To some people, their intimate relationships are the meaning of their existence. A relationship may be seen as a source of comfort and much-needed support in life. And while a relationship between people requires trust, affection, attention, and emotional intimacy, it also requires boundaries.
Boundaries aren’t usually set to push the other person away, they’re established to safeguard the emotional health of both parties as well as ensure the continuity of the relationship. Without healthy boundaries, a relationship is a series of conflicts and misunderstandings waiting to happen. So, how can we establish healthy boundaries in a relationship?
Communication is key
If you haven’t built up the skills to portray feelings, ideas, and emotions in a simple, non-condescending and non-aggressive way, it should be your priority. Everyone has their own interpretation of events when things get heated. To prevent a blow-up in the future, tell your partner your deal breakers or what you aren’t comfortable with within the relationship. Have them repeat these things back to you so you can be sure they understood what they heard. Communicate your feelings around significant issues and how he/she can help you overcome specific challenges without stepping on your toes. This will help create a better understanding and keep the relationship thriving.
Practice what you preach
Saying one thing and doing the opposite is a significant boundary killer in a relationship. You cannot tell your partner you’re uncomfortable with the way he/she drinks and later buy a bottle of vodka for him/her. This immediately nullifies the authenticity of that previously established boundary and makes you the villain in your relationship.
It’s a joint effort
Do not let your relationship be all about you and your interests. Learn to listen and understand your partner as well. Understand their point of view and figure out your next steps together. With every new hurdle, be prepared to share the pain, bruises, and glory. This will establish a healthy partnership and give a sense of equal security to both parties.