8 Ways to Open Yourself Up and Trust After a Painful Separation
If you’ve ever been lied to or betrayed in a romantic relationship, it can be tough to trust again.
How do you get over those negative feelings the last relationship left you with?
How do you know if your new partner is someone you can trust after a painful separation?
The most common roadblock that prevents you from moving forward in love is the fear of repeating past pain. If your past romantic partner left you feeling hurt or betrayed, you carry that forward. If you were rejected, it leaves a lasting impression on you. The healing process can be challenging.
If you feel like it’s difficult to move on, you’re not the only one.
Once you do move on and are ready to love again, there’s another obstacle. How do you know you can trust the person you’re with?
You carry all these examples of ways a new relationship might hurt you. How do you build that trust?
One thing I want you to know is that those experiences are lessons that you also carry with you. If you use that knowledge, you can protect yourself from repeating that cycle again. You’ll know the signs before they happen.
Today, I want to talk about eight ways that you can open yourself up again for love.
The first three steps will help you move past the pain of hurts from previous relationships. The final five signs help you to easily, and quickly, know whether you can trust the man you’re spending time with.
How Do I Get Over the Pain of a Separation?
How do you move forward when an ex has betrayed you? Or cheated on you?
That’s one of the most painful experiences to endure. Being betrayed can fester into a false belief that becomes a paradigm. You might walk away thinking, all men cheat.
That’s exactly what happened to my client. Stacy had been cheated on. Not just once, but several times in her life.
From these experiences, her paradigm became: Why open myself back up? Every time I have, I’ve been cheated on.
Stacy didn’t see it coming. Being blindsided that way made her close herself up. We talked about this because being open to love is essential in finding your right man.
I gave Stacy three steps to go through. When she was able to complete the three steps, Stacy was able to open herself back up to love.
3 Steps to Open Yourself Up and Trust After a Painful Separation
There are three steps to open yourself up to love after a painful romantic betrayal. I want you to know that this is something we all go through. At least, anyone who didn’t find the love of their life the first time they dated someone.
Here are the three steps that will help you open up again.
- Forgive the Past
- Review the Past Relationship
- Make a Commitment to Your Vision Moving Forward
Later in the post, I’ll tell you the five signs that build trust in a new healthy relationship, for a total of eight ways to open up again after a painful separation. Emotional betrayal impacts everyone, but you can move past it for a more aligned dating journey.
Step 1: Forgive the Past You
The first of the three steps is to forgive the past. This can be the hardest thing to do. Not only do you have to forgive your past partner, but you have to forgive yourself.
So often we berate ourselves, blame ourselves, and feel guilty. We feel like we should have known better. Like we were somehow to blame.
I want you to realize that hindsight is 20/20. It’s so easy to bring your current level of awareness into your past memories. With the knowledge you have now, you feel foolish. But that is untrue and unfair to yourself. And it won’t move you forward.
Blaming yourself and holding onto anger won’t set you free. You’ve got to forgive the past.
I understand that this can be really challenging. That’s one of the reasons that I created the Break Free course. So many of my clients were having trouble releasing the past. They carried it with them to future romantic relationships and repeated cycles that they didn’t want.
If you want support with that, the Break Free course will help you remove those limiting blocks and break free from the past so that you can move forward.
In fact, Stacy went through the program to help her move forward. It helped her recognize that the past version of herself did the best she could.
That’s what you need to do here. Realize the past version of yourself in that relationship did the best you could with what you knew. Give yourself permission to forgive yourself. Then truly forgive the past you.
Step 2: Review the Past Relationship
Your work isn’t over after you’ve forgiven yourself. Past relationship issues taught you lessons. But you have to be brave enough to really look at them.
In the second step, you need to review the past relationship with your current level of awareness. Because here’s the deal, you weren’t really blindsided. It felt like you were blindsided, but when you get honest, there were signs that struck you. You had mixed emotions at times, or a bad feeling.
In all my years of coaching, all my clients say the same thing. When I ask if they saw red flags, they did.
In retrospect, you can pick out exactly where those things happened. You didn’t recognize them at the time with that level of awareness. But when you reflected, you knew there was something about the guy.
