When you don’t know how to create healthy relationship boundaries, you’re more likely to experience discomfort, frustration, and anxiety when you interact with your partner. However, defining them isn’t always easy and it doesn’t come naturally to everyone.
Find out how to create a solid foundation for your relationship by setting boundaries early on, and how to deal with any issues that might come up when they’re ignored or even ridiculed by your partner.
Don’t Put It Off
The best time to set boundaries is at the beginning of a relationship. You’re probably already doing it without realizing during your first date. If your date accidentally crosses them, that’s the best time to bring them up. If you don’t, you’re likely to experience discomfort and even start resenting your boyfriend when he keeps making a mistake he’s not even aware of.
Explore the Source of the Problem
Deciding on whether to go into details when you create healthy relationship boundaries is always up to you. Even if you want to simply state your preference then move on to a different topic of discussion, you should be aware of what’s causing the problem. When you’re also in the dark about why you hate a certain word or gesture, the frustration can quickly build up whenever that particular boundary comes into play.
Be Honest About Your Limits
Honesty is very important, first of all to yourself. If you know you have issues with certain boundaries, communicate them clearly with your partner. For instance, if you really hate being kissed in a certain way, it’s a very bad idea to think you can power through it so you don’t scare your new boyfriend with your particular quirk.
Try to Be Direct, but Polite
When you’re trying to create healthy relationship boundaries, it’s important to be direct. You can’t expect anyone to read your mind, or see your discomfort in your body language. The signs that you’re not OK might be clear to you, but not to anyone else. So before you get too uncomfortable, be direct, polite and assertive when communicating your boundaries.
Inconsistency is a big mistake made by many people. It’s one thing to compromise when it comes to your relationship and quite another to set a boundary, then cross it yourself, or let your partner cross it occasionally.
See more: 10 Signs of a Match Made in Heaven
Don’t Be Judgmental... the First Time
Being judgmental is detrimental when it comes to your efforts to create healthy relationship boundaries. Polite and assertive is the way to go when it comes to sharing a boundary, and when it’s crossed for the first time, especially if it’s an accident. However, if you start seeing a pattern in which your partner simply ignores your boundaries, you can get a little judgmental, or simply end it.
Avoid Shaming Your Partner
Whether your boundaries are sexual, physical or psychological, shaming your partner when he crossed them accidentally is a bad idea. Treat him with the respect you want in return, and if he can’t deal with your boundaries, move on.
Don’t Feel Selfish or Guilty for Setting Boundaries
Even if your partner is receptive and allows you to create healthy relationship boundaries, you might feel guilty or selfish. Letting your partner induce guilt is not acceptable and if things aren’t headed in the right direction, you might be better off with someone else.
Read also: Relationship Deal Breakers
Always Respect Your Partner’s Boundaries
You can’t expect him to treat you with respect and consideration if you don’t reciprocate. So treat his boundaries the way you’d like him to treat yours.
Be Extra Careful When Discussing Sexual Boundaries
In order to create healthy relationship boundaries, you also have to be open about your sexual preferences. A sex positive attitude is best, but a little tact never hurts when you’re talking about sexual boundaries.
The more unusual your boundaries are, the more patience you should have when you meet new people. Of course everyone should be instantly understanding when it comes to your quirks, but sometimes they simply need a little time to sink it. Be patient with a guy who understands your boundaries and tries his best to respect them, never with someone who dismisses them.