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5 Ways to Set Boundaries in a New Relationship

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Entering into a new relationship is super exciting. When you first start dating someone, you feel butterflies, dedicate songs to each other, and spend an enormous chunk of time together. Relationship experts call this the "Honeymoon Stage." But, relationships in this stage often lack boundaries due to the two people feeling so swept up by their romantic feelings. However, it is important to set boundaries early on to ensure that both parties are respected and understood. Ahead, I'm sharing five ways to establish healthy boundaries in your personal relationships.

1. Do Not Let Your Partner "Bad Talk" Your Family or Friends

When we are unsatisfied with a person in our lives, we may make statements that would not be considered nice. For instance, let's say you are upset with a family member over a situation, you may say, "I dislike when they act that way..." and so forth. In the moment you are expressing how frustrated you are but, deep down you know your family memeber made a mistake. Your comments are not attacking your family member's looks or how they decided to live their life. You then tell your partner about the situation. While your partner should be discussing the situation, they start to attack your relative's looks and life decisions. Your partner just crossed a boundary by doing this and this is a major red flag. If you catch your partner acting in this manner, it's important to address it and correct their behavior. You can say, "Hey I know I am upset with my family member right now, but do not talk about them that way. They just made a mistake. Let's focus on the situation that occured."

2. Communicate

Communication is key. I know that statement is cliche, but it is true. An effective and healthy conversation can consist of discussing a comment your partner made and how it made you feel, talking about expectations, and even discussing how they feel. Proper communication can lead to a clear understanding. It will allow you to avoid spending time second-guessing yourself or assuming how your partner feels after communicating.  

3. Spend Time in Solitude or With Loved Ones


 
A relationship should not infringe upon your alone time and social life. My mom always says too much of a good thing is bad for you. I am applying that advice to relationships. Spending too much time with a person and doing everything together can be draining. You or your partner could start to feel as if you two can not get away from each other, and that is a terrible feeling. Always know that it is okay to let your partner enjoy activities by themselves or with their friends. In your weekly schedule, make sure to block out time to spend alone and with your family and friends.  

 

4. No, Do Not Go Through Their Devices

A person's phone is private. An individual's cell phone is not mean to be shared, unless they state otherwise. Going through your significant other's phone shows that you do not trust them. If you have an urge to do so, have a conversation with them and let them know how you are feeling. Most of the time people only want to check phones if they suspect suspicious activity is going on. One way to bring up the issue is to say, "Hey, lately I feel as if you are acting different. This change makes me want to check your phone, but I do not want to do that because I respect your privacy.  I would like to discuss the impact your sudden behavior change has had on me."

5. Keep Promises


 
If you tell your partner, "I am going to bring you dinner to your job," but you happen not to do it, then you are not doing your part and not following through. In a relationship, your word is bond. Following through on your promises is key to building trust. 

I have a confession. I have evaded these boundaries before and I am not upset at the fact that I did. If I didn't make these mistakes, then I would not be here sharing these tips. If you have had trouble setting boundaries in relationships, it's okay as long as you learn from your mistakes. We are all works in progress, especially in new relationships.

What other boundaries must be present in a relationship? Let us know by leaving a comment below!   

Zakiya Payne is a Multimedia Journalism major at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. The first-generation student enjoys writing in her journal, telling corny jokes, and shopping! A Mantra that she repeats daily is, “I am busy becoming the woman of my dreams!”