Setting & Respecting Boundaries
Boundary setting is a crucial skill to have in healthy relationships. Boundary-setting allows those in relationships to understand one another’s needs better, limiting unhealthy habits around making assumptions or guilting. It is equally as important to respect boundaries that a loved one sets. When we respect their wishes, you are showing them that you care about their agency and wellbeing. This can only make our relationships stronger!
What are boundaries?
Boundary-setting and consent are both skills that need to be practiced; both skills require keen and deep listening, and thoughtful responses – something that we should be comfortable with long before the bedroom.
By normalizing conversations about boundaries, we are setting each other up for success while navigating dating and sex. We will be able to have more nuanced conversations and understand where each other is coming from. It shows that you care about someone when you listen to their boundaries to make them feel safe and comfortable with you.
There are so many different types of boundaries, and boundary setting can be practiced in every aspect of life.
PHYSICAL - SEXUAL - MENTAL - DIGITAL - FINANCIAL - SOCIAL - MATERIAL - SPIRITUAL - SPATIAL
How do boundaries intersect with violence?
We can communicate our boundaries all the time – around work/life/school balance, around our social lives, how involved our families are… We need to practice those day-in and day-out so they’re less awkward in a sexual context.
By normalizing conversations about boundaries, we are setting each other up for success while navigating dating and sex. We will be able to have more nuanced conversations and understand where each other is coming from.
Boundaries and consent are inherently connected.
Putting it into practice
Boundary-setting can be a difficult process but can be a positive experience for self-growth. Start by being introspective, and ask yourself “What are my boundaries?” and “How can I explain this to someone?”
The next time someone approaches you with a boundary, reframe it as being positive that this person trusts you, and values your relationship enough to make it stronger.