If I had a dollar for every time I heard stories of loving partners cheating...well then I'd be American, not English. No seriously...cheating, accusations of cheating and trust issues ripple through every relationship, new or old, like an invisible bullet with lethal love consequences.This is a fact. No, I've not conducted some scientific experiment on 100 couples from a laboratory at the University of Life – I just know this to be true. In my mind, a relationship is in constant battle with the ideal of trust, and only when both warriors swan off hand in hand does the love grow and last.
As a twenty-something single girl looking for love in London, it isn't just people in relationships that address 'trust', us singletons have to power past him too, with our shields and swords always at the ready. Unless you come across an angelic virgin (is he a eunuch?) you will always meet someone who has endured past pain, got hurt, or been the one who hurt others. Dating a new beau is exciting, fun, and offers those addictive butterflies, but soon down the loving journey you are faced again with Trust, and he stands there bold as brass preventing you from skipping by hand in hand with your someone special.
Have I gone too far with the analogies yet? My imagination is somewhat overactive!
Let me explain. You meet a guy, you have an instant spark, and you want to talk all day, hang out, spend nights out together, nights in together, get to know who he really is and vice versa. You want to tell your friends how awesome he is, and how he makes you smile and laugh even when he is being a dick. You want to indulge in your romantic ideals for a while, and imagine what could happen if you two last as great as you've started...maybe this one is the one? He gets me. I like him. BUT WAIT A FUCKING SECOND. HE DOESN'T SEEM INTERESTED IN COMMITMENT? HE GOES OFF RADAR ALL WEEKEND – IS HE DATING SOMEONE ELSE? And here we go, Trust comes storming back in, pushing you back 5 steps and laughing at you for being such a twat in believing you have finally met your better half.
What happens, my dear friends, is that girls (and guys) who have been previously hurt before, even just once, subconsciously put up emotional barriers to prevent feeling the pain again. It's a human instinct thing. Sometimes we don't even realize we've done it. And then when we meet someone new, those barriers sit at both the forefront and back parts of our mind, preventing us from throwing ourselves in head first into a potentially awesome new experience. Those trust barriers are what tarnishes the opposite sex with the same brush, why we second guess everything they say, over-analyze their behaviour, their words, and cause rows over innocent trifling points because we feel they could potentially be lying / cheating / hurting us. And yet the irony here is, when one of you starts to question the other...you ruin the great potential relationship you may have. Especially in the very early stages of dating. You think...jeez he's well controlling, or jeez she's so nosey and paranoid...and then you back off wondering if, actually, you've made a mistake. This will either make the other person even more paranoid about trust, or, they'll disappear entirely. What a pickle. So it has lead me to question:
What comes first, love or trust?
If we throw ourselves in to a new person with complete trust from the word go, we are opening ourselves up to being hurt, a lot, again. They may not deserve our trust at all. Sure, trust does always need to be earnt but, it's a blissful mindset to trust people from the word go until proven otherwise. This mindset will probably lead to love, because you're open, honest and not referred to as the psycho paranoid Bitch. You'll be viewed as a delight, because you don't get on their case when they want to go off radar, or when they want to go out and crash elsewhere. On the other hand, if we don't trust them immediately, not only do we safeguard ourselves emotionally but we remain realistic and grounded with our expectations of their behaviour. But realism doesn't offer that fairytale love that we're all searching for, does it? And whilst you're busy second guessing them, you're chipping away and a great thing, making a potential blossom die before it's even had a chance to flower.
Do you ever look at those wrapped-in-their-own-blissful-bubble couples and wonder why you haven't found that yet? Well maybe it's because you simply haven't allowed yourself to have it. You've abruptly stopped this potentially happening, because you crossed paths with Trust and let him lead you back the way you came. Okay, so the analogy continues. Sorry I can't help myself. To let love in, I guess, at some point we've got to put down our armour and say hey...I'm here. This is me, in all my open glory, and just hope this time you found a person that won't abuse that. You could be wrong. You could get hurt again. But isn't it worth the risk?!?
I don't have a definite answer because; as we all know...I keep my shit real and honest. It doesn't take much for me to see through his thinly veiled lines and get to the real gritty shit. I mean sure, did I expect the last one to have another girlfriend besides me? Nope...that hit me like a pigeon to the face. Were there warning signs beforehand? Of course. Did I ignore my gut instinct to 'let the relationship blossom'? Yep. Did the blossom shrivel up and die anyway? Worse than that...it got its head shot off (still with analogies, the blossom, I didn't shoot my ex's head off!). But will I let this and copious past experiences make me fall out of the idea of love completely? Hell no. When I meet someone new...I like to push aside any reservations and trust them, intrinsically. This may be bad, but it's the only way I see a half decent relationship flourishing. When my ex continually accused me of cheating (I was at home, eating pasta probably) all it did was put me off him. And the same goes for dudes with dolls who act in a similar needy untrusting fashion. I guess if I had to sum up, I'd say love and trust are co-dependable and to let the love develop you must first trust wholly, and yet, to find complete trust, you must first feel that you are loved unconditionally.