Creating boundaries when dating is very important and stupidly common. Pretty much all relationships have them. Boundaries are what strengthen your connection while making yourself feel safe and secure. When they are set, you make sure your needs are me.
But what we don’t always know are different ways to that we can set these boundaries. Our boundaries rely on what are connection is to the person. Whether they are our romantic partner or a cousin.
Here are five tips to create emotional boundaries in your relationships.
1. Be Up Front About Having Alone Time
I’ve noticed in a lot of my relationships and in life in general that I need alone time to function. Sure, I love having people around and having social interaction, but I also learned that I need time where I can be alone in the comfort of my own room to think, relax or just reflect on what I have going on. It’s my break from reality and without it, I’ve noticed that I start to become anxious, cranky, and extremely tired. If you identify as one of these people who rely on their alone time, let them know you need it in the beginning so you’re not having to tell them later on after they worry when you go radio silent for an evening or two.
2. Express If You Don’t Want to Talk All Day Every Day
If you aren’t someone who is glued to their phone, you need to be straight up about this. Most people like to talk every minute of the day and get upset when they didn’t talk with their significant other. I used to be that person in a relationship. My perspective changed when I realized that the more you talk over text, the less you have o talk about in person. I’ve since dated people who want to talk multiple times a day or spend every ounce of time we have communicating even after we just hung out, and I’ve gone along with it to make them happy. But in the end, I wasn’t and they struggled when I came clean. This can potentially be a deal-breaker, so you need to be upfront about it as soon as you can.
3. Remind Yourself Occasionally That You Can Say No
I schedule random reminders in on my phone telling myself that I can say no if I start to feel disrespected. If you feel the need to always please everyone else, do yourself a favor and schedule this “no” reminder to your phone. You have no idea how these tiny reminders can positively influence your life.
4. Ask Your Friends About Your Boundaries If You’re Unsure They’re Abnormal or Not
Sometimes we do question ourselves if our boundaries are unreasonable or abnormal, and there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s why there’s nothing wrong with seeking support from people outside of your relationship. Seeking reassurance doesn’t have to just be between the people in a relationship. You need to know your feelings are valid. Sometimes our friends are the ones to remind us when we need it most.
5. Have An Automatic Response For When You Feel Overwhelmed
When you feel overwhelmed or scared when people keep asking you things, whether it’s asking you to hang out, or for favours, respond with “Can I get back to you in a bit?” This way they know you’re considering it but it relieves the pressure you feel to respond. But this way it acknowledges that it’s on your mind, but allows you to focus on this decision before going in over your head.
The important thing to remember is that you don’t have to justify your boundaries. Everyone should understand that that is a part of who you are and how you function. And if they can’t accept that you’re a strong individual who has needs and boundaries, then they clearly aren’t strong enough for you.
And remember: Setting boundaries is not meant to disappoint or hurt others, it’s to protect you and your relationship, and all parties involved should respect and encourage that.