You’ll often hear a lot of relationship experts and coaches talk about love in glowing terms.

“Love is everything.”

“Spread love everywhere.”

“Love yourself.”

“There’s so much love here.”

And I agree. Love is a beautiful thing.

But when it comes to relationships, love – while necessary – plays second fiddle to a bigger, more important emotion.


The truth is trust is more important than love. Love is an amorphous term. It can mean devotion or desire, and can flip instantly like a cat falling in midair into hate. A grey area, whether or not it exists depends on the individual. A person who says he has never loved and a person who says he falls in love repeatedly may have both experienced the same intensity of emotions – it is simply their definitions that divide them.

Not so with trust.

Trust is clear.

If you jump, will they catch you or will they let you fall?

You either have it or you don’t.

Trust is a powerful, visceral emotion that we rely on to survive the world. Unlike love which is tied to our emotions, trust is directly tied to instinct. You may love someone and not trust them at all; conversely, you may not know someone and trust them with everything.

Love is fiery, addicting, and self-sacrificing. Trust is reassuring and creates security. Yet trust is more important than love.

It is easy to see why people care too much about love at the expense of trust. Love is more exciting; trust is bland, even dull. Young people in particular are guilty of misplacing these priorities. Coming out of the cocoon of childhood, the rush of dopamine and oxytocin love creates is intoxicating. Even as their “soul mate” flirts with other guys and mysteriously can’t come to things that matter to them, the voice “but I love her” overcomes all objections and intuition.

Only when people get older do they realize you can learn to love anybody, and loving someone won’t prevent them from fucking you over. Indeed if anything, it may make you blind to it.

A relationship without trust is like a glass with a crack. Structurally flawed and unable to withstand pressure, it is only a matter of time before it shatters.

People get cheated on repeatedly for a very simple reason: they don’t put trust first. They don’t realize that trust is more important than love. Instead, they compromise on it for other needs such as validation, chemistry, sex, hotness, or not being lonely.

This is a terrible idea.

Trust is the foundation upon which a healthy relationship is built.

As any builder knows, it is much more difficult to right a house built on poor ground than it is to simply build it on a strong footing to begin with.

Similarly, if you don’t have trust, your relationship will never be stable. There will always be suspicion which will create tension, straining the whole relationship. It’s just one of the many reasons trust is more important than love.

Why do you think relationships borne out of affairs rarely last? Why do you think any relationship created in drama seems to stay that way?

If she lied to someone else, why wouldn’t she lie to you?

Answer: She would.

Yet guys make the mistake of getting into these relationships all the time.

Trust is more important than love. If you don’t trust a girl, don’t date her.

“But Pat, she’s SO hot. Plus she really likes me and we have so much fun together.”

Great. But it won’t be long before she makes your life a living hell.

Whenever people have ridiculous dramatic relationships with fights and infidelity and jealousy and all of that nonsense, it’s always because there’s no trust there.

After all, why do people really have fights?

Because they don’t trust the other person’s intentions or judgment.

Fights happen when someone feels threatened, and since trust creates security, that can only happens when there isn’t trust.

If your relationship is filled with fights, it’s time to look inward, because something you or she is doing is affecting that trust. Get it fixed. Trust is more important than love.

If a girl doesn’t trust you, ask yourself why. What, if anything, are you doing to make her feel that way?

Most guys don’t realize that the female standard of trust tends to be much more intricate and emotional than that of men. This means “smaller” issues routinely take on more significance to them than they would to you. Women, by evolution’s design, are also far more astute at picking up discrepancies and misalignment in behavior. They are constantly on the lookout to make sure you are still committed, and though they regularly misinterpret the “why,” they often notice changes in how you act that even you don’t consciously realize.

Of course, if you did something overtly terrible like cheat on her it’s obvious why she doesn’t trust you. But usually the reason for uncertainty is more subtle.

For instance:

Are you doing what you say you will do?

