Trust is one of the biggest parts of a relationship, especially of the romantic variety. Whether you’re in the early days still or you’re trying to rebuild after a rough patch, trust will take time and work. We’ve pulled together a list of ways to build up trust in your relationship.

Say What You Mean

Yes, this obviously means don’t lie. However, it also means that when your partner asks how you’re doing, you answer honestly instead of brushing the question off. They need to trust that you’ll communicate openly and tell them when you feel off.

Respect a Boundary

Remember, you don’t have to fully understand a boundary your partner has in order to respect it. This doesn’t mean that you have to mindlessly agree to strange rules, but you do want to be respectful of the fact that they look at the world differently than you do.

Rely On Them

Independence is important (even in a relationship) but an unwillingness to rely on your partner can indicate a lack of trust. As you rely on them for bigger and bigger things, you learn to trust them and they trust you.

Leave Past Relationships Out of It

This one can be tough, since many who have been through a difficult previous relationship often want to consider that a learning experience. Making assumptions about your current partner based on behaviors from an ex isn’t going to be a successful strategy.

Allow Your Partner to Change

If they’re trying to get better about something that caused a problem in the relationship, you may need to make aa bit more space for those changes. It’s tough to not recall the past, even when they’re so much better now.

Start with Respect

Respecting your partner at least as much as you do the other people in your life will help them feel good about the relationship.

The Benefit of the Doubt

You don’t have to be a doormat, but if you’re trying to build trust in a relationship, give them the benefit of the doubt (within reason).

Challenge Mistrustful Thoughts

Some people struggle with trusting a partner due to problems in previous relationships. If mistrustful thoughts begin to sneak in, challenge yourself on why you’re feeling that way.

Take Risks Together

It doesn’t have to be buying a house together, but take on some real risks together so that both of you can show you’re worth the trust.

Reciprocity

Trust is a two way street, of course. You’re building it up together and you both have responsibilities.