All relationships have boundaries. Some boundaries are discussed, others are assumed, and some are only discovered when they’ve been crossed.
Boundaries are a way of assuring that your needs are met in a relationship. They are also a way of assuring that your values and expectations aren’t violated. Boundaries can preserve your privacy and independence. Boundaries can help you build healthier, better relationships.
How to Identify Your Boundaries in Relationships:
Everyone has boundaries, but few people have the same boundaries, and that’s why it’s so important to set the boundaries in your relationship. Having a clear understanding of each other’s boundaries in relationships is one of the most loving things you can do for each other and your relationship!
Consider your boundaries in the following areas. There are no right or wrong answers, as long as both parties are in agreement.
Does work always take precedence? Should a career-minded partner be willing to skip working evenings to spend time with the other person?
For some people, work is an unnecessary evil that funds the rest of their life. For others, it is their life. Figuring out your commitment and ambitions in the workplace is an important part of adult relationships.
Some people insist on dissecting their partner’s past. Others believe that the past is irrelevant and should stay in the past. What are you willing to reveal? What do you want to know?
Speak to each other honestly and openly about where you stand on past relationships.
Do you want your partner to spend time with your friends, or should she stay away? Are your friends now his friends by default, or should he go somewhere else if he needs a friend?
Friendships can add a complicated dynamic to a new relationship and you should openly discuss what you feel comfortable with.
Together Time and Fun Time:
How much time will you spend together? Are Friday nights expected? Is it unacceptable not to communicate for a week? How much time together is too much? Maybe you only want to see your boyfriend once a week.
Is staying for breakfast too domestic for you? Should weekends be reserved for each other? Do you vacation with your friends without your new romantic partner, or do you take them along?
Figuring out both your expectations of time in the relationship is crucial to smooth sailing.
Communicate! Communicate! Communicate!:
The most important thing you can do is discuss your boundaries in relationships with your dating partner openly. It’s unfair to expect someone to follow a boundary that you’re keeping a secret. Relationships require communication. Why leave anything to chance? Let the other person know what you expect.
Be prepared to enforce your boundaries. When you are tolerant of your boundaries being crossed, you can safely assume it will happen again. When someone regularly fails to respect your boundaries, it’s a sign that you could be with the wrong person.
It’s just as important to understand the other person’s boundaries and respect them. If you’re both on the same page, you have a better chance of enjoying a healthy, long-lasting relationship.