By Kenneth Stepp
As I sit in my den, working, pondering, and thinking too much about my path to where I am today, my mind is filled with thoughts about the people I have met along the way in my singles journey. Most were amazing human beings, many were strong and a few were damaged beyond repair, or seemed that way. What happened? What was the most hurtful thing that happened to them? I believe that they lost the ability to trust again.
Within a relationship there are things or dynamics that can be missing and still have a relationship. Physical attraction, the same level of education, similar political views, even faith. But the one thing I have noticed that cannot be missing is trust. Trust alone is the foundation that all relationships are built upon.
There are things that we think are foundational that we discover aren’t. Then there are things we believe we can live without that leave too much of a void inside a relationship. The chief among these would be trust. Without trust, over thinking happens, scenarios are created in our minds, and erosion of the original bond takes place. Nothing good comes after that.
When does trust leave? Usually right there with the first lie, the first omission, or the first coverup. The collapse will be quick. So this is what happens when trust dies inside of a relationship. There are worse things that can happen though. You’re probably thinking I’m wrong here. Trust me, I’ve watched some along the way have something life altering happen to them.
So what can be worse than caring for someone, investing in someone, and losing the ability to ever trust them again? To lose the ability to ever trust anyone again. That is much different from not being able to trust an individual. Having one person you know you cannot have a relationship with is bad, not being able to ever have a relationship with anyone is a human tragedy.
I wanted to speak about this for a few reasons. First, I believe most people who have crossed the line of never trusting again do not realize they are over that line. They honestly believe someone will come along and be trustworthy. The problem is, they won’t recognize it. Cynicism takes over and the fault finding tour begins.
That sounds harsh, I get that. It seems that many have their limits of getting hurt. Defenses, walls, and question marks appear, trust in pretty much everyone vanishes. I’ve watched it play out in my friends. I’ll receive a message. The guy I’ve been speaking with said this, what do you think that means? I always answer the same way. Maybe it means what the words he said means. Or maybe he was just making idle chatter.
Cynicism causes overthinking. Where cynicism lives, trust doesn’t. Dating these days isn’t easy. Dating is confusing and difficult. I find myself trying to read tea leaves constantly instead of simply asking questions. Investigating a potential mate’s every word will never end well. Thinking the worst but hoping for the best is an awful strategy.
The bottom line is this… If you want to find someone to “finish life with”, you will have to risk heartbreak, being hurt, and allowing someone into your innermost thoughts. We all hope to be loved, but less of us show our true self enough to be fully seen by others. Then the person you showed them you were is loved, not the real you. Now they are in love with an idea of you. I fell in love with someone like that and it altered my life.
I hope you followed my rambling and I hope it causes you to look deep inside yourself. I make myself do this often. It’s never pretty but if I am to find this amazing girl that’s etched in my heart, I have to be ready and I have to be a man she will want. Like I said, this is not an easy journey. Good luck out there my friends. Blocking your heart and guarding your heart are two very different things.