Personal Boundaries in Relationships and Essential Qualities to Look for in a Partner
Every relationship requires boundaries to exist. They can be boundaries about behaviors or personal boundaries about the duration of the relationship. If a partnership is going to survive, these boundaries must exist, and they must stay in place. We’ll show you what these boundaries look like in the context of a relationship and how they can help you stay secure in your partnership.
What Are Healthy Boundaries?
Before we get into the various boundaries that a person should set throughout the course of their relationship, we have to answer the question, what are healthy boundaries? Typically, healthy boundaries are a set of emotional and physical borders within a relationship that is established by all members of that partnership. Boundaries can take many forms, and they are based on the personal preferences of the individuals. Mostly, these limits are imposed upon the other partner, and they account for actions that the other person must not take part in, or they will make the boundary-setter uncomfortable and less willing to be in a relationship. These boundaries are never meant to be violated by their romantic partner. With that being said, healthy boundaries are those that prevent abnormal or harmful behavior in a relationship according to each person’s mentality and tastes. Even so, most boundaries in a relationship are similar in many areas. We’ll explore emotional and personal boundaries, and you can see why it’s common for them to overlap between relationships.
Setting Emotional Boundaries in Relationships
Before you learn to set emotional boundaries in a relationship, you have to know what they are. Basically, emotional boundaries are defined by setting boundaries between governing your feelings and having others impact them. Not every person is able to recognize this in their lives. An example of setting healthy boundaries in a relationship is when you tell people that you do not want to get involved in their personal qualms with other people because it is emotionally draining or damaging. If you are in a relationship with a woman and she insists on telling you about every person at her job and why she doesn’t like them, you are going to suffer. You must set boundaries. For example, you can tell your partner that you do not mind listening to them vent, but to only come to you with problems that you can directly address or provide a solution to. Otherwise, it is just emotional labor that you provide to your partner that does nothing for either of you except inflict harm. You must be willing and able to set emotional boundaries in your relationship. If you find that you are constantly fatigued, and your emotional state is not well, then you have to reconsider setting these boundaries or potentially cutting off the contact with the person.
Personal Boundaries, Self-Esteem, and Identity
Another thing that is important to think about regarding personal boundaries in relationships is how they can affect your physical being. Your personal boundaries are easier to identify than emotional ones. Your physical boundaries will manifest in a more noticeable way. For example, if you do not want someone that you’re dating to touch you inappropriately or make comments on your body, that is a personal boundary. That does not mean you will hold those boundaries forever, just that you do not want people to feel entitled to make a move on you. These personal boundaries are more important to reinforce, and they can require getting help if someone is violating them. Establishing personal boundaries is very important; they can have a large impact on your self-esteem and identity. If other people treat your personal boundaries poorly, then the chances are that you will begin to view yourself in a negative manner. Once that starts to happen, you can quickly lose sight of yourself. You should take a great interest in maintaining those boundaries to prevent you from having a negative imagining of yourself. Your self-esteem is critical to supporting your identity, and happy people have a high level of self-worth that is derived from those feelings.
Before Looking for a Partner, Heal Your Anger about Past Relationships
When people are starting to look for a new romantic partner, they will soon find themselves bogged down in feelings that are attached to their former flames. This happens when someone has never learned how to get over someone. During the dating phase, you might find that something a person does or says reminds you of your past loves. You have to learn how to let go of those feelings, though. You need to get over the anger or feelings of abandonment that dominated those past experiences, or they will poison the new relationships that you have. Because the moment you tell your current partner that they remind you of your former one, you have just dramatically harmed that relationship. You do not have to get over past relationships on your own. You can go to counseling, seek closure with your former partner, or take some extra time to self-evaluate your response to the past. You could also try a new form of romance like online dating to help you try a healthier, longer approach to romance. No matter how you do it, you must learn how to move on and be satisfied with your romantic life.
What Qualities to Look for in a Partner?
When you are trying to find a new romantic partner, you should stop and consider what kinds of qualities they need to have. Sure, some people want to meet someone that is young and hot (and there’s nothing wrong with that), but a long-term partner needs more than physical beauty for the relationship to last. Getting the perfect match for you requires knowing the qualities people look for in a partner and which ones are best for you. Some common qualities include:
- openness to be honest with their partner;
- selflessness to help their partner and put their needs first;
- protectiveness, or the desire to keep their partner safe.
