11 Signs He’s Testing Your Boundaries

While you want to be with someone who challenges you to be a better person, there’s no excuse for a guy who refuses to respect your boundaries and instead tries to trample all over them regularly. If it seems like he’s trying to push you as far as he can from the beginning, beware—this is only going to backfire in the future. Here are some signs he’s testing your boundaries to see how many of them he can violate.

  1. He pushes you. He does it in a joking way. Why won’t you eat the snails with him? Why don’t you like being tickled? But going bungee-jumping will be so much fun to do together! He’s starting to push you out of your comfort zone, which is a bad thing if it makes you feel uncomfortable in a serious way.
  2. He doesn’t understand the word “no.” He ignores this word, which is troubling. A man who doesn’t accept when you say no to the little things is a man who wants to control you. This can seriously spiral out of control.
  3. He wants to see what he can get away with. A guy who wants to test your boundaries will start small to see how much he can get away with. If you allow him to not stick to his word about calling you or making plans, then he’ll think it’s fine to disrespect you in that way. In the future, you’re guaranteed of the behavior getting worse, and he’ll disrespect you in bigger ways.
  4. He makes you feel bad. When you say no to a request or get upset because he can’t seem to take a hint, he makes you feel guilty for not doing what he asked. He might do this by appearing wounded or by getting annoyed. He might even turn the situation around and make you feel like a boring, cold, or complaining person.
  5. He preys on your guilty feelings. If he’s tried to test your boundaries and you felt guilty or apologized, then he knows that he can use your guilt against you. The thing is, if you don’t have personal boundaries in your relationship, you’re going to probably feel guilty for setting them. With practice, you’ll feel more confident about having them in place because they’re important. You can lose your identity and feelings of trust without them.
  6. He turns you into a doormat. If you notice that your partner keeps taking advantage of you, whether it’s your time, energy, or money, then you’re becoming a doormat. You’re always ready to say yes to his requests, even though they don’t feel good. That’s a huge warning sign that you need to set some boundaries.
  7. He makes inappropriate comments. One of the ways in which a guy who’s testing your boundaries will behave is by making nasty or inappropriate comments. For example, he might say, “You’re lucky you have a bit of weight on you otherwise you’d look like a rag doll in that dress.” He dresses this up as being a compliment, but it’s actually quite insulting on many levels. You now feel self-conscious about your body. By saying such things, he’s checking your reaction to see if he’ll get away with it.
  8. He doesn’t respect you. Another way in which you might feel your boundaries are being tested or stomped all over is if your partner just doesn’t seem to respect your choices. He doesn’t respect that doing what he wants you to do feels wrong or violates your values. He just doesn’t give a crap. It’s worth noting that a good person will want you to have boundaries and he’ll respect them! In this way, having boundaries in place can weed out the losers and keep the great men in your life.
  9. He teases you. Sometimes what seems to be playful teasing, such as calling you nicknames, can actually be quite irritating to you. If the person doesn’t stop saying those “joking” things even after you’ve expressed that you don’t like them, then they’re trying to cross your boundaries.
  10. He changes into someone else. In the early stage of your relationship, you liked that your boyfriend said he’s responsible when out on the town and doesn’t drink before getting behind the wheel. Now, months later, he’s proving to be the opposite of those things. It’s shocking to see this play out in real life, and this sort of behavior can be his way of testing your boundaries. Will you accept something you don’t like in a partner or not? If you don’t stick to your boundaries, you’re going to end up in a horrible, unsatisfying relationship.
  11. He’s getting in the way of your health. It’s important not to lose your healthy lifestyle when a relationship enters your life. If your partner’s always getting in the way of yours, then that’s clearly a sign he’s trying to step over your boundaries. For example, if he regularly calls you late at night even though you need your beauty sleep, or he tries to get you to go out with him on a weeknight even though you have a stressful week at work. If you’ve told your partner this but they don’t seem to change their behavior, then you’re dealing with someone who’s disrespecting your boundaries. Put a stop to it before it starts to do serious damage.




Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.