By Lauren Walsh

While break-ups are part of life and guide us for our next relationship, they somewhat restrain us from fully trusting our next potential partner.  This is based on how people try to rationalize their jealous or passive behavior caused by unfortunate experiences in their previous relationships. Trust shouldn’t be based on our previous heartbreaks, but rather should gradually develop with time-and sense of security. Many people begin relationships by immediately telling the other person to “trust them,” and once those words are said, a feeling of paranoia can follow. We begin questioning if we really do trust that person and wonder what exactly makes them trustworthy.

Trust is One of the Hardest Things to Gain in Relationships.

Since winter break has passed and spring break is just ahead, couples may separate from their highly intertwined daily college lives to visit their family or friends. While some return home to their high school friends or old flings, others may head to beaches where they’re surrounded by dental floss sized bikinis. These college breaks briefly turn these typically close proximity relationships into temporarily long distance ones. With this picture in mind, how are you confident that your partner is trustworthy?

“It’s normal for couples to separate during a break because I know that I’ll want to have fun with my friends at the club and I know that the guy I am seeing will want to do the same,” said  accounting junior Ally Waltman.

However, for business sophomore Alex Bergman, cheating in a situation like this would be the ultimate deal breaker.

“If I ever had a girlfriend who cheated on me, it would be the ultimate deal breaker,” Bergman said.

While it does sound practical, when has taking a break from your partner over vacations become the norm instead of spending time together? Has trusting your partner become so difficult that taking a break is like the new way to actually deal with a relationship? If people don’t want to be in a relationship, then they shouldn’t be — no breaks, commas or ellipses.

This is why the expectations of being trustworthy have dwindled in the first place because the definition of being “in a relationship” has changed. If a guy is into a girl and is seeing her exclusively but the girl is seeing other guys, not only will this cause heartbreak and an exchange of offensive words, but health risks could be involved.

“Relationships can be tricky things to define, and if you’re in one, you want to make sure that both you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to where you stand. You might think you’re only sleeping with each other, but the reality could be very different and very scary.”

The fact that almost twice the amount of women than men thought they were in a relationship is perplexing and unfortunate. What prompted the women to think they are in a relationship? Are they being misled?  Expecting too much?  Did three dates in one week become a “committed relationship?” Did he pick-up the tab, so a “we’re together” status was assumed?  Is it because girls are naturally born “nesters?”  Where is the fine line between dating and being classified as a boyfriend/girlfriend?

The most pragmatic solution is to discuss what the partners expect from their relationship. When a mutual understanding has taken place, then trust will ultimately follow.

Once trust is earned, no longer will flirting with random bodies in bikinis have an effect on your relationship. Besides, guys should have faith that their partner would rather be with them than hooking up with someone else — isn’t that the very least one should expect out of a relationship? On the other hand, it’s completely normal for guys to look at other girls; it is in their DNA, instigated by testosterone levels and the fact that guys are hunters.

However, Paul Newman once said, “Why fool around with hamburger when you can have steak at home?” So girls and guys, just because you may be looking at other attractions doesn’t mean you shouldn’t appreciate what you already have, so don’t make trust, or lack of trust an issue. Besides, you can always show your “better half” how good they have it with you by reminding them about what made you stand out from the others in the first place.

Communication is Key.

Personally, trustworthiness is based on values, morals and whether the other person initiates the relationship. If two people are in the first stage of dating and are waiting to see what the other person expects from them, instead of forcing monogamy, their relationship terms should be agreed upon. Forcing monogamy could create a sense of obligation causing the other person to run in the other direction to date other people.

It’s like being grounded by your parents as a child; you feel forced to do something that was unjust, so you feel like defying their rules and sneaking out. This feeling of rebellion provides you with a rush of adrenaline that causes the behavior to repeat; you get a “high” from being bad. People who cheat obtain the same adrenaline rush because they act out their dissent against something they didn’t agree to. If you force someone to be exclusive or make them feel guilty for not wanting to be, they are more likely to cheat, and you will be less likely trust them.

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