Trust as a Building Block
“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”
In life you get to a point where you start looking for a person who will matter to you not just as a friend, but as a lover, a companion, the other half of your heart. Sometimes that person gets thrown at you out of the blue; you have no idea what is going on or why it happened, you try hard to find meaning to it, but sometimes there isn't one. I am not an expert in the love department, I've had my heart broken a few times so I know what it feels like when you put your trust on someone and the moment you turn around they stab you in the back. It's hard to reach for those knives back there, specially when you don't see it coming. Again, I am not an expert in the love department. I reiterate that because most of the people who will read this post will sit there and think to themselves, "he's young, he's got no experience yet, he's getting ahead of himself," and I don't deny any of that. A good friend of mine once told me not to jump in with both feet too quick into a situation that involved love. To take baby steps. To let that person earn your trust, rather than hand out trust like it's free candy. The problem in relationships is that trust is the most important thing in them; trust builds that companionship. Without it, there is room for lies, deceit, and pain.
I am not putting down the idea of being in a relationship; I got plenty of friends who are in one and some others that have taken it to the next level: marriage. I am happy for all of them; not once will I spit in their face and tell them that because I got my own thoughts on relationships that they should destroy theirs. No, I am not that kind of person. I will tell you this, though: if you give your 100% and the partner who you are with does not, chances are that the relationship will fail. Like the saying goes, "it takes two to tango," also applies in this case. There are many expectations that are put on each individual in the relationship; one must fulfill his/her role in order to have a healthy relationship and to help it flourish into something stronger, better.
God knows I've had my share of stupid decisions when it came to women and relationships; let me list a few: missed opportunities, handling the situation with no finesse at all, destroying a friendship in the process, walking over grounds that do not belong to you, choosing the wrong person at the wrong time, not knowing about a person and jumping right into it, among others. Let's go back to the trust issue for a moment.
Trust is important, I've stated that; but is it just you who needs to trust the other person? No. Trust must be mutual. You play out your part, she plays out hers, and in the end both parties agree and are happy. The problem with trust is that it's so easy for people to just toss it into a relationship (in some cases, mind you) and it's at this moment that trust is treated like an everyday thing. And I'm not talking about trust in the sense of "I trust her to walk the dogs while I'm at work," I'm talking about trust in the sense of "I give you everything that is me, and you promise not to discard it." What I mean here is that when you are in a relationship with someone that you know for quite a long time, you know their most intimate secrets and likes, and will do just about anything to make sure they are happy, you get to the point where you realize you trust that person with your life. I'm not talking about the stuff you see in movies or the cliches of "I will do anything to keep you with me" or "As long as you stick with me you'll never have to worry" or things like that. Life comes with challenges, and these challenges test what kind of person you will become in the future. In love, however, challenges are much harder. Why? Simple. Not only do you have to face your own challenges, but you also have to help your partner face theirs, not every time, but when she/he can't do it alone.
But there is a fine line between challenges and baggage. It's true that people come with baggage, it's normal. Not everybody is perfect, and in love you need to look beyond these imperfections and the baggage and look forward to how the two of you are going to make it work. However, there is also the time and place to deal with baggage, as well as realizing when your partner's baggage is either too much for you or not worth fighting for. After all, we are only human. We cannot solve everything; if we could, this world would not be the way it is today.
I like to take this moment to switch gears and tackle the issue of love in general. When a person says they are in love what exactly do they mean? There are many other words that can substitute "love" if one is not entirely sure of its meaning; for example: lust, infatuation, & obsession. I will admit that I've experienced all three. It's so easy to get "love" confused for these three; there is a place and time for each but sometimes you can't help but be blinded by the truth and think that you are in love when in reality, you are not. Sometimes you will realize this on your own, sometimes a friend will help you realize it, and even some other times the person who you think you are in "love" will let you know. The saying "practice makes perfect" can be applied here. I'm not saying go out and try to be in a relationship with every girl you meet, no, I'm saying that until you fight the battles and survive the experiences in life, you will not be able to completely understand what love really means. It takes time, patience, but mostly it takes trust. And not only to be able to fully trust someone, but also to trust yourself. To build your trust over time. This is the only way a relationship can work; forget about the small details like buying your partner roses or taking them out to dinner or a movie; small details like that are everyday things that pass off without much interest. I'm not saying don't do it, because small details are important too, just not "the" important ones. If you get in a relationship you are going to want to start building trust, together preferably. If your partner notices what you are doing, it will be much better because then your partner will play their part in the trust-building process.
Only then will you be able to move onto the next steps in the ladder. Together. Because after you build trust and both parties feel satisfied with what is happening, will both be able to think of the future. Like I said before, speeding things up, jumping in with both feet at a time is not smart. Like a tree takes time to grow, so does a relationship.