These are just some of the qualities that are sought out by people dating in the present. The desired qualities can be as numerous as the people that have them.
A Partner Is Respectful and Sensitive to the Other, Having Uniquely Individual Goals and Priorities
A good partner is someone that will always be respectful of the personal boundaries that you have set. They are not likely to bother you about making the relationship move faster than you want, and they will always listen to the constructive criticism that they have for you. They will respect the decisions and guidelines that you have established. Moreover, they will not be completely caught up in your life; they will maintain a sense of independence and individuality. If you’re in a relationship with someone, there is such a thing as being too caught up in your partner. When you are trying to develop yourself, they will be by your side, and that can feel good. Yet, if they never take the time to develop themselves and pursue their own lifestyle, then the relationship will feel unbalanced. You need someone who knows how to use their best qualities for themselves and how to share them with you. Creating a partnership that two people can use to further their personal development is the ideal situation.
The Ability to Feel and Express Emotions, Has Empathy and Understanding of Their Partner
You need to have a partner that respects emotional boundaries in relationships, too. To do that, your partner must be someone that can feel and respond to emotional cues. If they see that you are upset, they will come over and ask you what is wrong and how they can fix it. When you are with someone for a long enough period of time, you will learn how they act when a specific thing is wrong. Your girlfriend might get quiet when she’s upset with your, or she might start to slip into depressive episodes after a long day at work. A good partner can recognize and help when their partner is facing such problems and knows how to approach them. Of all the qualities in a relationship, knowing how and when to help someone with their emotional issues is among the most important. Of course, matching one’s response to their partner’s needs is something that people need to learn so that the aid they render is not bewildering to their partner during an emotionally charged time.
Physically Affectionate and Sexually Responsive Partner
Another one of the most important qualities in a relationship is the ability to engage in physical affection and sexual activities with a partner. For the vast majority of people in relationships, sex is a definitive boundary of their personal relationship with someone else. A person can get emotionally close to someone, but sex is usually only something that an individual does with one other person in the context of a romantic relationship. In short, people like to have a sexually responsive partner. If someone is not responsive, it raises questions about compatibility and potentially infidelity. This is an aspect of a relationship that must be talked about by both partners early in the relationship.
A Partner Has the Ability to Reciprocate; He is Honest and Lives with Integrity
Another one of the important strings of qualities to look for in a partner is that the person has integrity. What does that mean, exactly? Integrity can be shown in many ways, but it is usually tied to the idea of honest living. That means your partner is not going to hide things from you. They will positively treat you well if you treat them well. They will uphold your personal boundaries in a relationship and always attempt to indicate their knowledge of their partner’s desires by not violating them. A person that reciprocates will give as much as they get, and that sort of fairness is what every relationship needs to survive and thrive in difficult conditions.
Things to Watch Out For:
Certain red flags can appear in a relationship. When you see these come up in your own relationship or with someone you know, you must know that they can lead to emotional and physical harm.
Someone that is not in control of their emotions, whether by their fault or not, can be very dangerous. That person needs to get help to control their anger, or the partner may want to leave before it turns ugly.
Suspicion, distrust, and jealousy
Someone that is constantly suspicious or distrustful is likely afraid that their partner will leave them. Sadly, this can lead to erratic and violent behavior along with violations of one’s personal boundaries. They might go through their partner’s phone or make them prove their loyalty in one way or another.
A lecturing or condescending attitude
A condescending attitude can lower a person’s perception of self-worth. The condescending people do this to maintain a sense of superiority and control over the partner.
Violent tendencies that build over time and are directed at those closest to them
Violence is too often tolerated in relationships out of love, fear, or for the protection of others. Enduring this violence is not helping anyone, though. You must watch out for this, leave at the first sign, and never go back.
Now that you know what to watch out for, make sure these elements don’t enter your relationship.
Setting boundaries in your relationship and knowing the essential qualities to look for in a partner are crucial to good dating practices. You need to make sure that you are with someone that loves and supports you in a wide variety of different ways. Using the guidelines that we have provided, you should have a good idea of how to set up your relationships for success.