Does your relationship feel like a roller-coaster?
Like when things are good, it’s excellent, and when things are bad, it’s all a mess. There’s a kind of oscillation between a great time followed by a terrible breakup and a dramatic patch-up.
It often happens when both partners have boundary issues in their relationship.
When two people with no strong boundaries make a romantic tie, they make this kind of codependent relationship with dead surety. However, setting healthy boundaries in relationships can help couples get out of this vicious cycle and spend drama-free time.
Setting boundaries in relationships is a game of mature communication. Let your partner know what you like and what you don’t. And next time they do it again, stay on the course and take some action.
Is it that easy? Yep kinda…
But you’d still be confused about what the word “boundaries” (seems like an unseen magical circle built by a wizard… Lol) in a relationship exactly mean?
Here is a detailed guide on this topic that will help you to keep your Romanceville at peace.
What Are Healthy Boundaries in Relationships Exactly?
Before we discuss establishing healthy boundaries in relationships, you need to know what boundaries mean.
A boundary is what defines our limits and rules within a relationship. A person who has healthy relationship boundaries can say “no” and accept “no.” Yet, they are also at ease in close relationships and intimacy.
- A person who overdoes for others despite their loss has weak boundaries. They attach too soon.
- On the flip side, a person resistant to intimacy and attachments has rigid boundaries.
Why Are Boundaries Good In A Relationship?
- You don’t have to fix your partners’ problems all the time.
- You both spend quality time, but there is also space for each other to hang out with friends.
- There is always understanding and compatibility in the air.
- Not everything your partner says or does bothers you.
- No blow-ups and dramas.
- You both love to be together but can survive without each other as well.
- Above all, you feel loved.
That’s why you need to have healthy relationship boundaries.
How To Know You Have Relationship Boundary Issues?
Let’s do the healthy boundaries checklist here. You have boundary issues if you can relate to the following statements.
- You let your partner give your life meaning.
- To feel loved or needed, you keep victimizing yourself.
- You keep saving your partner every time and solve their problems.
- Saying the word “no” is scary as hell.
- Even when something is not your liking, you let your partner do it.
- You feel a lot more invested or attracted than you actually should be.
If all or even a few of the above statements are ticked, you have weak or no boundaries in your romance life.
How To Figure Out Your Boundaries in a Relationship?
Understanding boundaries is cool and all, but analyzing your boundaries and applying them to your relations is the real deal.
Get clear on “what bothers you?” and establish your relationship boundaries based on that.
If you don’t like that your partner keeps texting or calling you when you’re away, you should get a boundary that they can contact you at specific hours of the day. Or, if you find yourself pampering your partner all the time, you should have a boundary that you’re not their therapist-couch.
Example Of Healthy Boundaries In Relationships
The following examples are the perfect picture of healthy boundaries in relationships. You and your partner have secure boundaries if you both:
- Respect and understand each other’s feelings.
- Stay grateful to each other.
- Stay truthful.
- Avoid codependency.
- Give space to each other.
- Hold yourself accountable for your actions.
Unhealthy Boundaries In Relationships
On the flip side, unhealthy boundaries between partners look something like this. For instance, you have poor boundaries in a relationship if you:
- Are too open or close in communication.
- Are always dominant when deciding to plan anything.
- Or too dependent on your partner.
- Act too victimized.
- Or act like a survivor.
How To Establish Healthy Boundaries In Relationships
(1) Know The Importance Of Having Personal Boundaries
The first step to establishing healthy boundaries in a relationship is knowing the importance of personal boundaries.
Boundaries and emotions are interconnected. Setting boundaries in a relationship brings emotional well-being, and emotionally healthy people set boundaries.
Keeping this key point in mind, you can kickstart building your boundaries.
(2) Set The Boundaries
You’ll get nowhere until you decide to set personal boundaries in relationships.
Look at what you value, what you need, what you tolerate, and what you don’t. You must decide what behaviors you will accept and which you will not.
In brief, if an action or behavior drains your physical or emotional energies, you need a boundary.
Now set the limits on all these expected occurring. These would be your boundaries.
(3) Decide The Consequences
Now that your boundaries are in place, what if your partner crosses them intentionally or unintentionally?
Here you need to decide your “otherwise actions.”
Like you are cool if your partner spends time with their friends all week, but weekends are for your hangouts. If they do this next time, you can tell them they will have to spend most of their time without you.
(4) Communicate It Well
Communicate all of the above clearly to your partner. Make them know what you think healthy boundaries in relationships are, when they would be crossing them, and the results of doing it.
Well, it’s not a good idea to talk about your boundaries anytime, anywhere. Choose to talk, especially when you are already having a good time with them.
You can start the conversation like, “Hey, do you really like when____well, I don’t feel comfortable with it.”
A good partner always understands and respects your boundaries. In case they completely resist, you need to rethink this relationship. Is it really gonna work out for you?
(5) Give Them A Chance
You needn’t have to apply consequences right away when your partner first time crosses your boundary. Every human being takes some time to process a new pattern and act accordingly.
