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September 26, 2013

Setting Boundaries For Your Relationship


Part of being in a new relationship is learning about your partner and the limits of their comfort zone. A lot of this can be sussed out over time, but some issues might need a conversation, like setting boundaries for your growing relationship. Maybe one of you isn’t comfortable yet with something that the other one seems ready for, like maybe you aren’t keen on him coming over too late at night because you don’t want there to be an excuse for him to stay over so early in the relationship. It’s perfectly fine to set boundaries in a new relationship, but it can be tricky to talk about without things getting a little awkward.

 Be Honest

When establishing boundaries, you have to be honest. If you’re not comfortable with something, this is the time to make that clear. The relationship is new, so everything is a learning experience. You can’t expect your partner to know what you’re okay with right away. You have to give helpful (obvious) hints. If you have a problem with something, being honest is the only way to help the relationship grow in the right direction.

 Be Clear

In addition to being honest, you have to be clear. When talking about something that makes you uncomfortable, try not to be vague about it or beat around the bush. Be as clear as possible so there’s no miscommunication, which could cause problems later on. You want to make sure that your partner knows exactly where you’re coming from and exactly how strongly you feel about it. Relationships shouldn’t be a guessing game. You should be able to talk about issues directly without any ambiguity.

 Be Confident

Most importantly, be confident. If you’re uncomfortable with something, it doesn’t mean that you’re wrong or inflexible or difficult—and it doesn’t mean that your partner is either. You may just need a little more time than your S.O. does to acclimate to your developing relationship. Don’t feel like you have to be okay with something just to please your partner. If you guys want the relationship to work, you’ll both need to be respectful and considerate. If you try to talk about an issue and your partner dismisses your feelings, you’re not getting the respect you need.

Sit down with your S.O. as soon as possible to have a conversation about boundaries. The rest of the relationship will progress smoothly if you take the time to address these issues now instead of waiting. Don’t be hesitant to be up front about how you’re feeling. Remember that this is your relationship too and you have a right to be heard.

About the Author

Elizabeth Monsoor
Elizabeth Monsoor is currently working on her Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington. While Elizabeth pursues a career in dance, she has rediscovered her love for writing. When she is not in class or at rehearsals, Elizabeth enjoys actively commenting on episodes of reality television and tweeting her observations on relationships several times a day. She has an “eyes wide open” approach to dating, acting as an unofficial advisor and commentator on her friends’ relationships. Elizabeth hopes that her opinions on relationships and her love of sarcasm both entertain and inspire her readers.

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