Your boundaries are a way of asserting who you are in relationships. They form a rigid line that says this is who you are, and this is what you will or will not accept or tolerate. Establishing expectations and deal breakers doesn’t determine how much you love your person, it’s simply a way of ensuring you get the respect and consideration you deserve. Ultimately, setting boundaries can actually help your relationship in the following ways.
Boundaries can help reduce stress.
Having your boundaries crossed is a stressful experience. It can make you really anxious, and uncomfortable in some instances. Surely you have other stresses in your life, and something like this can increase your load. For instance, if you don’t like being hugged and you’re greeted with a hug every time you see your friend, you may dread starting your day because you haven’t set a boundary. In a relationship context, setting boundaries can help reduce those feelings of anxiety and dread and/or eliminate them altogether.
They prevent resentment.
It’s not like every single time boundaries are crossed there’ll be a war. However, there will definitely be intense tension brewing inside you that has the potential to turn into resentment. When this happens, you might start to find your partner extremely annoying or intolerable. You’ll spend time being mad, when in reality your partner may be unaware of the fact that he may have accidentally crossed your boundary. How can you be reasonably mad at someone who is unaware?
Boundaries reduce conflict.
Crossing boundaries can sometimes get ugly. When stress and tension build up, it can boil over into conflict. When this happens you may start nagging or bickering or even instigating arguments seemingly out of thin air. This may drive a wedge into relationships, especially young ones. You’d be surprised to find out how one small thing can erupt into something massive.
Boundaries add definition to the things you expect from your partner.
Setting boundaries isn’t about being selfish or putting walls up, it’s merely a means of expressing your tolerances and outlining expectations. For example, letting your significant other know that you don’t like having certain sentimental items moved while you aren’t there can prevent a misunderstanding when they merely wanted to do some dusting or tidying up. Additionally, taking responsibility helps to promote accountability in the relationship.
They improve communication.
Setting boundaries in a relationship paves the way for deeper, more productive conversations. Once you practice communicating something as difficult as a boundary, it makes other tough conversations with your partner seem like a piece of cake. This also ensures there is a high level of clarity in the relationship.
Boundaries teach mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the extent to which a person is aware of themselves and their surroundings. This is important in a relationship because it opens your eyes to your partner’s needs and allows you to be in sync. This gives you an opportunity to focus on the positives of the relationship for an improved sense of mental and physical well-being.
They can increase confidence.
Setting boundaries increases your confidence in the relationship. It helps to make you more secure and have a more positive attitude towards what the relationship holds. It will also give you the confidence needed to set boundaries in other relationships, increasing the number of healthy relationships in your life.
Boundaries help promote integrity.
Setting boundaries in your romantic life can promote integrity in other areas of your life. Setting reasonable expectations of others will teach you to become a more positive and grounded individual, which teaches you to be more compassionate and understanding of their own boundaries.
It helps strengthen the bond.
Having clear boundaries in a relationship strengthens the bond you both share. You will become more open and honest with each other, which creates an environment of comfort and trust. In return, both parties will experience a more fulfilling relationship and be satisfied with where they stand in the relationship.
Boundaries boost longevity.
Combine all these benefits and what do you get? A relationship that lasts. Most problems in relationships are started by not setting clear boundaries in the first place. The rest are caused by either party not respecting set boundaries. Where boundaries are clear, both parties have a better understanding of each other and are more likely to last than those which do not. If you intend to ever have your happily ever after, you must be willing to set boundaries in your relationship. Otherwise, you’ll end up missing out on something really great.