How to Choose and Enforce Boundaries in Relationships
Boundaries are an integral element of a healthy relationship. Check out my latest article for tips on setting boundaries.
A boundary is something that indicates or fixes a limit or extent. They can be physical or moral. All healthy relationships have boundaries. 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 are not violated. Some boundaries are discussed, others are assumed, and some are only discovered when they have been crossed. Boundaries can preserve your privacy and independence. Everyone has boundaries, but few people have the same boundaries, and that is why it is so important to set the boundaries in your relationship.
Consider your boundaries in these areas:
Financial. Who is going to pay for what? How much will you spend on birthdays and Christmas? How much is too much? Should everything be split 50:50? Does the man pay for everything? Does the person with the larger salary carry the brunt of the load? There are no right or wrong answers if both parties agree. One tip do NOT try to do copy or emulate what works for another couple. An arrangement that works for Susie and Bob’s relationship may end up in disaster for yours.
Work. 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. Make sure you are aware and in agreement with where work falls on the list of your partner’s priorities.
Sexual. Some people like to keep it conservative, while others prefer swing from the chandelier. Everyone has a sexual limit, and it is rare that two people have the same limits. A lot of drama can be avoided by understanding what your partner will and will not do. I can not stress this enough, make sure you are equally yoked sexually with your partner. If your partner needs intercourse at least three times a week and you know that is a schedule you cannot and do not desire to keep up with, they are NOT your soul mate.
Openness regarding the past. Some people insist on dissecting their partner’s past. Others believe that the past is irrelevant and should stay in the past. A person’s past often has an impact on the person they are today. How much do you require to know about your partner’s past? What are you willing to reveal? What do you want to know?
Family. It is important to set boundaries for how involved each other’s families can be in your relationship. I do not recommend getting close friends and family involved in your personal relationships too deeply. Discuss with your partner what each of you think is appropriate to share to family. How involved do you want your boyfriend or girlfriend with your family? Do you want them to come to the family barbecue? Or do you want them to keep their distance? Is it okay for your boyfriend to call your mother or sister for advice about your relationship? If you have children from a previous relationship, how do you want to include the children in your new relationship?
Time. Let us be honest everyone knows how needy they are. Let your partner know early on your needs. 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 partner once a week.
Dating others. In the early stages of your relationship, do you like to continue playing the field, or just stick to one person? Some people prefer open relationships even after they have been together for years. Whatever the case maybe, transparency in relationships is of the utmost importance. Be an adult and clearly state what your intentions are and what you expect of them.
Discuss your boundaries with your dating partner. It is unfair to expect someone to follow a boundary that you are 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 is a sign that you are with the wrong person. It is just as important to understand the other person’s boundaries and respect them. If you are both on the same page, you have a better chance of enjoying a long healthy and happy relationship.
Some people struggle with being able to set boundaries. Often a relationship life coach can help. If you’re having trouble setting boundaries, let me guide you, visit www.intimacy-coach.comtoday and schedule your complimentary discovery call.