Our world is full of boundaries. We may have fences or shrubbery defining the parameters of our property, or our desk at work defines our working space. In relationships, there is a need for healthy and clearly defined boundaries so that peace and harmony can exist between you and the one you love.
Boundaries in relationships have more to do with non-tangibles such as values, attitudes, emotions, words, preferences and bodies. Once two people decide to move forward in a committed relationship, certain clarifying conversations are required for both individuals’ comfort level in the relationship.
That means that if one of you has an aversion to extreme aromatic smells in the home, it should be discussed especially if your health will be affected. Maybe, one of you turns on the silent treatment when you are angry. Nothing much gets resolved by shutting down; so, you might want to avoid starting your relationship this way. The list may be extensive, but with time, conversations will address matters that would ordinarily break the bank if overlooked.
When each party establishes boundaries that are extremely sensitive for one another, it creates a safe place for the two people to coexist. Assuming that mutual care and concern are at the core of your relationship, honoring either person’s needs is critical and part of the love that you have for one another. It also helps to divert blame which can happen when clearly articulated needs have been presented. If for any reason the need is violated, the violating partner will own their part for falling short in the matter.
Boundaries are for grown people. Immature people cannot be as successful with boundaries because they will digress toward being more like small children when problems arise. They will blame the other person or someone else, but never themselves for the deed. Adults can and will demonstrate respect and honor for the requests of their mates because it adds to the genuine love for this person.
It’s important to note that boundary setting can only be as successful as the two people who have come together in the relationship. If you don’t care to hear profanity, don’t get involved with a person who swears like a sailor. It’s going to be close to impossible to establish that boundary. Perhaps you like holding hands when you’re out in public, but your love interest is not comfortable with public displays of affection. You can’t turn this person into someone you need them to be just so you can feel good. After all, you’re not trying to change the person, right?
As life would have it, setting boundaries might be a good way to find out that this is not the person for you. There may be too many items on the list that you are not comfortable with. That’s okay. It’s better to find out now and later choose someone with whom you can actually coexist without surrendering too much of yourself for the survival of the relationship.
Summarily, it’s imperative that one chooses a really compatible person for the love journey before establishing these boundaries. Hopefully, you’ve developed a solid friendship and admiration for each other so that it’s a joy and a pleasure for both parties to take responsibility for their part in the relationship. It boils down to these four points:
- Take responsibility for your decisions/choices
- Communicate concerns and issues as honestly and clearly as possible
- Get to the core of your partner’s feelings, but avoid guessing games
- Assure your partner that your feelings belong to you and you are not blaming him/her
Establishing healthy boundaries is essential to a thriving relationship. Stubbornness, rigidity, and childish behavior have no place in a relationship headed in a positive direction.
Best to you!!!