How To Set (And Respect) Relationship Boundaries

Published on March 5th, 2024

Updated on March 20th, 2024

Woman And Man Cooking

In any relationship, it is important to have and respect boundaries. This is especially important in your romantic relationship. People may sometimes think that a person cannot have boundaries, personal thoughts, or privacy from their significant other, but this is not the case. Setting and respecting boundaries with your significant other can actually strengthen your relationship. It can also help to improve your overall mental health and wellness.

While it is important to have boundaries with your significant other, they can be challenging to set sometimes. It can be misunderstood to mean that boundaries limit how much you are there for another person. This is not the case, as boundaries mean making your privacy and personal needs a priority. Healthy people have healthy boundaries. Relationships that have unhealthy or unclear boundaries often struggle in the long run. The following is a list of ways to set boundaries with your significant other, and many of these methods can also apply to other loved ones in your life. 

Get In Touch With Your Needs

To set proper boundaries, consider what boundaries look like for you and your significant other. Think about how much private time and space you need. Consider your own need for alone time to take care of yourself. It can also be helpful to learn about your personal beliefs and what open and honest communication means to you.

Affordable Online Therapy

Choose a therapist to work with and start healing with 20% off from BetterHelp.

Click Here

Respect Your Significant Other’s Privacy And Personal Space

A part of setting boundaries is respecting your and your significant other’s privacy. Everyone deserves privacy and healthy boundaries that respect privacy also promote trust. Struggling to respect privacy is an indicator of distrust and poor boundaries in a relationship. 

Tip: The following behaviors can be considered an invasion of privacy:

  • Looking through a significant other’s phone messages, emails, or computer documents
  • Accessing a significant other’s accounts without permission
  • Tracking a significant other’s whereabouts
  • Asking others for information about your significant other

Each of these examples is an invasion of privacy, even if your significant other knows about your activity. Even if you have your significant other’s permission, these behaviors indicate distrust. They do not respect your significant other’s right to privacy or personal boundaries.

If you struggle with not engaging in these behaviors, it may be helpful to consult with a therapist. A therapist can help you build trust in your relationship. They can also help you and your significant other set healthy personal boundaries.

Embrace Friendships

A great way to reinforce boundaries is to spend time with your friends and allow your significant other to do the same. It is okay for you and your significant other to spend time away from each other when bonding with friends.

Consider creating ground rules if either of you struggles with spending time apart. Such ground rules could include:

Note: If you struggle with being without your significant other, or struggle to feel comfortable with your significant other spending time with friends without you, take time to reflect on where that discomfort comes from. Allow yourself to confront the part of you that is uncomfortable with the time away from each other. Do not be afraid to open a dialog with your significant other about your concerns and expectations for how each of you should behave.

Set Clear Workday Boundaries

Time at work can be stressful for both you and your significant other. Each person in a relationship can be expected to sometimes be unreachable while at work. Sometimes workday responsibilities can get in the way of personal time or time at home. A critical part of building boundaries with your significant other is understanding that they need to focus on work when at work. During a workday, your significant other may prioritize work-related issues. This may make them not readily available to you, and that is okay.

If you or your significant other gets frustrated by the lack of communication during work hours, talk about boundaries and expectations for communication during the workday. Everyone’s work schedule is different, so workday boundaries will be based on your and your significant other’s circumstances. Have the understanding that the workday will cause personal matters to take a back seat.

Express your needs and expectations for when and how often you can communicate with your significant other. In return, respect the same boundaries that they place on you. Remember that whether there are one or two working partners in the relationship, work time should be dedicated to working. While you may be able to communicate during the workday sometimes, it should not be an expectation for each day.

Schedule Personal Time

Some significant others may have circumstances that make it harder to have alone time. Scheduling time that is for you and time that is for your significant other can help with creating a routine of self-care. Whether it is after work, Saturday mornings, or on game day, have clear expectations for your and your significant other’s personal time.

Commit to not interrupting your significant other during their personal time. Consider that your significant other’s personal time can be an opportunity for you to get some time to yourself as well. Even if it seems like they are not doing much during their personal time, you still must respect their need for space.

Need to talk to someone?

Find an affordable therapist online with 20% off from BetterHelp.

Click Here

Link To This Article

Leave A Reply