The Importance Of Building Trust As A Foundation


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Trust, without question, is one of the most important bricks when building the foundation of a strong relationship. Without trust, you cannot have real love. I have emphasized the importance of trust in a relationship in previous articles, but I have just recently [about 20 minutes ago] started to ponder the importance of trust before a relationship.

My most recent article speaks of how a man should pick up a woman for a date. This is what I have always done with any woman I have ever spent time with. To me it is normal behavior worthy of no praise or even a second thought. It’s just the way things are.


However, two different women left a comment on that article almost immediately which reflects some opinions I recall hearing in the past but never experienced first hand: They would not feel comfortable having a man pick them up, and would rather meet him out.

While this may sound perfectly normal to some, it is completely outside of my reality and raises a few questions in my mind. I completely understand that the world is a dangerous place and that many people cannot be trusted. Giving out your address to a complete stranger is likely a bit off-putting and many may avoid it.

But the prominent question in my mind is – Does this indicate that men are not properly building trust with a woman they hope to form an intimate connection with? If a woman cannot trust you to simply pick her up and/or drop her off for the evening, how can you expect for her to open up to you over dinner, or suddenly realize that you are a trustworthy man? It simply does not happen that fast.

The fact that it does not happen that fast is even more of a reason to work on building trust beforehand. If she is completely guarded during your entire date, the odds are slim that chemistry will be felt from either end, leading to a potentially beautiful thing being extinguished before it was even ignited.

In my experience there has always been more than a fair amount of talking before a date is established and certainly before it actually happens. This means there may be a week, two weeks, or maybe even more if both people are busy – of speaking and connecting before they actually see each other. For this reason, it makes me wonder what apprehension can still be left that would prevent a woman from being comfortable enough to get picked up by a man.


My having never experienced this type of distrust does is not meant to send the message that I am some sort of infallible dater – far from it. But it does spark an interesting discussion about the reasons why women feel this way towards men.

Obviously, no man can never fully comprehend the feeling of insecurity that a woman may experience, likely because of other men she could not trust in the past. So for that reason I ask you to leave your thoughts in the comments below:

Women – have you ever insisted you meet a man somewhere rather than being picked up? If so, was there a specific reason why you did not trust him?

Men – have you ever offered to pick a woman up or drop her off and had her offer meeting somewhere as an alternative? If so, do you feel as though you did your best to cultivate trust beforehand, or did you just ask her out and leave it at that?

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  1. OilyQueen on November 14, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Most of my dating experiences have come from meeting someone online. At that first physical meeting, no I don’t want him to pick me up. I’m not comfortable letting someone I barely know find out where I live. It makes me feel safer knowing I have an “out.” With that in mind, I also agree with you that having a guy ask you out and pick you up is just the way things are. the guy I’m seeing right now gave me the choice because he wanted me to choose when I was comfortable with his knowing where I live. This was very telling to me. It told me that he is working to make sure I’m comfortable with him, and that I can trust him not to rush me into anything. I love that, and that is a big reason I’m continuing to see him. Trust is HUGE.

    • Ginger Snaps Barlow on November 14, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      Amen sister! Just the fact that they understand and respect that goes a long way to building that trust.

    • Carrie on November 15, 2014 at 2:31 pm

      I agree 100%. I am not going to let a Stranger pick me up for a first date. Once a connection is made. I would have no problem giving him my address. It doesn’t mean I walk into our first date with distrust at all. It’s more comforting to me to know I’m not stuck if it’s an uncomfortable situation.

  2. Danz Social Blog on November 14, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    Hey James
    I am an avid reader of your blog and many of your articles makes sense. However, it is important, especially on the first date, to allow both of the parties in question to have choices when it comes to how the date goes all through the evening. If, for any reasons, there is a huge lack of chemistry on both sides, or a certain sensitive subject is discussed and reluctance to the other one’s opinion is pronounced throughout the discussion, one might prefer a way to politely end the interaction and everyone should use their own method of transportation to safely arrive home. The guy shouldn’t feel obligated to having to spend more time with the other person while driving her back home. It can make the drive back very uncomfortable.

  3. KR on November 14, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Unfortunately, with the increase in online dating and the aftermath of the Craigslist Killer, I don’t think it is unusual for a woman to not want her date to pick up her on the first date. However, I know in my own experience, if I’m going out on a date with someone I’ve known awhile, I have no problem with them picking me up. I also agree with the two posters above that when meeting someone you don’t know very well it is also helpful to have an “out”. I also don’t think trust is earned on the first date. That is just where the trust building starts. Just because a date doesn’t pick me up on the first date doesn’t mean I don’t trust him or won’t trust him down the road.

