To trust or not to trust?
I have been dating this guy for about three months now. In the beginning of our relationship, everything was perfect and I trusted him whole-heartedly. Up until recently I’ve been very suspicious and my trust just keeps going down. I started to lose trust when finding a text message in his phone from someone calling him “babe” on Valentines Day. He said it was nothing like that, and I asked to see the rest of the messages from that person but he said no because he thought that would change the dynamics of our relationship and that I am supposed to just trust him, so I let it go. Ever since that occasion it’s been so hard for me to trust him like I did in the beginning. He’s constantly texting some person in his phone and I’m 99% sure it is a female, which does not bother me. But what does bother me is that for some reason I have this gut instinct that this female he is constantly texting is someone he is involved with. When I sit and ponder on that idea I think to myself, “He doesn’t even have time to spend with other women, he’s always so busy.” But I almost feel like I’m convincing myself because I just have this feeling inside. On top of all of this my mother and a few of my close friends don’t really trust this guy or particularly care for him too which makes it even harder for me as well. I’m wondering how you feel about this situation? Should I end this relationship before I get hurt or wait it out and see if it can really become as good as I thought it could?
A: Thank you for writing us. In the beginning of a relationship the boundaries and alignments that are needed to make the relationship work must be established. Be clear about what is okay, and what is not. If his texting bothers you be direct and let him know. Don’t assume he has any idea of what will be important to you and what won’t. Let him know what your needs are, and then invite him to let you know what he expects out of the relationship.
The clearer you can be now, the better you can assess whether or not the relationship is viable.
Since this is your first year in college I would take advantage of the university counseling center to talk to someone about this as you are going through it. Friends are a great resource, but sometimes an objective opinion of a therapist can be very helpful.
About Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPPDaniel J. Tomasulo, Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP is a graduate of the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania and works as Martin Seligman's assistant instructor there. He is a licensed psychologist specializing in group psychotherapy and psychodrama and is the author of the highly acclaimed Confessions of a Former Child: A Therapist’s Memoir. Visit www.formerchild.com for more information. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
Tomasulo, D. (2011). To trust or not to trust?. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 6, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/04/09/to-trust-or-not-to-trust/