Healthy relationships remain healthy when couples are able to honestly and openly set boundaries.
Boundaries are defined expectations and limits that you and your partner agree to respect. Here you give each other a clear picture of what you both need. It also guides you on the things you should not do. And when a line is crossed, boundaries teach you to be accountable.
This way, you feel respected, valued, and validated. Simply, relationships are better and healthier if boundaries are set and maintained.
To set boundaries, you first need to clearly define how you want to be treated and what your limits are. To help you, here are some essential boundaries you need to discuss with your partner.
To establish emotional boundaries, you need to honestly communicate your thoughts and feelings with your partner. Like when you’re upset, tell them how you’d like to be treated. They may be doing things they thought will help you feel better but actually frustrates you more.
Discuss how your partner can make you feel underappreciated and not valued enough. At what times do you feel their insensitivity? How would you want your issues and problems to be solved?
Talk about emotional boundaries with your partner so they know where to start and stop.
Even with being in a relationship, personal space should not be taken for granted. Like when you’re stressed from work, you want them to let you zone out. That you’d appreciate them not invading your personal space where you’re trying to distress.
And just because you’re too comfortable with each other does not mean you’re okay with them walking into your bedroom whilst you change. You want them to leave you alone when you put on make-up or let you enjoy breaking in your new bike.
Simply put, boundaries define things you like and love that they may not understand, but they should respect nonetheless.
Sexual boundaries are crucial, especially if you come from different cultural background. Some level of intimacy might be okay with you but could be a big deal to them. You’ll never know if you’ve already crossed the line if there are no boundaries set.
Clarify sexual expectations and limits. You may be against premarital sex, or uncomfortable with public displays of affection. Discuss the things you’re physically comfortable and not comfortable doing so you can compromise and meet in between. Setting sexual boundaries will help establish trust and safety in your relationship.
At some point in your relationship, financial matters must be discussed. It will never be off the table if you plan on settling down with them someday. And when your beliefs don’t align, you’ll find yourself fighting about money.
Discuss how much money you’re willing to spend on shopping or vacation trips. What are your financial goals? How about savings? Talk about whether you’ll be setting up a joint or separate account. Keep your financial rules and goals clear so you both are aware of your responsibilities.
Establishing healthy boundaries does not only improve your relationship. It also ensures your relationship remains a respectful one. You know when a “no” really means “no,” so you feel safer and secure in the relationship.