Expectations vs Trust

I don’t believe we have the right to expect anything from anyone. Some people have difficulty with that concept – especially in intimate relationships. They get confused with the difference between expectations and trust.

An expectation is a strong belief that something will happen or will be the case in the future or a belief that someone will or should do something. If we apply that to any relationship, it sets us up for failure. Expectations are resentments waiting to happen.

Trust, on the other hand is a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. I liken trust to faith. It’s accepted without the need for evidence or investigation. However, in a healthy relationship, trust is built slowly, which does give us evidence of past trustworthiness.  A pattern is developed over time that shows one that the other is trustworthy. Those who trust too much, too soon are either confusing trust with expectations, or they are afraid to let the relationship take its normal course. Either way, they find themselves in a lot of pain they could probably avoid if they could learn to be patient and allow the relationship to evolve.

When trust is broken, it can be rebuilt, but it takes long-term, consistent effort – sometimes extreme effort – to prove trustworthiness again. Once that process has begun, then the other side must eventually begin to trust again – a little at a time. Both parties must be diligent in rebuilding trust. When that’s done, the relationship will never be the same – but it is often better.