Boundaries in dating are actually amazing tools in helping you find the right partner. If you don’t have a basic set of boundaries, you’re essentially saying you don’t value yourself, and you’ll take whatever relationship comes your way. When I was in my early twenties, I didn’t know what boundaries were, I just went with the flow.
Though I just wanted to be loved, I ended up dating someone who literally went against everything I stood for. That’s not the way to do it.
You don’t really know the person you’re dating—that’s why you’re dating. Boundaries help show the person you’re dating what you appreciate and what you don’t appreciate.
Boundaries in dating: Where is the line?
Boundaries are like relationship commandments. Some boundaries are followed more strictly than others; however, they still apply. For example, back in the day, it bothered me when a guy smoked. Now, it’s something intolerable.
However, if someone won’t respect me, that boundary will not be flexible. There are some basic boundaries to ensure you end up with someone who treats you right. Here are some core boundaries to apply to your new relationship.
#1 They have a partner or are married. Unless they have broken up with their partner or are in the process of divorce, there is simply no need for you to be with this person. If they tell you they’re going to leave their partner for you, believe it when you see it.
In the meantime, don’t waste your time. You’re a filler for them. Something to help ease their mind on whatever problems are going on at home. Don’t be an emotional airbag for them. They can pay for a therapist or go on Dr. Phil. [Read: Are you dating a married man?]
#2 Love, trust, and respect. Aretha Franklin didn’t sing that song for nothing. This is a huge boundary must. You should not go into a relationship where these three things are non-existent. Trust, love, and respect.
Now, love doesn’t have to be “in love.” I mean, they appreciate you. Without these attributes, your relationship sours very fast and is possibly abusive as well. This also shows you they’re not as into as you think they are. Don’t be a convenience for them.
#3 No means no. I don’t care if they’re a woman or man, three legs, one leg, listens to Justin Bieber, or has a pet turtle—when someone says no, it means no. This also ties into the previous point. If they don’t understand the meaning of no or simply ignore you when you say no, they don’t respect you. [Read: Be careful who you trust: How to beware of backstabbers]
They just actually don’t care. Yeah, I know, dating the bad boy or the cool girl is exciting, but in the long run, it’s not worth it. Haven’t you seen any chick flicks? They always end up alone.
#4 Cannot say sorry. You may think this isn’t a big deal, but if you’re dating someone who doesn’t want or knows how to say sorry—run. This is one of the big ones in the boundaries of dating. Acknowledgment of your own actions and taking responsibility for your mistakes is essential. What happens if you get into a fight where they screwed up and they don’t want to apologize?
It’s gonna be a draining and endless relationship of you taking the blame for everything. I was with someone who never apologized, I eventually just went silent since every argument would point back to me—emotionally and mentally. Trust me, it sucks the life out of you. [Read: How to apologize and say sorry to a lover]
#5 You’re not their parent. We all have some mommy/daddy issues bottled up in us. Maybe your dad didn’t catch you when you fell from your bike in second grade or your mom always yelled at you. We all have something.
The point is, don’t become someone’s parent. If they have issues, they need to fix them. Sure you can support them, but their baggage is their baggage. As someone who always attracts men with mommy/daddy issues, I know this all too well. There’s being in an equal relationship and then there’s having someone rely on you for all their needs. No way, not happening.
#6 Someone who is unkind to others. The best way to find out what type of person your partner is to see how they interact with their parents. Are they unexplainably rude and verbally/emotionally abusive to their mom and dad? Yeah, they won’t treat you any better. I mean, if they talk to their parents with unkind and cruel worlds, the ones who gave them life, what makes you think you’re something special? Nah, we ain’t down for that. [Read: 14 calm ways to recognize mean people and deal with them]
#7 Force yourself onto someone. Listen, the ego is a sensitive thing. But, repeat after me, they’re just not that into you. If you’re casually dating someone and you see they aren’t really reciprocating, don’t force it. End it. Maybe they see they missed out on a great person, maybe they won’t. If you’re showing interest, and they’re making you run around like a dog for them, then you’re being made into the fool. Don’t become a Mr. T catchphrase.
#8 Liar, liar. PANTS ON FIRE… perhaps your pants are actually on fire from the Chlamydia they gave you after they lied about cheating on you. See how that works? Yeah, not fun, it burns both figuratively and literally. You don’t need someone who’s going to lie to you. [Read: STDs 101: The most common types and their symptoms]
You don’t have time to decipher the messages and creep their phone for hints and clues of what’s really going on. This is not a sad treasure hunt, it’s a relationship.
#9 Name calling. What are we? Twelve? If your partner calls you names or makes degrading comments, they can go back to the playground. Come on, you don’t need that. Since you’re dating, perhaps you need to tell them that certain names or things they say to hurt you are inappropriate. Now, if they ignore that, then they need to go. Because why? Where’s Aretha when I need her? R-E-S-P-E-C-T. [Read: Avoid them like the plague: 16 types of guys not to date]
#11 Push sexual desires on you. Listen, if you don’t want to have a threesome with your partner and the girl working at the bar across the street, then don’t. If you don’t want to try anal beads, then don’t. Some people are more sexually experienced or adventurous than others and that’s okay. But, make sure you talk about it and set the limit for what you will and will not do in bed.
That way, they’re not entering the bedroom with a foot-long dildo, catching you by surprise when all you wanted was to watch Fifty Shades of Grey, not live it. [Read: Emotionally unavailable man signs: 25 red flags to look for]
#10 Boundaries are boundaries. You made them for a reason. They aren’t negotiable. I mean, if your partner doesn’t agree that you should be treated with respect, then as Beyonce once said, “to the left, to the left.” However, your core boundaries are your core boundaries. Don’t make an excuse for that person and alter it to please them. What’s the point of having them then?
[Read: 10 tips for setting boundaries with difficult people]
Boundaries are boundaries and you need to have them in place before getting into a relationship. If you set boundaries for yourself and your relationships, you’ll find a partner who respects you and treats you how you want to be treated.
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