Do you have a hard time standing up for yourself in relationships? Do you let your significant other have their way more often than not? Have you ever found yourself dating someone who is bossy, rude or just plain mean? The problem may not be the people you are dating, but the fact that you allowed yourself to date these people in the first place. Why would someone do that? Because they have weak boundaries and low self-esteem. If that (even remotely) sounds like you, then it’s times to strengthen your boundaries in order to improve your self-esteem, your romantic relationships, and your life overall!
What Does It Mean to Have Boundaries?
Having firm, healthy boundaries means that you feel comfortable with yourself and your decisions and would never allow someone to put your down, bully you or manipulate you. Boundaries give you the courage to think critically, make a decision and then stand by that decision. Having weak boundaries is dangerous because it can mean that you are easily swayed or intimidated. This is especially dangerous in romantic relationships because we often grow the closest to those we love; when that happens we may not realize our boundaries are weakened until one partner becomes the dominant player in the relationship and problems start to arise.
Why Are Boundaries So Important?
Healthy relationships require two strong, caring and loving partners who live independent, yet intertwined lives. You both should have a strong sense of security and safety in your relationship. You should also feel free to think, speak or act without being judged. Having firm boundaries allows you to be clear about the people you are dating and whether or not they deserve your time. A person with strong boundaries would not waste time with a person who consistently put them down. A person with weak boundaries would. That alone makes it easy to see why having firm boundaries is so important.
Strong Boundaries are also the key to loving yourself, completely and wholly because they are connected to our self-esteem. Believe in yourself and your decisions. Only you and God truly know what is best for you, so trust and stand up for yourself when needed! If you don’t, you could wind up letting someone else make all your decisions for you, and what kind of a life is that? Certainly not one that God has intended for us!
How do I Build Stronger Boundaries?
You can begin to build your boundaries at first by simply standing up for yourself. Figure out how you really, truly feel about a matter and state your feelings, simply and honestly. Don’t feel the need to defend yourself or explain how you feel. Instead, simply use honest and direct language to let those around you know that you have firm boundaries in place on the matter. Is someone calling you names? Let them know that is unacceptable by saying, “It’s not okay for you to call me names like that. Please stop.” Or, is someone trying to bully you into a commitment you don’t want to make? If that’s the case, respond by saying, “I don’t feel comfortable doing that. I’m going to have to ask you to be alright with me not taking on that commitment.” Saying no is always an option. However, saying yes when you know you would rather decline the offer is never okay.
Building stronger boundaries can be tough for those of us who are desperately looking for love, but it is actually your boundaries that will help you to find the love of your life! Analyze whether you want love because you feel incomplete without a partner, or because you’re ready to share all that is amazing about you with someone else! If it’s the second option, then you know you are ready to find love with someone great!