t want to say that they’re wrong, but… you know.

Pop culture is such that mass groups of people are attracted to the same thing. This holds true for music, film, books, clothes, a diet – anything that can be consumed. Not consuming does not make one “special” in any sense. The reasons vary, but at the end of the day, if you’re laughing at people getting excited at the idea of Danaerys and Jon getting together and razing King’s Landing to the ground so that the Targaryens can lay claim to the Iron Throne, you’re not funny, you’re not special, you’re actually a little bit of an asshole.

A – It’s popular world-wide. It’s been out for years. Literally everyone you know has seen it. What have you been doing that you haven’t watched it? Have you watched Harry Potter? Yes? Nobody gets treated as special for not watching/reading the Potter series. They get asked what rock they’ve been hiding under.

B – Why can’t you just let people enjoy nice things? Us watching GoT does you NO harm. If you feel irritated that you can’t relate, or that your feed is being spammed with GoT stuff, maaaybe you should consider watching?

It’s not just a fantasy show about kings and queens and death and sex. Well, it is. Definitely the sex and death. Definitely. But it also holds lessons on religion and blind faith, family values, loyalty, politics, feminism and tolerance.

If you don’t want to watch because it’s not really your thing, that’s fine. I hate Lana Del Ray, personally, and I know how popular she is but I don’t expect people to applaud me for being different. Just relax, let the memes flow, and don’t. spoil. a goddamn. thing.