Hold Your Boundaries
Lust and infatuation can make us do some crazy things. You might know he has a reputation as a player, and has mysterious notches on the steering wheel, but when he moves in for a kiss, your brain turns to mush. Or she might give you ample reason not to trust her, with her flipped over phone, alerts night and day, and FB comments dripping with intimate knowledge, but her scent and curves wipe all those cares away.
Unless you’re a rare human who doesn’t need to feel special in the love department, however, dropping all your boundaries (or worse — not having any), will hurt you deeply in the long run.
Tools and rules for dating
When you’ve decided you’re ready to conquer the dating world, the main tools you’re going to need and keep with you at all times, are your self-worth, your requirements and your boundaries. If you never have, it’s a good exercise to sit down, pen in hand, and write down what you have to offer a partner.
Maybe you’re not rich and own a ten bedroom mansion, but you might be a great cook, supporter, and attention-giver. Those things go a million times deeper than a fancy sports car or the ability to buy a ten carat diamond.
Once you’ve listed your own perfectly pouty lips, endless compassion or broad shoulders to lean on, it’s time to create a list of what you want in return.
What must you absolutely have to be secure and happy in a relationship? Does your partner need to have a good family? Go to church? Drive fast and play hard?
Whatever it is that you believe you must have in a partner, write it down. Follow it up with some less necessity items, like a love for opera or spicy italian food. Memorize it and expect and insist on the necessity part of the list. This is your must-have.
No line crossing
Now for your parameters. As mentioned, hormones will do a number on us every time. They’ll send us down paths we would never tolerate in our “ideal” mindset. They’ll cause us to love someone who’s taken or emotionally unavailable. They’ll allow us to be mistreated and disrespected and ignored. And they’ll keep us coming back for more, just for the heady rush of that addictive skin to skin rare moment.
Create lines you will choose not to cross, as a means of protection and self-respect. No hurried sex and none at all before a promise of monogamy. No rosy fantasies of riding into the sunset together, until you’ve met their family. No commitment before your potential partner has demonstrated deep interest and respect, and public availability to date. (Meaning…if she’s not willing to let you post a picture of the two of you on a date, she’s either taken or not ready.)
Boundaries must be put in place for you. They must be honored, revered and lived by. They must be remembered each time you fail, and committed to again once your head has cleared.
And you will fail. We’re human. We’re meant to fail. You’ll get back up, learn from your mistake, and set your warning tape lines up once again. You’ll do better next time.
This is the only real path to security and happiness in love relationships. Set your boundaries and live by them. You deserve a real relationship. You deserve love, security and safety. You deserve someone who has your back. Who’ll catch you when you fall and support you when you’re down.
Yes, you’re going to be led astray sometimes. Self-forgiveness is important. Learn and grow.
Love yourself enough to be loved for real.