Do you often find yourself feeling like when you’re dating someone, they are pushing you pass your limits? Do you feel like your time and effort in the relationship is not being respected? Then, it is possible that you have not set boundaries. When dating, you want your boundaries to be clear. I know in the beginning you are feeling so in love and that the person could do no wrong but that is so far from the truth. We teach people how to treat us by what we say, do, and tolerate. So, for example, if you value your time, you should always be on time to any appointment, meeting, or date because timeliness is important to you. Which means that when someone dates you, you will let them know this is something you value as well as show them by your actions. Then, if they show up late continuously, you can communicate why you have decided that they are not for you because you clearly set the boundary by words, actions, and that it will not be tolerated. So here are 3 ways that you can set boundaries when dating so your time isn’t wasted and so you can have happy and healthy relationships.
1. Communicate your boundaries up front. Yes, this means on the first date. Communication is the key to any relationship but especially when dating and preparing for marriage. Setting the appropriate boundaries let’s the person know what you value and how you would treat them. If the boundary is celibacy, verbalizing its importance communicates to the person that you not only value your body, but theirs as well. It also let’s them know that holiness is important to you and that you are a committed person. It’s more than just not having sex. Be open to telling them your boundaries, why you have them, and asking them what theirs are so that you are both equally respected.
2. Use your actions to show what your boundaries are. It is important to show your limits through your actions. Upholding the same standard that you have set lets the other person know how much it means to you and how it will benefit your relationship. Be respectful of the other persons boundaries and if they haven’t set any, suggest to them that they do. We all want to be respected in our relationships and this shows them that the relationship is not one sided.
3. Mean what you say. A mistake that we often make is that when someone we care for crosses the line, we don’t tell them or we allow the behavior to continue. When someone you’re dating crosses the line, tell them and give them the opportunity to correct the behavior. If it continues, it may be time to cut your losses. You do NOT have to be with someone who doesn’t respect you. Let’s be honest here. When someone is habitual in crossing the line, they normally do it because you have allowed them to. This is teaching people how to treat you. If it goes uncorrected, don’t be surprised if they cross the line again in another area. If they don’t respect your wishes, move on to something and someone else. It will keep you from being continuously hurt and upset and it will make it easier for the right person to find you. Don’t be afraid to speak what’s on your heart. We all want to be treated fairly and you have to love yourself enough to let someone go when they choose to hurt you intentionally. You were not born to be mistreated and used. Break the cycle now if you need to. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries!!