Did you know that having healthy boundaries will keep you safe when you are dating?
I know that for singles, safety is a big concern nowadays. There are many different types of safety and today let’s talk about how healthy boundaries can keep you safe from being hurt again!
If you have experienced heartbreak in the past you may put up walls to keep yourself safe. However, the walls you put up will keep everything and everyone out! I know you are just trying to keep out the experiences you don’t want, yet it also keeps out those experiences you want.
You may think that a little bit of self-protection is a good thing yet it simply prevents you from being happy in the long run.
What a Wall Looks Like
Let’s look at what a wall looks like because you might not even realise you have one in place!
A wall can be seen in your tone of voice and the way you carry yoursefl. It can be folded arms, stiff body language, lack of eye contact, dismissive tone of voiceetc.
It can also be felt in the lack of warmth you show, lack of interest in others, a dismissive nature, being judgemental, coldness and being unfriendly. Basically the ‘vibe’ you give out.
The people you meet will be able to feel the walls that you have in place even if they can’t see them!
The most effective way to keep yourself safe when you are dating is to have clear and healthy boundaries rather than walls.
These boundaries are all about knowing who you are, what you want, and what is acceptable.
Positive loving boundaries will keep you safe.
It is important to set healthy boundaries that allow you to be soft on the outside, yet strong and safe on the inside.
When you have boundaries, you have the courage to value yourself even if you disappoint others.
Can you think of someone you know who has strong boundaries? You know where you stand with them and you know there is no point crossing the line!
I want to tell you that both men and women respect clear boundaries!
Think of boundaries like a wire fence that will keep out anything that is unwanted, yet others can see a way to get in. The wall on the other hand causes the other person to disconnect and pull away from you as they are unable to see through it or find a way to get in.
When you are clear about your boundaries people know where they stand and what they can and can’t do. They also have a clear roadmap of what will make you happy, which is exactly what you want in a relationship.
Those clear boundaries will also keep out the singles who want to waste your time and who don’t care about YOUR feelings.
Let’s Look at How to Set Boundaries
Start by being clear about what is and isn’t okay for you. I want you to start with making a list! Start with five in each section but see if you can stretch to ten. Here are some examples below:
People may not-
Take their anger out on me
Put me down
Call at any time of day/night
Take advantage of me
Expect me to call every day
I can ask for-
What I want and need
Say how I want my hair
Say how hard I want a massage
To value my time-
Turn off my phone at times.
Change my mind
Do what feels good for me
Then take simple steps to have firm boundaries about the items on your list. I recommend you start by setting the boundary and letting people know in a neutral, firm tone of voice.
You don’t need to defend, overexplain or debate your new boundaries. Just be firm, polite, kind, and direct. If the other person resists your boundary, just repeat your statement/request and then back your boundary with action!
It will feel uncomfortable at first, especially if you have been used to making people happy. If you are a ‘people pleaser’ you will feel guilty when you first start to set boundaries as you are so used to being accommodating.
You will also find the people around you won’t necessarily like the change in you as they are used to you doing what they want. Be firm, resist guilt and most important of all don’t take it personally as 99% of what the other person is doing is all about them and nothing to do with you.
Benefits of Boundaries
When you have boundaries in place you can be comfortable being yourself. Boundaries give you the freedom to be curious, warm, kind, and even playful.
Rather than being cold make the conscious choice to be open and curious. Show up without judgment, or criticism and communicate in a friendly manner.
This will make you so much more attractive to the opposite sex and will completely change the way to come across.
Let’s look at Nat’s example:
*Nat was super happy when she met *Greg! She was tired of dating and it was a relief to finally meet someone she was attracted to! She didn’t want to let this one get away. When Nat and Greg talked about what they would do on the date, Nat told Greg she would cook him dinner. Nat went all out with food and drinks to make dinner perfect. She wanted it to be special for Greg, that was her specialty doing nice things and making people she cared about happy. As they went on more dates, Nat made sure she went out of her way to do the things that Greg liked.
Nat continually put her needs second and Greg enjoyed what she did for him, so why not. Greg would see Nat when it suited him and she often didn’t know where she stood. She didn’t feel like she could give him a hard time about it because that wasn’t what a nice person would do.
Nat felt frustrated yet powerless. Also, as time when on, Nat felt annoyed that he didn’t seem to want to do the same nice things for her. Eventually, she tried asking for what she wanted but Greg just told her he was happy with how things were. As long as she fitted in with what Greg wanted things were fine, yet when she didn’t they weren’t.
She may have made Greg happy but she felt like she had lost herself in a relationship where her needs didn’t matter. Nat put up with it because she felt it was hard to find someone she was attracted to and believed that something was better than nothing!
What the lack of boundaries caused for Nat
The reality of this situation is that Nat went all out to impress and please Greg. She fell into her pattern of putting his needs before hers, believing that was what a nice person did. Ladies I don’t recommend ever cooking dinner for a guy on the first date, you don’t know him well enough yet for it to be safe. There is plenty of time for doing that down the track.
Unfortunately, Greg was the type of selfish man who would happily take advantage of Nat and who wasn’t interested in making her happy. The solution for Nat would have been to not over-give to start with and see if Greg could step up and be interested in making her happy. Nat needed to have self-worth and know that her needs were just as important. She needed to have healthy boundaries when it came to Greg and the type of relationship she wanted. Nat needed to realise that attraction alone is not enough and that a bad relationship isn’t better than nothing.
Can you see how if Nat had clear boundaries it would have saved her wasting time on a man who didn’t make her happy?
If you are struggling to set boundaries and are trapped in being a people pleaser, why not book in for a free discovery call. Click here to book.