Merriam-Webster defines trust as: Assure reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something — one in which confidence is placed — dependence on something future or contingent (hope).
The irony of me starting with the definition is that I don’t believe trust can ever be defined or codified. Trust is relative. It’s an fragile, unspoken contract between two individuals.
Everyone approaches trust in a different way. Some give it all, and then slowly tighten the reins. Some start with no trust until it is earned. Neither approach is wrong, as every situation and individual experiences trust in different ways.
From the beginning, I never fully trusted CK. After all, our first interaction was over Grindr. We started chatting one morning, and that same evening after messaging him on my way home, he propositioned me with sex. Of course he didn’t realize it was me in that instance, but all the more reason for my sensors to be heightened.
I’m a very monogamous individual. Cleary, if you’ve read any of my posts you know that when I’m in not in a relationship I have my fun with multiple men. But as soon as I start dating someone, I flip the monogamous switch.
CK and I were dating a few weeks before I conveyed to him my desire to move into monogamy. I didn’t trust that he was only with me, and I somewhat forced him to make a choice. Verbally, he chose me, but I quickly learned that his words were just that. Words. His actions were speaking louder than words. Because of my lack of trust in CK, I was looking at his phone every once in a while. I know how wrong this is, and I’m not proud of it. But, I also don’t regret it.
One month after we met, I met CK’s mother. I took this to mean something. I thought it was a BIG step. Sure, it was fast, but she lived in Miami, so I went with it. Who knew the next time the opportunity would arise? Apparently, CK didn’t see this as quite the milestone I did. In looking through his texts, I learned he was not yet being monogamous. I didn’t end things then and there and accepted this reality because I did somewhat force monogamy upon him before he was ready. But, I did learn that CK was lying to me. He was quickly losing my trust.
Throughout the entire two years we dated, small things ate away at my trust in him. He lied and betrayed my trust on a consistent basis. I would explain to him, “I notice everything. You’re probably not going to get away with it, so it’s best just to be honest with me.” That didn’t seem to matter. He would lie about the most insignificant things. So I always wondered, “If he’s lying about these insignificant things, what else is he lying about?”
There were times I would “test” him to see if he’d tell the truth. I already knew the answer before I asked the question. Inevitably, he would still lie straight to my face. Even when I would give him a second chance to be honest, the lies kept coming until I proved to him I knew he wasn’t being truthful.
This relationship fully illustrated to me how trust is paramount in every relationship. Without it, a divide is inevitable. I don’t think he ever fully trusted me either; otherwise I feel he would have let himself be more vulnerable and open with me. Trust is a two-way street. It’s a mutual contract. It thrives on balance.
When I decided to finally end things, trust was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I celebrated my 30th birthday with a Central Park picnic and all my closest friends. Even after an explanation, he pitched a fit over me inviting Smiles and Boston. For starters, I’d never been intimate with Boston other than a Miami beach make out. And, Smiles and I certainly didn’t have the strongest track record for intimacy when we were dating for those three months. He had nothing to worry about on either accounts. However, at the gathering, he got drunk and made a scene. Furthermore, he and his new best friend from work, who also happens to be gay, disappeared for about an hour when he asked if they could go to his place to smoke.
Now that exercised my trust muscle. But, all that’s a story for another day…