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Happier without trust

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I hear all the time that relationships require trust, that relationships without trust are unhealthy.  This is not my experience.

Once I stopped leaving my boundaries up to trust, I became much happier and much less insecure.  Verification works better than trust for me, and prevention works better than verification.

I am not offended by people refusing to trust me without proof or self-protective, preventative measures.  It seems the rational and sober thing to do.

I believe this is part of my aromantism.  Expecting the strength of one’s attraction to prevent boundary violation, or to make boundary violation less hurtful, seems silly and manipulative to me.  Nobody necessarily did anything to make me this way.  There is no betrayal in my past.  I never liked the sense of powerlessness that accompanies trust, is all.

I was expected to give trust as a demonstration of love and it made me constantly insecure and uncomfortable.  I didn’t like knowing that someone *could* violate my boundaries, and I could do nothing about it.  Even if they never did, the knowledge that they could, and I would have no recourse, bothered me.

I’m a controlling person but even to me it comes off as a jerkish power trip, the expectation that someone trust you (i.e, just expect you to respect their boundaries without taking any measures to protect themselves or make you regret crossing them) as a precondition of a relationship.  What is so offensive about the insistence on proactively guarding one’s boundaries?  Is this some kind of patriarchal artifact?  If this is a holdover from the dusty old expectation of one gender submitting to another...well, I don’t think submission always requires trust so it doesn’t make sense.

I saw this essay on a greyhound adoption website, talking about trust and how it’s a dangerous idea, and it stuck with me.

 “Save trust for things that don’t matter.” In my life it couldn’t be more true.  My health matters to me.  Not getting sick from exposure to food I’m allergic to matters.  Avoiding pain and nausea matter.  Living in a house that is not a sensory torture chamber matters.  Access to a guaranteed STI/HIV negative partner’s body for libido-release purposes whenever I need it matters.  Not having to share said bodily access with others matters.  So I am happier and better off not leaving these things up to trust.  

Trust does not prevent mistakes.  Keeping in mind that one mistake could seriously hurt me, or kill me, and I can’t realistically expect contemporary society to understand or accommodate invisible disabilities, the trusting-others thing is not exactly my cup of tea.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Very interesting. I find I do work on trust some of the time, but that is based on an understanding of the other person having a similar basis of common sense as me (because 'common sense' is not common but rather location, age, history and knowledge level specific). 

Personally I have always been stunned by the 'complacency trust' phenomenon. Were people have boundaries but then allow them to slip over time, either by not enforcing them or wilfully destroying them because nothing bad happened, until the boundaries are no longer in place. For one example that isn't about condoms and STIs: One woman I greatly respect is a Lawyer who did not want her property or assets to be at risk from a defacto partner claim so made her boyfriend(/s) keep his overnight bag in his car when he stayed over so he could not legally claim residence rights. She did that for YEARS but how many 'normal couples' start giving each other clothing spaces after a few weeks or months? 

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