How To Set Healthy Boundaries In A Relationship

Part of having self esteem and respect is being able to communicate openly what we will or will not tolerate. Healthy boundaries in a relationship are another form of communication. They help steer and guide how you would like the relationship to go. It is an act of love and appreciation for one another’s time, space, and expectations. When healthy boundaries are present in a relationship, you have the ability to grow even stronger.

Today, we are discussing examples of healthy boundaries and how to set them. Let’s dive in!

What Are Healthy Boundaries

The dictionary defines boundaries as a line that marks the limits of an area. I like to think of it as the defined space I need to feel whole. Healthy boundaries are a combination of respect for your times, space, and energy as well as knowing what you will and will not tolerate. They typically include expectations, and how you would like the relationship evolve. Healthy boundaries don’t include threats, manipulation, and all-or-nothing verbiage (never, always, forever). This article defines well what healthy boundaries DON’T look like.

The areas and topics of healthy boundaries range from when you’ll communicate, how much of your relationship you want to share publicly, how you want to define the commitment level of the relationship, how often you will see each other, and what your expectations are. I would sit down and write a list of what you will and will not tolerate within a relationship. I would also note what you need for yourself to remain happy, healthy, and whole.

Here are a few specific examples of healthy boundaries. Again, each person is different and expect different things. It’s important to discuss what feels comfortable for each involved. You can tailor these phrases to fit your personal boundaries:

  • “Work/school hours are times I can’t talk.”
  • “I need an hour each day to myself to reflect and relax.”
  • “If we get into an argument, I like to walk away to calm down but will be back in 30 minutes to resolve the issue.”
  • “Being consistently late doesn’t work for my lifestyle, and I will move onto the next activity after waiting 15 minutes.”
  • “Being monogamous is my expectation and requirement for me to feel secure and loved.”
  • “I like posting minimally about our relationship, and keep the rest for us to enjoy.”
  • “Talking once a day is the perfect amount of time to stay in touch.”
  • “Please call and ask to come over before showing up.”
  • Set physical boundaries that you feel comfortable with
  • “Please don’t share this information with your friends, it’s very personal to me.”
  • “I need a girls night or moments to catch up with family a few times each month.”
  • Discuss what personal belonging you are willing to share with each other.

There will be times when these are altered a bit, especially in cases of emergencies. However, if your partner is consistently crossing your set boundaries, that’s when you are not being respected. Really notice when boundaries are being disrespected, and make a decision if this person is healthy to be around.

How To Set Boundaries

It’s best not to spurt out boundaries in the middle of a heated discussion. Instead, set some time aside where you both can come together to talk about your expectations and needs. Have it written down on your phone or paper if it makes it easier to remember what you want to touch on. You don’t need to go over every single boundary at once, they can be split up and conquered at different levels of the relationship. Start with the basic needs and see how those work out first. As you grow closer and stronger, you’ll find more boundaries to discuss. The key is this:

  • Set aside time to talk that works for both partners
  • Know which boundaries you want to discuss before hand
  • Be respectful when speaking and listening to your partner
  • Find a resolution that works or clarify what your needs are if there are any additional questions

If you are in a healthy relationship, this is a rather simple task. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but you’ll get the hang of it over time.

Question Of The Day

How do you set healthy boundaries within your relationships? Let me know in the comments below!

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