Who can you trust?
This is one of the great dilemmas everyone faces because everyone has deep, dark secrets. And yet, no matter how deep and dark they are, most of us have a need to find that true friend we can tell anything to without fearing what they might do with the information. Unfortunately, sometimes we make bad judgments.
We're more likely to tell a lover or a spouse things no one else knows because we want them to know that we trust them to keep our secrets. And we hope they will tell us theirs too because that's one of the ways intimate bonds are created. We tend not to be nearly as forthcoming with platonic friends, even our best friends, because the playing field is different. With a lover we're looking for a total commitment that includes every aspect of the relationship. With a platonic friend, we just want someone who will always play golf with us.
You see the difference I'm sure.
Romantic relationships require a great deal of emotional investment, especially if you're a fool for love like I am, because people of my ilk believe that every relationship is the last relationship we'll ever have. Because of that, we tell the person we're in love with every last thing about ourselves in order to prove that our love and commitment to them will last forever, even though the statistical chances of that happening are worse in the United States than any other country in the world. We usually overlook that fact because love is an emotional commitment rather than a statistical analysis and so, consequently, we tend not to let facts get in the way.
So we're faced with a conundrum. We want to be totally forthcoming and completely honest with the one we love because we believe that's a statement of our love for them and we're hoping they'll reciprocate by being the same way with us. We don't look at the dark side because we convince ourselves the dark side isn't going to happen to us. If we thought it would, then we wouldn't be able to do what we do. So we cross our fingers and our toes, place absolute faith and trust in the other person and hope we never live to regret it.
But all too often we do.
So how can you tell and how can you know? If I knew the answer to that, I would be a very rich man because that's one of the ultimate questions of earthly existence. People would pay every penny they owned to have a fool-proof method of determining whether or not our faith and trust in another person was warranted.
But there is no fool-proof method.
Every romantic relationship we have comes with risk. We have no love-detector machine. We have to step into the deep abyss and hope the other person is being as honest with us as we are with them. There are signs to look for like whether their actions are supporting their words but even then, it's easy for us to look the other way or alibi for the things they do because to face the facts would be too devastating for us. When we invest everything we have in another person, we have to believe they're doing the same thing, even when the evidence suggests they're not, because a relationship based on anything other than truth, honesty and faith in each other is on life support from the very beginning.
Some people get lucky, others don't. Even in a country where the divorce rate has been over 50 percent for more than 30 years, some people get it right. Some people's trust and faith in another person is rewarded in kind and they live long, happy lives with each other.
But more people don't than do.