Entering into a relationship at any time can be messy. Relationships can build you up or tear you down. They can breed life or they can breed toxicity. However, even as one enters into a healthy relationship, the trauma from previous experiences can make it extremely difficult to connect with someone new. It is not easy to jump into relationships when your trust has been broken or abused in the past. When you are healing from trauma, honor your feelings. It is okay to slowly build trust and have the people in your life earn it. To assess if they are worthy of your trust ask: Do they continuously do untrustworthy or hurtful things in your relationship? Do they have a pattern of acting in a way that causes you to question their character? If yes, consider whether that person is someone you should be working to trust. Seek an objective perspective from a loved one if you are having a hard time discerning if someone brings toxicity into your life. Additionally, try to be open with your partner. Giving context as to why it is difficult for you to trust within a relationship may give the other person more confidence to support you. Even a simple disclosure that someone in the past harmed you causing you to want to take things slow can help your new partner learn your needs. If they are not willing to respect your needs, that may be a sign that they might not be the appropriate partner for you at this time. Although another person can't complete the healing process for you, they can encourage you and assure you along the way. The trauma and pain you've experienced can begin to feel like the narrative of your life if you look for it in every relationship you enter or experience you have. It is important to remind yourself that each person you interact with does not fit into a box, and the people you are in relationships with are all different. The situation or person that has made it hard for you to trust others does not deserve a spot in your healthy, supportive relationships. Give yourself grace and honor your past feelings, but remind yourself that while your trauma may always be a part of you, you deserve a healthy and loving relationship external from that trauma.