From movies to songs, to thought patterns passed down from one generation to the next – trusting the opposite sex has become one of the hardest things for people to do. There are so many assumptions in this world that deem the opposite sex as unsuitable suitors, who are destined to cheat or hurt you that it is a wonder people even follow their biochemical innate desires to get into relationships with the opposite sex. In fact, you hear more about love gone wrong, divorce and fighting, domestic violence and the inherent faults of both men and women in this world than you do about their good. So much so that very few people actually trust, the opposite sex and openly admit to not doing so.
Is this simply a way of protecting one self in case something goes wrong? Or is there something bigger going on here. Is the mis-trust between the sexes something that lies dormant in the back of every man and woman’s mind because of mental conditioning from childhood – or is it something that is learned through life experience and relationships?
According to the Experience Project, an online resource that runs polls and surveys, women are the most likely to mistrust the opposite sex. According to one survey, a whopping 88% of all women admit that they have a very limited trust of the opposite sex especially when it comes to their intimate relationships. Why? Most likely, because there is a staggering amount of women who have had one bad relationship, or have been in a relationship where infidelity played a part – that they have psychologically nixed their trust in the opposite sex. Sadly, this is similar to loving oysters – eating one bad batch at a restaurant and never eating another oyster again. In life – whether relationships or restaurants – you are bound to have different experiences depending on where you go and whom you are with. In a similar survey, only 33% of men were found to mistrustful of women in general. This seems to speak volumes about the role that gender roles play in our society.
Sociologists from the University of Washington who studied the mistrust women have of men had the following to say. “The mistrust that women have on men has more to do with societal expectations and media stereotypes than it does personal experiences.”
In their study, they found that from an early age young women are given advice about the so called ‘inherent’ nature of men to cheat and ‘trade in’ their partners for better looking women from older women and from many of the themes that have been widely accepted in society. And yet, the vast majority of women who don’t trust the opposite sex have very little experience in having valid reasons to mistrust in ratio to their relationships. In other words, while one relationship didn’t work out – they may have had many others that did, and with men who were trustworthy. But for women, the old adage, one bad apple ruins the bunch seems to apply.
In the end, trusting another person – of the opposite sex is a personal choice. And most people will easily find that what they focus on, they find in life. If a man or woman goes into a relationship not trusting their partner – chances are they will eventually find numerous reasons to not trust. In fact, many men and women who do cheat say they do so because their partner was constantly accusing them of cheating or lying in the first place. That their spouse planted the idea, and that if there were going to be forced to live with the consequences than they might as well reap the benefits, right? The constant nagging, prying and tension that is caused by mistrusting a man or a woman just because they are a man or a woman – will likely lead to strife in the relationship that causes problems to begin with. While that may sound complicated, it is a basic truth in life. Those who look for trouble, normally find it.
Men and women need to realize that the best vantage point in their relationships is to start with trust and hold it until it is broken. This means choose to trust until you are given a reason not to. Commit to allowing the person you are currently with to balance your levels of trust. And above all to make sure that you are valuing your commitment and desire to a healthy, trustworthy relationship, more than you are your convictions that men or women as a whole are untrustworthy creatures.
There are plenty of quotes about trust in relationships; there is one that seems to make sense when it comes to relationships. “
You may be deceived if you trust too much,
but you will live in torment if you don’t trust enough.”
In other words, relationships with the opposite sex can be some of the most enveloping and special bonds that we ever share in this world. Love can be an amazing thing, that makes life worth living. Sure, it can hurt some times, and there will be times when you are let down and lied to. However, there is a certain naivety that each of us must carry with us as we embark in our relationships. If we fail to grasp it, then each and every relationship will have will no doubt cause us pain and turmoil – whether real or otherwise.