Setting Boundaries in a Relationship
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.
Talking about your boundaries with your partner is a great way to make sure that each person’s needs are being met and you feel safe in your relationship. Here are some things to think about when setting boundaries in your relationship:
The L Word: Saying “I love you” can happen for different people at different times in a relationship. If your partner says it and you don’t feel that way yet, don’t feel bad — you may just not be ready yet. Let your partner know how it made you feel when they said it and tell them your own goals for the relationship.
Time Apart: As great as it is to want to spend a lot of time with your partner, remember that it’s important to have some time away from each other, too. 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. You should be able to tell your partner when you need to do things on your own instead of feeling trapped into spending all of your time together.