You have found your person! A relationship should be an exciting venture, whether new or established. If you nurture it, it will bloom.
In the land of relationships, there are three key parts: you, your partner, and the relationship itself. Giving your all to your partner and the relationship doesn’t necessarily mean everything will just magically work out. Each of the three parties involved needs its own level of nurturing.
A successful relationship requires work, compromise, and communication. Setting healthy boundaries, whatever stage you are in, is a great way to establish long-term growth. The process isn’t always easy or comfortable in the beginning, but have no fear. Here are some tips to guide you along.
1. Understand the Importance
Boundaries are super helpful and so important in a healthy, thriving relationship. They provide a much-needed balance in any relationship. The earlier they are established, the better. Hopefully, the benefit will be less conflict, increased problem-solving, and bringing you closer together. It might even open doors to other areas of communication and exploration that you may not have otherwise. It will provide a guide map for the long road ahead.
2. Be Open and Honest
You have a guideline and are establishing your boundaries. Great start! One mistake you don’t want to make is not sharing them with your partner. Your partner could be the one who knows you the best, but that doesn’t mean they will know your boundaries.
Of any part of the sequence, this one has the potential to be uncomfortable but is the most important. Honesty can make you vulnerable. Talk about what you are comfortable doing and what you aren’t. Share what you want—short-term and long-term. Now is the time to be completely honest. Discuss physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, time, and sexual boundaries. Avoid anything that comes off as controlling speech.
3. Listen to Your Partner
A relationship is a two-way street! It’s human nature to want what you want and think your way is right. Everyone is guilty of it. When having these conversations with your partner, make sure you listen as openly as you want them to hear you.
4. Rinse and Repeat
It’s established that communication is key. It’s always important to communicate effectively in day-to-day life. There may be a time when you need to revisit the boundary conversation and revamp it as necessary. As your situations change, new phases come and go, and maybe new additions (hello, pets, and kids), you may need to modify your original guide map. As the relationship progresses, it can be easy to fall into accusatory or critical speech. Consider using “I feel” statements to support your points and keep them kind.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for “Me” Time
There will come a time in any relationship when you need some alone time. That oh-so-valuable “me time.” Never be afraid to ask your partner for some alone time if it is what you are craving. You won’t be a good partner to them if you are on overload. When setting this particular boundary, ask for your me time; just make sure you explain to your person why it is you need it. Open communication is key. This way, it doesn’t get misinterpreted as a dig or rejection to them.
This process can be challenging if you are not used to digging this deep and exploring all the angles of a relationship. If you put in the work to establish boundaries, it will pay off and create more meaning for you both. Interested in help creating your framework? Reach out today to set up a consultation for relationship counseling!