Communication is key and laying it all down for your partner to understand, and for you to understand your partner is vital.
Relationships are built on love, trust, and respect. Being vulnerable with your partner is an important part of growing closer to each other. But something that comes with being vulnerable, that many people may not consider, is also establishing borders with your partner. Being intimate and vulnerable does not mean being accessible all the time to your partner at the cost of your own well-being. For a relationship to be healthy, boundaries are important. Communication is key, and laying it all down for your partner to understand you and for you to understand your partner is vital. While being together is important, being by yourself when you need to is, too.
Here are five types of boundaries you can discuss with your partner:
This can mean the proximity to your partner in terms of your personal space as well as your privacy. Some people's love language is physical touch and if that is the case, they will appreciate being touched lovingly. But not everyone would like to be touched, even more so in public. If this is something you feel, it is best to let your partner know. It is better to establish the boundary than to feel uncomfortable or worse, disrespected by your partner. You can even have your own personal space at home where you can go, for a certain amount of time to recharge. Let your partner know so they know you are not avoiding them or angry. That you need the essential me-time.
In a relationship, there is an emotional dependency on your partner. But you need to see if you start imbibing their emotions and start to get affected by their mood shift as well. You need to get in touch with your feelings as a separate entity for it to go hand-in-hand with another person's emotions. Frustration and anger are common. We are human after all. It is best to let your partner know how to handle a situation in which you are upset and vice versa. You may just want to vent and for them to listen. But if they start pointing out what you should do to overcome it instead of listening, it may upset you even more. Let them know beforehand what you expect and make it clear so there will not be a blowup when you're already emotionally charged.
You and your partner can have completely different ideologies and still find a way to respect opposing opinions. While it may not be easy, it is never okay to talk down to someone you do not agree with. You can let your partner know that their tone is unacceptable; watch yours as well when you talk to them. You can even decide on some topics that are off-limits that both of you "agree to disagree," since the two of you feel strongly about it. Let them know when they hurt your feelings and why. Having healthy discussions about matters is important and can help you learn a lot about a person as well.
Intimacy is vital in a relationship. But the extent is up to you and your partner to establish. Sex can be an enjoyable activity with your partner and it is even better when both of you are fully at comfort with each other. Consent is important and deciding beforehand what is okay and what is not will make it a better experience. Having a healthy sex life requires a lot of communication. Sexual boundaries are important in general but even more so if there is a past of abuse. Something might be triggering for one and fun for the other. It becomes important to respect their comforts in such instances.
If you are not okay with something, it is important to state it. Also, what you may have been okay with one day may not feel the same another day. You have the right to create and recreate boundaries as you see fit.
Money is a sticky subject, even in relationships that you are in for life. It is important to ensure your financial security no matter how much you may love or trust your partner. If you are uncomfortable with sharing an account or your bank information with your partner, let them know. But make sure to pull your half of the financial burden and not put the whole responsibility on your partner. Have an honest conversation about your budgeting goals, spending limits, investment options, and how to divide the expenses. Money is important and can sometimes make or break relationships. Discuss money matters openly early on if you decide to live together and involve experts if necessary.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images/Sylvain Sonnet