You’re in a new relationship. The person you’re dating uses texting as their main form of communication although you really would prefer to speak on the phone instead. Do you make a simple request? Or do you stew in your frustration and wait until they “figure it out” feeling offended or marginalized?

Today I am talking about the three ways that you might be setting your relationship up to fail right now and how to stop. The primary way people wreck a relationship is by not drawing clear boundaries, and not sharing their preferences.

In this week’s Real Love Revolution video, I am covering:

  • How people wreck relationships with poor boundaries
  • Three types of boundaries
  • Why it is difficult for people to set boundaries
  • Tips and language for setting boundaries right now

The first type of boundary is physical. Physical boundaries pertain to your space, and your body privacy. When you meet someone, do you shake hands or hug? How do you feel about locked doors? This is all about physical space, and about your possessions as well. And if you are dating, physical boundaries also encompass sexual boundaries. We are all very different when it comes to these types of boundaries, yet many people believe they just have to accept the way others relate to them, without expressing their true preferences. This is a set up for confusion, frustration and ultimately failure.

The second type of boundary is mental. This boundary type applies to your thoughts, values and opinions. Are you easily suggestible? When you are with a group of people are you a chameleon when it comes to your thoughts and feelings about things? Bad mental boundaries can also mean being too rigid with your opinions. If you can’t listen to someone with an open mind, that is also having poor mental boundaries.

The third type of boundary is emotional. Emotional boundaries separate your emotions from another person’s. If you are codependent, you may feel responsible for other people’s feelings. Healthy relationships require the clear understanding that you are an individual, and your partner is a separate individual with different thoughts and feelings. This creates the balance between together yet separate.

Why is it so hard for us to draw boundaries? A lot of it stems from having the disease to please, and women especially are raised and socialized to be nice above most other things. This is actually bullshit. Not telling the truth is not being nice.

For a relationship to be healthy, we have to learn when to say yes and when to say no. @terri_cole (Click to Tweet!)

We have to be allowed to do that. There needs to be an agreement in the relationship to respect the other person and their thoughts, needs, and feelings even when they differ from your own.

I have three simple tips you can follow for beginning to set healthy boundaries in your relationships right now.

  • The first step is dialing in to how you feel. When you start feeling frustrated, that is a red flag that you need to set a boundary and make a simple request about something.
  • The second step in drawing these boundaries is to think before you speak. Give yourself expansion. Take a deep breath. Anything done in anger or frustration doesn’t last, isn’t effective and damages the relationship.
  • The third step is to use the correct language. Use “I” statements. “I would like to make a simple request…can you please…” When you go into a conversation telling people how they are, you end up alienating them with your aggression. Even if you’re frustrated, it’s always better to be kind and thoughtful.

The thing with boundaries is it will never be perfect so just START today. Speak your mind. Express your preferences. Trust me…your partner, if they are the right one, will be interested in how you really feel. Remember to be patient with yourself and the process.

Progress not perfection is the goal. You can learn to become boundary literate. It is work but you are worth it!

Drop me a comment and let me know what resonated with you after watching the video here. Then head over to my YouTube Channel and SUBSCRIBE for FREE access to every Real Love Revolution vid! Join the conversation with #RealLoveRevolution on social media and share the love!


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Thanks for watching, reading, and sharing!

And as always, take care of YOU.

Terri Cole is a licensed psychotherapist, transformation coach, and an expert at turning fear into freedom. Sign up for Terri’s weekly Newsletter, check out her blog and follow her on Twitter.