There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding boundaries in our everyday relationships. We assume our friends, family, and romantic partners are supposed to already know the things we want and how we want them. In reality, ALL healthy relationships have boundaries! It’s unfair for us to accommodate other people 24/7, even if they are your significant other. If they respect you, they should respect your boundaries and your ability to make decisions on your own.
Here are five tips to help you set boundaries in your relationship:
- Talk It Out
Setting boundaries in your relationship can be as easy as having a conversation about wanting to set boundaries in your relationship. Be open and honest with your partner about your comfort level relating to certain things, and you’ll both be on the same page in no time. You should have these conversations periodically, as boundaries change over time.
- Follow Through
Once you’ve set a boundary with your partner, do NOT budge. When you hypothetically discuss your boundaries but don’t actively uphold them, you are having all of those vulnerable conversations for nothing. Communicating is half of the battle. While it’s your partner’s job to respect your boundaries, it’s your job to constantly enforce them. When you don’t respect your limits, your partner might partake in this behavior.
Learning how to set and enforce boundaries isn’t an easy task, especially if putting yourself first is a new concept for you. This is why you should always start off small! Tell your co-worker you can’t make it for coffee or tell your friend you don’t want them to borrow your favorite dress. These small gestures will give you the confidence to set even bigger boundaries with your partner.
- Find Support
Setting boundaries is difficult for a lot of people, so it’s only normal to reach out for help if you’re having a particularly hard time with it. The support of a friend or parent can be wonderful on its own, but there are hundreds of other resources available to help you on your terms. Self-help books, Couples Therapy Worksheets, counseling, and even highly personalized relationship coaching apps like Relish! All meant to help you achieve your relationship goals.