In this post, I’ll show you why boundaries are essential for your relationships!
(Hey! Want to watch a video about this blog post? Watch it on my YouTube Channel!
There is a crazy myth out there that if you are in a relationship with someone, you must agree with them and love them no matter what.
Truth time: that’s just wrong! It’s actually an idea that will create a toxic dynamic between you and your partner.
As a relationship therapist, I have seen so many people lose their independence, autonomy, and get taken advantage of in relationships. But if you set healthy boundaries, you get to have your wants and needs met and your limits respected! (Even Mark Manson blogs about healthy boundaries!)
Here are 3 reasons why boundaries are important and necessary in your relationship!
1. Boundaries establish how you want others to treat you.
If your partner won’t accept or respect your boundaries, that’s a BIG Red Flag!
The truth is if your relationship is going to last, then your boundaries need to be accepted by the other person. This is especially true regarding PDA, sex, and intimacy. Some people don’t feel comfortable doing certain things. While you and your partner should have conversations about it, there should never be a moment where your boundaries are violated without your consent.
2. Good boundaries mean standing up for yourself.
It’s not your job to make your boundaries popular with your partner. If your partner’s feelings get hurt when you stand your ground on your boundaries, that’s on them. I have heard “I don’t want to hurt their feelings” more times than I can count, and listen, I get it. Sometimes, it can be hard to stand up for yourself. But what’s the alternative? If you DON’T, then you are the only one suffering.
In a healthy, supportive relationship, your partner will want to make sure you feel comfortable and safe, and communicating your boundaries is part of that equation!
3. Boundaries mean staying true to yourself.
You can lose yourself if you don’t have boundaries. If you stifle all your wants, needs, desires & thoughts, you give up your independence and lose sight of your dreams and aspirations. Also, your “stand up for yourself” muscles will get weaker if you don’t use them!
Imagine for a moment that your significant other makes all the choices and you just have to go along with them. That’s not a balanced relationship of equals. That’s a dictatorship.
I hope that you are seeing that having strong boundaries is really important in helping your relationships thrive! So now the big question is:
How can you hold your boundaries in the face of people you really care about?
Here are 3 tips to help you create strong and healthy boundaries for an even better relationship:
1. Be honest about what you will and WILL NOT tolerate.
Things like cheating, poor communication, physical violence, bullying, teasing, etc., are great places to start.
Now for you who say there is nothing you want to change because your person is “perfect”, I have one thing to say:
STOP BEING A MUSHROOM!
What’s a mushroom? Someone who is in the dark and eats a steady diet of bullshit. Everyone has limits and frustrations, so you aren’t looking hard enough if you don’t see them.
2. Hold firm to your boundaries.
Your spouse, children, family, friends, and just randos off the street may want you to wiggle on boundaries. Every time someone pushes on one of your boundaries, it’s your choice whether to let that boundary go…or not. It’s important to remember that you may have to live with regret if you cave. And each time you cave, it only gets easier to do so. This means that when you stand at a crossroads of choice, look at the life you want to live and do the right thing, instead of the easy thing.
3. There must be consequences if someone disregards your boundaries.
Which consequences? Maybe the offender doesn’t get cake, or they have to sleep on the couch, whatever it is. There needs to be a reason for them to respect your boundary and stop doing the thing you don’t like. Otherwise, why would they stop? It’s the same way we teach kids how to behave respectfully. You listen and change your behavior, or there are consequences.
You must remember that the behavior happens because they get something out of it. So to change this behavior, you need to give a consequence and reinforce that consequence!
I hope these guidelines help you create healthier and happier relationships with your partner, friends, family, or even co-workers!
Want another great relationship tip? Check out my free Masterclass – How to Communicate: Relationship Edition! It’s only ten minutes long and you’ll get a great communication tip that will help keep conversations positive (and avoid the big blowups!).
If you’re ready to go even deeper, then grab your spot in my online Seminar, The Three Ingredients for a Great Relationship! It’s chock full of easy skills, tips, and tools to give you what you need to create the relationship you’ve always dreamed of.
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