Trust is fragile, and once it has been broken, it takes time and effort to rebuild. You can tell your girlfriend until you’re blue in the face that she can trust you again, but without actions to back the words up, trust likely won’t be reestablished. Fortunately, you can take steps to show your girlfriend that she can trust you again.

Own Up to Your Behavior

Regardless of whether you lied to your girlfriend about your whereabouts, flirted with someone else or snooped through her belongings, you have to accept responsibility for your behavior. Do not try to rationalize, minimize or blame her for your behavior that resulted in a loss of trust. If you try to place the blame elsewhere, your girlfriend may not trust that you have learned from your mistake, warns therapist Michael J. Salas on Psych Central, in “How to Get Your Partner to Trust You Again.” If she doesn’t believe that you have learned from your mistake, it may be hard for her to believe the behavior won’t continue to happen.

Be Consistent and Reliable

An important part of showing your girlfriend that she can trust you again is proving that you’re true to your word. If you tell her you’re going to do something, follow through, writes Salas. For instance, if you tell her you will call her at 5 p.m., call her. If you say you’re going straight home from school, go straight home. Continue to show her that you can be trusted. Your girlfriend will be looking for long-term changes in your behavior.

Exercise Patience and Understanding

As your girlfriend works to regain trust in you, she may experience various feelings, such as anger, hurt, betrayal and sadness. When her emotions bubble up, try to be patient and understanding. Asking her what you can do to help shows you are trying to understand her feelings. She may need to vent her frustrations and worries or need you to reassure her that she can trust you.

Make an Agreement

A good way to show your girlfriend that she can trust you is to come up with a specific agreement that can be monitored to show you are making strides at being trustworthy, advise relationship coaches Susie and Otto Collins, in “4 Steps to Prove You’ve Really Changed” on the YourTango website. It’s important that you are clear as to what the agreement is so that there is no misunderstanding in the future. For instance, if you betrayed your girlfriend’s trust by texting your ex-girlfriend, you could come to an agreement that your girlfriend can look through your phone at any time.