Or maybe they don’t take you seriously in the first go. So you need to give them a chance the first time around with a warning.
But it doesn’t have to be keeping them on the loose because then they won’t ever take your boundaries seriously.
(6) Know When To Be firm
It’s simple; you let them cross your boundaries one or two times, now, DO what you said you would do in this case.
Be inflexible this time so your partner can clearly understand how you want them to be in your life.
Here’s something to keep in mind you don’t have to act rudely while giving them some consequences. Still, be compassionate and apply your otherwise actions in a healthy way.
(7) Your Boundaries Can Change
It’s normal if your boundaries change over time. As time passes, we grow our personalities and shift our comfort levels.
It might be possible that at the start of the relationship, you didn’t like hangouts that included your partner’s friends, but now they seem okay to you.
In the same way, if one thing seemed perfect at first, but after experiencing it a couple of times, you didn’t find it working for you.
Lives change, preferences change, so the boundaries do. But you always make sure to talk about these transformations to your partner.
Tips For Setting Boundaries in Relationships in An Effective Way
Now that you know how to set healthy boundaries in relationships. It’s inevitable to know how to set them correctly without getting into an argument.
Do It At The Very Start
Things are always pretty okay at the start of relationships. Partners are more inclined to know each other and their priorities. You both are not much emotionally invested, and the routines are not established.
So it’s good to introduce your boundaries in dating from the get-go.
But if that time has passed, it’s better to do it now than never.
Use “I” More Than “You”
Make sure not to attack the other person with all the You sentences. Nobody feels good when they are criticized.
So there is a possibility your partner will become defensive instead of getting your point.
You make me feel_____
Why do you always____
When you are gonna___
It’s of no importance what you say but how you say it. So do it in a smart way so that you don’t present yourself as a victim and make your partner feel attacked.
Starting your talk with putting your feelings and discomforts first is a good deal, though.
I feel uncomfortable when____
I don’t prefer to____
I don’t like when____
Be Honest About What You Need
Randi Levin, a life strategist, said, “Asking is a game-changer because it eliminates assumptions while promoting authentic communication.”
Not communicating your needs and expectations can do a disaster to your relationship. So to save the health of your union, learn to express your needs.
Being open to what you need and what you don’t will put both of you at ease. Your partner can better treat you based on your expectations.
Listen To What Your Partner Needs
Healthy boundaries in relationships go in both ways. If your partner honors your boundaries and all, you must also listen to their needs and expectations.
If they don’t prefer it, convince them to express their thoughts. And make them know the importance of expressing their needs to you so you can better deal with them.
Start and End With A Positive Statement
Here’s a Sandwich Rule to keep in mind whenever you have to criticize anybody.
When you use this method, you have to wrap a criticism between two praises.
It means whenever you are gonna let your partner know their uncomfortable behaviors, start and end with an honest, positive statement about them.
You can use these examples….
I love it when you___
I appreciate your efforts to make me feel love but___
You always have been good in____but I’m feeling___
And when you’re done with discussing the main thing, again confess to their love and efforts they truly have made in the past.
First Give It Then Demand It
What if you complain that your partner doesn’t give space when you want it, but you’re doing the same thing in any other way?
Complaints need to begin with some effort from the person making them.
Before complaining that you don’t feel loved by your partner when they are busy with their schedule, make sure you also make time for them in the same situations.
Likewise, if you want them to hear you without interrupting, do the same first and then approach them with your demands.
What Kind Of Boundaries Can You Set In A Relationship?
Healthy boundaries in a relationship are not always about you, but they are for the well-being of your tie. So to keep your relationship an ever-lovey-Dovey connection, you need various types of boundaries.
Here is a dating boundaries list you can take help from:
(i) Physical Boundaries:
They include your health, body, privacy, and public displays of affection.
(ii) Emotional Boundaries:
Emotional boundaries consist of your feelings, emotions, triggers, and comforts.
(iii) Sexual Boundaries:
It includes your preferences when it comes to intimacy.
(iv) Financial Boundaries:
It’s all about money. How you wanna treat and deal with your financial matters, both in a combined and individual manner.
(v) Intellectual Boundaries:
Intellectual boundaries cover your values, comforts, beliefs, disbeliefs, and ideas.
Often the question is raised: what kind of love is left if we can’t sacrifice our boundaries for our loved ones?
Here is a point, though. You sometimes have to compromise on your boundaries for your partner. For example, if your partner doesn’t have cooking skills, you definitely need to take the cooking responsibilities on your shoulder to keep both of you fed. Nothing is set in stone.
Well, sacrificing your healthy boundaries in relationships is completely decided by the whole scenario.
A Quick Recap:
(i) Boundaries in relationships work like oxygen. When both partners are good at setting their boundaries, the relationship then blooms.
(ii) You can have boundaries by simply setting, recalling, and following them.
(iii) The rest of the matter falls on your communication skills. And how well you convey your point.