If you are wondering why your relationship needs healthy boundaries? Grab a seat, and let’s tell you why.
The fiery passion and the clenching of your heart when you see the person you love. The way the lyrics of emotional songs start to make sense to you, and the ‘foolishness’ of love, can be quite intoxicating. So intoxicating that if you told your smitten friend that he’s being taken advantage of by his lover, he’d be more likely to blacklist you than believing you.
This intoxication is not bad in itself. But the thing is, the earliest period of love is the perfect time to state clearly what your boundaries in a relationship are. What lines do you not want to be crossed? Are there things you can not tolerate? What are the deal breakers?
Healthy boundaries in relationships
Setting healthy boundaries comes from a place of self-awareness. So, in order to set a boundary, one must know oneself and one’s needs. One must be able to clearly state them without fear also.
The truth is, there are never two people perfectly suited for each other. And as logic would have it, the coming together of two different individuals surely causes friction every now and then. There is nothing as capable as blurring boundaries as love. In the absence of clear-cut boundaries, grey areas abound and misunderstanding creeps in.
Don’t be the man who does not say, upfront what they want
Many men go into relationships expecting that, without saying it, their partner should understand their boundaries. But they find out, unfortunately, deep into the relationship, that their partners aren’t mindreaders.
For some, especially those newly in love or those who haven’t been in love in a long time, this might seem stifling to do. Because they don’t want to ruffle feathers or ruin the euphoria. It is quite unfortunate, but that feverish passion dies after a while. And you are left with your partner in their everyday life. It is at this point it becomes evident the importance of ground rules.
A man should be able to cast aside his feelings temporarily to analyze red flags and set things straight.
Tips on how men should set boundaries
While setting boundaries, he is to bear it in mind that these boundaries are meant to curtail the excesses of a human being. Keyword being human being (and not just any human being, but one that he loves). The boundaries should, therefore, be set in a way that put him first whilst also being considerate of the other party.
This is because, although, setting boundaries is a good thing for relationships, they could also be poorly set in a way that renders it counterintuitive.
For instance, Bridget Levy, a therapist who works with couples and directs business development at Urban Balance, has this to say. She says, “boundaries that often fail are those that include the words ‘always,’ ‘never’, or any absolute language. Why? This only alienates your partner.”
In addition, psychologist Leslie Becker-Phelps, Ph.D., added that one has to be clear about his love whilst being clear about boundaries. A person does this by reminding the person ‘why’ such a boundary exists.
Always remember individual differences
What constitutes a transgression is different for people, so boundaries aren’t fixed for everybody. One man’s issue might be how flirty his partner acts on social media. Another man’s issue might be how his partner relates to his parents. For instance, what would be considered cheating to you might not be, to another. To some, it is texting a person of the opposite sex late into the night. For others, it is secretly helping to offset the debt of an ex? Or how long partners should stay away from each other after a quarrel?
The boundaries may not always sit well with the other party. And that is the beauty of setting boundaries right from the start. The cool thing is, if you embody your values for so long, you start to attract the kind of people you desire.