How to set boundaries in a relationship: The 3 easiest ways!
I wish I could tell you how often I work with people that come to me for help in setting up boundaries in a relationship. It’s such an important element of a healthy relationship and yet so many people neglect this aspect until it’s too late! That is why I wanted to write an article for you today on how to set boundaries in a relationship so that you can set yourself up for longterm success with the person you love. It’s so interesting how our society doesn’t really teach us about the importance of setting boundaries early on in our relationship and we end up thinking that things will just work naturally because we love each other.
Hollywood and Disney movies are largely to blame for this. The two main characters just fall in love and live happily ever after, without ever needing to discuss boundaries in their relationships. On top of that, we’re taught that love is just about giving and giving, and then one day we wake up feeling hurt and confused because our significant other did something that we never thought they’d do. We often end up having relationships in which problems start to arise later on down the line because boundaries weren’t established, and then we’re forced to try to put the pieces back together.
So I want to show you how to establish boundaries in your relationships so that they withstand the test of time and continue to make you happy. In today’s article, we will be going over what boundaries are exactly, why they’re so crucial, and how exactly to set them in your relationship!
What are boundaries in a relationship today?
When it comes to relationships, the definition of boundaries can be slightly unclear for people. It is not uncommon for someone to come to me for a coaching session and say, “I want to set boundaries with the person I’m seeing. I want them to be in a relationship with me and to commit to me.”
Alright, but what exactly does that mean to you? We need to go deeper than that. What exactly does commitment look like to you? What are the elements that make up a gratifying relationship for you? By identifying the details of the type of relationship you want to establish, it becomes much easier to set boundaries in the relationship.
Because at the end of the day, boundaries are basically the things that you do not want your partner to do.
It’s crucial that you set these boundaries at the very beginning of your relationship because trust me when I say that it’s very hard to backtrack and undo the damage when you’re experiencing problems and realizing that you need to change everything. This is exceedingly difficult. Not impossible, but I would highly recommend putting in the effort at the beginning of your relationship to avoid having to navigate this type of challenge!
Think about it like building a house. You would lay out the strong foundation first, right? You wouldn’t start by building a roof…
The more specific you can be, the easier it will be to lay a proper foundation in the form of boundaries. You want to be happy? Great, but what are specific examples of what your significant other can do that would make you feel happy? What are things they should never do?
By giving him or her concrete examples, you make it infinitely easier for them to understand your boundaries!
The goal isn’t to try and make your partner act the way that you would act. This isn’t “boundaries;” this is pressure. Creating boundaries in a relationship is about expressing what exactly you like, what you don’t like, and what you will never accept from your significant other.
For example, an example of a straight forward boundary is that you’d never accept that your partner would cheat on you or lie to you. So the first thing I would like you to do is to take a pen and piece of paper and start to write down your non-negotiables. This exercise is very important because it allows you to gain clarity on what you expect from your partner, and the more thought you put into this, the more the concept solidifies in your brain and helps you to maintain these boundaries.
If you allow your partner to raise their voice with you, put all the blame on you, make you feel like you’re less-than or make you lose your self-confidence, then they’ll continue to do it. Firstly because no one can read minds and sometimes something that seems blatantly obvious to you might not be so obvious to your partner, and secondly because adults are still very much like children.
They’ll do whatever they can get away with. You have to hold on to your high standards and be careful with what you allow because you are in essence teaching your partner how to treat you. This is one of the main issues I run into when I’m working with someone in a toxic relationship, and I don’t want you to have to experience this.
You deserve way more than a toxic relationship with a narcissist! By setting up boundaries in your relationship, you protect yourself. By making this list, you will send a powerful message to your mind and each time your partner does something that you do not want, you will put your foot down and tell them that this won’t happen again. What’s more, your partner will value your self-respect and will find you even more attractive. It is also a fantastic way to show your partner who you are, and they will love you for who you are and what kinds of boundaries you uphold in your life; not for what you give them.
