Trusting friends and partners is becoming the major roadblock between Millennials and Gen Z. In the internet age we have a near constant stream of information about every person we interact with on a daily basis. It’s more than annoying to see your partner liking Tweets or Instagram posts made by a perfect 10 when you see yourself as a solid six, but trust must remain, because without it, there is no way the relationship can thrive when you second guess every action and reaction they make.
Sometimes you just have to trust. Not every person you meet is out to get you, and if you treat them as such, you isolate the people that will make you the happiest. My friends and I often have to remind each other about this. We say “If I trust you, and you break that trust, that says more about you than it does about me.” If you live in fear that every person you open up to will hurt you, try opening up to everyone you meet. Yes, some people have bad intentions, but if you always tell the truth and treat people with respect, no one will have a bad thing to say to you.
Think of it this way: do you worry about a crash every time you get in a vehicle? If you spent your whole life protecting yourself from everything that could hurt you, you end up in the same place. Of course, you should be wary of those you encounter and the promises that they make to you, but you cannot control how people will react. On the road, you cannot control the other drivers, but you need to trust that they won't crash.
Those we see as untrustworthy with our hearts are commonly the people that have the greatest fear of being hurt. These people will do whatever it takes to avoid falling in love with anyone, even the most perfect partner. You will have to give these people the time and space that they need to grow. This is not the time to try to fix them; show them they can trust you. Pressing someone into a relationship when they are brokenhearted is as stressful as being on the other side. If you think that there is probable cause to distrust your friend or partner, discuss the things that bother you. If the person reacts poorly, then you know that maybe you have good reason to limit your trust. Attempt to get them to open up if you are serious about the relationship or friendship you share. Try to understand their point of view before cutting them off or punishing them.
If you really are looking to be with someone, look for commonality instead of a boyfriend or girlfriend. The point of a relationship is to be with someone that you enjoy being around who has common goals and values as you, rather than having a title so you can trick them into skipping the bars with their friends over the weekend. If you end up falling for a player, play the game! If he doesn't want you to come along with them, make your own plans. We all need nights out without our significant others. A relationship will not complete you, but it will add value to your life if you find someone you can trust and that trusts you.
Treat others the way you want to be treated; trust others the way you wish to be trusted. Being a good person costs you nothing. Living in fear that you will be hurt is the most surefire way to end up hurt. No one will open up to you if you are constantly pushing them away. It takes two to trust.
Abbie Zehentbauer is a junior studying English at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What do you think? Let Abbie know by emailing her at email@example.com.