  4. Manasa on November 14, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    Being a single woman dating I see both sides of the coin.

    Lately I’ve met a few men from online dating and w had talked for a couple of weeks beforehand. They suggested we meet and I agreed. Had they asked to pick me up I would’ve felt uncomfortable. I also have turned down online dates that asked me to go hiking or come over so they could cook me dinner. There’s something about meeting first in real life that gives away to trust and comfort.

    However, in a situation when I meet someone out in real life I’m often more comfortable letting them pick me up or going for a hike etc. Granted I’ve often met these men through someone I know which already gives me a higher sense of safety.

  5. Ginger Snaps Barlow on November 14, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    OK, so I’m one of those women that left that comment. Maybe it depends on the definition of a date. I am on an online service and when I email someone or they email me and there seems to be interest there, we may email only a few days or a week before I expect to set up a “face to face”. Even if the guy seems charming in his profile, in his emails and on the phone when we talk, I won’t give out my address for him to pick me up until we have met in person and I feel safe about sharing that kind of information. Having my own car and still being somewhat anonymous (no last name) gives me more control over my environment and safety. If we get along well and I get warm fuzzies (and no big red flags), after a couple of times of meeting up separately, I’ll share my address and let him pick me up. If big red flags pop up, I am safe driving myself home and don’t have to worry about ending up with an unwanted stalker who knows where I live. And, yes, I’ve had a stalker situation that really scared me — once you share too much personal information, you can’t take it back. And con guys can be pretty charming at first. Then you start to notice the sleezy feeling.

    It certainly helps me feel that I have to be less guarded during the first meeting, since i know if things aren’t working out or I feel scared by something about him, I can leave without depending on him for a ride. My most recent first meet turned out wonderfully; we had a fantastic time, found out we are very compatible and hit it off marvelously. We’ve been out a couple of times since but I still drive myself, he doesn’t have my address and he is very understanding about that. We’ve talked about it and he cares enough about my feelings to respect me wanting to feel completely safe before sharing that information.

    Also, as a single mom, sharing my home address puts my children at risk, too. I have to consider more than just my personal safety, but theirs, too. It might be harder for a man to understand because men don’t face violence from women as frequently as women do from men. As long as I’m meeting a man in a public place, I can feel confident and safe just by the fact that there are people around. I can feel free to be myself without feeling on guard. But giving him my address and getting into a car with him the first or second time we meet? No way.

    Giving a man your home address and getting into a car with him when you’re meeting for the first time is just not smart or safe. After that first meeting and getting to know him, if things are going well, of COURSE I won’t hesitate to share that information with him and ride with him in cars alone and spend time alone together. That’s the goal of meeting anyway, right? To find someone you can share intimate time with…

    Sorry for the novel! 🙂

  6. a wilder grace on November 14, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Why We Don’t Trust You (Yet)

    Please keep in mind that from birth, girls are taught not to trust men. We are all taught, at a very young age, about how to dress and not dress, how to act and not act, where to walk at night, when it is okay to walk alone and when not, don’t “lure” men. Don’t trust men.

    To make my point: I knew a young man years ago who was a cross-dresser, taking hormones and considering sex-change surgery. When dressed as a female, he very much looked like a very attractive woman. One night while walking home alone dressed as a woman, he was sexually harassed from across the street by a group of men. They followed him for more than a block, threatening to rape him. Thankfully, they finally gave up and left.

    This had certainly never happened to him as a male. He told me it was the most frightened he had ever been in his young life. He had never had to think about whether he was walking alone or not, never thought about having to plan his clothes and his walking route differently because he was a woman. This is something, unfortunately, that all women have to think about on so many levels—safety. This is in the “DNA” of every female.

    I want to be very clear. I am not saying that every man is inherently violent or unsafe. I am also not saying that it’s okay for a woman to see herself as a victim of society. I am saying that in our world, out of necessity, women are taught about their personal safety. It is the world we live in.

    From my post here:

    • rlcarterrn on November 14, 2014 at 6:05 pm

      Sadly, so true. This is the world we live in, like it or not.

  7. rlcarterrn on November 14, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Honestly it’s hard for me to say because I’ve been with my husband for over a decade now, all of my adult life in reality. But I’d like to think that I wouldn’t go on a date with a man in the first place unless I was already comfortable enough with him to trust him to pick me up & drop me off at my home. To me that is just common sense.

    • James Michael Sama on November 14, 2014 at 6:05 pm

      Yes! That’s exactly what I’m saying!!! Otherwise what is the point of the date in the first place? Thank you!