How to set boundaries with a partner: Self-respect
Since 2007 I have been working with clients one on one, filming videos that you can see on YouTube, organizing conferences, writing books and writing articles all so that I can help you to find true happiness in love. I have dedicated my life to it because I want to provide you with results!
I’ve coached so many women who were broken down by a narcissist or a toxic relationship because they didn’t set boundaries. Now is the time to establish clear boundaries in your relationship so you can enjoy a fruitful love life!
An interesting thing about human nature is that we tend to wait for problems to arise in our relationships before we make the necessary steps to solve them. We don’t anticipate! By the time you realize that you should have set boundaries, it’s often too late to really lock them in place because now there are stakes. You’ve already developed a routine, you’ve already fallen in love, and your partner has already developed a notion of how they can treat you.
I worked with a woman not too long ago, Andrea, who told me that she really wanted to be in a serious relationship with the man she was dating but that she was afraid of scaring him away. I explained to her that it was really important for her to express what she wanted and to make sure that this guy was on the same page. The problem is that 99% of the time a man doesn’t want to be in a relationship. Instead, he wants the elements of a relationship. So Andrea needed to express the elements she wanted exactly. For example, a man who responds to her messages, a man who invites her out on fun dates, a man who would plan vacations with her… These things sounded enticing to him as well. So instead of talking about putting a label on their relationship, she expressed what she wanted the relationship to consist of by setting boundaries. In doing so, she laid out the foundation for a relationship that he found fun and inspiring, and they’re happy together today!
Establishing boundaries in romantic relationships: The importance of communication
It’s all too easy to make demands and expect your partner to adhere to them, but do you want to know what would make your partner more likely to get on the same page as you?
Being able to explain why you’re asking for certain things. Again, being able to be specific will simplify the process considerably!
For example, let’s say that you are not OK with your partner going out with their friends without checking in with you from time to time. If you can explain to him or her that you’re asking this because you grew up with your dad doing this for your mom, it will help them to put themselves in your shoes and understand where you’re coming from. You saw that it lead to arguments when your dad didn’t do this and you don’t want that for your relationship. Then, it stops feeling like an obligation or a forced duty for your partner, and it will begin to feel more like something they’d like to do for you and for your relationship.
Make sure you maintain healthy communication in your relationship. It will help your partner to understand why your boundaries are so important to you and vice versa. I encourage you to sit down and have a talk with your partner once every week or two weeks. Each of you can talk about what the other did well and what they could improve. You have to communicate with one another because neither of you can read minds! Again, this isn’t the movies where everything just works magically because you’re in love. You have to set relationship boundaries because we are all very different from one another. We need to talk so that we can make our relationships strong and solid!
Boundaries in relationships are the key to success
Boundaries in relationships need to be established as early as possible. They are really what will allow your relationship to flourish and for both of you to feel loved, respected and fulfilled together.
I can’t stress the importance of this enough. A lack of boundaries will quickly undermine the relationship and bond you’ve built with this person and the relationship will begin to fall apart. The more a person is allowed to get away with, the more likely they will be to do it. Don’t forget what I said about teaching people how to treat you. Boundaries are what lay the ground rules!
It’s also important for you to take some time to really think about what you accept and don’t accept from a romantic partner. Make sure you have a clear idea so that you can communicate it to your significant other.
Like I said, I am here to help you every step of the way. Please don’t hesitate to reach out for one on one coaching. Together we can set your relationship up for long term success! Lay the groundwork and your future self will thank you. Establish your boundaries and take the time to explain them to your significant other so that they can understand where you’re coming from. Encourage them to do the same for you because relationships are a two-way road and you must both be making an effort.
Healthy boundaries will serve you for the rest of your life in your romantic relationships, but also in your relationships with other people in your life. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you won’t run into any bumps in the road because you and your partner love each other. There will still be issues with misunderstandings, miscommunication and expectations, so make things easier on yourselves by prioritizing boundaries.
The fact that you sought out this article means that you’re already on the right track 😉
I wish you nothing but the very best,
Your coach when you want to know how to set boundaries in a relationship