Setting boundaries and sticking to them is one of the most important and most difficult things we can do. This is a skill we don’t learn growing up and most of us even grew up in environments with poor boundaries.
Joining on this conversation is Sandy Weiner, Founder of Last First Date. Sandy helps women over 40 achieve healthy, toe-curling love. Sandy specializes in helping women communicate effectively, set clear boundaries in relationships, and know their true worth.
“I want people in my life who will respect me as I respect them,” Sandy commented, “We have to get better at setting boundaries because we have to teach people how to treat us or we lose a sense of who we are.”
If you don’t have solid, strong boundaries that you’re willing to back up, once you allow one boundary to be broken, it has a snowball effect. In relationships, it’s even more potent.
1. Process Your Needs
In your relationships, it can be hugely beneficial to take the time to sit back and process what you need. Ask yourself, “Is this person giving me what I need?”
When you come from this place, it gives both parties in the relationship the opportunity to come back and create a better space.
Sometimes you need a wake up call so you can see what’s possible and what’s not working. Sandy reminded us that women of value don’t chase men who aren’t good on their word. Processing your needs is a chance to see if you’re investing yourself in a healthy relationship and if not, what you need to ask for in order to get what you really want.
2. Ask for What You Want
Once you recognize what values you’re missing in your relationship, be honest with your partner in a gentle way and tell them it’s not okay.
Partners can’t read your mind. So many of us say, “He should have known.” But how? How does he know? If you feel like your partner isn’t paying enough attention to you, ask for what you want. Tell them in person instead of sending an email and give them the chance to change.
3. Be a Game-Changer
Setting boundaries can be an eye-opening experience for you and your partner. If someone really wants to be with you and recognizes that the issue you addressed shows up in other areas of their life, it can be a game-changer. This is a point where someone might need to get help to resolve issues in their life and if they do that, things can really change for them.
Your partner isn’t the only one who can heal. You might discover that you’re the common denominator in your bad relationships, and getting help can be the best thing for you. It is a powerful thing to heal the thing inside of you that’s attracting volatile people.
Sandy teaches that what you need is to get strong on the inside, so you can become more softer and yielding on the outside.
4. Aim for High-Investment Relationships
Sandy coined the term, ‘high-investment relationships’, to describe when both parties are fully invested in a relationship. These are relationships where respect goes both ways.
If you’re aiming for a high-investment relationship, you probably don’t want to get to know someone by text because it’s not a good way to get to know someone. You need to meet someone face-to-face to really find out who they are.
Women and men so often get stuck in text relationships. If you find yourself in this space, you might want to set a boundary and say, “I don’t text when I’m getting to know someone. Until I know you well there will be too many misunderstandings. Can you pick up the phone?”
We’ve gone so far away from communicating face-to-face and giving people the respect they deserve. If you want someone to invest in you, you’ve got to be clear about the kind of relationship you want. You have to be clear that without that kind of investment, you’re not going to give space in your life, your heart, or your bed.
5. Require Face-to-Face
There is so much room for misinterpretation in relationships that are built on texting or online communication. This leads to false relationships and falling in love with a profile. You could be planning your future with someone you met online and when you finally meet in person it’s a disaster.
To set boundaries and have a healthy relationship, you have to get in front of someone as soon as possible. There’s a lot of value in sitting down with someone in person and chatting with them. We are losing that art.
You can’t set boundaries or give someone an insight into who you really are if you never connect in person. Setting a boundary to meet in person is important.
You can listen to my Conversation with Sandy about Setting Boundaries and Standards