Love Letters for an ideal dating life

How to Set Boundaries in a New Relationship

A new relationship is a time to bask in the newfound love of someone else. You both find yourselves stepping out of your comfort zones with someone new and trying new things. Sometimes these new things you try are fun and beneficial to developing the relationship and other times boundaries need to be set so that your partner knows exactly where you stand on certain matters.

Recognize boundaries

Setting these boundaries can be difficult if you’ve never done it before or are worried about what your partner might think of you. It’s important to note that the boundaries aren’t just for your safety, but for your partner’s knowledge of who you are. The earlier and easier you set your boundaries, the more likely your partner is to acknowledge them and understand them. Here are some tips on how to do it if you’re struggling.

Be open with your communication

Communication is key and staying open with your methods of communication will make difficult conversations easier. One of the earliest things you need to establish with your partner is what kind of a person you are. If you met your partner through online dating and developed an online relationship before a physical one then you might not have had time to set this boundary yet. Most people are either introverts or extroverts. Determining this boundary will determine how much space you need from your partner at certain times. It will also determine how often you and your partner go out to do things and how often you stay inside and need alone time. Also, remember that this is a two-way street and you need to ask your partner these same questions so you can be sure you know how they feel about going out and separation time.

Be open about physical contact

Communicating to your partner about the best way to have physical contact with yourself is another key boundary that needs to be set early in a relationship. Once again, online dating has made it hard to determine this boundary early because you don’t see your partner as much early on, but it’s still an important boundary to set. You need to tell your partner the best way to go about holding hands, kissing, hugging and any other physical contact that could happen. By doing this, you allow your partner to be more selective with how they go about touching you and you inform them on the best ways to not be too touchy. Some people just don’t like being touched all the time and get annoyed when their partner always wants to touch them. Other people thrive on touch in a relationship and feel unloved if their partner isn’t always touching them in some way. It’s important for both partners to be open about this and develop a middle ground early in the relationship so the tone for the rest of the relationship is clear.

Be open about your feelings

You can’t read minds and neither can your new partner. Being open about your feelings is a habit you need to establish early and maintain throughout the entire relationship. It’ll save you so many headaches and reduce the number of arguments if the other person knows how you feel. If you’re open about your feelings early and often then your date will quickly learn exactly how you respond to certain things. This can lead them to avoid sensitive subjects and capitalize on subjects you enjoy. It’s hard for some people to be open about their feelings because of past trauma or inexperience in a relationship but it’s important that both partners try. Communication about everything is the key, including both of your feelings.

Follow through with these boundaries

Don’t just try to set these boundaries with your partner and not do anything about it. Give your full effort toward it. It’ll show how deeply you care about your partner and it’ll mean a lot in developing a long term relationship that is sustainable. Clear communication and the right boundaries are what lead to long-lasting relationships that are full of love. Even if setting your boundaries doesn’t work the first time, keeping trying until it does.

Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash