How to Build Trust in Intimate Relationships

Learning about partner attunement
How to Build Trust in Intimate Relationships

Trust is an essential component in any relationship, and is especially crucial to the health and longevity of intimate and marital relationships. There are various ways in which couples build trust and intimacy through everyday interactions. According to John Gottman, couple expert, the simple act of attuning to and recognizing your partner’s needs is essential. In every interaction between you and your partner, there is the potential to become closer, attend to their needs and build trust. Alternatively, you can also choose to turn away from your partner, choosing to ignore their needs, harboring resentment, distrust and distance in your relationship. Over time, trust can erode gradually when these interactions are characterized by distance rather than attuning to your partners needs. Trust is therefore built through small moments of interaction and connection, where one chooses to consciously engage with their partner rather than turning away from them.

Trust can be built and maintained through the process of attuning to, turning toward and understanding your partner’s needs. For example, you may notice your partner is quieter than usual and is staring absently out the car window. In this moment you have a choice to recognize these behaviors and build trust by discussing it, or turning away from your partner, eroding trust and continuing on with your present tasks.

To learn more about how to build trust, I recommend watching the video, John Gottman – How to Build Trust developed by the Greater Good Science Centre.

Article written by: Stacie Courtney-Mustaphi, B.Soc.Sci

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View all posts by Cassandra Petrella, MA