How To Set Healthy Personal Boundaries?
Come closer. Now back off. Not so far. Draw nearer now. Keep the distance, after all!
How often have you played this “back-and-forth” game with your beloved other?
Do you feel the need for more space but it contradicts your idea of intimate relationships?
Or you must have overstepped your partner’s redline a number of times?
Let us figure out what level of intimacy may be optimal in a romantic relationship.
The Secret Of Porcupines Harmony
It was a bitter cold winter night that the porcupines huddled together to warm up their frozen bodies. They dashed to each other but got pricked with sharp quills. When they dispersed again they couldn’t bear the cold anymore so they took numerous huddling-dispersing turns when they discovered the optimal distance to get warmed and not pricked.
This vivid metaphor makes us conclude that human porcupines are also best off by keeping a little distance from one another.
How Compatible Love And Distance Are?
Not only compatible but mutually reinforcing.
The ability to maintain healthy boundaries testifies to healthy emotional closeness and brings a stable footing to a relationship. Setting boundaries in a relationship lets both partners feel comfortable and have their own identities and positive self-esteem.
What Are Personal Boundaries?
In short, basic rules you establish for others to know how to behave around you. We need personal boundaries for defining of one’s own “self”, its emotions, feelings, ideas, actions, and separating it from the people who make our closest circle. Setting limits in a relationship helps you take better care of yourself – mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually.
How To Set Healthy Boundaries In A Loving Relationship?
1. Develop your self-image: you have to be aware of what you are comfortable with and what can revolt you, what attitude you accept and what you will not tolerate.
2. Clearly communicate the need for some privacy to your partner: if you expect your partner to just know your limits without having declared them – don’t complain then if they try to trespass your territory.
3. Don’t do any guesswork regarding your partner’s needs or desires – it’s always the best bet to figure out rather than assume.
4. Learn to say ‘no’ if something in your bond comes into conflict with your views, needs or desires.
5. Stick to “I-statements”: whether you want to ask something or express frustration, say “I would appreciate if…”, “I feel like…”, “I hurt when…” etc.
6. Advocate for yourself to have time for your own interests, friends, time and space. Do not link everything in your life with the only person. Otherwise, losing this person – you’ll lose everything.
In your turn, do not be selective in executing boundaries your partner has set.
How To Respect The Limits Of Your Partner?
Let other people differ from you. Each one has a right to be what they want to. You may treat it in two ways: either to accept them as they are, or not to accept and end up the relationship. The worst strategy we choose – is to change our partners, to improve them for own convenience, to want them to meet our expectations.
The secret lies in acceptance. Every attempt to “customize” a partner eats away from the harmony of a healthy relationship.
What Is Your Own World?
Couples in love disappear in each other too often, and notice the lack of space too late staying on the verge of a crisis or a breakup. It usually happens when two worlds enter a relationship and blend into one indistinct “we”, leaving no trace of the identity we once fell in love with.
Having and knowing your own world, communicating your do’s and don’ts to others kindles more interest to your personality and maintains it through the years, wins more respect and admiration, makes you more attractive and desirable.
Embracing Porcupines’ Example
Asking for permission? Taking into account your partner’s plans, feelings, opinions, interests? Expressing respect for things you don’t enjoy?
Yes, that’s how you are bound to behave in a healthy relationship. And that’s what you have a right to expect in return. Instead of pricking each other with the quills of disrespect, develop an understanding of healthy intimacy to keep your love flame burning over the years.