If you’re fresh out of a relationship that ended badly, it can feel like your whole dating philosophy needs to be re-vamped if you're going to try again. Learning how to trust is often the hardest part of deciding to get back in the dating scene, whether you’ve been cheated on or just feel blind-sided and betrayed by the breakup. But it is possible to trust again, it just takes work.
"Trusting is a decision you make, not a feeling that happens to you," says Kayla Knopp, a clinical graduate student who studies facets of commitment in relationships at the University of Denver Center for Marital and Family Studies. Often people feel like their past relationships are "baggage" that's weighing them down, or like they forever have "trust issues." But the reality is that you can use your experiences to inform your future ones in productive ways, Knopp says.
Ahead are tips and strategies from Knopp; Summer Brown, LMFT, a relationship therapist in Vancouver, Washington; Jeremy Ortman, LMHC, clinical director of Real Talk Therapy in New York City; and Galena Rhoades, PhD, associate clinical professor of psychology at the University of Denver.