5 Ways to Cultivate Trustworthy Relationships

This article originally appeared on Yoganonymous.com.

Image via Vogue Archives

Image via Vogue Archives

The best way to build long-lasting relationships is to have a solid foundation of mutual trust

It's so easy to say, but in reality, it can be so hard to cultivate genuine trust with someone you've just met. It takes time to build up a trustworthy relationship. And if you've been hurt before, it can be hard to learn to trust again.  

The good news is, no matter what you've been through, there are ways in which you can cultivate trust with new people who enter your life. Take things slowly, keep your eyes open, and use these five tips to make sure you are opening up to someone who truly deserves the love you have to share. 

5 Ways to Cultivate Trustworthy Relationships

1.  Follow your heart

If you're sitting here reading this post, you have a functioning, beating heart—and guess what? That heart is communicating important messages to you every, single day. It's guiding you towards safe spaces, cool places, and a life filled with abundant connection.

The trick to following your heart doesn't lie in meditation, or undying optimism. The trick to following your heart lies in your ability to connect with others through your heart, rather than through your mind.

When most people try to connect with others, they search for connection using visual and auditory cues—assessing people on their clothes, their hairstyles, and the way they speak. However, this type of connection cultivates judgment, which ultimately blocks, or impedes, heart-felt connections. 

So, what can you do to make sure you connect with others through the heart and not through the mind? Envision the energy of your mind dropping into the center of your heart, and expanding out like a large cascade of light. Do this before a date, do this before a meeting, or do this before going out with a new group of friends. Heart-felt connections far outlast (and transcend) mental connections—make sure you use this tool to your advantage.

2. Be bold

When it's Friday, how do you feel? Ecstatic?! It's not Friday that makes Friday great, it's the energy and excitement that people feel that makes the day so enjoyable. Take this same concept to your relationships: If you are excited about the relationship, the relationship will be exciting. 

The message here is to be bold—go adventuring, and you will have more adventure. What you put into the relationship is what you will get out of it. Have no expectations, and just enjoy the ride. You can't force others to feel anything, and you can't just magically "make things happen"—but you can enjoy yourself (if you allow it). 

3. Get physical

Uh, uh, honey—not physical like that. In today's society many people are rushing the physical aspects of relationships (often times before they are emotionally ready for deep connections). So how do you grow the relationship, and keep your potential beau's interest, without rushing into things? Get physical through activities like yoga, spinning, hiking, and exercising together. 

There are so many fun ways to get physical together, without pushing your emotional comfort zones. Working out boosts endorphins, and surges feel good chemicals into your body (same feel good chemicals that your brain releases after sex). This ties back to Pavlov's conditioning affect: The next time this person sees you, those same feel good feelings will come rushing back, and now you are associated with pleasurable experiences. 

And guess what? You didn't have to put out before you were ready, and you got to show off your rockin' bod in your spandex.

4. Focus on the now

The best indicators for your future lie in what you are doing right now. Wow, is that a lot of pressure? It shouldn't be. If you don't like who and what you are right now, and you're not working to change it, why do you think you'll like it in six months or six years down the line? You won't. 

Apply this same tool to your relationships—do you like what you see in your relationship dynamics? Can you do anything to change the dynamics if you aren't happy? Be honest with yourself, and don't work to change the other person. Other people's free will choices are out of your control, and your life is too important to focus your energy on changing other people.

Go right now—towards something you want, or away from things that don't fuel your life in positive ways. Remember: Life is an adventure. You can either surf the waves of life, or fight them and get caught by the undertow. What you do is up to you.

5. Stand up for your beliefs

Take a big inhale, and sit up four inches taller. Yes, do this right now! You are an incredible human being. You deserve to be surrounded by people who you can fully love and trust, and vice-versa. So, what do you need to feel loved? What do you need to feel like you can trust others around you? 

If you need auditory affirmations about how great you are, and you need to respect the person in order to feel like you can trust them, don't go towards someone who doesn't match that criteria! Be aware of what works for you, and don't compromise on your standards. Your heart will sing with joy, if and when you listen closely to your heart's guidance. Be assertive, and don't say yes to anything that diverts you from your own self-trust. 

Diya SenGupta