When a relationship is in its beginning stages, it is important to set healthy boundaries to ensure the success of the relationship. If boundaries are not set, either one or the other of the members of the relationship may begin to feel imposed upon, and will be unhappy in the relationship. This leads to breakup and discontent.
Boundaries are both physical and emotional. Physical boundaries include the ideas of who can touch us, and how they can touch us. A random stranger in the grocery store has a different set of boundaries than your mom, for example.
If your mom hugged you, you probably wouldn’t react with shock or discomfort. Physical boundaries are important to help you feel physically safe and comfortable.
Emotional boundaries are equally as important. Boundaries in your emotions dictate how you respond to people around you. If you feel as though you are responsible for someone else’s emotional well-being, you have a low level of emotional boundaries.
|Setting Healthy Boundaries|
People who have low emotional boundaries generally have chaotic lives – full of drama and stress.
Analyze your own emotional boundaries at the beginning of a relationship to help identify areas where you need to work. Boundaries that are too tight can be seen in a person who never lets anyone get too close.
They seem distant and self-reliant. They generally have very tight physical and emotional boundaries – no one is allowed within the rigid walls of their person.
Someone with loose boundaries is often sexually promiscuous, is easily hurt and easily angered. They have no protection or boundary line, and are in constant need of reassurance. The person with no boundaries is easily hurt – both physically and emotionally.
A healthy set of boundaries is firm, but flexible. There are definite areas that are off limits, but the boundary may change as circumstances change. At the beginning of a relationship, for example, there may be limited physical contact, but as the relationship progresses, the boundary of physical touch may change.
Emotionally, someone may be held at arm’s length until they have shown themselves to be trustworthy and secure. Not everyone will respect your boundaries – be firm in your boundary setting and choose your relationships wisely.
It is important to discuss your boundaries with the person you are in a relationship with. This can be handled in a calm and friendly manner, letting the other person know that you value their friendship but that there are certain restrictions to the relationship.
Boundary setting is a continual process and can lead to a sense of self-worth and self-appreciate. It is exciting to know that you can be your true self with another person, and that they understand and know the real you. Don’t be afraid to establish relationship boundaries at the beginning of a new relationship – they set the stage for a lasting and secure relationship.