It’s important to know how to understand your values and your boundaries as a man and how to implicate them when you’re dating a woman because as a woman, mentally, we are intrigued by a man that values himself and that is unapologetically honest, open, has another opinion other than ours, and knows who he is and stands firm in that. That is what boosts our attraction for him because in the beginning women test you to see sometimes how much they can get away with and it also takes a while for a woman to be attracted to you. What we look for as attraction is how will you handle certain situations. Will you be agreeing with us? How do you implement your boundaries? How do you stand up for yourself? How do you value yourself as a man? Things like that is what boosts our attraction for you when you implement that. When you lose attraction is when you do the exact opposite.
How to set boundaries in a relationship
With boundaries, you have to get really clear on what it is that you want in a relationship from a woman. Here’s the thing, it doesn’t mean, “Oh, I want someone that’s honest.” Obviously you want someone that’s honest. “Oh, I want someone that’s pretty.” I mean, okay, obviously you want someone that’s pretty. “I want someone who will cook for me,” okay, well, that’s a different story. Boundaries are completely different. Usually when you talk about that and when I ask this question, a client goes straight to that. I want to give you some more clarity behind boundaries.
If you want a woman to be honest, then how? There are two practices of how you can do this, and then at the end I’m going to give you a reason why this is so important when you’re dating or in a relationship. The first way is by asking yourself how. “Okay, Apollonia, you want honesty in a relationship? Well how?” Well, I want the man to be able to share his opinion with me and not keep me in the dark when things are bothering him because then I just don’t trust him anymore if he was going to do that. Now how will you communicate that with him? This is the how, see? I’ll tell him that it’s something that’s really important to me because this is what I experienced in my last relationship and I knew it doesn’t work well for me, so I’ll have to approach the situation to let him know. And what’s another was for how you will do this? If this man shows me that he’s not honest, I’m going to basically tell him this is not tolerable because of this, this and this.
Do you see how the “this, this and this” were all of the things lining up to how I want a man to be honest? I knew the first thing I wanted in a relationship is honesty, and I kept on asking myself how until I was able to break it down. I was able to say, okay, if a man does this to me, then this is the way I’m going to set boundaries. So if you’re asking yourself about honesty and your boundaries, you would say to yourself, “Okay, if a woman does this to me, the way I’m going to set boundaries is by telling her the reasons why I want honesty is because of all of these reasons, and if she doesn’t do this for me then I can’t be with her.” Plain and simple. That’s how you’ve diagnosed your boundaries.
A lot of the boundaries will be about respect. What does respect mean to you? How? This is why I say it’s so important because men fail when they try to be assertive with a woman and set boundaries in their relationship and this kills attraction when you’re not clear on your boundaries. What I mean by this is you got to get clear on your boundaries so you can actually verbalize what they are. If you can’t verbalize what they are and all you say is honesty and respect, the woman’s going to be like, “What do you mean by that?” Respect and honesty can mean two different things to two different people. That’s why it’s so important that you get clear on this.
I was coaching a client the other day and he had a really good metaphor for me. He was like, “Apollonia, it’s kind of like Tony Robins. Tony Robins tells people you can be a financially stable man; you can be great at business. Let’s say you have four tires and these are: business, life, family and then love. One of the tires is flat, but all of the other tires are full of air, so the car’s not going to run right if one of them is deflated.” That’s what I’m talking about here! Boundaries in a relationship are significant because if there are no boundaries, the relationship is not going to run right. Especially when you’re dating, you always hear me say you’ve got to ask the right questions in the beginning when it comes to dating a woman.
I’m so clear on this with you guys; you don’t ask a woman on the first date, “What do you want? Do you want a relationship? Do you want children? Do you want marriage?” No, I’m talking about the fourth or the fifth date as you start to see that there is a connection, get to know her on a different level. Be unapologetically honest in your own opinion. Ask her what her values are. Ask her what she wants out of life. Especially if there’s a connection, if the connection is mutual, she’s going to be doing the same thing vice versa. Getting clear on your boundaries is significant.
