Establishing Healthy Boundaries In A New Relationship
Entering into a new relationship can be both exciting and nerve wracking. However, it is also a crucial time to create healthy, strong boundaries right out the gate to set your relationship on a course to thrive and succeed. Setting boundaries early in a relationship is important, it is much easier to do this at the beginning while you're both learning how to navigate your new dynamic together rather than waiting too long and having more difficulty breaking established habits and routines.
At this time, you may be thinking why exactly healthy boundaries need to be implemented at this stage of a relationship? After all, things are all rainbows and butterflies right now. This is the perfect time to dive in and set boundaries while you're both eager to fulfill each other's needs and respect each other's requests. But how do you go about setting healthy boundaries in a new relationship if things are already going well?
This blog will talk about some essential boundaries a healthy new relationship should have and how to go about implementing them.
First and foremost, you need to be able to communicate openly and honestly with your partner in order for your relationship to work effectively and to set healthy boundaries. This is a skill I work with couples on every day. Therapy is a great tool to learn how to communicate better with your partner. For now, remember to advocate for your wants and needs, use “I Statements” to minimize blame and criticism, and listen reflectively when your partner communicates to you.
Once communication is practiced and worked on, boundaries can begin to be implemented. Some suggestions of healthy and effective relationship boundaries to set with your new partner are as follows:
One of the most important boundaries you can implement into your new relationship is the freedom to communicate your wants, needs, thoughts, and opinions to your partner. Don't be afraid to say no. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Be clear, advocate for yourself and the things you like and don't like and don't question your right to speak up. This is going to help you to feel supported, respected, and fulfilled in your new relationship.
Set a Comfortable Pace:
Always remember to take things at a pace that you are comfortable with. You can take things as slow as you feel you may need, this is also your right! Don’t rush into things before you are ready, especially if you are doing so because you think it's what your partner wants.
If you're making decisions for your partner vs yourself, this sets you on a path to resentment later in the relationship, and essentially your own unhappiness. If your new partner respects you and your boundaries, they will be comfortable meeting you at the speed you are comfortable with.
Make sure you are being clear about your expectations for your relationship. In every relationship, we have things we want and things we are striving for. For example, maybe you are looking for marriage or children. These are important aspects to discuss with your partner if things are getting to a serious stage.
You want to know if the things you know you want and are important to you are compatible with your partner’s expectations of a relationship. If not, this isn't always a deal breaker if you don't want it to be. It opens things up for discussion on compromise, learning each other's inner goals and desires, and exploring compatibility on a deeper level.
Sex is a big deal in a lot of relationships. My biggest suggestion to explore intimacy together is discussing some of your sexual boundaries, wants, needs, thoughts, and areas of uncomfortability with each other. The best and mutually beneficial intimate relationships happen when both partners are open with each other about their stance on sex and intimacy. The more you know and understand about each other in this department, the easier it is to have a positive intimate connection where both partners feel respected.
Intimacy doesn't always mean sex though. Intimacy is also emotional connection and non-sexual physical touch. Being able to identify you and your partner's love languages can be a useful tool in helping each other to understand how and why you want to receive love and intimacy the way you do. You can take the quiz and learn more about the love languages here.
Share Details Freely:
As you feel more comfortable, don't hold back from opening up about personal details, information, and dynamics about you and your life that you maybe didn't get to disclose in the “dating phase” with your new partner. You want to make sure the person you are engaging in a new relationship with is open to accepting and able to fit in with who you are and everything that comes with that.
As always, you can do this at your own pace, but it’s important for your partner to know the things that make you, you! Family details, background, political beliefs, friendships, work schedules, obligations, interests, hobbies, and more are all on the table when it comes to the “getting to know” someone aspect of a relationship. Whenever you feel ready, get to sharing! The more you know about each other, the more you'll be able to determine your compatibility.
If you and your partner are struggling to set healthy boundaries, starting couples therapy early can be an excellent resource to set your new relationship up for success and happiness. Call me today at 954-391-5305 to discuss how therapy may be an option to help.
We have a big, brand new, beautiful office located in Plantation, Florida that can accommodate all your relationship needs. Virtual therapy is also an awesome option for couples with busy and conflicting schedules. For more information about my approach or my services, visit my bio here.
I look forward to hearing from you!