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Setting healthy boundaries

In any relationship, it’s essential to have boundaries. Boundaries help you figure out what you’re okay and not okay with. This goes for both you and your partner. Boundaries aren’t just important in relationships; they’re useful in all aspects of life. They let you decide how you want to be treated while respecting how your partner wants to be treated, which makes for a more supportive and caring relationship.

Boundaries help you explain what action you will take if someone chooses to cross into your emotional or physical space. They are not about controlling another person’s actions.

Boundaries vs control examples:

Boundaries Control
“I really like talking to you, and I also like my sleep. If you message me after 10 p.m., my phone will be off.” “You have to text me back right away, even late at night, so that I can trust you.”
“I’m comfortable holding hands and kissing most of the time and it’s okay for either of us to say stop.” “It’s my right to hold your hand or kiss you because we’re in a relationship.”
“It’s okay to be upset right now but it’s not okay to call me names. If you keep calling me those names, I’m going to leave.” “I’m so mad right now that I can call you any name.”
“Let’s find a movie we both want to watch. Scary movies are off limits for me. Is anything off limits for you?” “It’s important to compromise in relationships. I love scary movies, so you must watch them with me.”
“My friendships are important to me. I’m going to hang out with my friends tonight and I’ll message you tomorrow.” “If our relationship is important to you, you’d hang out with me instead of your friends.”

If someone is afraid that their friend or partner will react to a boundary with anger or violence, that’s a red flag.

> Learn More: Culture of Consent

> Coping Strategies

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