Relationships affect us on a deep level, so it’s no surprise that when a relationship goes wrong, it can make it difficult to be vulnerable with someone new and start building trust after a bad relationship immediately. When a partner breaks your trust or betrays you through infidelity it can make it hard to put your faith in a romantic partner. You can develop trust issues while still recovering from a bad relationship.
Recovering from a toxic relationship is the best thing you can do for yourself. But leaving a toxic partner can make you feel wary about starting a new relationship. Even if you want to love and trust someone else, making it happen feels like an uphill battle.
Learning to trust again after a bad relationship can be trying for both partners, but with a little effort, you can have a successful new relationship. Don’t let what happened in the past affect your future relationships.
But, how do you build trust in a relationship again? Here are 8 steps for building trust after a bad relationship.
1. Take time for yourself
Leaving a bad relationship is tough, but building trust after a bad relationship is tougher. These types of partners can damage your ego, your mental health, and your ability to trust. It is wise to take some time for yourself after getting out of a bad relationship before pursuing another romantic interest.
Taking your time gives you the opportunity to get to know yourself. You could use this time to grieve your past relationship, start a hobby, reconnect with friends, travel, focus on your career, or simply use the time to relax.
2. Make a list
Now that you have been in a bad relationship, you know better what you will and will not tolerate in a new relationship going forward.
Many find it helpful to make a list of positive qualities they would like to see in a future romantic partner as well as a list of behaviors, habits, and characteristics you will not tolerate from someone.
3. Reconnect with your support system
Maintaining your relationships with friends and family can be difficult when you are in a bad relationship. Your ex may have taken up most of your time, which alienated you from your support system. This is common in toxic relationships since it forces you to be completely dependent on your ex.
Now that you’re free of their bad influence, it’s time to reconnect with your loved ones. These relationships will help you heal from your breakup, and will teach you that there are trustworthy people out there so that moving forward you can easily build trust in a new relationship.
They will act as a strong support system to see you through any trials that may come up in your life.
4. Go slow in romance
Just because you’re now single doesn’t mean you have to jump into a new relationship. If you are not ready to be in a relationship, don’t pursue someone as a rebound. It is not fair to you, nor is it fair to your crush.
When you are ready to be with someone new, take your time. Building trust after a bad relationship may take repeated efforts with different partners before you find someone to get serious with. Be cautious with your new partner and use your head as well as your heart until you are able to trust them.
5. Communicate with your partner
Whether you’re starting a new relationship or have been with someone for years, communication is going to be your most important tool for maintaining a healthy bond. If you are starting a new relationship, you should communicate openly with your partner about your last relationship.
Tell them how your partner treated you, how it made you feel, and explain honestly to your partner about how you may be triggered by certain behavior or phrases for a while.
Being open about your trust issues will help your partner work with you to help build trust and a strong foundation for your relationship instead of working against you.
6. Your partner is not your ex
If you want to learn building trust after a bad relationship, you will need to remind yourself that your partner is not your ex. They have done nothing to make you question their loyalty or their affection for you.
This is a fact that you may have to drum into your mind a number of times and learn ways on how to trust someone in a relationship before your head and your heart sees things the same way.
7. Trust your instincts
If you want to learn how to build trust after a bad relationship you must learn how to trust yourself first. Bad relationships don’t usually start out that way. At first, you may have been very happy with your partner. You may even have thought they were good for you. But over time the relationship became toxic for both of you.
During the period of toxicity in your relationship, you likely had a gut feeling that something wasn’t right. You didn’t like the way you were being treated or acknowledged that the behavior you were sharing wasn’t healthy. You may have ignored these gut feelings because you wanted to salvage the relationship.
This time around, learn to trust your gut feelings and move forward on your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, call your partner out on it. This time around, pay close attention to red flags.
On the other hand, if your gut tells you that your new partner is worthy of your trust, go with it. Don’t punish them for a past partner’s mistakes if there is no basis for it.
8. Change your outlook
If you keep telling yourself that all women are liars or that all men cheat, you may start to believe it. If you want to learn to trust someone new, you will have to change your outlook on relationships. Don’t let one apple spoil the whole bunch, even if that apple was particularly rotten.
Let your new partner show you that they are someone who can be trusted and that they have your best interest in mind.
The behavior you experienced in a toxic relationship can leave you feeling distrustful of a new partner, but can you learn to trust your partner after a failed relationship?
The answer to this question is really simple. By making time for yourself, having open communication with a new partner, and a lot of patience you can learn building trust after a bad relationship.