Relationships aren’t easy.
Sometimes it can even feel like lies and heartbreak are inevitable.
And yet there are people who somehow remain in loving relationships, full of trust and love.
If you’ve ever wondered what they do differently, here are 10 habits of couples who nurture trust and honesty in their relationship.
1) They talk about their boundaries
While there’s this idea that strong couples have no need for boundaries, that’s really not the case.
I mean…you wouldn’t want your partner to check your messages and use all your money, would you?
We all have limits on what we can tolerate.
Successful couples are successful precisely because they put in the extra effort to talk about their personal boundaries.
They don’t see boundaries as “limitations of their love”, but as a way for them to respect one another and have a sustainable relationship.
They discuss in detail the things that make them feel uneasy, to the things that would make them feel betrayed and used when you violate them.
2) They make good on their word
It’s not that hard to make promises. Keeping them, on the other hand, is not always that easy.
Sometimes we might make promises thinking that it wouldn’t be too difficult to follow through… only to be proven wrong.
The people who build strong relationships stand out from the rest in that, being aware of this, they will resist making grand promises unless they mean it.
And once they have made a promise, they’ll do their best to make good on their word, come hell or high water!
In doing this, they’re making it known that they’re someone to be trusted.
Sure, they might not always promise to do something, but once they do, you know they’ll get it done.
3) They let each other know when lines are crossed
It can be tempting to just suck it up and stay quiet when your partner has crossed a line. Often we would just tell ourselves “it wasn’t that big of a deal, I can let this slide.”
It makes sense—we don’t want to accidentally turn a molehill into a mountain.
However people who build trust and honesty in their relationships do it a little differently. When their partner crosses a personal boundary, they would try to talk to their partner about it.
And they’ll do so with care.
Rather than scolding their partner out in public, they will instead try to find a time when they can discuss it privately.
In doing this, they nip the trouble in the bud and avoid having way too many minor violations pile up and grow into resentment.
4) They don’t let grudges endure
Conflict is a very normal part of any relationship.
That remains a fact no matter how hard people try to nurture trust and honesty within it.
And even the most loving couple will inevitably get into arguments that could possibly have them holding frustrations and grudges on the other.
But rather than letting those feelings define their relationship day after day, they instead try to find ways to resolve it as soon as they can.
They would try to end conflicts within the day if possible, though sometimes it might take longer for them to process things.
They do this because they know that if they let those grudges be, they’ll easily end up resenting each other, tainting their relationships with lies until their relationship itself becomes to feel like a lie.
5) They give each other space
That is to say, they respect their partner’s privacy and let them live their own lives.
They can have entirely separate friend circles.
They don’t share their social media passwords.
They don’t give their partner unadulterated access to their phone.
To someone who isn’t secure in their relationship, this might sound scary. It might feel like they’re simply giving their partner the opportunity to cheat and keep secrets.
The sad truth is that if someone was going to cheat anyways, they’ll do it regardless of how good the relationship is and how much trust they’re given.
Refusing to trust one’s partner, on the other hand, will make them feel awful that they might WANT to find happiness somewhere else.
Trust begets trust—people whose relationships are full of trust and honesty are that way because they place their trust in one another.
6) They try to be there for each other
While it’s important to live separate lives even as a couple, they should be so far apart that they start to lose intimacy. It’s a balancing act.
Couples who nurture trust and honesty balance the time they spend apart and the time they spend together but, when push comes to shove, they will prioritize their relationship.
They’re not just going to go on a once-a-year outing with their best friends, for example, when they can see that their partner is struggling and needs their presence.
In doing this, they’re firmly affirming that, yes, their relationship truly means something to them…and that their partner is someone incredibly important to them.
Their partner giving them space is their partner offering their trust, and them prioritizing their partner is them vindicating that trust.
7) They keep each other in the loop
While they might be entitled to live their own private lives, it is still incredibly important for their relationship that they keep each other informed.
But the thing that they always keep in mind is that what secrets are shared in the relationship should be shared willingly, and not coerced in any way.
People who are in a healthy relationship know that their partner isn’t exactly entitled to know just who they met at the grocery store (even if it’s their ex), but that it would be prudent to inform them all the same.
It’s hard to trust people who live and breathe in secrecy.
By being open with one another, they’re giving their partner reasons to trust them.
8) They nurture their friendship together
People often speak of friendship and romance as if they’re entirely separate things. It’s often treated as being lesser than romantic love if not its direct enemy.
But the truth is that relationships are… well, relationships.
You simply can’t have a healthy romantic relationship with someone without first building a friendship with them.
People who are in a healthy relationship are not afraid to build their friendship with their partners.
They strive to become best friends and are in fact so successful in doing so that even if their relationship doesn’t work out… they’ll continue being good friends anyways.
And when you’re such good friends you’d rather destroy the world than ruin your friendship, you can’t help but trust one another.
9) They listen to their partner in good faith
People in fragile relationships always have doubts if their partner truly loves them or if they’re worthy of their trust.
Instead of giving them the benefit of the doubt, they will instead assume the worst and hear only what they want to hear.
In contrast, people with stable relationships keep an open mind and an open ear.
They will set aside any ideas or preconceptions they might have and listen to their partner with both ears.
This makes their partner feel heard, that their thoughts and opinions are valued. This then encourages their partner to simply be truthful instead of hiding things behind white lies.
10) They don’t try to force the other person to change
Sometimes our partners do things that drive us up the wall.
Some of us might have a partner who insists on cooking rice a bit too wet, or listens to music we consider trashy or weird.
Some of us might have a partner who’s perfect in every way, but they would rather play games in their free time than go fishing or hiking.
But as tempting as it might be to try to force a change in our partners somehow…that does nothing but harm the relationship.
People in stable relationships earn their partners’ trust and honesty by showing them that they respect them, and that means letting them do what they want so long as no one’s getting hurt.
Relationships between people who nurture trust and honesty are rare, and all the more precious for it.
It takes trust to build trust, and yet some people simply have been hurt way too much to simply offer their trust with ease.
The things that these couples do will serve you well if you’re in a relationship with someone who is genuine and trustworthy, but will ruin you if you’re with a liar and a cheat.
That’s why if you want to have a healthy, thriving relationship, you need to do more than just do what people in successful relationships are doing. You also need to know how to look for someone you can trust your heart with.