Billy Curtis, Sex Columnist

If you went around and asked people what they thought the hardest thing about a relationship was, odds are the most prevalent answer would probably be trust.

We trust our doctors with our lives, our bankers with our money, and we trust our families to be there when need be, but why is it so difficult for us to trust other people with our hearts?

Letting someone into your circle of trust can be an extremely difficult task, especially after a person has been hurt so many times. Despite the overwhelming possibility these days that someone may abuse your trust, it seems that the benefits could still outweigh the drawbacks.

For hundreds of years now, all American currency has had printed on it the words, “In God We Trust,” but I am pretty sure that some Americans do not trust in God, especially in times of great strife such as our current economic situation.

Yet, the words are still printed on every dollar and coin we come in connect with; a constant reminder that trust is needed to preserve any kind of relationship, whether it is with our government or the person we fall asleep next to every night.

With the constantly wavering belief systems we have, giving someone our trust can be an incredibly difficult task to accomplish. Prime example: a close friend of mine, Ashley had been dating John for about three years.

Now three years of dating someone—in my eyes—is certainly enough time to be able to trust someone completely while in a relationship.

They were both very happy together. John had told her that he was going to be receiving a lot of money from a trust fund in the near future, and they began to make plans, plans for the future that they would be building together.

Unfortunately though, last January, I received a phone call from Ashley saying she needed to talk. Now, I know that when Ashley calls me to talk, its always something important. So I picked up a bottle of wine and headed to her beautiful apartment—that I had always been jealous of—in Tyson’s Corner.

Now, my thinking was that maybe Ashley had broken up with John, but when I got there, my mind was completely blown away.

It turned out that John had been stealing people’s credit cards and using them to pay for the luxuries that they had both come so accustomed to living with.

Ashley was heartbroken, her car was repossessed, and they were evicted from their fabulous apartment. Talk about a situation that will give you a trust issue!

Now, I don’t care what anyone ever tells you about what they have and what they are willing to give you, make damn sure that you have a back up plan to retain your independence.

Ending a relationship is hard enough by itself, and having to deal with a financial situation like this seems less appealing than having herpes for the rest of your life—OK, maybe that was a little extreme, but you get my point.

Ashley had put all her eggs in John’s one basket, and now she was left with nothing but the regrettable mistake she made in trusting John.

Since then she has recovered from that devastating relationship, and has moved on with her life.

But the most important lesson she learned was that she couldn’t just lock herself away and never trust someone again.

She now has been dating someone for quite some time now, and I hear they are very happy together, for what it’s worth.

It’s a sad truth, but despite how many times we may be the jilted party in any relationship, it’s always best to keep an open mind for the future.

Because not everyone is out there to take advantage, cheat, or con us in some way or another.

Some people really are as genuine as they appear to be. That’s why the option of trusting someone is something that you need to keep for yourself!

After all, odds are if you don’t, you’ll most likely become that old creepy person who lives at the corner of everyone’s street when they were younger, living alone with their 37 cats and everyone thinks is a witch. No one wants to become that person, or at least I don’t think anyone wants that.

Maybe trust isn’t the easiest thing to give out, nor should it be handed out as easily as a piece of gum or a cigarette, or in some people’s cases—their virginity.

But instincts should always be listened to, because your heart and mind are the only receptors that can really tell you what you think and feel will be write or wrong.

After all, trust is a mental state, one that cannot be measured directly; its not as simple as putting your hand on a heated iron and knowing not to touch it gain or you’ll get burned.

If it was, I am pretty sure that there would be a lot less people in the world.

So keep an open mind with whomever you meet in the future, because while there is a slim chance they could be one of the con artists.

Odds are their just as normal and trusting as you are, and you never know, they could be the person whose trust in you, is the only thing the both of you will ever need!