I came across a really interesting article by Destiny Connect this morning, it was about setting boundaries in a relationship. I tried to break it down below with my understanding.
New relationships are often very whimsical in the beginning; your partner can absolutely do no wrong in your eyes. But, there is also a side of you that wants to evaluate your new partner through basic tests such as; how they communicate in public, their affection in public spaces, their temperament in uncomfortable encounters, etc. Obviously there are things that you both will figure out as time goes by, but the most important thing to establish right at the beginning is relationship boundaries.
Setting boundaries is beneficial because it ensures that both parties involved understand and acknowledge their differences as well as expectations. You and your partner may find it difficult or easy to set these boundaries depending on past experiences; either way you need to meet each other halfway. What is most important is ensuring that you find a balance and respect each other’s the elements set.
Everyone has specific expectations when getting into a new relationship, communicating the seriousness of the relationship will guide you in setting boundaries. No two people are the same, conflicting interests and opinions are likely to come up and recognising this will help in creating a balance individually and as partners.
So now you are probably thinking, how do you start the boundary conversation? Acknowledging your partner’s views, desires and needs is the first step to setting boundaries in your relationship. It is usually best to spark the topic when both of you are relaxed; start off with talking about beliefs, things that make you happy and what makes you angry/upset. Have an open and honest talk about what your dealbreakers are, don’t bring up ex’s or use your last relationship as a point of reference all the time.
Remember that setting boundaries is a process, it will not just magically go right after the talk. Here are basic steps to setting boundaries in your relationship:
- Recognise and acknowledge your own feelings.
- Recognise how your boundaries have been crossed.
- Recognise how you need to set your boundary.
- Get grounded – your emotions are valid and you have reason for setting the boundary.
- Voice it – make your boundary known.
- Take care of yourself.
When you have negotiables and non-negotiables then it is best to voice them; being evasive will completely defeat the purpose. Making assumptions will lead to misunderstanding and confusion, make sure that you ask constructive questions to ensure that you understand.
Sources: Huffington Post