Get Your Dream Relationship by Setting Boundaries
If you’ve gone through our website, you know that our most unique offering (in fact, we’re the only company in the world that offers this!) is Your Private Journey. So hopefully, you’ve heard about Your Private Journey. Now, what about Your Dream Relationship? In this post, we discuss something we can’t set up for you: this one, you’ve got to do yourself. Read on, for tips on how to get Your Dream Relationship.
The fact is, boundaries are essential in healthy partnerships. And we each have our own set of boundaries – whether we’re fully conscious of them or not. For example, “I need you to be on time for our date night,” or, “I don’t want to be touched there.” When boundaries are crossed in relationships, it’s normal to feel frustrated, disappointed, or sad. For many, it’s a great challenge to actually state boundaries out loud due to fear of judgement, abandonment, or rejection. But people aren’t mind readers, and that’s why rules and boundaries must be made explicit – and the sooner, the better. In this article, we’re going to dive into how to set boundaries, especially when it comes to open relationships.
The earlier, the better
Communication is key, yes. But early communication is the master key that unlocks all the doors that can often block a relationship. Communicate your needs up front, as early as possible in the dating process. By being proactive, you can avoid “it’s-not-that-big-of-a-deal” issues from becoming major, festering problems.
Afraid you’ll come across as needy? Sure, it’s fun at the beginning of a relationship, and we often want to appear easy to please. But the most pleasing thing you can do is be honest with yourself and the person you’re dating. Remember this: it’s okay to have needs. And having uncomfortable conversations can literally save relationships. And if you fail to communicate, then it’s you who suffers by missing the opportunity to have your needs met.
If you and your love interest aren’t aligned on your desires, then it’s better to know that sooner rather than later too. For example, if you want a serious relationship but they want a friend with benefits, then save yourself the time and energy and move on. And definitely don’t stick around to try and persuade them to change…because people rarely do.
Emotions are your guide
If you’re already far into a relationship where boundaries weren’t discussed up front, it’s never too late to get clear on them now. Based on your emotions about specific issues that have come up before, you’ll know what areas you need limits in. Watch for resentment, burnout, frustration, settling, uneasiness, and anger. These emotions will point you to where boundaries are needed in your relationship. Get your boundaries clear, and then communicate them as respectfully as possible to your partner.
Hold the space
Remember, discussing boundaries is a two way street. Hold space for your partner by being genuinely curious about their desires, and listen without judgement. Be an example of how you’d want your partner to respond to your needs. Remember, you can’t control your partner, but you can control what you communicate and how. In healthy relationships, communicating needs should be welcomed and respected.
Start with the basics
If you don’t know where to begin, then start with the basics. What can and can’t happen in the relationship? What is acceptable, and what’s not? What are your top 5 needs in a relationship? Is your partner aware of your needs?
In terms of having an open vs closed relationship, you can discuss these questions with your partner:
- Is our relationship monogamous or open?
- What does “open” mean? What does monogamous mean?
- What does cheating look like?
- What’s the consequence if someone breaks our agreement?
Some clear boundary statements look like:
- I want an open relationship, where we discuss other partners with each other.
- I’d like to have sex 2-3 times per week.
- I need you to refrain from flirting with others in front of me.
- I want an open relationship, where we only engage with other people sexually, not romantically.
- I don’t want an open relationship, but if you are feeling attracted to someone else, I want you to talk with me about it.
- I need you to call me if you’re sleeping over somewhere else.
- If you have sex with someone else, I need you to use a condom.
The bottom line is that you can never assume that people know how to conduct themselves in a relationship with you. Having early, honest conversations with a love interest can save you a lot of trouble. Are you in an open relationship? If so, we’d love to hear some boundaries you’ve set down in the comments below.