When it comes to all relationships, boundaries are very important, dating nonetheless.
Setting boundaries at the onset of the relationship can save you from getting into a toxic situation that could have been avoided way before you became exclusive.
By doing so, you get to have a say on how people treat you and how you want your expectations met. Add to that, it sets the tone for mutual respect and reduces any misunderstandings and instances of unfulfilled needs for the two of you.
For you to be comfortable and trust your potential girlfriend or boyfriend without losing yourself, you must start with a good foundation – setting some ground rules.
Boundaries help each person have their own space and individuality.
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Boundaries are the limits we put in place to let the other person know what behaviour and actions we can and cannot tolerate. Failure to do so can lead to complications and heartbreak in the long run.
Here is are tips you can consider when setting boundaries as you start dating:
Do it early: Don’t wait for the relationship to progress before letting the other person know what you expect. If you can, do it right from day one.
Once habits and routines have been formed and you have settled into your relationship, it gets complicated to start imposing boundaries and chances are it may backfire especially if your partner feels attacked or left out.
Talk about it: Communication is key in every relationship and you need to have those difficult discussions early on. This will help you both open up and understand where each one of you is coming from.
Take the time to explain and don’t rush to jump to conclusions when you’re unsure about something.
Bring your concerns to the table and create a safe space where you can talk about anything without fear of being judged or dismissed.
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You can choose to say no: ‘’No’’ is probably one of the hardest words for some of us and because of being too nice but it has also meant that people have walked all over us. This is worse when it comes to people we love or have a strong desire for.
Relationships go two way – it is about give and take. And as much as you always want to go out of your way to make them happy, there are times you will have to say no, and that is fine.
If they truly care about you, they will not take it badly and they will respect your choice.
Call them out: You don’t expect your new catch to read your mind, do you? If there is something you don’t like or disagree with, tell them directly.
Tell them immediately it happens and if you suspect things may get heated, talk it out later when you’re both calm. Be kind and put yourself in their shoes so you don’t offend them.
Let your actions speak louder: No one will treat you well when you’re not treating yourself well. Be kind to yourself and don’t feel guilty or allow anyone to make you feel bad for it.
By doing so, your partner will get a feel of how you value yourself and they will also want to upload that honour you accord yourself.
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