Learning to Trust Again

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My 11-year-old son LOVES Chipotle.

Whenever I don’t feel like cooking, it’s a slam dunk that he will always approve of a meal from Chipotle. So, I always get him the Burrito Bowl with no tortilla and then load it up with veggies—for the obvious reason—to make sure he’s consuming healthier food. Of course, reducing his sugar intake is part of the approach to make sure he’s eating better—especially going to Chipotle. So instead of getting him a fountain drink with that Burrito Bowl, I’ll always ask for a water cup.

Then it dawned on me just the other day—when I ask for a water cup, which is unrestricted, none of the Chipotle employees monitor the fountain drink station. You essentially have carte blanche to get whatever drink you want. Why? No Chipotle employee is looking over your shoulder to make sure that water cup you asked for gets filled with water and that you don’t pivot to get a Coke or Sprite.

I happen to ask one of the employees wiping down the tables in the restaurant, “So one is assigned to monitor the fountain station—especially when there’s a water cup option?” The employee responded, “Well, sir, that’s just our policy. We would rather trust our customers that they’ll do the right thing rather than police the area with staff. It isn’t a good use of our time, and it takes away from the quality of customer service we provide.”

So, let me get this straight,

Chipotle would rather concede a stolen beverage here and there juxtapose crewing the foundation drink station to make sure you do what you’re supposed to do. In other words, Chipotle is far more in the space of customer satisfaction than risking that and insulting customers to make sure they get the appropriate beverage they paid for.


Look—I get it—trusting is not easy. I know firsthand as I’ve been guilty of destroying trust by lacking integrity in the past, and I’ve had my share of being the victim as well. So practically speaking, I get it on steroids. But hear me when I say this: No relationship will ever work unless there is solid trust. It doesn’t happen in business and surely won’t happen with intimate relationships.

Here’s another fact: You may have gone through a complicated previous relationship(s) and were the apparent victim in that scenario(s). Please know that it’s not the other person’s responsibility to understand your plight. This means that if you are having difficulty trusting a person and it’s connected to unresolved trauma from previous relationship encounters, they are not the issue—YOU are.

Don’t get me wrong—some people will be more patient than others, especially if you are honest about your challenges and trusting. But at the end of the day, you got to do the work to bring yourself to a more solid place where you can see future relationships through the lenses of what is not influenced by past pains and missteps.

Now let’s talk about what typically happens—instead of us doing the work, meaning, instead of us taking ourselves off the dating scene for a while to enter therapy and have some time for self-reflection, we go right back out there on the dating scene and get people to jump through our hoops of control and paranoia. Thus, we don’t take time to discover people. Still, we will question, examine, critique, and express concern over minor details that many characterize as normal human behavior—but our painful pasts will see them as crumbs leading to the crime scene. Such as:

• Too many opposite-sex friends on social media
• Cell phone ringer is off when you’re together
• Find it strange when they don’t answer their phone
• Believing the person is suspicious because they are of a certain age and have never married
• Great person but slow to commit

If you look back on your past relationships where you were apparently “blindsided” by some form of deceit, nine times out of 10, you had enough information to see that something wasn’t right, and for one reason or another, you chose to ignore it. We are all guilty of this, and we’ve paid the price for ignoring clear red flags.

In summary, what’s this blog’s conclusion? Do what you need to do to trust people uninfluenced by your unfortunate past encounters legitimately. You are NOT alone—we ALL must do this. But what’s wrong is trying to keep people in a box for your comfort and convenience because you refuse to detox from past hurts.


Picture Courtesy of @blackcouples

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