I am guessing that you have not only had a string of terrible relationships, but perhaps your trust was betrayed by previous partners - maybe they lied or were not open with you about things, or did things that caused you to feel let down, or that they did not ‘have your back’.
It will be very important for you to take it slowly with a potential new partner, and to allow yourself to work out whether this person is someone who can be trusted. You'll need to get a sense of things like:-
- does your partner do what they say they are going to do?
- is your partner open about what s/he is thinking and feeling?
- does s/he behave in a way that has your best interests at heart - for example, in the way s/he talks to others about you, how s/he makes plans around things you either already have organized or wish to do.
Trust is a tangible thing that can and must be earned, negotiated and built on if a relationship is to be healthy and enduring.
If you are interested in reading more about what the experts have to say about trust in intimate relationships, Dr John Gottman has written an excellent book called “What makes love last: How to build trust and avoid betrayal”. http://www.gottman.com/57329/748882/Books-DVDs-Workshops/What-Makes-Love-Last.html
All the best, Vivienne Colegrove
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