27 June 2011


Sometimes, when I'm conversing with the unnamed expert, I say things and then only afterwards realize what I have said. What left my mouth last week was that I don't trust anyone. That in and of itself is no surprise. What was the surprise was what came straight after it. I don't trust anyone because...I keep waiting for them to walk away. I keep waiting for the moment when...the other person realizes that they are getting far less out of the relationship than I am and...that I'm not worth their time. And once they realize all that, they'll...walk away.

Now, to put this in context, I was talking to the unnamed expert about a specific person. The unnamed expert's response to my comment was that this person wouldn't walk away. And I went to say 'I know', because of all the people I know this person is the last one that would walk away. I may even have said 'I know' until I realized that I didn't....know. And I don't...know. This doubt, this lack of trust..is constant. I can't seem to not doubt in a relationship. I can't seem to trust.

The why of this lack of trust I'm still working my way through, but I guess in the grand scheme of things it doesn't truly matter. It just is. Trust is the basis of all relationships - between parent and child, between siblings, between friends and...between lovers. And while all of these relationships are important, it is between the last that my gaze lingers, because it is between the last that trust is required in so many ways. Putting all else aside, trust is required, on some level, for true intimacy. Yes, one can have sex without trust, but I don't think one can love without trust. Not truly. I know I can't. And so many of the issues I have when it comes to intimacy comes down to trust.

And all of this has got me to thinking about the various romance novels I read, whether m/f or m/m. I love the slowly developing relationships because it is in them that I can see the underlying trust - that I believe is required for intimacy - develop. Thus, I find insta-love, or those relationships in which love cures all, to be...not wrong but...built on false pretenses (if that makes sense).

So, I'm curious, when it comes to romance, where do you place trust?


  1. You keep impressing with your internal examination.

    In romance, trust is paramount to me. If there isn't trust between the h/h, then there can never be a full, loving relationship. Someone is always waiting for the shoe to drop. I think you said it perfectly - for true intimacy there must be trust.

  2. Trust is huge! And I think not giving it time to develop, or place trust where it's unwarranted, often contributes to my not liking a particular book, even if I don't articulate it.

    I'm reading a book right now called In the Shadow of a Hero by Anna Mayle, and trust (one's self, other people) plays a huge role in it.

  3. This is very interesting! Follow my illogical relationship with Baby Daddy... the reason we're not together (one of at least) is that I cannot trust him to be monogamous. That is a major requirement for me. However, I trust him with my life and most importantly with my daughter.

    He's not a bad person, but he is somewhat selfish and immature. He's gotten way better, but not up to my speed. We've been able to remain friends (sometimes with benefits), but I know that anything permanent is just not possible. I still trust him with most other aspects of my life and still consider him one of my best friends.

    To me there are levels of trust, and in romance I try to be open to the level of trust that the author has provided the characters to have for each other. Many years ago, I would have not wanted to read books with open relationships or where infidelity occurred. I have to say that the MM and Erotica genres have really made me examine myself. They've also allowed me more appreciation for different types of relationships. The Coda series by Marie Sexton is a perfect example of the different relationships that humans can have and enjoy.

  4. You are so right. A lot of times when I'm reading about problems between couples, I'm struck by how their issues boil down to (lack of) trust. Whether it's jealousy, insecurity, or resentments, it still comes back to 1 person trusting that the other person is as committed as they are.

    IRL, after almost 20 years of marriage (& over 20 of a committed relationship) I see that it's just as true. Whenever I'm asked for relationship advice, the 1st thing I say is that you need to trust that the other person is giving 100%, just like you are: that they are doing the most and the best they are capable of doing. If you can't/don't, then maybe you need to take a hard look at the relationship. Keeping score is relationship poison. *steps off of soapbox* *blushes* Sorry, I get carried away sometime.

  5. Lori - thank you :) *blushes*

    Chris - *nods* I need the time for trust to develop to believe in a relationship I'm reading about. And I so like the sound of Shadow of a Hero!

    To me there are levels of trust, and in romance I try to be open to the level of trust that the author has provided the characters to have for each other.

    Mariana - that is so true! The Coda series is a great example, as is Heidi Cullinan's Special Delivery. They all made me examine what I knew about myself...and...stretch myself. But I think all of those relationships work so well because there is such a high level of trust between the various characters involved.

    Renee - you own that soapbox! Very good point - there are just so many layers to trust. I've got so far to go, but...at least I'm on the road :)

  6. To me - in RL and in books - if there's no trust there's no relationship. It's not something that can come in the blink of an eye. It takes time and the constant showing of loyalty to prove.

    I think a lot of distrust in RL comes from the lack of communication between people We aren't psychic and don't know what the other person is thinking and feeling without them telling us. Yes, it's hard to open up sometimes but if we don't then trust cannot begin to grow.

    Just my 2 cents. :)

  7. Tracy - definitely. Trust and relationships go hand in hand IMHO. And they take time. And I agree with you on the communications, but...yes, sometimes it is so hard! But you're so right, if we don't try to trust then the relationship will just wither. Sometimes you just have to have faith :)

  8. Hmmmmm... for me, this is a really important question, because I learned early on that sometimes people let you down without meaning to, and that no-one ever knows what's around the corner in their lives or what choices they may be called upon to make - which means I have a strong distrust of any absolute promises, and I try to avoid ever making any myself.

    And yes, when Gryphon and I wrote our marriage vows, we wrote them with that understanding in mind - to a certain extent, we defined where the limits of our trust were at that point. Those limits have changed a bit as we've gone along, but the fact that we did overtly define them and were willing to renegotiate them... I think that made our relationship stronger over the years.

    I think that *maybe* the difference between the "not trusting 100%" in my case, and the "not trusting 100%" as I understand you describing it above, is perhaps that for you, the "not trusting" involves on some level actively waiting for someone to walk away, where for me, it's more like... not explicitly trusting, but not explicitly distrusting either - instead, doing my best not to have any expectations one way or the other.

    I think what I'm trying to say is that for me, at least, there's a third alternative to "trust" and "distrust". It might not work for a lot of other folk, but it's seemed to work for me - at least this far :-)

  9. Starfire - I think you raise a really good point. It's about communicating and defining the level of trust in a relationship...and ensuring that all parties concerned continue to...be comfortable with the levels. As in revisiting it regularly wouldn't go amiss.

    And yes, I seem to just inherently distrust everyone. Lots to think about - thank you kechara :)