      • rlcarterrn on November 14, 2014 at 6:06 pm

        You’re welcome! I constantly feel like you’re reading my mind with your posts. And this just another one of those.

      • athenarcarson9 on November 14, 2014 at 10:47 pm

        My question for you is – if you meet someone online, how do you get to that level of trust? Alternatively, how do you meet women such that you are in a position to get to that level of trust?

        If you wait to develop that trust before ever meeting a person face-to-face, many of us (including me) would still be single.

  8. Nancy Cokinda on November 14, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    James, I keep feeling that younger generation people, used to “hook ups”–are still confusing “dating” with “a hook up–sorta.” If you don’t know a person well enough to arrive and leave together, then this is not a date—it is a “hook-up sorta” or a “sorta date–but not really,” Bottom line, if you have never been face to face with this person before, then this is not a date. This is a “let’s meet each other for coffee and see if we connect as human beings and build trust” sort of arrangement. Still not a date. Not even close to a date. Rlcarterrn above gets the picture—but she’s been married to the same person for 10 years. That’s called intimacy and learning to know a person. I was married for 25 years to my first husband, and seven years (and still married) to my second husband. Bottom line for young folks still learning what intimacy really is—there are many layers a person must past through—and pass, not flunk—-before they can be considered someone you would date. You don’t walk up to a stranger in the supermarket and ask them out on a date. Likewise on the internet. If they didn’t pass through the basic criteria tests, then just say “No thank you” if they ask. Someone who doesn’t understand the levels of building trust and intimacy with a person first is not someone you can build a relationship with. Not a healthy one, anyway.

    • rlcarterrn on November 15, 2014 at 2:48 pm

      Right on, Nancy. Everything you’ve said is so true.

  9. erlenstar on November 14, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    As an experienced dater and by choice a single picky gal waiting for the right guy, I can say it is just smart to meet someone you do not know and have never met in person, in a public place the first time to get a feeling for who they are. Most guys I have met are fine and if we had a nice time then anything goes and if you can’t trust them to pick you up at your place you shouldn’t be seeing them anyway. BUT on the flip side I have met a few guys who fall madly in love and offer to let me move in with them on the FIRST ever meet and greet (not even the first date yet) and they are stalker material so thank goidness they didn’t know where Iived! I did online dating so you have to be more careful but I’m off that and meeting in person and if I give out my number, it’s to someone I would trust to pick me up, else you have no business giving out your number to begin with!

  10. Michelle Clark on November 15, 2014 at 6:46 am

    I personally have always had trust issues with men and have ended up pushing away some lovely guys, which is sad and I am working on it. However, I really like it when a man offers to pick me up for a date. It shows that the man is being considerate and that’s nice. My problems go deeper than that and further back in my past. I really like your blog though as it kind of restores my faith a little bit. Keep up the good work!! Michelle Sent from my Hudl

  11. Geneva Tanner on November 15, 2014 at 6:48 am

    Please help! I have a daughter that is truly in love with a very toxic person. All he does is put her down & accuse her of not being committed for whatever reason. Criticizes her, talks trash about the rest of her family, which he barely even knows. He has so many double standards it’s rediculous! She is madly in love with him. The people that truly love her can see its just simply not meant to be. Any suggestions on helping her realize that? On Nov 14, 2014 1:07 PM, “James Michael Sama” wrote:

    > James Michael Sama posted: “Trust, without question, is one of the > most important bricks when building the foundation of a strong > relationship. Without trust, you cannot have real love. I have emphasized > the importance of trust in a relationship in previous articles, but I have > just”

  12. […] This article originally appeared on James Michael Sama’s Blog. […]

  13. Dee on November 24, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    I have learned to listen to my judgement; it’s always right, and yours is too. Safety is something we never mess with. Trust is another thing.
    I am having difficulty establishing trust with this new guy I started to “date”. We have gone on 5 dates over 2 months. He would like to pick me up from my home but I don’t trust him because he is still on a dating site. I can’t develop trust with someone who does that but at the same time I have no business expecting him to be off it. I just don’t want to have to tell him that. I feel that if he can’t do that on his own, there is more disappointment in store for me.

  14. Sarah on January 24, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    I think part of it is that you hear so many stories in the news of something happening to women when they allow men to pick them up for a date, especially if it’s a blind date – rape, murder, etc. I’m not saying those are the typical stories and I do believe there are plenty of guys out there who are trustworthy, but society has created a culture of fear and mistrust for women when it comes to men. And of course, it’s these men who do horrible things to women who make women feel like they cannot trust men.

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