How to set boundaries in a relationship?

Corona living is the term I’ll coin as the living situation we have found ourselves in. Moving in prematurely with a partner or friend, back in with parents or living with your family when you’re usually out and about for the most part of living at home. It has made for different situations to arise, learning to exist 24/7 with people you wouldn’t usually spend every waking minute with. It can cause for boundaries to be pushed and explored.

‘You’re not overreacting, someone has just hit your boundary.’

What does it mean to set boundaries?

In my own words, boundaries are where you set your limits to how you believe you should be treated and spoken to. Limits for what you believe to be in line with how you live your life, and what your beliefs are.

Boundaries can be defined as the limits we set with other people, where we decide what we find acceptable and unacceptable in their behaviour towards us. In regard to emotional boundaries, you are entitled to your own feelings and so are other people, even if in a situation the emotions felt by two people are completely different.

You are worthy of love, positive affirmation quote
Photo by Tim Mossholder on

How to set boundaries in a relationship?

First of you need to figure out what you believe to be acceptable behaviour and what is not. It’s hard setting boundaries, people can be sensitive and take it personally. But it’s not about them, it’s about you. Stay strong and stand in your power, stay consistent.

8 Ways to Figure out your boundaries

  1. Figure your boundaries out – as soon as they become clear – say it early.
  2. Be explicit and direct when communicating your boundaries.
  3. Learn to become self-aware – be in tune with your emotions and your mind.
  4. Give yourself permission to feel your emotions and to learn as you grow.
  5. Consider your past and present – are your boundaries to keep you guarded or to help you be more open to what life has to offer.
  6. Make self-care a priority – take time for yourself, self-care is different for everybody – for me it’s time alone, maybe a bubble bath, yoga, or a face mask.
  7. Reach out, talk to those you trust – un-boggle your mind with a good natter and a cup of tea.
  8. Try not to get upset if someone crosses a boundary if they didn’t know it was there – chances are you might not know all of theirs, humans make accidents (If the boundary is purposefully crossed then this a different matter that needs communication – ask why? what were their intentions?)

Here are a few tips to help you start setting boundaries in your relationship:

  1. Communicate your thoughts with one another.
  2. Never assume or guess the other persons feelings.
  3. Follow through on what you say.
  4. Take responsibility for your actions.
  5. Know when it’s time to move on and cut your losses or take a step back.

How to know when someone has crossed your boundary?

Usually a boundary has been crossed if you feel disrespected, wronged and upset (some sort of negative feeling). Disrespect in any relationship is a bitter pill to swallow, it’s hard to understand and is completely unacceptable. A lack of consideration of your feelings, needs, desires, independence, and goals in life are signs someone doesn’t care for your boundaries.

Boundaries are an important aspect in any relationship be that with a friend, family member or partner. Early on its how you show someone how to treat you, almost what they can ‘get away’ with. You let them know what is okay and what doesn’t sit right with you by how you react and communicate your way through.

It can be hard to set boundaries and hard to figure them out, but if you stay true to yourself and you let someone know where you’re at, it’s up to them if they respect it or not.

Those meant for you will stay and those that aren’t will fall away.

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