Are you putting yourself and others before her?

Are you embarrassing or disrespecting her?

Are you lying or keeping something from her?

Are you acting legalistically in your agreements or in their spirit?

And the big one:

Are you really showing her you love her as much as you say?

Many guys don’t get that trust is more than just “don’t cheat;” it’s the comprehensive consideration of the other person that extends to all areas of the relationship. Trust can be eradicated by a single act or slowly eroded by little ones over time. And it grows and solidifies only through years of proven reliability.

When it comes to trust, your record and reputation are everything. While in time these can change, it is so hard to eradicate a bad first impression that if you fuck it up in the beginning the rest will be a fight uphill. Even good first impressions need constant reaffirmation or they will disappear. Just another reminder that trust is more important than love

Trust is hard won and easily lost.

And sometimes if you lose it you can’t get it back. If that’s the case, you have to accept it and move on.

Whether someone trusts you or not is ultimately up to them. If they cannot or will not trust you, do not waste your time trying to change their mind. Learn from it and keep going.

Sometimes mistrust is justified, sometimes it’s not. Some girls are jealous and paranoid by nature; others are simply unforgiving and don’t give second chances.

It doesn’t really matter in the end.

If a girl doesn’t trust you, she will second guess your every move and create fights that will sap your energy. It doesn’t matter if love and passion are there, the relationship will be a slog and will lack stability. To return to the building metaphor, you will spend all your time trying to repair the foundation instead of actually building the house. It is a waste.

This does not, by the way, mean that if you screw up or if a girl is jealous you should immediately leave. Sometimes a behavioral tweak or improved communication is all that is needed to fix the problem. Some trust issues are minor and correctable. Neither of you are perfect and patience, acceptance, and unconditional love in healthy relationships are always required.

But if time, effort, and openness does not repair that trust, for the sake of both of you you have to move on. Trust is more important than love. If you can’t bring it back, the relationship will never be a success.

Just make sure you learn from your mistakes, whether that is a lack of integrity in your own life or a lack of wisdom in the girl you chose. The things you learn from your failures will save you much pain and aggravation down the road.

Trust is everything in your relationships. Always work to create and maintain it, and seek out those who feel the same way.

Whether it’s with your girlfriend, friend, or business partner, all quality, trustworthy people have one trait in common: integrity. This should be the top criterion for the people in your life.

I hear all the time from others about “friends who backstab” and “cheating golddiggers.” I do not get how these people consistently fall into such terrible company. They must be rubes who do not prioritize integrity or they must have some issues with it themselves.

Personally, I avoid these people like the plague and ruthlessly cut out anyone who sends these signals from my life. That way I know I can depend on the people who remain. My wife is the most trustworthy woman I have ever met, and my best friend has been there for me without fail since I was five. I have many other friends I have known for years that I would trust with my life; the ones I can’t are gone.

Trust is more important than love because trust extends to all of the relationships in your life. Trust is what makes friendships last over the long term. Not love.

Trust in people without investing emotionally and see if they reciprocate. That means being open, vulnerable, and reliable – but not in a way that compromises yourself.

I keep a watch on which friends show up for me and which friends don’t. I lose nothing but a little ego (or cash) by putting myself out there and learn a lot about who I am dealing with in the process.

People who are worth it keep their word and don’t play games. That was a big reason I knew my wife was a catch. She expressed how she felt about me and proved she was willing to go the distance (literally, as at first we lived on different continents) to make things work. I never had to worry about her sincerity. I trusted her, and that’s why we have a healthy relationship today. And since we both understand that trust is more important than love, we constantly work to maintain it – even if that means uncomfortable conversations at times.

If you have to prioritize anything in a relationship, prioritize the trust. If you have trust and attraction, love will bloom. Feeling secure allows you to open up in your relationship, and nothing makes you love someone more than feeling comfortable with them in all your bullshit.

Trust is more important than love. I trust you won’t forget.

– Pat