I also want to give you another example of this, too. I don’t know if any of you watch Red Table Talk but let me know in the comments below. There was this episode with Will Smith and Jada Pinkett where they were talking about their marriage openly and in the beginning of their marriage she said she basically raised her voice at Will and he took a newspaper and plopped her on the head with it. He was like, “You can come with me in the next room and we’re going to talk about this.” They were in front of a group of people at their house. He told her, “I will never ever tolerate you raising your voice to me because I grew up in a household where my mother and father, all they did was raise their voice.” He was clear on their boundary. He knew the why behind it. He knew the why behind why she could not raise her voice at him.
He got clear, and that is what I mean, you have to be clear on your boundaries because if you just say I won’t tolerate it and you can’t raise your voice and that’s it, final, that woman is going to look at you like, “you’re just controlling me and you’re taking advantage of me.” Instead it’s like, “No, I’m not going to let you raise your voice because I was raised in a household and I would forbid this to be raised in my household moving forward. This is what I grew up in and I will not tolerate it any longer.” She said, “You’re breaking up with me right now because of the fact that I raised my voice?” He looked at her and he said yeah.
What happened was she ended up coming back obviously and she said, “You know, I’ll make this worse.” They took communication courses together, they did all this, and 28 years later, they never raised their voice again in their marriage. Why I bring that up is because it’s a great example of how to set boundaries in a relationship. Before it even leads into a marriage or anything, it’s a prime example of what I’m talking about here. Whenever you get that feeling that something’s just not right, you’ve got to ask why. It doesn’t come off needy, and if you position it in the right way of being open and saying, “This is how I feel and I’m not too sure about how this is going to work out.”
If you need more help in getting to the bottom of your boundaries and how to set them, I would suggest booking a coaching session and we can sit down and give you the actions to take but hopefully this provides more clarity on the importance of boundaries and how to ask yourself how and why to get clear on why they are important to you so you can communicate that with your partner.
Relationship boundaries list: How to figure it out!
A lot of couples have already communicated some boundaries and like what was said before, a lot of the boundaries come down to respect. You guys are two different people coming from two different walks of life, so knowing how the other person needs to be respected and how to communicate with each other is important. Here is a list of some of the boundaries that you and your partner should go over to make sure your relationship has a solid foundation:
1. What to call each other.
There might be things that your partner does not like being called. Establishing what pet names you guys call each other is a great way to just let your partner know that you respect them. This is also important if you both are playful and sarcastic, making sure that you’re not calling each other names that can be derogatory especially out in public. So be clear if there are certain things that you would prefer to be called, and making sure that your partner knows how you need to be respected in public.
2. How you guys will communicate when disagreements come up.
This is an important one! Most people just assume that when you fight, you will both listen to each other and it will work out, right? But that’s not what happ
ens! Remember, you guys are coming from two different walks of life and different parenting. Like the example above with Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, Will knew that he did not want to be in a household where they raise voices at each other. He knew where it came from and why. Perhaps you are the type that needs a minute to process things first and cannot talk yet. Maybe your partner is the type that wants to fix things immediate
ly. There needs to be boundaries here and clarity so that you both understand how the other person operates so that you don’t take things personally and think that either your partner is attacking you, or abandoning you during a disagreement. Saying something like “When we have disagreements about things, we are not going to shout at each other. I need to take
time to process first and then we will sit down together. I have felt like I have not been heard in the past and understanding each other is important to me. So we will take time when we have a disagreement and then sit down with each other and come from a place of understanding and finding the solution.”
3. How to communicate when you need space.
Space and taking time for yourself is very important in a relationship. You need time for yourself for self reflection and making sure you are not depending on your partner to fix how you feel on the inside. You can become dependent doing that and wind up pushing your partner away. You can communicate this boundary but letting your partner know that space does not mean you are walking away or not interested. That it is important for you to make sure that you are bringing the best version of yourself to the relationship and knowing that your own happiness is on the individual, not your partner.
