Do you want to be happy in your relationship? Do you want to stop yourself from being taken advantage of or being treated poorly? Do you want to make your partner happy, but just don’t know how? If so, then this article is for you. Boundaries are a crucial component of any healthy relationship. When each partner has healthy boundaries and knows what those boundaries are it creates both safety and security. You’ll know where you stand on any given topic with your partner, and they will too. This will allow you both to feel free and secure in expressing yourselves fully.
1. You can still have your own friends.
Having friends of your own is healthy for everyone involved. In fact, if your partner won’t let you maintain friendships with other people — especially those of the opposite sex — this could be a sign of abusive behavior.
2. Set time for romance.
No matter how long you’ve been together or how busy your schedules are, it’s important to make time for just the two of you. Whether that means going on dates or spending some quiet time alone at home, setting aside time for each other is an important way to show that you care about each other.
3. You can have time alone.
It’s important to spend time with your significant other, but it’s also important to spend time alone. You should feel comfortable hanging out by yourself or with your friends, even if your partner isn’t with you.
4.You don’t need to give up everything that makes you happy.
If you love doing something, don’t give it up just because your partner doesn’t like it or doesn’t want to do it with you. Your hobbies and interests make you who you are, and they make life more fun for both of you.
5. You don’t need to know each other’s passwords.
You don’t need to know each other’s passwords—and the more we make them public, the more we put ourselves at risk for hacking and identity theft. It’s just another way in which we’re creating unnecessary barriers between us and our partners.
6. Don’t friend your partner’s friends on social media.
People tend to assume that you’re cool with their friends and want them to like you too. But that doesn’t mean you actually want them hanging around at your house all the time. The problem with this is twofold: One, if your partner’s friends are at your house a lot, they’ll see the same things you do. That may not be such a big deal if they’re long-distance friends or visiting friends, but if they live right down the street it could be awkward or uncomfortable. It’s harder to keep things secret when people are around all the time. Two, if your partner’s friends know where you live they’ll probably come over more often and vice versa. You should have some boundaries in place before things get too serious (or even before they do), rather than letting yourself be vulnerable to someone else’s chaotic schedule.
7. You can have separate hobbies.
There are different levels of sharing, too—some people will feel comfortable introducing you to the things they enjoy, while others will want to keep them to themselves. If you’re in a relationship with someone who doesn’t want to share their hobbies with you, it’s likely because they think your interest in them would conflict with their interests. If you’re in a relationship with someone who does want to share their interests with you, it may be because they’re trying to help you understand and appreciate the things that are important to them. They may be hoping that having a hobby or two can make your life more enjoyable, or maybe they’re just trying to show that you don’t need to know everything about them.
8. You don’t have to talk about your exes.
You don’t have to do the same thing with you that you did with them. For example, I hear from a lot of people who say things like, “I just don’t want to talk about my ex-husband anymore.” The same goes for me: I really don’t want to talk about my ex-girlfriend anymore. But here’s the thing: If you’re talking about your relationship to someone new, you’re making a choice about whether or not to talk about it. It’s okay if you do or don’t want to, but it’s not okay if you feel pressured into talking about your exes.
9. Mutual respect towards the other’s family.
The way you treat your partner’s family is a good indicator of how happy your relationship is going to be in the long run. At first, it might seem like all you have to do is be nice and respectful, but setting boundaries for yourself when it comes to their family is just as important.
It’s impossible to get along with everyone, and this doesn’t change just because they’re related to your partner, so take time to figure out if someone is being harmful or disrespectful towards you, and then remember that you have the right to stand up for yourself.
10. Communicate if you’re unhappy with something in the relationship.
The holidays are a time when people want to be happy, but it can be hard to do so when people around you have different expectations of what that means. If you feel like your partner is rigid about some holiday traditions, such as only giving one gift per person, or only giving gifts for children, it might be more important than ever that these issues be worked out before the holiday season begins. For example, if you’re expecting your significant other to give gifts for adults, and he insists on giving gifts for children instead (or vice versa), it could create fissures in their relationship that aren’t easily resolved. Take the time to talk about what you expect and why—your partner will thank you for it later!
Boundaries are an important part of any relationship, for personal accountability, for safety and for self-love. Knowing what you want to get out of the relationship and being aware of your strengths and weaknesses are both vital to setting boundaries that work for you. And once you set them, be sure to clearly communicate them with your partner while still being gentle, compassionate and clear.