Your guide to the different personal boundaries in relationships


"Why are you adding in boundaries!"

We've always heard our friends and/or family telling us the importance of needing certain rules in place in a relationship. We've also heard a ton of different ideas from people on what those rules should be. Some believe that there are no boundaries in love, while others say that having too many can ultimately push them away. It's an interesting topic to think about and one we couldn't help but talk about it. But before we dive in, have you read our previous blog post on why we need personal boundaries?



To walk you through the basics. Personal boundaries are important in any relationship, and it is important to find out what they are. The first step to any successful relationship is understanding the difference between you and your partner and understanding that the both of you are separate. What activities do you like or dislike? Do you want to be touched in certain areas of your body? It’s also important to understand how far one partner can go before they feel uncomfortable with what the other partner wants. There should always be a safe word put into place if someone feels uncomfortable with anything happening - this will help bring things back down a notch without making anyone feel guilty about it.

What Personal Boundaries Should I Explore in Relationship?

fixing down boundaries for a healthier relationship

Personal boundaries each partner should explore in a relationship

  • Physical boundaries

  • Emotional boundaries

  • Financial boundaries

  • Time boundaries

  • Material boundaries

  • Sexual boundaries

So before we jump into the different boundaries, let's remember that these boundaries will vary from person to person. It's always best to open the discussion with your partner and set boundaries that make you both feel comfortable before exploring any of these options in a relationship. Let's get right into it now


Physical Boundaries

a little understanding, goes a long way

This is more about physical contact than it is sex, so think hugs, kisses on the cheek or forehead instead of lips, hand holding etc. This will be different for everyone depending on their own personal preferences - just keep what makes you most comfortable at heart when setting this boundary.

It is also important in living in relationships with family or friends as breaching the individuals physical space can feel uncomfortable. An example of this can be entering your room without your permission when you have already made it clear that you don't like that.


Emotional Boundaries

Emotional intimacy is very important- but to what extent?

These are also something that should be discussed beforehand because they might not go over well if someone thinks they've crossed them already- there may have been no wrongdoing but it still feels like an invasion of privacy.

An example of this is saying something that might be considered as a personal attack such as 'I think you are being selfish' or asking questions about someone's past without their permission. "Emotional dumping" or opening up about a problem and expecting your partner to fix it is another form of this.


Financial Boundaries

Bringing both the partners on the same page

Spending too much money on dates, gifts or vacations can hurt relationships because some people have less disposable income than others do. Working out finances is a way to avoid any potential arguments or discomfort is very important from the start of the relationship. Understanding to empathize if your partner is going through a financial crisis is also very important.

For some partners, gifting is their love language. But doing it without making the other person guilty is an important part of understanding financial boundaries especially when the other partner may not be able to reciprocate.


Time Boundaries

"You love me with this space?" "Always"

Arguing about who does the most chores, or who spends the most time with friends can be easily avoided by setting some ground rules about how much free time each person has. It's important to set some ground rules about how much time you spend together and apart. Spending too much time together can lead to feeling smothered while spending too little time together can lead to feelings of neglect. Finding a balance is key!

This is a boundary, like the others, there is constant change. For example, when your partner and you are in two different countries or in different stages in life (like one partner is in university and the other is working) there will be the play of other time-bound problems that get in the way.


Material Boundaries

Your partner over materialistic things- whenever possible

Being possessive about a partner's possessions is often seen as a sign of insecurity and can lead to tension in the relationship. Giving your partner some space to have their own things can help reduce this type of conflict. Material boundaries can be worked out through discussion and compromise.


Sexual boundaries

Be bound by boundaries in the bedroom!

This should also not need to be discussed because it should automatically go without saying but unfortunately, sexual assault and forceful sexual activity are common in relationships. Do not indulge in any sexual activity if your partner has said no and does not want to try something you want. This should be navigated together by the couple on what is okay and what is not as any kind of miscommunication can lead to trauma and in some cases even injury. It may seem obvious for some people who have been socialized with healthy sex education but there are still those out there whose idea of consent comes from other sources which can cause problems in an intimate relationship if one partner doesn't know any better.


The exploration of personal boundaries should start from the very beginning of a relationship. This includes everything from what each partner is comfortable with when it comes to physical touch (hugs, kisses, sex) to how much information about themselves they are willing to share. It's important that both partners feel safe and respected in order for the relationship to grow and thrive.


To wind things up

It all comes down to sitting down together and having an open discussion about your boundaries!

It's also necessary to set some ground rules early on about things like spending time together and communicating effectively. These boundaries will help prevent resentment from building up down the road if one person feels like they're doing all the work or if one partner is constantly ignoring their needs.


Relationships are ever-changing just like our needs according to where we are in life. Navigating through boundaries to come to a middle ground is important so that both the parties involved feel satisfied with the relationship.


We, at Safe Space Therapy, can always be here to help you navigate through the high's and low's of your relationship. We offer couples therapy with the best therapists in Bangalore armed with the right approaches to help you and your partner reach your bests! On behalf of Safe Space Therapy, here's wishing you a Merry Christmas!


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