You are in a new relationship and the excitement is real. They make you laugh, smile from ear to ear, engage in conversations about almost anything. The touches are unlike anything you have experienced in years and you simply enjoy each other’s company. You are on cloud nine and feeling amazing about this new person in your life.
On the path to the next step in your relationship, there is something truly important that you need to discuss with your mate.
Boundaries: A healthy relationship requires them.
A boundary is a mental separation or line between you and your partner. It defines and establishes limits and sets clear expectations. Boundaries protects both parties and help ensure respect.
Here are 8 healthy boundaries all new couples need to discuss:
1. Determine how (and when) you’ll communicate
Will you talk every morning and night? How about during the day? Do each of you like texting or does one prefer something else? If texting works, is there is a timeframe when the reply should be sent? It is extremely important to discuss these things early on so there is no built-up resentment or one feels ignored.
2. Work Communication
If you work during the day, do you have all day to text or talk on the phone? If you have a deadline or need to actually work (what you get paid for), it is critical that you can be open and honest about that specific timeframe in your job and that you will resume communication at a later time. The hope is that both partners can agree on this boundary and the communication does not impact the job performance.
3. Past Lives
We all come to new relationships with baggage and memories of good and not-so-good times.
Your past and what it was like for you and what you went through is all yours. No two people have the exact baggage.
How do you feel about revealing that to someone you are just getting to know?
It is not instinctive that you and your partner will want to share all about each other’s past right away. So best to ask yourself first, what are you comfortable talking about? Does your partner feel the same? Be open and honest about what you choose to say and will share more once you are ready.
4. Decide what’s off-limits to share
Speaking of sharing, are there some definite off-limit conversations early in the relationship? Don’t be ashamed that you are not ready to share how much money you make, how much your 401k is worth or even a deep secret a friend told you. Certain topics take time and there is nothing wrong with that.
5. Sexual Expression
Do you like sex in the morning or always at night? How about both? Do you like to experiment? From locations to times in the day to the type of intimacy, let your needs and preferences be known.
Communication is key here. You might even want to have a secret word that indicates whether you enjoy what is happening or not.
Time together is precious.
How would you like to spend it when you are in a relationship? Every night together if logically possible? At what point do you feel it is just too much together? Explain and set expectations if you know that you will need some alone time to reset. You do not want them to take this personal.
7. Digital Presence
It seems almost everyone has a phone with social apps.
Are you alright if you partner posts a picture of you two of facebook or Instagram?
Would you do the same? Would you post a facebook status change?
How about engaging with exes online?
Keep in mind that whatever is posted of you two online could possibly be difficult to change.
8. The break-up and drama afterwards
Let’s face it, there is a 50/50 chance your new relationship will not last.
If a decision is made to end things, how will each of you react? Will there be cryingfests and tears, frantic texts or phone calls to try and save the relationship? Will the break-up turn into a ‘friends with benefits’ situation? If living together, can situations be untangled peacefully?
One never wants their relationship to end, but it is important to talk about the boundaries before it does.
When discussing the above boundaries, use “I” statements instead of “you” statements.
As the relationship develops, you may also want to discuss finances, having children and each of your values and goals
Keep in mind that boundaries can change because people and situations change.