We have a reaction to things when we’re being lied to or misled. We have a reaction to things when they don’t ring true, even if we don’t know why.
When you think back, you’ll find that there were things you ignored to move the relationship forward. I’ve asked every woman I’ve coached whether that was true and it’s a universal, “yes”.
Looking back with your current levels of awareness, I want you to ask yourself these questions:
What did I see that I let slide or didn’t say something about?
When did I see that thing?
You said “yes” to those things you didn’t want. Even though you didn’t feel good about not saying something. You didn’t hit the pause button, even though your gut told you to. That’s not to assign blame, that’s so that you can fully recognize what those flags are and when they happened.
The fear is that you’re going to repeat the same pain. That’s the fear that keeps you from moving forward. When you recognize what those flags are, where those moments are, that fear goes away. Because you know that you can stop it from happening. You can head it off. You take away fear’s power because you’re aware of it.
Then you give yourself permission to create something entirely different.
Step Three: Make a Commitment to Your Vision Moving Forward
Once you’ve forgiven yourself and removed the fear of repeating pain, you can make a commitment.
That fear you were feeling kept you trapped. It created a paradigm that didn’t serve you and wouldn’t allow you to live the life you wanted.
But little does that paradigm know that you’ve grown. You’re more aware. You’re more resilient.
You’re stronger now than you’ve ever been. Because the things you’ve gone through have made you stronger. That’s a beautiful thing. This new awareness is preparing you for something great.
That’s when it’s time to move to step three, making a commitment. Your commitment to your vision of what you want in a relationship means recognizing those flags. You’ve already identified them. You can see them clearly in the future.
When you see them, you commit to saying something. Speak up for yourself. Recognize that you deserve nothing less than the high standard relationship you want.
You’re going to rock the boat if you need to, because you know what you deserve and you won’t settle for less. And you shouldn’t.
With that new commitment to yourself, you’ll notice a sense of certainty rising in you. That certainty tells you that you can move forward without enduring past pains again. You can do this even through the relationship challenges that all healthy couples face.
You won’t allow yourself to be blindsided. You’ve committed to speaking up and not ignoring those red flags.
How Can I Trust Again After a Painful Breakup?
Doing the three steps to open yourself up to love is a good beginning. You might still have some reservations about trusting a new partner. And that’s okay.
I recently had a conversation with my dad. He’s a licensed marriage and family therapist who’s been practicing for decades. He’s seen over 50,000 couples in his career, so his insights here were amazing.
We were talking about trust. What creates trust in a love relationship? How do you build trust?
He found five things that you can look for to build trust. Not only that, but these same five things are backed by some phenomenal researchers, such as Dr. John Gottman.
You have to realize that trust isn’t something that you just give to someone. Trust is earned over time. You build trust as you get to know the person.
Trust is earned through repetition of five key things. I’m going to list them as five signs because these are the signs you can look for to know that you can trust your significant other.
Here are the five signs:
- Listening and Responding
- Remembering What’s Important
- Being Open and Honest
- Keeping Agreements
- Building Each Other Up
1 – Listening and Responding
The first sign you’re looking for when you date someone is that they’re listening to what you’re saying. You can really only tell if they are listening by how they respond. There are little things that clue you into what that person is about.
Are they listening to what you’re saying and then interested in more information?
Do they empathize with what you’re going through?
Are they asking questions?
Do they validate your experience with words of encouragement or empathy?
These are important distinctions. Some people are just waiting for you to stop so they can start talking. They might be self-centered and not interested in your experience.
This is the real foundation of building trust. Pay attention to how they listen and respond.
2 – Remembering What’s Important
Do they remember what’s important to you?
This isn’t exactly the same as listening and responding. It tells you how much they value you long-term. Have they committed things about your personality to their memory? Do they pay attention to what’s important to you?
If they know you have a big presentation coming up, do they ask you how it went?
If they know a family member passed away or you’ve had some bad news, do they check in on you and ask if you need anything?
If they know you’re a pescatarian, are they taking you to a steakhouse?
