by Devora Krasnianski, founder of Adai Ad Institute
“Nothing is as fast as the speed of trust” is the premise of a popular business book by Stephen M.R. Covey.
When we trust someone, we are more comfortable in their company, conversation flows more smoothly, and the relationship is much more enjoyable and pleasant. Isn’t that what we all want in a dating experience – comfortability, good conversation and an overall pleasant experience.
What does trust have to do with dating? Actually, a lot. When people don’t have significant trust in each other, they are hesitant to share much about themselves, and the date ends up being about neutral (read: boring) topics.
The more trust and comfort with each other, the quicker you get to know each other to determine the likelihood of compatibility for a successful marriage. With trust, dating would not drag on with misunderstandings of each other’s thoughts and intentions about the relationship.
So how to get to that level of trust necessary for productive dating? Ah, the big question. Actually, it’s simple, but not always so easy. Trust builds on the trust of both people. It needs to start at the very beginning, and it may as well start with you.
1. Be willing to be vulnerable. 2. Show your trust in the other person. 3. Demonstrate that you are worthy of their trust.
Be Willing to be Vulnerable
Vulnerability is not weakness. It is not about being unprotected and defenseless. Here, I’m talking about vulnerability as in letting the other person get to know you, the real you under all those layers of shields and safeguarding you may have put up. It takes bravery to display that level of vulnerability. It demonstrates a certain sense of confidence – something most people really want in their significant other.
It’s that vulnerability, that exposure of your ‘humanness’ that makes you more approachable, relatable and trustworthy. (And possibly even endearing.) It makes dating more interesting for you and for the other person.
It’s definitely not about dumping all your baggage and skeletons onto the table in the first minutes of meeting someone. It’s about sharing a little bit of yourself, even if you are not sure how the other person will take in what you have just shared. It’s about taking an emotional risk. And as the trust builds, you share more of yourself.
Tell of a mistake you made and what you learned from it. Mention your unusual hobby of early morning birdwatching, even if most of your friends think it is weird. Show samples of your poetry or photography, even if you are not sure that the other person will like it. And as time goes on, you might divulge your limitations and innermost fears.
Caveat: Do not say lashon hara about yourself. You should not share all the crazy mistakes you made as a teenager. If it might impact the marriage, speak to your experienced mashpia or Rav about if and how to share.
Show Your Trust In the Other Person
Trust brings out the best in people and literally changes the dynamics of the relationship. Most people would want to live up to the trust. They want to give it back. Trust is reciprocal – the more you trust others, the more you are trusted in return.
It’s easier to show someone trust, if you know they care about your feelings and you care about theirs. Don’t be afraid to show your emotions.
As the relationship moves along, the trust grows stronger. And you can share more about yourself, and ask more personal questions.
Show That You are Worthy of their Trust
Be genuine. Do not pretend to be someone you are not just to pique her interest. She will see right through this and immediately peg you as someone who cannot be trusted.
Keep other people’s private stories private; do not share those on a date (or ever). She will wonder if she can trust you with her personal stories, or will you share those with others too?
Eye contact. Not looking at someone may make you appear as shifty and not trustworthy. At the same time, looking too much, too long might make someone uncomfortable.
Trust is so important in a marriage. Start that trust from the very beginning. Your relationship will be so much richer for it. And the dating will be more interesting and engaging.