One of our biggest fears is giving our love to someone who betrays our trust.
It’s probably already happened to you. It happens to most of us over the course of a lifetime.
For some, the lesson is etched in memory. They never fully trust anyone again, not like they did before. They can’t bear the thought of going through that again.
Whether it was a divorce, a lie, an affair, or a broken promise, the people we love can betray us in a thousand different ways.
Some betrayals are like paper cuts that sting badly at the time but heal. Other betrayals cut us in half.
How can you keep yourself from being deceived, walked all over, or taken advantage of?
How can you stay safe when you give your heart away?
Here are some ideas.
#1. Don’t give him your trust right away.
Falling in love sweeps you off your feet. When you’re in love, you’re in a different reality. Everything is beautiful; everything is right. Those rose-tinted glasses transform him from just another guy into your beloved, a knight and a hero among men.
But new love is a form of intoxication. Chemicals like dopamine, oxytocin, norepinephrine, and PEA cloud your senses. You can’t see your beloved clearly until the honeymoon period has worn off. Until then, you’ll only see the best in him.
Nature designed us that way for a reason. Ideally, the intense bond of new lovers keeps them together long enough to raise a child to toddlerhood and ensure the continuation of the species.
But these days we’re not as interested in passing on our genes as we are in finding a compatible mate. Those rose-colored glasses distort reality just enough that we can’t be confident that who we see is who our beloved really is.
There’s a simple remedy:
Allow for the distortion.
Recognize that you are seeing him at his best. You’re in love; that’s how it works! Don’t give him all your trust right away, no matter how passionate you feel. Take it slowly. Wait until your vision has cleared before trusting him with the big things.
You’ll know that you’re seeing him more realistically when you start to see his bad points as well as the good. He’s not perfect. You don’t think alike on everything. You’re going to argue sometimes.
The end of the honeymoon period can feel like a bucket of cold water dumped on your head, but that bucket of cold water also wakes you up. It’s a shock, but it’s necessary. You’ve got to see the truth about one another eventually.
In the harsh light of day, you’ll find that you can trust him on some things and not others. You can trust him to be faithful and care about you, but maybe not to balance his checkbook or pick up the right groceries. And that’s fair enough. Trust should be realistic.
#2. Don’t trust a man more than he respects you.