Boundaries are important.
We're aware that creating a boundary isn't the sexiest conversation and it's definitely not the most fun thing to do, but for those very reasons, people ignore its importance and end up suffering the consequences later.
When we neglect to state where the line is with others, they will always cross it.
Not because they are bad people, but because they don't even know the line exists. They do or say things that hurt and are completely unaware of why you're bothered by it. Usually, they start to feel like they can't do anything right or you have a problem with everything.
Setting boundaries isn't about starting a fight or attacking the other person, it's actually what you do so you won't have to fight later. Boundaries are the way you communicate to each other how you can feel respected in the relationship.
Still, most of us probably don't know what boundaries to set or how to bring them up.
Well, this post is designed to help with that. Here we're going to explain how to discover what a true boundary is for you and how you can communicate it to your partner.
First, let's talk about what a boundary is...
A boundary is a line of respect. You're basically saying that on this side of the line, I feel respected, and on the other side, I don't.
Now, we have to say that what's considered a solid boundary for one person might mean nothing to someone else. It depends on the individual. There is no such thing as a "right" boundary, but you do have the right to ask for any boundary that will make you feel safe.
When it comes to a relationship, it's important to create an openness with each other in which you feel safe to ask. It's also important to recognize that boundaries aren't fixed. What is a boundary for you at one point may not be a boundary for you a year or even a month later.
As you get to know each other better, as life changes, and as the relationship changes, your boundaries will change as well. So it's not like you set your boundaries and you're done. This is an unfolding communication between the two of you.
You know what your boundaries are based on how the actions of your partner make you feel. When they do or say something that makes you feel disrespected, that's when you know they've crossed the line.
You may not even be aware that it is a boundary for you until it happens, so it's important to avoid getting angry about what they did and instead try to express how it made you feel.
If you can help them understand that what they did was hurtful to you without blaming them or attacking them for it, they will likely understand where you're coming from and want to help.
If you pay attention to your own personal reactions and refrain from blaming your partner for them, you will be in an excellent position to openly communicate with them about what you're experiencing.
Ok, so how do we talk about boundaries?
This is certainly the most complex part because we can all be very sensitive at times and nobody wants to feel wrong or be accused of disrespecting someone they care about.
When you're attempting to communicate a boundary with your partner it's important to remember a few things:
It's not their fault you felt disrespected. You felt disrespected because of the way you received their action. If you can communicate that, they won't feel blamed for it.
You're not telling them that what they did was wrong, you're telling them how it made you feel. You're asking them to help you create a relationship in which you both feel respected.
The boundary is simply you communicating to your partner: "This is how you can Love me." And your partner, who Loves you, will want to know that.
Many fights happen because we lash out when we're frustrated in the moment. And if we can be conscious enough to bring it up in the right setting, we both may be more open to speaking about it in a more understanding way.
Try to bring this up in a setting where you can both give your undivided attention to the conversation. Choose a time when it's just the two of you and you'll be able to discuss without distraction. If that kind of time doesn't come easily, you may have to create it by asking:
"Could we set aside some time tonight to talk about a few things? There are some things on my mind that I want to share with you."
It's very important to prioritize these conversations because when you don't, these little grudges can build up and come out in really hurtful explosions.
When you've found some time to discuss, you can say very gently:
"There are some things that bothered me that I want to let you know about. I know that wasn't your intention but if I don't bring it up, you won't know about it, and I think it's important to our relationship that we talk about these things. Do you mind if I share these things with you?"
We show Love in a relationship by hearing each other's needs and honoring them. Someone who Loves you will want to know what your boundaries are because they will want to know how to make you feel Loved.
Tell them what they can do that will allow you to feel the Love you know they have for you and ask them, "Can you please do this for me?"
Great, and where do we go from here?
After you communicate the boundary, you should expect that it will be honored but also remember to be gentle with each other.
We are all imperfect and when your partner feels like they are under harsh judgment or criticism they are less likely to be open to what you're asking them for.
Trust that your partner will honor the boundary, look for the ways they make the effort to do so, point them out, and acknowledge them for it. Let them know you appreciate their effort.
If they seem to disregard the conversation and you feel like it warrants another, bring it up in the same Loving and open manner.
The very nature of these conversations is challenging and it's important to acknowledge with each other that there will be challenges. Not every conversation is going to feel good, and that doesn't mean it's bad.
Remember that you Love each other and you want each other to be happy. You want to create a relationship together in which you both feel safe and respected and that's why you have these conversations--to create understanding and prevent resentment that leads to fighting and conflict.
Also, remember that you won't always know what your boundaries are until one is crossed.
When this happens, you may "fight" about it but if you can bring your love for each other to the fight and remember that you're only trying to communicate what you need from each other, these "fights" will be easily resolved and won't get ugly.
Someone who respects you will respect your boundaries when you help them to understand what they are. Someone who is not willing to honor them doesn't deserve a relationship with you and when you don't communicate about them, you have no way of knowing who's who.
Loving relationships are built on mutual Love and respect. One of the most Loving things you can do for someone you care about is to tell them how they can Love you. This creates trust in each other and peace in your relationship.
The more you see that your partner wants to respect your boundaries, the more trust and Love you will have for them.
We know how scary it can be to approach boundaries with someone, especially when the relationship is new and you're not comfortable with the person yet. Doing this is incredibly courageous (and risky) but in the end, it's the only way you can truly build the relationship that you desire the most.
If you've struggled to create boundaries in the past or are unclear of what your true boundaries are, this is one of the things we'll be exploring in A Crash Course in Love.
Thanks for reading. Lots of Love <3
Thank you so much for enjoying our content! Our greatest joy comes from knowing that people like you are using it to transform your lives and relationships and that the world is becoming a better place because of it.
We know the feeling of being alone, of struggling through what seems like an endless series of dead-end relationships, of waiting for the phone to ring, of being rejected and let down again and again.
We know what it's like to go to bed alone each night wondering if that will ever change and fearing that it might not.
We know these experiences all too well and that is why we do the work we do. We want you to know that you can find Love, that the application of these simple tools and practices can make a complete difference in every aspect of your Love life, ultimately leading you to the intimate, loving, lifetime partnership you so deeply crave.
You're not in this alone. We're here for you <3