How to create healthy boundaries in your relationship
A new relationship is always fun and exciting. At the beginning of the relationship, you might try to impress your new girlfriend or boyfriend. For example you might do things that the other person prefers doing or saying that you like something simply because you want to keep them happy. You might do this because you don't want anything to go wrong in the new relationship and also because you like the other person so much. However, as the relationship progresses you might start to feel uncomfortable or pressured into doing certain things with your partner.
In any healthy relationship communication is important so it's okay to say what you like and don't like. Boundaries in a relationship are like your own set of personal rules. They create a line that you don't want someone to overstep, letting them know what you are comfortable or uncomfortable with. For example, if you have a friend that you only want to be friends with and nothing more, you can let them know that your boundary is friendship and nothing more. If your friend tried to kiss you, they would be overstepping that boundary.
Here are a few tips on setting boundaries in your relationship:
1. Speak up about how you feel
Don't be afraid to say how you feel about certain things. If your partner does something that makes you uncomfortable then let them know. Remember, in a healthy relationship partners respect each other's feelings and are willing to talk about things. While we're on that subject, you should respect your partners feelings too. So say how you feel about something, but remember to say it in a respectful way. You don’t have to shout or insult someone to let them know what's on your mind.
2. Don't compromise too much
Compromising is reaching an understanding with your partner, perhaps after you've spoken about something and decided what would be best for both of you to do. But compromising can also mean lowering your standards for someone else. So when it comes to setting boundaries, don't agree to accept something that you've already said makes you uncomfortable. So, if you told your partner that you are not okay with having unsafe sex you shouldn't feel forced into agreeing to it. If your partner comes up with 'solutions' that still involve you having unprotected sex and you know you're uncomfortable with the idea, don't compromise.
3. Have space
It's okay to feel that you need boundaries when it comes to your privacy. We all need privacy and a bit of personal space. When your partner asks to know everything, from where you're going to what you have in your phone, it can feel like a violation of your privacy. In healthy relationships there is trust and respect.
You can set a boundary when it comes to your personal space by letting your partner know that you are not okay with them going through your phone without your permission. This doesn't mean that you are doing anything suspicious or behind their backs, this simply means that you would like your partner to respect your things and your right to privacy.
We all have our own personal boundaries and we know what makes us uncomfortable. Letting someone know what your boundaries are doesn't mean that you're trying to create too many rules or trying to insult their behaviour – it's just letting someone know how to respect and treat you better. Without healthy boundaries, someone might take advantage of your relationship and ask you to do things that constantly make you feel uncomfortable or disrespected.
Everyone deserves to be treated with respect so don't feel bad about asking for your personal standards to be respected. Creating your own healthy boundaries are about your own self-respect and what you believe is right and healthy for yourself.
Did you find this article helpful? Yes No