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Home / Relationships

Five ways to set boundaries in the early stages of dating

 Boundaries will help both of you to have mutual respect and reduce misunderstandings (Image: Shutterstock)

When it comes to relationships, boundaries are very important and this is no exception when you start dating.

Setting boundaries can save you from getting into a toxic situation that could have been avoided way before you became exclusive.

And the reason you want to do so is so that you can have a say on how people treat you and your expectations are met. Add to that, it sets the tone where there is mutual respect and it reduces any misunderstandings and unfulfilled needs for the two of you.

For you to be comfortable and trust your potential girlfriend or boyfriend without losing yourself, you must start with a good foundation by setting some ground rules.

Boundaries also help each person have their own space and individuality. They are limits we set in place to let the other person know what behavior and actions we can and cannot tolerate. Failure to do so can lead to complications and heartbreak.

Here is how you should set boundaries early on while dating:

  • Do it early

Don’t wait for the relationship to progress before letting the other person what you expect when you can do it from day one.

Once habits and routines have been formed and you have settled into your relationship, do not start imposing boundaries or it may backfire especially if your partner feels attacked or left out.

  • Talk about it

Communication is key in every relationship and you need to have those difficult discussions early on. This will help you both to open up and understand where each party is coming from. Take the time to explain and don’t jump to conclusions when you’re unsure about something.

Bring your concerns to the table and create a safe space where you can talk about anything without fear of being judged or dismissed.

 Communicate your feelings from the start and set boundaries early enough (Image: Shutterstock)
  • You can choose to say no

‘’No’’ is probably one of the hardest words for some of us and because of being too nice, people have walked all over us. This is worse when it comes to people we love or have a strong desire for.

Relationships go two way-it is about give and take. And as much as you always want to go out of your way to make them happy, there are times you will have to say no and that is fine.

If they truly care about you, they will not take it badly and they will respect your choice.

  • Call them out

You don’t expect your new catch to read your mind, do you? If there is something you don’t like or disagree with, tell them directly.

Tell them immediately it happens and if you suspect things may get heated, talk it out later when you’re both calm. Be kind and put yourself in their shoes so you don’t offend them.

  • Let your actions speak louder

No one will treat you well when you’re not treating yourself well. Be kind to yourself and don’t feel guilty or allow anyone to make you feel bad for it.

By doing so, your partner will see how you value yourself and they will also want to upload that honor you accord yourself.

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