In a New Relationship - How Do You Set Boundaries?

The Rules, by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider, was an instant worldwide smash when it was originally published in 1995. The idea of having a set of "rules" to help them negotiate the early phases of their romantic relationships appealed to women all around the world.

How To Set Boundaries In A New Relationship


Although I disagree with some of the 'rules,' the concept of having a set of personal limitations for what you will and will not accept when dating is one I can support.

Boundaries are a set of guidelines we establish to communicate how we want to be treated. They also determine how we are affected by other people's actions and words, as well as how others are affected by our own behavior and words.

When starting a new relationship, it's critical to be extremely clear about how you want to be treated. Setting up a clear grasp of your preferences allows the other person to assess whether or not they can meet your expectations.

Your need for connection should be satisfied with closeness once the relationship has been formed. If your new partner only wants to hook up on Friday nights after they've already gone out, but having a real discussion with them is like pulling teeth, it's a good clue they don't want what you want.

If this is happening, and you find yourself making excuses for them, then you need to be honest with yourself and ask why you're putting up with that sort of behavior.

It is critical to be adaptable. Allowing for mistakes is fine, but if their pattern of behavior makes you feel as if you have to continually alter something within yourself, it's time to decide what you actually want.

Through an internet dating site, a friend of mine just met a guy. They struck up a solid friendship and began exchanging emails on a daily basis. He sent her an email one day and addressed her by a different name. She corrected him at first, but then decided to give him the benefit of the doubt.

The second time it happened, well, let's just say he slammed into her property line!

It makes no difference whether you or I would have given him another chance because everyone's boundaries are different. My friend was aware that she was conversing with other people, which could have been an honest oversight. She sensed after the second time that he wasn't putting out much effort, which didn't bode well for a long and happy future together.

Here are my top three rules for setting boundaries:

Deal breakers vs. mildly unpleasant conduct


People aren't flawless, whether we like it or not. There will be times when certain behaviors irritate you.

That is very natural. However, there are several behaviors that you'll want to (and should) avoid. Knowing when to be flexible and when to call it a day might help you decide when to be flexible and when to call it a day.

When the roles are reversed,


When someone tells you "no," how do you respond? What do you do when someone sets a barrier for you?

Can you take a "no" without sulking or trying to promote your own agenda? About be clear, I'm referring to the common "no" rather than outright rejection. Both parties must be able to accept "no" without taking it personally and adjust their behavior accordingly. If you can't accept their limit for whatever reason, it's usually time to call it a day.

Taking care of your own requirements


Do you have trouble telling others what you need or desire from them or from the situation? It's sometimes simpler to just keep silent and go along with things, but if you can't or won't set limits, you'll be treated like a doormat. People respect and admire people who are able to establish clear limits and communicate them confidently from the start.

Finally, if we grasp what we enjoy and don't like, we can communicate it in a respectful manner to ourselves and others. It is completely beyond our control whether or not the other person accepts our boundaries.
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