In relationships, the ‘boundary’ marks where 'you' end and the 'other person' begins. To have a fulfilling, healthy and happy relationship with another person, you need to become good at setting your relationship boundaries. This may be easy or difficult for you, depending on your past life experiences and upbringing. Boundaries need balance between being not too weak and not too strong. Here are some basic steps to setting healthy relationship boundaries.
Relationships and Setting Healthy Boundaries
Setting healthy boundaries in a relationship or even when just dating can be difficult for many women to do. Often it is about difficulty in saying the word "No". Even when you know what you want your rules and boundaries to be, there is a problem. And if you haven't been brought up in the skills of recognizing and setting healthy boundaries, it can be very difficult. But whatever your situation, to be successful, you may still need willpower and perseverance.
Setting Relationship Boundaries- Self Respect
One of the primary reasons why you need to set and keep healthy boundaries is about maintaining your "self-respect". Self-respect is all about protecting and caring for your mind, spirit and body. Self-respect is about having the right to an equal part in the relationship. Self-respect is about having a sense of your own dignity, integrity and self-worth. Setting healthy boundaries is the most important thing you can do to ensure a successful and healthy relationship - and to ensure that you are respecting yourself.
Relationship Boundaries - Past Behaviour Patterns
If you are having difficulties in setting healthy boundaries, then start by thinking about your past relationships. Be brutally honest with yourself and make a list of the mistakes you made. Think about what you might have done differently. Identify your behaviour patterns in the relationships - you will probably find that most (maybe all) of the problems and mistakes were due to unhealthy boundary issues.
From your knowledge of the past, now draw up a list of all the healthy boundaries you want to establish in any new (or current) relationship. It might be necessary to add some new boundaries to your list e.g. to take account of social media and online dating.
Relationship Boundaries - Taking Care Of Your Self
It's important now to say that in a relationship you must put your own well-being first - but not in a selfish or self-centred way. You must be responsible for caring for yourself and for your own happiness. Don't expect the other person in the relationship to prioritize you, giving you what you need and want - in other words, depending on them. You must first take care of yourself; then you are in a healthy position to give some care to the other.
Relationship Boundaries - Effective Communication
Now, another very important matter is that of communication between yourself and your partner. Each of you will have your own ideas on what boundaries are needed in the relationship - and they may differ. It's crucial that if you have differences and problems that these are acknowledged and discussed openly and in respectful manner. Do not pretend that they don't exist, or are not important or can be just swept under the carpet.
If you feel unable to discuss such issues, that will tell you that the relationship is unhealthy and that unhealthy boundaries exist. Remember, your boundaries show a lot about your own principles and integrity (self-respect). And you bring about greater intimacy in a relationship if you can discuss personal boundary issues together.
Healthy Boundaries Lead To Healthy Relationships
Healthy boundaries lead on to a healthy relationship. Of course, there may need to be some compromise. But if you have to let go of your core principles in order to get someone to stay with you, then that's not compromise, it's capitulation. In that situation you are best out of the relationship. That person is not the right one for you. You can be sure that when you insist on maintaining your healthy boundaries, those wrong men will go, leaving space for the right men to come into your life.