It feels like the sort of thing that is so obvious it need hardly be said, but here we are. Some people in relationships don't seem to think the honesty train goes both ways.
You need to give honesty to receive it, to be trustworthy is the first step to trusting other people in return. It's so important to think about what we owe each other, our fellow humans on this earth.
We're all just in it together, trying to figure out left from right by using our fingers and trying to pretend that we don't need the SatNav because we 'trust our instincts'.
But what do we need more than trust in ourselves? Trust in other people!
The only way to achieve that is to be honest with the people around you.
I don't mean that you need to tell them every little mean thing that comes into your head. Being negative is not the same as honesty, it's just brutal – and frankly, rude.
Certainly, the person you are in a relationship with should not be the person you are hiding from. Nor, indeed, should they be someone that doesn't feel they can be honest with you. That's not a relationship, that's a performance.
Here are three ways to reflect on the role of trust in your relationship…
1 – Do you still trust them, what have they done to deserve or destroy it?
Do you often make your needs known, and then have them undermined anyway? Do you establish boundaries and state your personal preferences for the relationship and find that your partner constantly breaks them. Even though they know it's important to you?
That's not a trusting relationship. Breaking someone's trust doesn't just have to be cheating or having an affair. Sometimes it's micro-aggressions, wearing you down a little every day. Soon, in this environment, you will find that there isn't all that much left of the relationship.
Does this mean that in turn, you have started to do the same in passive-aggressive return, rather than communicating that this isn't right? That means that you are contributing to the problem by fighting fire with untruthful fire.
2 – Do you communicate about things that make you feel vulnerable?
Any answer that is not 'yes, regularly', is the wrong answer here. Without vulnerability in a relationship, how can there truly be intimacy? The answer, there can't.
If you aren't using your partner for emotional support, then it's just an act of mindless social assimilation. You are allowed to have needs and actually have them met – emotional or otherwise.
Without this connection of communication, there isn't really anything tying you guys together, and you'll find it easier to walk away when things get tough.
Without trust or honesty from both parties, I promise you it's not a real commitment at either end. Stop wasting each other's time, either step up the commitment or move on.
3 – Be honest with yourself about the other person too!
Ask yourself, are they mature enough? Too mature? Clingy? Are one of you just rebounding off a previous relationship that you aren't over?
Just as much as relationships need a dialogue of trust and truthfulness between one another, you also have to be honest with yourself about what you want and who you are. Things change with time, maybe before you wanted this partner, but maybe you're not that person anymore.
That's fine, you just need to put your big girl pants on and be honest with them about it. Everyone will be more emotionally healthy for it.
We all need space and time to support our careers and dreams, and if an unfulfilling, empty relationship is coming between that, then you already know what needs to be done.
You will learn so much about yourself when you acknowledge what you want out of the world and who you want to be. At the end of the day, we all need to learn that we are in control of our own lives.
We can change them for the better with simple steps of improving communication and giving honesty in order to receive it.