4. How to behave when no one is watching.
It should not just be assumed that your partner is going to know how to handle every situation but this is definitely a boundary to be clear and also one that if broken, you might have to walk away. An example you can tell your partner is, “How we respect each other when no one is watching or when the other person isn’t around is important to me. I do not tolerate cheating physically or emotionally. I expect respect when it comes to how people are approaching you in public and on social media because I am going to do the same for you. You are important to me. If it ever turns out that you do not respect me, then I will not stay in this relationship.”
5. Boundaries with sex.
Knowing what you will or will not do in the bedroom is boundary! Your partner also needs a voice in what he or she has boundaries with and this should absolutely be communicated! If you need to be held after sex and it’s an absolute must because in the past you’ve felt like you were just used for sex, then this is a boundary! It’s important to be self aware here. Know what you like and what you don’t like and keep asking yourself why? And how do I communicate this. Why is this important to me? Where does it come from. Make sure that your partner also feels safe to communicate what they need as well.
6. Your commitment to each other.
This can actually be an intimidating boundary for some people to talk about. It’s important to be clear on whether or not you and your partner are continuing to see other people or if you are in an exclusive relationship. Not everyone believes in monogamy, so if that is something that is important to you, then communicate this with your partner. If you’re looking for a long term relationship and marriage is important to you, then that is a boundary. Being with someone who does not want to get married would go against your boundary. You have to decide for yourself what you want, be clear with what you expect and what you are looking for, and say no to the things that do not work for you.
How to set healthy boundaries
In order to set healthy boundaries, you have to be able to identify the why and the how. Just having a boundary and saying “She has to cook for me” but this doesn’t actually mean anything to you, this could wind up possibly having you miss out on an amazing relationship with someone because this was not a healthy boundary. Find out what things you are not willing to tolerate in a relationship. This is where you start.
Create your ideal list. What are you looking for in a relationship? What are you looking for in a partner? What are you not willing to tolerate? These are your boundaries and this is where you mostly wind up pulling from your own experiences, right? If you grew up in a dysfunctional household where your parents hit each other, then a great boundary is that you will never be with someone that raises their hands to you or throws things at you. And if something like that happens, then you have to walk away. It is up to you to keep your boundary.
You can also pull from past relationships. If you’ve dated someone that was distant and made you feel like you were more friends that in a committed relationship then a boundary for you might be “I want communication in a relationship and shutting down and belittling either partner for wanting to express their feelings is not something I am willing to tolerate”.
You know where it comes from and why. You know the how to communicate it now, too, and knowing that it works both ways. If you need open communication and to be with someone who makes you feel understood, then you have to also make your partner feel like they are safe to communicate with you and they feel like they are understood. This works both ways, guys. What you’re asking for is something you should be able to adhere to as well.
How to set boundaries when dating
From your list of healthy boundaries, this is where you now have a gage for who to go out with on that next date, or who to let know that you enjoyed their time but you don’t see this moving forward. For instance, if having a family is something that is super important to you, and you’re dating someone that is adamant that they never want to have kids, then this is a boundary and this is not the person for you.
This is not the same thing as a compromise, if you’re not sure if you want a family or not, or it’s not something that’s important to you, then go out on another date see how you guys click. Having your boundaries and knowing your values, what’s important to you, is also going to help you to not attach and to actually get to know who you are going out on these dates with to see if you are even a match. You’re getting to know this person to see if they are even a right fit for you, right?
The reason why boundaries are so important in relationships and when you’re dating a woman because this is what builds attraction for a woman. Nothing else. This right here is the underlying base of how to form a secure relationship and keep the attraction and also keep somewhat of a sense of control for the both of you in the relationship. If you liked today’s article, please comment below and let me know what you think.
Wishing you all the best.
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