Since relationships are meant to bind two people together in the most intimate ways, the idea of setting boundaries and placing certain limitations on the way they relate with each other may feel contradictory and sound absurd but really, it is neither of these things.
As humans, personal growth and the continued existence of our individuality cannot be denied. As a rule, no relationship should seek to take away that sense of individuality. Being with a partner, and blending your life with theirs is cool only to the extent that it does not disruptively encroach, or worse, try to erode that space necessary for your individuality to flourish.
Boundaries in romantic relationships are especially critical, because as opposed to other relationships, partners inhabit each other’s most intimate spaces, including physical, emotional and sexual.
So it is necessary to know the best and healthiest ways to go about setting these boundaries. Ways that’ll not only help you grow and maintain a happy lifestyle as a person, but also as a couple. And, also importantly, knowing these things help the relationship to be free of any unnecessary conflicts.
What are the boundaries on communication?
Do you have to tell them everything, as in everything about your life? Ideally, partners should not hide anything from each other. Timing is relevant here, of course. The duration of a relationship determines the depth of secrets to be shared, fears to be unraveled and the extent of trust to be conferred on each other.
Regardless, there are exceptions to the rule. Some things are better left unsaid. As this Pulse article says, it is OK to hold back from sharing any “…inconsequential detail that’ll… not hurt anyone if forever locked in a vault [of secrecy].”
Who gets to hear stuff about your partner and who should not
Also it is important to mention that you cannot tell your friends or other third parties everything about your relationship and your partner.
On this issue of speaking with outsiders on your relationship and how to go about it, these articles here and here are explanatory and instructive.
ALSO READ: 5 things that can cause resentment in your relationship
Boundaries on relating with other genders while in a relationship
The simple secret is to stay away from any act that will make your partner feel uncomfortable. Anything you can’t do with members of the opposite sex in your partner’s presence is an absolute no. This is pretty obvious.
The biggest trouble that couples often have to deal with when it comes to limiting relationships with members of the opposite sex boundaries this is knowing how to deal with friends/besties of the opposite sex.
Sexual boundaries – do they apply especially between married couples?
It is basic that the rule of consent applies at all times and at all stages of the relationship. And although you may be married and have your bodies sworn over in honour to each other, that rule can never be breached. No remains no. It is why marital rape is a thing. If they say no, you have to respect that. And it is not just saying no to sex generally, it is respecting their wishes at every stage of the act.
If midway into sex, you try to do something they object to, you have to stop.
This is another reason why communication about sex, whether you are married or not is very, very important.
Being in a relationship or being married should not deny anyone of the opportunity to have their moments to themselves. That much is undeniable.
What you should know, however, is that there is an extent that these moments should last for before they are considered unhealthy. There are also actions you would you do in these private moments that would defeat the purpose of your relationship.
Communicate with your partner, know what these are and avoid them by all means.