A common theme in romance novels is building trust or in some cases rebuilding it enough to make a relationship work. In my book Scarlet Woman, the heroine Emily discovers her husband has had an affair with his secretary. Her husband leaves her and subsequently dies in a car accident. For Emily, trusting another man is difficult. While she’s willing to have fun with the hero Saber, it takes her time to believe in him and accept he’s trustworthy enough to enter into a commitment and a permanent relationship.
Trust can be many things. In After the Affair by Julia Cole, Ms Cole says trust can include the following:
1. Reliability – if a person or partner carries out or commits to a promise, then you’re more likely to trust them.
2. Predictability – knowing how a person will react in a given situation makes it easier to trust them. Predictability isn’t always boring.
3. Honesty – people who tell the truth are more likely to gain our trust. Those who are caught out in lies immediately break the bonds of trust.
4. Loyalty – remaining loyal to a partner is essential to build trust.
5. Commitment – caring for a partner through both good and bad times builds trust.
6. Common boundaries – having shared goals and attitudes helps build trust.
For me, trust is being able to rely on someone and knowing they will do the right thing in the face of temptation. It’s being able to believe in a person without a single doubt and feeling confident about their probable actions. Trust is a leap of faith.
How do you define trust? Writers—have you written a story where trust is a big part of the conflict? Readers—have you read and enjoyed a story where trust plays a part in the plot of the story?