What are your dating boundaries? Do you even have any or do you let your partner walk all over you? Setting dating boundaries is an essential part of any healthy relationship. The following are several dating boundaries that you should live by, if you want to avoid heartache.
Why Do I Need Dating Boundaries?
Establishing dating boundaries is an important aspect of any healthy relationship. Boundaries are your personal limits as regards both the type of behavior that you expect from your partner and also the limit of bad behavior that you are prepared to tolerate.
Clear boundaries help ensure that you are treated with the respect that you so rightly deserve. Failure to set any dating boundaries sends out a signal that you are more or less prepared to put up with almost anything, in order to be loved.
7 Healthy Dating Boundaries
Healthy dating boundaries include:
- I Respect Myself and My Boundaries
This should be fairly self explanatory and means not making excuses for your partner’s behavior when your boundaries are crossed. These boundaries establish a level of behavior which, in the cold light of day, YOU predetermined was unacceptable and a deal-breaker. The more you relax your boundaries, the more they will be tested. If your boundaries are not non-negotiable, then what is the point in kidding yourself that you have any?
- I Will Not Date Anyone Who is Married or Has a Significant Other
Nobody ever enters a race wanting to finish in second place. In reality, we all want to be ‘first past the post.’ So why on earth would you even entertain dating someone who already has a partner? Do you really want to live your life being second best? Are you really prepared to sacrifice your life for crumbs?
Of course not! So this boundary is something of a no-brainer. You may also wish to consider adding recently separated, divorced or widowed individuals to this boundary also. The last thing you need is to be someone else’s rebound relationship.
- I Will Not Tolerate Any Emotional or Physical Abuse From a Partner
In the heat of an argument it is perfectly natural to say things that will hurt your partner’s feelings. Let’s be perfectly honest about it…we are all guilty of hurling verbal abuse at one point or another! You might not be proud of your behavior and you may take offence at what is being said. You may regret your actions and wish that you had bitten your tongue. Nonetheless, this does not necessarily mean that you are being emotionally abusive towards, or are being abused by, your partner. However, are there several tell-tale signs of an abusive relationship.
If the verbal abuse is constant, with your partner belittling, criticizing, or humiliating you, then this is not a healthy relationship. Alternatively, your partner may be controlling or manipulative. If you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your partner, fearful of his or her volatile reaction, then this too is unacceptable.Physical abuse would appear to speak for itself. If you saw a couple walking down the street and one of them shoved or slapped their partner, then you would be visibly shocked. Nonetheless, behind closed doors, you would be surprised at the level of tolerance that is shown towards physical abuse. I should also stress that this applies just as equally to men, as it does to women. We all have a right to feel physically and emotionally safe in our homes and relationships.
- I Will Not Tolerate Lack of Trust and Respect
Mutual trust and respect are the foundation of any healthy relationship. However, even if someone loves you, it does not necessarily mean that they will treat you with the degree of trust and respect that you deserve. They may lie or cheat on you. When you are unwell, they may make no effort to care for you. When you suffer a loss, they do not comfort you. In a healthy relationship, your partner will be compassionate and genuinely care about your feelings. This is definitely an instance where actions speak louder than words.
- I Will Maintain My Independence
Understandably, you will want to spend quality time with your partner. Even so, just because you believe that you have met the ‘love of your life,’ does not mean that you should suddenly drop all of your hobbies, interests and social circle. These are an important part of your life and shape who you are. Also, if you ‘dump’ all of your friends, who are you going to turn to if things go awry? It is much easier to recover from a breakup when you already have your support network in place.Remember, you both need your own personal space and neither should be made to feel guilty about doing things on their own, or that simply do not involve their partner.
- I Will Not Waste My Time Waiting for the Phone to Ring
Do not allow yourself to be at the mercy of some ‘Game Player.’ If someone is genuinely interested in you and wants a relationship, then they will not want to risk losing you. This means that they call when they say that they will and do not cancel dates at the last minute…unless there are extremely extenuating circumstances of course! Also be wary of someone who tends to communicate predominantly by text or messenger type services. If they cannot make the effort to pick up the phone and speak to you, then they are really not all that interested in you. It is a lazy, albeit modern means of keeping you hanging on.
- I Will Not Chase After Someone Who Has Rejected Me
Rejection is hard and it is perfectly natural to want what you cannot have. However, if someone is not interested in you, then you need to move on. It’s their loss! Things happen for a reason and it simply means that there is someone far better out there, just waiting for you.This means no calling, texting, stalking or accidently ‘on purpose’ bumping into them. It is important that you maintain your dignity and self-respect.
The above is not an exhaustive list of boundaries and you will probably wish to add some of your own. However, whatever you do:
Set your boundaries, know your boundaries and stick to your boundaries!