Setting relationship boundaries is a way of caring for oneself and your partner!
Boundaries in relationships do not make you selfish. They tell your partner you care about yourself as much as your relationship. So, you might be wondering, what are some good relationship boundaries.
It is adding value to your self-esteem and giving up on the idea of depending on your partner even for your happiness.
Because as they say, you gotta respect yourself first, pal before you expect anybody do that for ya!
These guidelines about what are some good relationship boundaries that you’ll lay down will convey your partner on how they are supposed to treat you and what behaviour you consider is okay.
As a result, each of you will have mutual respect, understanding, care, and affection.
It will be a healthy relationship where both of you will grow without being too needy and have a healthy and stable emotional health, confidence, and self-respect.
But how do you find out if you have boundary issues or that your relationship has certain aspects that are unhealthy and you must let them go?
How do you know your relationship has boundary issues?
Before talking about what are some good relationship boundaries, let me tell you what can be considered as the unhealthy relationships or absence of personal boundaries.
o Do you feel like a broken puzzle piece without your love?
o Do you often keep defending yourself for things that are not your fault?
o Does your relationship keep going on a break up and patch up cycle in every few months?
o Are you too invested in your partner, maybe more than they are?
o Is it difficult for you to be happy without them?
o Are you constantly jealous?
o Do you often find yourself stuck in situations where you are pointlessly fighting with your partner?
o Have you ever felt like your partner has taken advantage of your emotions?
o Is it difficult for you to express what you want in your relationship?
Is your answer ‘yes’ to any of them? If even a few of these are your relationship stories, my dear, you truly need to know what are some good relationship boundaries before you embark upon a relationship.
If you said ‘yes’ to all the questions above, good God, you need to change the way you look at yourself.
But why am I pressing on personal or relationship boundaries so much? Are they that necessary?
Why are boundaries in a relationship important?
Well, when you set boundaries in your relationship, it allows you and your partner to develop self-respect, self-esteem, and self-confidence.
It makes both of you feel confident around each other but also in your own bubble.
Healthy boundaries will tell your love the kind of person you are, what exactly you want, how you want to be treated and respected, what your beliefs and values are, as well as what your limits are.
Everybody deserves to be respected and take the responsibility of their own existence. No matter how much you love each other, you need to draw a line.
That’s exactly where the boundaries come into picture. They are essential for your well-being and the growth of your relationship.
Hence, it becomes of utmost importance that you know what are some good relationship boundaries.
So, you are probably wondering what are the different types of boundaries in a relationship. So without much ado, let’s look at some of them.
What are the different types of boundaries in relationships?
What expectations you have from each other
Deciding on each other’s emotional tolerances.
How you prefer to settle disagreements.
Talk about each other’s sexual expressions.
How your life is on social media.
You may not want to discuss your ‘past’ and that’s OK.
Financial matters in a relationship.
Needing space and finding ‘me’ time.
How to behave with each other’s friends.
How much time do you need to spend with each other.
Respecting each other’s career and goals.
There is no relationship that is healthy and devoid of boundaries. They are not easy to establish, you will need to communicate with your partner and they will have to respect them.
It is how your wants will be fulfilled and you will be the boss of you.
So here are some good relationship boundaries that everyone should focus on.
1. What expectations you have from each other in your relationship
To begin with, you and your partner should be clear about what you expect from each other.
And if at all you guys don’t believe in having expectations, then establishing these boundaries become all the more easier.
Most people get into relationships thinking they will find their missing puzzle piece, i.e. someone who completes them and hence, puts their entire emotional burden on them.
And that is not healthy. Emotional dependence is an evil in a relationship. Your happiness should be your responsibility.
Moreover, being needy of your partner can put you in a position where you can be taken for granted. Your needs may be overlooked.
A healthy relationship should have a balance where both the partners equally give & take and not exploit the other until they have nothing to offer.
So, it’s necessary you communicate with your partner about what you expect from them and set a relationship boundary on how willing you are to put an effort to fulfil your partner’s needs.
You must also let them know about how you want your needs to be fulfilled in return.
2. Deciding on each other’s emotional tolerances is a good relationship boundary.
How much can you tolerate emotionally? Does it bother you a lot when someone screams at you? Or do you not pay a heed at all?
