The last essential for healthy relationships is a three-step process that will help you avoid relational disasters. Most broken hearts come from trusting people that later turn out to be untrustworthy. We have invested so much of our selves at that point, that ending the relationship is incredibly painful. Many people try to prolong the relationship which normally ends in even more pain. There are three simple steps that will allow you to avoid this painful fate.
Step One: Let your priorities determine your time.
We all have limitations. We can only have a limited number of relationships. Also, not all relationships deserve an equal amount of our time and attention. If you want to have a healthy relational life, you have to prioritize your relationships. Which relationships are most important to you? Those relationships should get a greater amount of time than your other relationships. Time is the life blood of relationships. The more time you spend in a relationship, the stronger it is able to be.
Step Two: Let time determine your trust.
Trust is a gift. It’s not a right. When you give trust to people who are untrustworthy, bad things happen. You must choose wisely where you place your trust. Don’t trust people just because they feel trustworthy, and don’t trust people as a way to speed up the relationship. Trust the people who have proven trustworthy over time. If you are patient, people will show you who they truly are. Don’t rush things when it comes to trust!
Step Three: Let trust determine your intimacy.
Intimacy or closeness grows in relationships as we share more about ourselves with another person. You can’t be close to everyone. How do you know who to share more of yourself with? Find the person who keeps your secrets and respects your space. Find someone who doesn’t gossip, but is ready to show up when you need them. In short, find the most trustworthy person in your life. Many times we force intimacy with others because we are lonely or impatient. That is a recipe for disaster. Intimacy should be a result of trust that has been established over time.
In summary, allow your relational priorities to determine where you spend your time. Your time is valuable and should be spent in the places and with the people most important to you. Next, allow time to determine who you trust. Anyone can be honest for a week or a month. Trustworthy people prove themselves over long periods of time. And finally, choose to be more open and honest with the people in your life who are most trustworthy. Close intimate relationships are precious and very rare. Don’t force intimacy where it is not earned or valued. Following these three straightforward steps are essential to forming and maintaining healthy relationships. Choose wisely, work diligently, and relate well!