A Trust Date (Image above "Little Voice" by Moonywolf http://moonywolf.deviantart.com/)
Trust is essential for creating a reciprocally loving and satisfying relationship whether it be with an intimate partner, a friend, a work colleague or business partner.
Trust can increase over time and sometimes it doesn’t. Rather than leaving it to chance we can also intentionally do some activities to gradually increase the level of trust and intimacy in a relationship.
To develop trust each person gradually feels safer and safer to share a little bit more of their inner secrets, their vulnerabilities, their doubts and their dreams with each other. When you both feel safe the sharing creates and deepens the intimacy between each of you.
Do you feel a lack of trust in your relationship?
Do you feel threatened or intimidated as your partner denigrates you if you share your insecurities and your dreams?
Would you like to deepen the trust between you and your partner?
Answer these questions to see how much trust there is your relationship.
- Do you feel respected by your partner?
- Can you trust your partner with your deepest secrets and you will not be intimidated?
- Do you resolve differences amicably?
- Do you feel you have the freedom to speak and to do the things that are important to you?
- Can you express all emotions freely or do you have to repress your fears?
- Can you be vulnerable and you will not be attacked?
- Do you feel a deep sense of trust? Does your partner have your back?
- Does your partner share with you their insecurities, doubts, dreams and aspirations?
- Do you feel you have to minimize negative feelings within your self or about your relationship and talk yourself into feeling good about the relationship?
- Do you feel the need to protect yourself or other family members from getting hurt? Physically? Emotionally? Psychologically? Financially?
If you have high trust how did you create the safe space to be able to be vulnerable together in your relationship? Keep doing more of that to deepen your connection, trust and loyalty between you.
If you have low trust here is an exercise that you can turn into a “trust and intimacy” game with your partner.
A Trust and Intimacy game
(I have practiced different versions of this with work colleagues, intimate partners and friends so feel free to adapt this for your situation and write questions below if you would like ideas of how to adapt the exercise.)
Invite your partner to play.
Set aside time and the space to do this in a pleasant surrounding conducive to intimacy. Probably not the bedroom as this exercise is not about sex although the more intimate you are also creates a bond that can lead to better sex!
Have journals or paper and pens for both of you.
Take out your Journals
Share your intentions to develop trust, loyalty and intimacy
Write 3 headings at the top of 3 different pieces of paper.
1: The Things we talk about
eg football, what to have for meals, where we are going on the week-end, the garden etc
2: The things we don’t talk about or find it difficult to talk about
eg finances, emotions, our families, in laws, the time for hobbies, responsibilities around the house etc
3: The things that are secrets and I would never share with my partner unless we developed the trust between us
eg something from my history that I am ashamed of, my doubts about the relationship or myself and my abilities to do what I want in life, finances, my career dreams etc
Your list may very well look very different to my examples.
Now is the time for you to feel safe to write your lists and know that they are private. You do not have to show your partner what is on your list until you create the safety and trust you need to share.
The First List: What we talk about easily
When you have both written your lists take it in turns to share what is on the first list. See if you both have similar items.
Is there something on one of your lists that is not on the other?
Perhaps one of you feels comfortable talking about that subject and the other one doesn’t.
Whoever doesn’t feel comfortable, what do you need to do for yourself and what do you need to ask of your partner so you feel safe enough to talk about that topic?
Create that safety for each other and take turns at talking about the topics that may be on person’s list and not on the other.
Do you feel a new level of intimacy and trust in sharing even this first part of the exercise. Celebrate the new intimacy and development of trust between you.
You may want to plan to do the next stage at another time if this has taken awhile or you may be energized and want to continue with the second list right now.
The Second List: The things we talk about but with some difficulty, tension or conflict
Share what is on the list of topics that are difficult to speak about or are rarely spoken about. You do not need to talk about the topics just share the names of the topic.
Take turns to share what you request of your partner so that you feel safe enough to talk about that topic.
Depending on the number of topics on your list you may complete this exercise now or need to agree on another trust Date This could take several days or weeks depending on what is on your list hand how deep your issue are about lack of trust or trust in the relationship.
Agree on another “Trust date.
The Third List: What you have never shared with your partner and would love to if you could create the trust between you to feel safe.
First of all share what you need to create between you to feel safe and trusting and loving enough to be able to talk about the things that are on your list. (Perhaps you would like to be able to whisper your secret into your loved one's ear like the image above or be held while you share.)
When you feel safe enough each take a turn in being vulnerable to openly dis-close something that is on that list that you have.
Now you do not have to talk about the topic. Just name the topic.
Watch what merges.
Are you developing trust with your partner?
Are you creating more intimacy?
Choose one of those topics that you have named and now share the details of one of your deepest secrets.
Sharing helps you gain insight and propels you into taking action. No action no change.
If you have ever done something like this exercise please leave a comment below. want to know how to adapt this exercise for your situation. Ask a question in the comments below.
Did your partner not want to develop the trust between you and you still have challenges to resolve contact me for information about the Mentoring program. Apply Here.