Why Is Setting Boundaries So Important while Dating?

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Why Is Setting Boundaries So Important while Dating?

Whether in the family, in friendships or in the work environment: Knowing your personal limits and naming them clearly is extremely important. Especially in romantic or sexual relationships, setting boundaries is a necessary tool to avoid toxic relationships, to make sure that your own needs are not neglected and to protect your own (mental) health and safety.

How do I set boundaries in my relationship?
Setting boundaries can protect us emotionally, mentally and financially, clinical psychologist Sheva Assar, PhD tells Cosmopolitan . In romantic relationships, they allow us to feel safe and respected while maintaining individuality when bonding with someone else, the psychologist says.

First of all, it is important to think carefully about what is important in a relationship or in life in general, says Assar. She recommends asking yourself: What am I comfortable with? Not with what? What do I want to share with my partner? How far can he*she go?

Tip: Focus on past relationships
If you find it difficult to answer these questions, it can help to think back to past failed relationships and to consider what didn’t work so well at the time or what you would have liked from the other person. “It may have ended then because one of our boundaries was crossed or what was important to us was not respected by the other.”

That sounds all well and good, you might be thinking, but how do I put that into practice? Legitimate question! Here are a few examples to make things a little clearer:

“I’m happy to tell you what plans I have for the coming week and when I’ll be where, but I don’t want to share my location.”
“I’m happy if we write regularly and update each other – but I can’t get in touch while I’m at work”.
“I love spending time with you, but I still need a few hours/days to myself.”
“I like being intimate with you, but in public I don’t like exchanging too many caresses.”
So, now you have a first impression of what the borders can actually look like. In order to understand the topic a little better and to know where to start, according to relationship experts, it is helpful to focus on three major areas, namely:

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1. Communication

How often and in what way do we want to communicate with each other? Do we call every day? How often do we want to see each other? Do we always want to let each other know where we are and what our plans are? Clarifying these questions as quickly as possible can help to avoid misunderstandings and discussions.

2. Intimacy

Everyone has different needs, preferences and ways of living their sexuality and feeling intimacy. For this reason, it is particularly important to communicate honestly and directly here and to clarify what everyone involved feels comfortable with and where the limits lie – and then to respect these without fail and not to push the partner into things with whom he*she feels uncomfortable.

3. Future

Of course you don’t have to talk about how many children you want and how you imagine your pension on the 1st date. Nevertheless, it can save you a lot of nerves and energy if you address certain life ideas sooner rather than later and communicate clearly with each other what you hope for in a partner and how you imagine or would like the relationship to develop. In particular, it should be clarified whether you would rather have an exclusive relationship or would rather have changing sexual partners.

What to do if my partner does not respect my boundaries?
If you find that your partner isn’t taking your needs seriously and is overstepping boundaries, ending the relationship is usually the best solution, says therapist Sarah Jackson on cosmopolitan.com . Regardless of whether it is something new or the relationship has been around for a few years – the personal boundaries of the other person should be respected and observed in order for it to work. Especially if the other person makes you feel insecure or not valued, you should consider whether you really want to continue this relationship or seek outside help, advises Assar

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