This reminds me of an episode of This Is Us. My wife and I love that show.
There’s a character in the show named Randall. He’s had a 20-year career with his company. But he’s starting to feel like maybe he needs to move on. And on his anniversary, they send him a big crate of avocados. Only Randall’s allergic to avocados, and he’s told them that he’s allergic to avocados.
That was his sign that, “Yep, I need to move on”. They don’t know me. They don’t care about me.
3 – Being Open and Honest
When you’re with him, do you feel like he’s open and honest?
Does he tell you about his life? His past? His dreams? The things going on in his world?
Or do you feel like you’re not getting the full story?
Here’s the deal. You have incredible intuition. You know what’s honest and what’s not. Even if you don’t consciously know it, there’s a feeling that something is off. That he’s not giving you the full story.
When you feel that, trust your instinct. Ask him about it. If you won’t give you the full story, he’s not being open and honest. That’s not building trust in the relationship.
There are a lot of signs of this. You should notice whether he’s introduced you to his friends and family. Do his friends know about you? Are you invited to things in his life?
If he’s open and honest with you, you’ll feel it. There will be no barriers between you and the rest of his world.
4 – Keeping Agreements
Keeping agreements is the bedrock of every great relationship. Logically, you know that being good to your word is a foundation of trust in a relationship, but it gets tricky.
I want to talk to you about the middle ground that gets a bit squishy. This is where it gets confusing.
Let’s say you have an agreement that he breaks. He says he’s going to call at a certain time. He doesn’t call at that time. Or he says that he’s going to text you after a date and doesn’t. If he says he’s going to do something and fails to, he’s breaking the agreement.
In the middle ground, he might have an excuse. Let’s say he has an amazing excuse. Totally relatable and it makes perfect sense. You don’t want to be unreasonable or judgmental. You want to give him the benefit of the doubt.
You would want the benefit of the doubt if the same thing happened to you. And that’s fair.
You buy into the excuse and give him another chance. And then he breaks another agreement.
With keeping agreements, it’s cumulative. If he always keeps his word, those times when there’s a legitimate reason to break an agreement are understandable.
When you start to see a pattern, there’s something I like to say about that.
The graveyard of good excuses is where relationships go to die.
How do I know? Because I’ve lived through those relationships. I was with a woman I thought I was going to marry. I was head over heels for her. And she fit this pattern exactly.
At first, I believed every excuse. After a while I realized that I didn’t believe her anymore.
The reality was that she wasn’t being honest with me. I wound up ending that relationship. Which was the best thing I could have done because it created space for me to meet my wife today. And she is amazing. When you do finally meet someone who is keeping their agreements, it’s like a breath of fresh air.
5 – Build Each Other Up
Does he build you up and have your back? Does he believe in you?
You deserve a man who is supportive. Who makes you the best version of yourself. That person will build you up in private and in front of other people. He’ll have your back, always.
If your man criticizes you or tells you what’s wrong with you, that’s not the guy you want. If all he does is talk down to you, you deserve better.
You can be honest with constructive criticism when it’s asked for, but there is a vibe I’m talking about. Is there a vibe of criticism or a vibe of complimenting and praising each other?
This is an incredibly important part of building trust because you have to know that your person will have your back. Life is hard enough with all the challenges that come your way. Life is hard enough with your inner critic. You don’t need someone else tearing you down.
Ready for Your Very Own Relationship Coach for FREE?
Knowing how to get over the pain of a relationship and the signs that you can trust your partner are important. But the first person that you need to love is you.
Loving yourself is such a key to everything. Great relationships. Strong empowered lives. Beautiful success.
When you replace your feelings of unworthiness with confidence and empowerment, you won’t ever be tempted to settle for less that you want. In your relationships, or in your life. Learning the steps to open up to a partner is an authentic way to build trust, in your partner and in yourself.
But it’s an ongoing process. You need to make this new paradigm part of your everyday life.
To help you do that, I’m giving away my Self-Love Activation Kit for free. It’s a powerful tool and it’s yours today. Just click the link and elevate your sense of self-worth and confidence.