Set Healthy Boundaries in Relationships if You Want an Epic Love

Setting Boundaries in Relationships Allows Men to Feel Safe to Love You

So many dating women are afraid to set their boundaries with men. Somehow, they think that they will be more likable if they don’t express disagreements, but the truth is far away from it. Not expressing yourself can ruin your chances of creating a secure, healthy relationship. This is, of course, if you want a relationship with a quality secure man. Setting boundaries in relationships is an essential skill.

Why do women struggle when it's time to assert in relationships?

boundaries in relationships

As already stated, many women default to trying to make themselves likable in almost every relationship. It’s easy to fall into this trap because so many of us women are raised to feel like we need to be agreeable to be liked. This tendency goes back to our survival strategies from a very early childhood. Somehow we learn that if we express our boundaries, we may lose our caretakers' love. Establishing boundaries isn't something they teach us. So, when we start a romantic relationship, we tend to repeat those patterns.

But, let me ask you a couple of questions. 

Have you ever seen a love story where a man falls in love with a woman that doesn’t express herself, who agrees with everything? I can’t think of any. But even more importantly, do you really want someone to love you for who you are not? You are not a used car salesperson trying to land a customer. You have the most precious gift and expressing your boundaries with men will help you figure out who may be right for you and who may not. Have I convinced you that it's OK to set a boundary? I know I'm asking too much. Let me take it a bit further. Let me convince you how asserting yourself can help you in your relationship.

Why are relationship boundaries important?

So, I think we all can agree that being amicable isn’t necessarily a predisposition for happy, lasting relationships. The fact is that I can think of so many women who don’t express their boundaries and dissatisfaction who feel bitter that their relationship didn’t work out in spite of “doing everything.” What they mean by “doing everything” is that they over functioned and sacrificed their needs, values, and boundaries for the relationship. This kind of relationship can’t be satisfactory for you or your partner.

  • First, you wind up bitter because you don’t feel respected.
  • Your partner doesn’t get a chance to get to know you and potentially try to make you happy.
  • He can’t really develop feelings for you if you don’t let him get to know you. Men in these kinds of relationships wind up feeling helpless and give up.

How does this all affect your romantic partner?

Let me explain why secure men prefer to be in a relationship with a woman who expresses her boundaries. Allow me to convince you that you should express your boundaries early on when dating and in a relationship by sharing some extra insight about men and how it affects them. I am talking about secure, confident men that I hope you want to be in a relationship with.

boundaries in relationships

Your partner may feel more competent to make you happy

There is one thing about men that you need to know. This will help you change your mindset about many things and it will make it easier for you to express your boundaries. Ready to hear? You need to know that men LOVE to make you happy. They feel good when you express your boundaries because it helps them know what works and what doesn’t work for you. Even if they don’t like reading manuals for electronics, they love a bit of guidance from you. 

Boundaries can also help your partner understand he matters to you. When he does something that upsets you, and you set and maintain your boundaries, you communicate his behaviors matter. They affect you emotionally. You are basically empowering your partner while allowing him to make choices to respect your boundaries.

Healthy boundaries can help you become confident

Secondly, when you express your boundaries, you exude confidence. This is a special kind of confidence that signals that you’ve got yourself. In other words, you are strong and you are making sure that you are taking care of yourself. Your trauma wounded younger parts will get positive feedback when you set effective boundaries. These parts can feel at peace knowing that you, the grown woman, is taking care of herself. They don't have to witness being abused or disregarded in an unhealthy relationship.

Guess what? This increases your attractiveness significantly in your partner's eyes. He knows you are not just accepting him if he doesn’t respect you. Men love women that make them feel a bit challenged to be their best selves. Boundaries are often psychological confidence and attractiveness booster.

Boundaries in relationships help your partner feel safe to fall in love with you

Finally, expressing your boundaries helps men feel safe with you. When they see how strong you are and how you take care of yourself, they can subconsciously feel safe in your company. That’s when they can truly fall in love with you. Think about it, if you can’t take care of your own heart, how can he trust you to tend to his? Setting your boundaries signals to your partner that you are reliable and trustworthy. 

So, have I motivated you enough? Are you eager to start expressing your boundaries, thoughts, and feelings in your personal relationships? Personal boundaries and self-esteem go hand in hand. You can ask your partner if he cares to know what works and what doesn't work for you.

Hopefully, I convinced you that boundaries are an important skill for creating a happy relationship. Let's look at what healthy boundaries are.

What are healthy boundaries in a relationship?

healthy boundaries in relationships

When we talk about healthy boundaries, we can't escape thinking about unhealthy ones. These two dichotomies are not the only options though. In other words, there is not a council of world class psychologists who can determine this for the world. What may be perfectly healthy for one person can be unhealthy for the other person. Ultimately, boundaries can be considered:

  • Rigid: with high level of self-protection and vigilance
  • Weak: the kind that are not enough to protect you from someone taking advantage of you
  • Permeable: inconsistent and the person is not sure when to enforce them
  • Healthy or flexible: when people are secure and free to express them

This is a simplified view without taking our background into consideration. There can be so many variables including cultural background, gender, and our experiences in life. Thus, for a person who experienced a lot of trauma and violation, we can say that developing rigid boundaries may be an appropriate response to those extreme life circumstances.

Now, if we want to talk about healthy boundaries in relationships, we need to consider how our boundaries affect our abilities to form emotional bonds with a partner. If our boundaries are still a part of our trauma responses to our emotional wounding, then it will be harder to enjoy love.

