Boundaries To Set In A Relationship To Protect And Respect Yourself

Every healthy relationship has boundaries. These rules make it clear what is and isn’t okay in your relationship, because even though relationships take work, you should never give up your right to happiness and wellbeing. Here are the best boundaries to set in a relationship to protect and respect yourself.

  1. Saying no You always have the right to say no. Whether you’re in a relationship or single, you never lose your right to give your consent to anything. Particularly when you’re in a relationship, it’s important to be able to stand your ground and say no when you’re uncomfortable with a situation. A couple should also understand that one person saying no isn’t a betrayal or a sign that they’re difficult. Everyone should be able to say no when they want to.
  2. Voicing your feelings In addition to saying no, you should be able to voice when your other feelings in a relationship. This is one of the most important boundaries to set in a relationship. You should be able to talk about how you feel, good or bad, and be honest with your partner. A relationship is one place where you should always be able to be yourself openly, and that includes talking about feelings that might be uncomfortable sometimes.
  3. Communicating your wants and needs In a relationship, you should always be able to communicate your wants and needs. This is important for your partner as well as for yourself. Your partner can’t read your mind and you shouldn’t expect them to. Rather, you should be able to tell them what you want or need, in the same way that you tell them what you’re feeling.
  4. Sometimes refusing blame Another important boundary to set in a relationship is refusing blame when you don’t deserve it. Sometimes, people accept ownership of a mistake they didn’t make just to keep the peace. But protecting and respecting yourself in a relationship means not having to say sorry for things you haven’t actually done. Rather, each person should be accountable for their own mistakes, rather than each other’s.
  5. Having the right to privacy Just because you have a relationship doesn’t mean you forgo the right to privacy. You are still your own person and you have the right to privacy. In the context of a relationship, this often means not putting up with it when your partner demands to look through your texting history. Or walks in when you’re in the bathroom if you don’t feel comfortable with that. You have the right to set up your own privacy boundaries.

More important boundaries to set in a relationship

  1. Changing your mind You can always change your mind, whether or not you’re in a relationship. Setting up this boundary is important for protecting yourself because changing your mind is just part of human nature. Yes, not thinking through any of your decisions and constantly flipping can get tiring for your partner. And there are some things that are more complicated than a change of mind, like having kids. But with most things, you do have the right to change your mind if you really want to in a relationship. If you don’t make this boundary clear, you open yourself up to being trapped. Just because you agree to something once, doesn’t mean you’re bound for life.
  2. Feeling comfortable with your finances Relationships have evolved significantly over the course of history. It’s no longer a necessity to blend your finances with your partner. Instead, these days people dictate their own rules in relationships. No matter what, you always have a right to feel comfortable about your own finances. Money is a topic that may require several deep conversations. But ultimately, it’s okay to set a financial boundary that you’re both comfortable with.
  3. Having your own space You are still entitled to your own space when you’re in a relationship. Every couple is different with regards to how clingy they are, but you don’t have to give up your right to space. If your partner is always intruding on your space, it’s important to set this boundary and make it clear what your personal space needs are.
  4. Having your own identity Some couples become so co-dependent that they almost lose their own identities. If you feel your identity becoming blurred when you get into a relationship, it’s important to set this boundary with your partner. You deserve your own identity, so make it clear what that means to you and how you’re going to achieve it. It might be keeping up a hobby you had when you were single, like going to the gym or being part of a book club. Or it might be staying involved with the same charity causes that mean a lot to you. Uphold the values and beliefs that have always mattered to you, even before you were someone’s partner.
  5. Controlling family interaction Family interaction can cause a lot of tension in relationships if a couple fails to set boundaries around this. While you might have to make some compromises and see your partner’s family if that’s important to them, you should always set boundaries you’re comfortable with. It might be limiting the time you spend with their family or making sure you see your own family too. Sometimes, if your partner’s family is really harmful to your mental and physical wellbeing, boundaries might involve deciding not to see them at all.
Aussie writer who’s equally obsessed with YA fiction and pasta. Her time is divided between writing all the things, reading all the things, listening to Queen, and bopping her cat on the nose. You can keep up with her on Instagram @vanessaellewrites.