This emotional tolerance is different from person to person. So, it’s quite obvious that you and your partner have different tolerance levels as well.
So, what do you need to do?
Discuss with your love about the things that trigger you and you will never come to terms with.
They can be things like being lied to, being asked to keep quiet, being screamed at, not acknowledging your things you did for them, or being misunderstood – ANYTHING!
Just let your partner know that you are drawing a line at these areas and crossing them isn’t something they should be looking forward to do.
When you don’t know what are some good relationship boundaries then you feel afraid & insecure. You may think that taking a stand for yourself might ruin your relationship.
Keep in mind, if you feel burdened with a relationship then there is something really wrong and you must fix it as soon as possible.
3. How you prefer to settle disagreements without making each other crazy.
People react in different ways when they’re mad. Some people want to get pampered with a lot of love while others want to be left alone until they calm down.
Now, if you need space when you are angry, or vice versa, that’s a boundary you guys must respect.
Also, you need to know what exactly your partner needs when they are annoyed and what is it that calms them down in an instant.
It will take you both to work as a team to find out what works for you’ll in settling your fights.
Don’t run away from them, rather take these opportunities to know more about your partner and most importantly, respect the boundary they want you to.
4. Talk about each other’s sexual expressions for a healthy relationship.
Do not shy away from discussing how each of you prefers having sex. You wouldn’t want your love to be faking it while you’re on a roll, right?
Knowing each other’s preferences not only increases your sexual compatibility but also adds a spark to your relationship.
Some people like doing it in the mornings while some are all-nighters. Some have high sexual drives while others score low.
Some people like experimenting, are wild whereas others take it slow.
No matter how you like doing it, open up to your partner and let them know what they need to do in order to get the intimacy high on. It’s essential for you, your partner, as well as your relationship.
The clearly you convey what you want, the more you enjoy and the more your relationship stays away from troubles.
5. How your life is on social media.
It’s the digital generation. Technology is on the rise and we all have a life on social media.
When you are with someone, it’s essential to discuss whether it’s going to be all PDA or hush-hush because maybe, one of you might not be comfortable with it – thanks to nosy relatives and co-workers.
Some people also feel their relationships are their private affairs and nobody should be allowed to be involved in it.
So, if you are that someone, make sure you talk to your partner before they Instagram your offbeat date picture.
There is nothing more infuriating than hearing ‘You are my world!’ coupled with ‘You are not welcome into my social world!’.
It’s intense and heartbreaking at the same time. You must know what are some good relationship boundaries before assuming that your partner may or may not have the same reservations as you do.
6. You may not want to discuss your ‘past’ and that’s OK.
If you are not comfortable with discussing your past life, no one has the right to coerce it out of you. That’s the rule! You don’t owe an explanation for keeping your past within you, because hey, that’s your life.
While it’s necessary to share with your partner your highs, your lows, your scars, your fears, your insecurities, and more, but nothing without your consent.
So, let people know that unless you choose to open up, unless you choose to flip through the pages of your life, backward, they mustn’t be doing so.
7. Financial matters in a relationship can ruin your relationship if not discussed!
This one is very crucial in our list of what are some good relationship boundaries because after the pheromones and rush of a new relationship wears off.
You are left with buying items, paying bills, planning vacation, etc. All of which, requires strong and careful financial planning.
Do you like taking care of your own bills? Does spending too much on unnecessary stuff bother you? Are you skeptical about the idea of having a joint bank account with your partner?
Well, when it comes to money matters, they can be a real inconvenience in a relationship if you don’t establish boundaries or do not discuss about them with your partner.
No matter what bothers you, open up about it and make sure you tell your partner what you want and how you want things to be and how you want to handle your own financial matters.
If they are true to you, trust me, they’ll respect your words.
8. Needing space and finding ‘me’ time.
Oh the soulful ‘me’ time! Who doesn’t need it? For self-introspection, to grow, to have a life of your own, to spend time with your family and friends and much more!
So, it’s necessary to set boundaries, so that none of your lives overlap with each other and you enjoy a healthy relationship with everyone around you.
Talk it out with your lover and discuss how essential and healthy solo time and solitude is for the both of you and how you need to respect that. It will work.