Setting healthy boundaries leads to personal healing and building healthy relationship

Regardless of what kind of boundaries you tend to have, you can start practicing asserting healthy boundaries. If you express your boundaries early on in a relationship, it will help you build a deeper bond with your partner. 

If you know how to communicate effectively, you can gradually heal enough to have flexible boundaries and your relationship will see the following benefits:

  • Setting boundaries helps both your partner and you heal and increase intimacy in a relationship.
  • Instead of upsetting your partner, you actually empower him.
  • Your partner feel challenged to be a better person.
  • Well-communicated boundaries make your partner want to get to know you more.
  • Respect each other's personal space.

How to manage boundaries in relationships?

"It's not about what you say, but really how you say it." We've all heard a version of a similar statement. Well, setting your boundaries can rub your partner the wrong way because by the time you assert yourself, you've become resentful or even angry.

This is especially the case if you are an anxious love seeker. Many women struggle with expressing boundaries. Some don't express them at all, while others are too harsh all because of this resentment due to feeling that our boundaries are violated or our needs are not met.

boundaries in relationships

So, it's important to be in touch with your emotions, process them, and not ascribe negative motivation to your partner's actions or words. Let's break it down.

  • You need to acknowledge your feelings of resentment, fear, anger, abandonment, etc. Honor your feelings. Name them. Try to explore why these feelings occur in you.
  • Name the action, words, or lack of action that trigger your emotional reactions. Notice, how important it is to realize that your partner just triggered your feelings. He doesn't have the power to make you feel a certain way.
  • Communicate to your partner by utilizing "I statements." When you do/don't do/say/don't say such and such, I feel (the emotion you identified). This step will help your partner understand you better. It will also help him avoid feeling attacked. You are not judging his actions.
  • Then assert yourself clearly by saying something like: " I will not tolerate it in the future."

Now he can make a choice to respect your boundaries or you will have to make a choice of what your action will be if he doesn't respect your boundaries. Regardless, you have to give him a chance to explain himself.

IMPORTANT: If you want to this to be a healing experience for you and a relationship bonding opportunity, you need to assume that your partner didn't have negative intentions. You need to treat him with respect and not blame him for your feelings. Most likely our old feelings are triggered due to some old emotional wounds.

What are the 5 types of boundaries?

If you want to maintain a happy lasting relationship, it's important that you know yourself and what your boundaries are. This is why The Couture Love Plan is the third step of my Secure Love Creator's Framework. I use it to help my clients gain clarity about what kind of relationship they want, what their values and boundaries are. So let's address some of the basic categories of boundaries.

  • Physical:  They determine what we are comfortable with when it comes to physical proximity with other people. Knowing this and communicating effectively with your partner is essential. If we are not aware of our bodily reactions, being too close to someone or might set us up for extreme fight of flight reaction with our partner. Also understanding your partner's physical boundaries can be essential so you don't take it personally if he doesn't enjoy closeness as much as you do.
  • Sexual are some of the most difficult because so many young women feel obliged to engage in sex even when they are not ready for it. If your partner is respectful, he will understand you and not push you into sex before you are ready.
  • Emotional are also hard to navigate in a relationship. Romantic relationships trigger our attachment trauma most intensely. This is why it's essential to know your emotional boundaries and maintain your personal well-being above all until you get to know your partner.
  • Financial are also essential for a happy relationship. So many couples fight because of financial issues. Understanding your personal values and boundaries with finances is a must before meeting someone. Can you be in a relationship with someone who's irresponsible with money? Note that this term "irresponsible" is your own judgment based on the way you see things, but this is good because you need to accept and love that person or find someone who's more appropriate for you.
  • Time are also there to help us maintain the balance between I and us. In other words, in every healthy relationship people enjoy "me time" as well as time together. Add to this consideration on how much time you spend on your phone while with your partner. How do you think it affects your relationship? Remember, time is our biggest resource and a gift to another human.

Do you have boundary issues?

Boundaries in relationships

Remember, we agreed that we will not judge you on how you express your boundaries. I will for sure not be that kind of person. I will rather help you decide if you want to expand your experience, and enjoy life by working on your boundaries. 

There is one criterion that helps us determine if our boundaries are healthy. It is how they affect our life. You have to ask yourself the following questions.  

  • Am I feeling bitter about the way I’m being treated?
  • Do I feel I want to say something, but I’m afraid my partner will leave me?
  • Am I unhappy but I’m afraid of changing the status quo?

If any of these answers are positive, you may choose to work on establishing your boundaries. This will help you experience better relationships and have more joy in life. 

Setting healthy boundaries in relationships can help you to express your needs and desires to your partner without feeling guilty. However, it is important that you still maintain the respect that you have for each other when communicating your boundaries to avoid offending each other. Here are some tips you can follow to manage your boundaries:

So let me ask you. Do you really want to keep molding yourself to whatever you assume works for others? Or, do you want to communicate your boundaries which allows them to get to know the real you, so they can decide if they want to love you? 

If you are interested in secure, soulful love in a healthy relationship, the second option is essential. You want to set your boundaries and allow others to get to know and love you just the way you are. 

It can be difficult to start setting boundaries if you are not used to it. You may need to do some work before you feel comfortable doing it. I helped numerous clients be more comfortable expressing boundaries when communicating with men. Love Building Communication is a step five of my Secure Love Creator framework. I utilize it to help my clients communicate effectively with men without frustration. 

Also, let me know. What are your biggest concerns about expressing your boundaries? 

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About the Author

I'm dedicated to guiding women from feeling confused and frustrated to feeling competent and joyful when it comes to matters of love and romance.