Setting Boundaries

Whether you’re casually hooking up or have been going out for a while now, setting boundaries is an important part of any relationship. To have the healthiest relationship, both partners should know each other’s wants, goals, fears and limits. You should feel comfortable honestly communicating your needs to your partner without being afraid of what they might do in response. If your partner tells you that your needs are stupid, gets angry with you or goes against what you’re comfortable with, then your partner is not showing you the respect you deserve.

 
  • Time Apart: Remember that it’s important to have some time away from each other. Both you and your partner should be free to hang out with friends (of any gender) or family without having to get permission. It’s also healthy to spend time by yourself doing things that you enjoy or that help you relax.

  • Take Your Time: Don’t rush it if you’re not ready. In a healthy relationship, both partners know how far each other wants to go and they communicate with each other if something changes. There isn’t a rulebook that says you have to go so far by a certain age or at any given time in a relationship, so take things at your own pace.

  • Sex Isn’t Currency: You don’t owe your partner anything. Just because your partner takes you out to dinner, or says “I love you” doesn’t mean you owe them anything in response. Even if you’ve done it before, you are never required to do it just because your partner is pressuring you. Remember, no means no.

It can be hard to know where the line between healthy and unhealthy is once a relationship goes online. What are the rules for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Snapchat? What should your digital relationship look like?

 

Consider your digital boundaries:

  • Is it okay to tag or check in?

  • Do we post our relationship status?

  • Is it okay to friend or follow my friends?

  • When is it okay to text me and what is the expectation for when we return it?

  • Is it okay to use each other’s devices?

  • Is it okay to post, tweet or comment about our relationship?

 

Once you know how you feel, you can talk to your partner. Together, you can decide what feels healthy and what doesn’t for each of you. 

Just because you felt comfortable with something at the beginning of a relationship doesn’t mean that you have to stick with that forever.

National Domestic Violence Hotline. (2020). Setting Boundaries. Love is Respect. https://www.loveisrespect.org/healthy-relationships/setting-boundaries/