9. How to behave with each other’s friends.
I’ve often seen people who their partners can or cannot be friends with.
Some even go on to disrespect their partner’s friends only because they don’t like them. But that is unhealthy and unruly behaviour.
No one is obligated to like your friend circle neither are you to like theirs but disrespecting someone must not be tolerated. You should be clear about that.
Also, choosing friends is totally your lookout and nobody else’s. Remember, this should be a mutual relationship boundary of respect.
10. How much time do you need to spend with each other.
Being with each other just because you are a couple – oh so mushy but do you want that? Some people like to have time boundaries in their life.
Too many calls, messages, unending dates – don’t they make you feel suffocated? Don’t you want some time for yourself?
If you feel it’s okay to be around your loved one 24*7, I am nobody to tell you otherwise but giving each other space is necessary and healthy for a relationship to grow.
You need to have a life out of your relationship. So, if you have time boundaries, make sure they are clearly known to your partner.
11. Respecting each other’s career and goals.
You are your own boss – There I said it! You are the only one who can choose what you want to do in life.
And no matter how big your dream is or how far your goal is, no one can tell you that you cannot achieve it in life.
Nobody decides what career is worth it for you and what dream you must dream. That little corner is only yours!
Make sure you let people know that by clearly communicating with them. Be polite and tell them, all you want is their support.
Explain to them you serious you are about your career. Show them how ambitious you are.
4 Steps to Learn the Art of Setting Boundaries firmly in Romantic Relationships
You know enough relationship boundaries now. But how many of you know how to establish them in relationships? I’ll help you go step by step.
#1 – You should know your personal boundaries.
Do you know what your personal boundaries are? If you don’t, find some time and see what are the things that really bother you and how would you want others to behave with you.
Once you know the boundaries, it will be easier to draw those lines that your partner must never cross as a sign of respect.
Being clear about your personal boundaries will help you communicate about them with your partner and as a result establish them in your relationship.
#2 – Discuss each of them as and when you feel is necessary.
Not every boundary that you have decided to set must be discussed from the day one you meet with your partner. Find when it’s the right time to discuss each of them.
Never hurry! Take your time, go slow and go with the flow!
Both of you should welcome each other’s opinions with an open mind and be respectful towards each other too. Doing so, your relationship will grow into a healthy one.
#3 – Make sure there is no place for ambiguity or vague areas.
Never leave any area of confusion for your partner. They should easily understand what you want.
For that purpose, it’s often recommended to use statements using ‘I’ rather than ‘You’.
Clearer they are with the line you are drawing, the better they will know who you are and what you want.
#4 – While some minor mistakes are allowed, you should know when you need to press your boundaries on them and how.
None of us are perfect in nature. We all may make mistakes.
Your partner will too.
So there can be some relaxation when your partner crosses your boundaries unknowingly, or the ones that come under ‘not that strict’ criteria.
You can choose to forgive them and remind them that they crossed a line you wouldn’t want them to.
But remember, if this becomes a regular thing, it’s not a healthy sign. After a certain point of time, you’ll have to tell them that ignoring to respect your choices may have ill consequences for them.
You need to know when it’s okay to force your partner to take your boundaries, your wants, and your choices into consideration.
What to expect when boundaries are crossed in a relationship?
Respecting boundaries is a responsibility or a commitment you make to your partner.
Though at times, partners cross boundaries with the consent of their loved ones but the unhealthy or forceful crossing is a sign of a toxic relationship.
It shows the partner neither respects you or your boundaries and is trying to take you on a guilt-trip for focusing on self-care in the first place.
If you don’t take this behaviour as a red flag on time, they might turn abusive by the day.
The best thing you can do is walk away from a relationship that tries to make you feel low about building walls around you that no one is allowed to cross.
Knowing when to walk away is also one of the good relationship boundaries you can establish in your life.
The Final Word: Proper communication and healthy boundaries will make your relationship last.
Never look at relationship boundaries as an obstacle. When you establish good ones by properly communicating with your partner, they will make your relationship a healthy home to grow up in.
As time goes by, you’ll notice you’ll need new boundaries with both of you and your relationship changing and going through its different stages. So, don’t fret.
No matter how many times you need to talk with each other and go artsy with the lines, do so without hesitation.
Respect and love each other with all that you have!
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