Starting and being in a relationship can be absolutely amazing! It feels wonderful to spend time with them and get to know them. However, an essential quality of a relationship is feeling and being in control of yourself, of your choices, and your space and thus all healthy relationships have boundaries. A relationship can’t be healthy until both partners communicate their boundaries clearly, and the other person respects them. Establishing healthy boundaries in a relationship allows both partners to feel comfortable with each other and develop positive self-esteem. In order to establish boundaries, you need to be clear with your partner who you are, what you want, your beliefs and values, and your limits. Here are a few tips to help you get started establishing boundaries with your partner in your relationship (Break the Cycle):
- Communicate your thoughts with one another. Be honest, but respectful when sharing your thoughts and feelings with your partner. It’s totally normal and okay to need time to gather your thoughts and feelings, but don’t use that approach to avoid the conversation.
- Never assume or guess your partner’s feelings. Making assumptions can create a lot of misunderstandings in a relationship. You may feel like you know your partner very well that you feel you’re entitled to assume what they want or need without asking them, but it is always your best bet to ask rather than assume.
- Follow through on what you say. Setting boundaries and not executing them lets the other person think they have an excuse to continue to overstep your boundaries. You shouldn’t make any exceptions to your own boundaries without careful consideration because you may soon find yourself compromising on things that aren't acceptable to you.
- Take responsibility for your actions. Instead of immediately blaming your partner for the situation or how you’re feeling, take a step back and think about the choices you’ve made in the relationship and see if they may have contributed to the situation. Both partners should be doing this! Know when it’s time to move on. You can only share how you desire to be treated in the relationship, and you can’t be responsible for your partner’s feelings or communication. Everyone has the right to be treated with respect and fairness. If your partner can’t respect your boundaries, then it may be time to end the relationship.