How to Set Boundaries in a New Relationship
Boundaries are important in relationships – whether it be a new relationship, marriage, or even friendships. To have a healthy and happy relationship, setting boundaries is essential especially if you’re in a new relationship or are considering the idea of one. Romance, in the early stages of dating, can be exciting but to keep the relationship failing it is important to clearly define boundaries.
The initial stage of dating is the best time to start setting boundaries. To ensure a comfortable and healthy relationship, you need to learn to effectively communicate what your limits are and what is acceptable, what’s not.
Don’t forget, communication is important. Being honest from the beginning will ensure that your relationship is strong and dependable.
What do boundaries mean in a relationship?
The limits that we set to avoid others distracting or inappropriately engaging with us is what defines boundaries. Respecting boundaries – professional and personal – is important. While some people may look at setting boundaries as unfair and unjust when it comes to personal relationships but setting boundaries allows each person in the relationship to maintain their space and needs as well as mental and emotional health.
Boundaries are of many types. They range from personal and emotional to mental. When you plan a ‘date-night’ with your partner, just the two of you, without your phones or any other distractions is an example of a healthy boundary. In the dating stage, setting healthy boundaries allows each person to have some personal time to get to know each other.
If you’re unable to set boundaries in a relationship, it can cause you stress and can make taking care of your personal needs complicated. It can make you feel either ignored, abandoned, or smothered in a relationship.
Healthy boundaries in a dating relationship allow people to care for one another’s needs as well as themselves while at the same time respecting the other person.
Emotional boundaries are as important as physical boundaries. When you spend time with someone new, take some time to spend apart from each other as well. None of you should dedicate all of your time to each other.
This is not an example of healthy boundaries. If you fail to set healthy emotional boundaries, it can eventually, in the future, lead to emotional manipulation or abuse.
Setting Boundaries In Romantic Relationships
1. Focus On Your Feelings
When we begin seeing someone new, we forget to take time apart, sometimes. It is normal to communicate with each other when not together but communicating all the time isn’t. Take some time apart from each other and focus on when you’re going out or how many times should you talk to each other daily.
The problem comes when we become so entangled with the other’s feelings that we forget about ours. Taking some time to reflect and check-in with yourself can help you differentiate between your and the other person’s feelings.
2. Communication Is A Must
The most important part of any healthy relationship is communication. When needed, use “I” statements to tell your partner what you think is appropriate and what’s not. If your partner is verbally offensive and rude then they are crossing a line which you can’t accept – let them know that in a non-threatening and respectful way.
A breach in the boundaries that you’ve set isn’t acceptable and it should be known to your partner. If you’re in a relationship where your partner is repeatedly breaking the boundaries you’ve set, then you should rethink your relationship.
3. Carve Out Some “Me Time”
Being in a novel relationship is exciting but most people don’t realize that spending all their time with their partner isn’t healthy. Sometimes, spending time with your partner can foster feelings like anger and frustration, and before you know boundaries can be broken.
Spending some time with yourself is as important as spending time with your partner. “Me Time” is the best way to understand what you’re feeling and what is needed. When you feel like boundaries are crossed, take some time to regroup. Communicating with your partner when you’re calm will yield better results.
Angry words can’t be taken back, remember that. So before you say something that you’ll regret, take some “me time” to calm down.
4. Learn When To Say “NO”
When you’re dating, all you want is to please your partner and in doing this many people forget to tell their partner “no”. This desire to please can be intense and can make you uncomfortable. All relationships are based on the ‘give and take’ concept and you need to learn when it’s time to give and when to take. Sometimes, saying “no” to your partner is the best thing.
Saying “no” when you need to not only establish a boundary but it also allows your partner to respect your choices. Tell them when you’re uncomfortable, be honest with them, and don’t do anything just to please them.
Boundaries are important but they are challenging as well, especially in a romantic relationship. Most people, to please their partner, forget that boundaries exist for a reason. Forcing boundaries is also not a healthy way to begin a relationship. Talking to your partner, as they are your equal in the relationship, is the way to go.
Failure to set boundaries can lead to emotional manipulation or abuse in the future. Setting healthy boundaries doesn’t restrict a relationship instead they help the relationship grow and thrive.
In a healthy, happy relationship, a partner loves, cares, and accepts you and your boundaries. If you’re finding that your partner is not respecting your boundaries or you, for that matter then you might be in a toxic relationship.
All boundaries set should be fair and equal and must be acceptable to the people in the relationship. Someone who fails to respect you and your boundaries is not someone you should continue seeing.
Respect, trust, and care are the three most important pillars, in my understanding, that is the foundation of any relationship. If your partner fails to respect, trust, and care for you, they are not the right person for you.
If you need additional support and assistance in learning what you can do to set healthy boundaries, you can seek help from relationship counselor. You can also write to us or drop us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
“When someone loves you, the way they talk about you is different. You feel safe and comfortable.” – Jess C. Scott