Top 6 Tips on How to Set Healthy Boundaries
For your relationship to work out, you need to set up healthy boundaries with your partner. Now, it doesn’t mean setting up tough rules and regulations like in a military camp. It’s simply respecting each other’s personal space to facilitate proper mental health that is vital for a happy relationship. Lack of such boundaries may lead to anxiety, depression, stress, and even unnecessary fights and tension.
Follow the below tips to develop healthy emotional boundaries:
Put Yourself First
During dating, especially in the vibrant honeymoon phase, it’s easy to get attached to a person such that you feel like they are the sole source of your joy or happiness. During this period, you may feel like your partner is the source of the very air that you breathe and end up basing all your moods, thoughts, feelings, decisions, and actions on them. If you had planned to do something important, but somehow they are not on board with it, you will easily let it go.
However, this is a very wrong and dangerous trap that you should avoid as much as possible from the beginning. It’s important to attain individuality and optimum self-discovery where you know what you stand for and the things you like and dislike. No matter how much a crush may sweep you off your feet, always remember to stand for what you believe in to avoid having any regrets down the line.
Say NO and Mean It
Yes, you may be head over heels in love with this person. Although they could be your sweet prince charming or wonder woman, it’s important to realize that they are no angels, and they are human beings who are prone to mistakes and poor judgment. If, for instance, you have just started dating and your boyfriend is pushing you to have sex, and you feel that you are not ready, say a capital NO and stand by it. If they love you, they will respect your decision.
Most times when we are faced with such a scenario that requires us to go against our partner in a sensitive matter, our feelings for them may blind us to covering them from hurt and compromising our stand. So even if it’s buying something that you know will jeopardize your finances, you may give it a blind eye and just approve of making your partner happy. However, when reality hits home later, you will blame yourself for not saying no.
Keep Your Social Circle
Getting into a new relationship can be absolutely fascinating and mind-blowing. The joy that comes with the first stages of dating can make one feel like the entire world has stopped, and life now revolves around this person. This stage is very sensitive because you may be tempted to view your new lover as the only worthy person deserving of your time and attention and end up ignoring close friends and family in the heat of the moment.
A great way to keep your sanity and common sense in dating is by maintaining your close friends and family. Do you hang out with your friends every Friday night? Stick with this plan and make sure your partner understands this is important to you. Also, create time for your family because these are the people that know you inside and out, and they may be the first to tell when you are on the wrong path.
Take Your Sweet Time
The best things in life take time. If you want to succeed in dating, one emotional boundary you need to set is taking your time, especially where important decisions or stages are involved. For instance, when you start seeing someone, you should learn to enjoy the initial steps of dating without bringing up important life decisions such as settling down and marriage. Each step is crucial and should be enjoyed.
Time also has a way of unveiling the true character of a person. Although it’s easy to pretend to be someone you are not in the first days of dating, the time has a way of presenting unique challenges that expose our true colors. So take your sweet time in knowing your person. Avoid hasty decisions like moving in together or siring a child together until you are ready. Time will allow you to create a solid, unbreakable bond.
Be Clear about Your Likes and Dislikes
Diversity is one of the coolest parts of a relationship where you don’t have to share the exact hobbies or interests to be happy as a couple. Sometimes there is so much beauty in diversity where your partner is like the exact opposite of you. Depending on factors like your upbringing, temperament, hobbies, education level, and so on, you will have sets of things you like and those you dislike.
Communication is very important in relationships. Let your partner know the things you like and the things that you don’t like. It could be general things or something specific about their character. If need be, keep repeating these things like a broken record so that your partner can know what can turn you on and what can awaken your demons as well. Making these things known to your partner is a great way to avoid heartbreaks.
Learn the Words “Sorry” and “Thank You”
No single relationship is perfect. As much as you may create your own encyclopedia of do’s and don’ts in a bid to avoid ugly scenarios, a human is to err, and sometimes you will find yourself on the wrong side of your partner. In such scenarios, instead of trying to justify yourself or shift the blame and worsen the situation, simply master the power of saying sorry. It shows that you accept your flawed nature, and you can also accept that side of your partner.
Gratitude is another very important aspect of dating. When you are in a relationship with someone, you are their anchor who is supposed to make them feel better about themselves. When they take their time and effort to do something nice for you, whether it’s blending a glass of juice for you or simply wiping your shoes, a basic thank you goes a long way in appreciating them for their efforts. It creates a perfect environment for your relationship.
Common Examples of Boundaries in a Relationship
Every human being is born with a unique sense of identity and a desire to express themselves freely. It starts when one is a toddler where they will wail and disturb the peace at the slightest feeling of being ignored or wronged. Even a young child needs respect and their own space to do the things they love and enjoy, such as playing with toys, watching cartoons, etc. They also want to feel cherished and appreciated, shown by listening to them and granting their wishes.
Fast forward to teenage years, where real character development is taking shape as well as physical growth. During these years, young people become highly aware of their individuality as well as their sexuality. In a heterosexual setting, young girls will start yearning to be admired and wanted by boys, and young boys will start mastering the art of impressing the girl child. It is during this phase that amateur dating mainly starts.
Example of Setting Boundaries in Relationships – Draw the Line
Now for two people who have been raised in different backgrounds to click and even realize that they are compatible enough to begin dating, it has a lot to do with how they have been raised and groomed. Are they skilled at expressing themselves, or are they the kind of people that will be mad at you silently without opening up? Do these people suffer from indecisiveness and low self-esteem where they are not self-sufficient and confident?
Growing up in an empowering environment where one was treated with love and appreciation instills a feeling of self-worth and confidence in a person where you don’t need approval from others to feel complete. Such a person is emotionally secure in dating where they can grant their partner the space they need without feeling neglected and love wholly without holding back or feeling afraid.
Useful Tips on Overstepping Boundaries in Relationship
Maintaining your individuality in a relationship may sound easy, but it isn’t easy. Once you become entangled with someone emotionally, it’s easy to find your feelings and moods getting synchronized with theirs such that if they are stressed, you feel stressed too. However, you should fight to never lose the core of who you are when dating by creating ample time for yourself, your goals, and your hobbies.
A great way to form and maintain emotional boundaries is keeping your inner circle close. Some partners may try to alienate you from your close friends or family members, probably due to insecurity or to cover their dishonest tricks. Always let your partner know that your individuality cannot be traded, and take your time before advancing to the more serious stages of dating.