Trust is an essential part of relationships. Without it, no relationship can thrive and grow into a healthy partnership that will stand the test of time.
There’s something to be said for the old adage of trusting your gut – if someone doesn’t seem like a good or trustworthy partner, it’s better to hit the road, because feelings like that don’t usually improve.
However, if there are no red flags but you’re wondering about indications that your partner is someone you can trust, explore these 9 ways to know your partner is trustworthy.
1. Their Phones and Computers Are Left Unlocked
If your partner doesn’t feel the need to lock their phone or computer while around you, chances are good that they trust you – and that they can be trusted. This isn’t an open invitation to snoop, however, and getting busted doing so can quickly make you seem like the untrustworthy partner.
Likewise, a password protected phone or laptop doesn’t mean doom. Some folks are just private. If your partner throws a full scale fit if you even glance at their phone, however, take the red flag for what it is.
2. They Share Private Thoughts and Hopes
If your partner is able to open up to you and share their private worries, thoughts and future plans, they are placing trust in you and inviting you to trust them in return. When your partner shares their private thoughts, listens to yours in turn and keeps them private out of respect for you, never using them as ammo in an argument, they are someone you can trust.
3. Their Friends are Basically Good People
If your partner is fully including you in their life (please see #9), you’ll be meeting their family and friends. Friends are a pretty good metric by which to determine what kind of behavior you’ll see from your partner down the road.
If they’re okay with hanging out with people who are abusive to their partners, steal, drink or use drugs to excess or engage in any other criminal or generally deviant behavior, there might be an issue. This red flag is compounded if, in a conversation, they find ways to justify the dangerous or illegal things their pals are up to. On the other hand, reliable friends with productive lives are usually a good sign.
4. They Don’t Make Excuses
In a relationship, honesty is always the best policy. Cancelling dates or blowing you off with flimsy excuses isn’t just annoying, it’s a sign that your partner doesn’t value your time. The dishonesty of the excuse is alarming – a casual liar can often be guilty of far more destructive lies down the road. When someone promises to do something and doesn’t follow through, going as far as to lie and make excuses, they’re not someone you can trust.
5. They Own Up To Mistakes
This is the flip side of the issue mentioned previously. Even the most delightful of significant others is going to make a mistake or two. Whether they accidentally fed your pet the wrong food, lit a potholder on fire or forgot to pay the water bill, a trustworthy partner cops to their errors so you can work together to fix them. Not lying also means they trust you to be understanding about the inevitable gaffes of everyday life.
6. They Never Try To Make You Look Stupid
If your partner is quick to turn on you in conversation to get a laugh out of a group of friends, they’re being rude – and untrustworthy. Bringing up personal and private mistakes, secrets or quirks that they know will humiliate you isn’t funny, least of all to you, the person being attacked. That’s an abusive behavior and one that indicates that this person shouldn’t be trusted to be your partner.
7. They Consider You When Making Big Choices
When faced with a life altering choice, one of the first thoughts that come to the mind of many people regards the affect that choice will have on their loved ones. If your partner is faced with a big choice and one of their first steps is to consider or even consult you, you can be fairly certain that they care about you and are being open with you about their life and future. These are great signs of trustworthiness in a partner.
8. They’re (Mostly) Civil With Their Exes
Nobody’s saying your partner has to be BFF with the people they’ve dated, but if their history is filled with a litany of “psycho” exes who were supposedly responsible for every problem in their relationship, be on alert. It’s true that most of us have a couple of people in our past that we’d rather forget, but if every single person your partner has dated avoids them like wildfire – or vice versa – there might be an issue.
On the flip side, having civil friendships with exes and copping to their role in issues in past relationships is a great sign. While it’s healthy and normal to trash talk an ex right after a breakup, doing so years after the fact isn’t a great sign.
9. They Don’t Exclude You From the Inner Circle
Almost everybody has an inner circle. They’re your family and friends – the people who are closest to you. Naturally, when someone is a special part of your life, introducing them to the other special people therein is going to be important to you. If your partner seems to spend a long time skirting the idea of introducing you to their friends and family, asking why is important.
It’s rare for someone to have no close friends and be estranged from their parents, and a situation of that nature is concerning in and of itself. If you know your partner sees their parents and has close friends but simply won’t introduce you, chances are they’re either not as serious about a future with you as they seem or they’re hiding something significant.