How can I know if he is really serious?

-- Question for John --

I have been with my boyfriend for 2 months. I love him very much, and he says he loves me. But I am not so sure. He never does anything to hurt me but I know his past, and I want to trust him. I have been hurt so many times before and by a really important person in my life — my father. But how do I know if my boyfriend is really serious, or if its just a phase that will disappear?

-- Answer from John --

The key to trust is seeing some kind of consistency between what he says and what he does — and seeing that over time. Trust builds with time. When people keep their agreements, it builds over time. When they do what they say over time, it builds. When they say they love you and they are faithful over time, it builds.

In two months you cannot know anything for sure. It can take a year or more for a sense of more solid trust to build. At this point in time, you either give the person a chance to prove trustworthy — or you don’t. Early on in a new love relationship, both people usually very much want to give each other that chance. Maybe you think you should already trust each other. That is a bit naive. Such a “blank check” of trust at first is really more hope than solid trust. Solid trust only comes with enough time.

You clearly have some past baggage that is interfering with your ability to fully give someone new a full chance. You are bringing alot of insecurity and fear into the new equation. It would be better for you if you did not have to carry this around. It will influence all your relationships, now and in the future. But you can heal this and get beyond the way your past is now troubling your current relationships. It is up to you to clear up this past emotional baggage.

One way to do this is to get help from a counselor. If you don’t have access to a counselor, then you will have to do it on your own. Get books on the subject of emotional healing and read them. One book that has to do with past sexual abuse, for instance, is called “Courage to Heal” and it is a very good book that also has an accompanying workbook.