There is this little innate thing our brain does when there are gaps between promises and performances in relationships. And gaps between expected behavior and actual behavior. To move us out of that place of discomfort that this gap puts us in, our brain innately fills in that gap with either trust or suspicion. Every gap gets filled with something. We can’t help it because there is dissonance otherwise.
So say the expected behavior was, he said he would be only out two nights this week but now he doesn’t pick up his phone when I expect him to be home tonight.
Can you feel the dissonance? Now your brain wants to fill in that gap as to why this undeclared behavior is happening. Is he working late? Did he get into a car accident? Is he in the hospital? Is he spending unexpected time with a friend who is in crisis? Is his phone battery dead?
Or are you having these thoughts. Did he go out with the guys for yet another night? Is he out drinking too much again? Is he out with someone else who is not me? Is he angry with me which is why he is not picking up the phone? What did I do this time?
Your brain will either choose trust or suspicion. Because you have filled in this gap however you filled it in, you will either grow through this misunderstanding or there is a big fight in your near future.
Do you know what helps you choose between trust and suspicion? The healthiness of your relationship with this person.
When two people choose to consistently fill the inevitable performance gaps with trust, it creates a reinforcing current that drives the relationship in a healthy direction. Trust builds trust. If you fill in the gaps with suspicion, trust breaks down. Thus your insecurity is sky high and there are lots and lots of fights.
Hear me loud and clear here. If you are in a relationship and you find yourself having to make excuses to yourself or to those around you to explain the gap in your boy/girlfriend’s expected behavior and promises, you need to end the relationship. The relationship is over already, you just don’t know it yet. If you find yourself consistently choosing suspicion to fill in the gap, the relationship is over.
How many times are you going to have to “explain” your boyfriend or girlfriend to your friends, family and your team? It is time to stop. These beloved people in your life want you to stop too.
Trust builds trust. He or she is not building trust in you. And you are certainly worthy of a healthy relationship that is filled with trust.
Be brave. Dump this sort of guy or woman. Make that ending.