Healthy boundaries are not just important for long-term or ‘serious’ relationships. Even if you’re casually seeing each other, just hooking up or have been on a few dates together, having healthy boundaries in any relationship is vital. Setting boundaries means you first have to know about each other’s wants, needs, fears, limits, and goals. It helps you be totally true and honest with each other. Talk about your healthy boundaries with your partner, it really helps ensure that you and your partner’s needs are being met and you both feel secure in the relationship.
But that’s not all. Setting healthy boundaries in any relationship does so much more than just making you feel safe in the relationship. We spoke with Psychologist Anagha Bhave to understand the importance of healthy boundaries and how to create and maintain them in a relationship. Scroll down to check out what she had to say!
Healthy boundaries in a relationship will help you protect your mental health from feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, or even burnt out! Your mind is at peace when you know there’s clarity between you and your partner about things that really matter to both of you. You and your partner know what is too far in all aspects of your relationship and it makes you feel safe.
Setting healthy boundaries is also a way to practice self-care and look out for yourself. If you’re someone who isn’t very vocal about their wants or fears or needs, setting boundaries will help you put yourself first. If there’s something that’s a complete no-no for you, discussing it with your partner and making a healthy boundary for it helps you look out for yourself too.
Boundaries not only help make the relationship healthier and stronger, it also talks about the trust and respect in a relationship. If you and your partner have created some healthy boundaries and your partner actually upholds them, it shows how much they respect you, value you, and care for you. This in turn helps in building trust in the relationship.
When in a relationship, setting clear boundaries helps maintain a balance in the relationship. Not having clear boundaries can lead to an imbalance in the relationship dynamic causing resentment, displacement of frustration, and eventually a relationship breakdown. And so, it is important that you and your partner discuss the boundaries openly and honestly with each other.
Boundaries are all about things that matter to you and your partner. And when you set them, you also learn things about each other in more depth which helps you be present in areas that matter.
The first step is to ask yourself what you non-negotiables are—what are you absolutely not willing to tolerate. It could be things like infidelity, cheating, etc. Once you’ve cracked them down, work backward from there.
A lot of times couples end up spending all of their time together doing things that both of them like. But while doing so, sometimes they forget what their individual interests are. And so, when you and your partner are creating boundaries, be sure to maintain some individual interests that are outside of your shared interests and hobbies with each other. A little ‘me time’ is important in a relationship and helps it build in a healthy way.
Creating boundaries isn’t always easy and if you find it difficult to create or maintain boundaries, you need to ask yourself questions. Why am I afraid? Is it being afraid of upsetting my partner? Is it afraid of being assertive? Or is it the fear of misunderstandings? Once you have the answer, you’ll know what to work on in order to get to the end result of having healthy boundaries.
While creating and maintaining boundaries, you have to make sure you are consistent with your boundaries. This way, it avoids the possibility of confusion, misunderstandings, the feeling of betrayal, etc. You have to be consistent with your boundaries.
The best way of creating boundaries is to be fully honest and clear about it. You have to talk about them openly and communicate them clearly with your partner. This way, you make sure your partner knows what you want/don’t want and your partner gets to express their expectations too.
What are some of the healthy boundaries you and your partner have created and swear by? Let us know in the comments below!