Boundaries for dating couples
Gionta suggested starting with a small boundary that isn’t threatening to you, and then incrementally increasing to more challenging boundaries.“Build upon your success, and [at first] try not to take on something that feels overwhelming.”“Setting boundaries takes courage, practice and support,” Gionta said. But you also don’t want to get too emotionally entangled with someone you might not marry, thus you still need to guard your heart since dating is not a commitment for a lifetime like marriage.So again, the whole experience of dating as a Christian is unavoidably precarious because you are constantly in danger of erring on the “too conservative side” or the “too liberal side.” Don’t ask me what conservative boundaries or liberal boundaries in Christian dating would look like. If you asked one Christian guy to make two lists, one describing conservative values in dating and another list describing liberal boundaries in dating, and then you asked another guy to do the same thing, I have no idea what they would each include.Boundaries aren’t just a sign of a healthy relationship; they’re a sign of self-respect.So give yourself the permission to set boundaries and work to preserve them.5. Again, boundaries are all about honing in on your feelings and honoring them.If you notice yourself slipping and not sustaining your boundaries, Gionta suggested asking yourself: What’s changed?Consider “What I am doing or [what is] the other person doing? How you were raised along with your role in your family can become additional obstacles in setting and preserving boundaries.
These feelings serve as “important cues about our wellbeing and about what makes us happy and unhappy.”Putting yourself first also gives you the “energy, peace of mind and positive outlook to be more present with others and be there” for them.” And “When we’re in a better place, we can be a better wife, mother, husband, co-worker or friend.”8. If you’re having a hard time with boundaries, “seek some support, whether [that’s a] support group, church, counseling, coaching or good friends.” With friends or family, you can even make “it a priority with each other to practice setting boundaries together [and] hold each other accountable.”Consider seeking support through resources, too.We might feel guilty by speaking up or saying no to a family member.Many believe that they should be able to cope with a situation or say yes because they’re a good daughter or son, even though they “feel drained or taken advantage of.” We might wonder if we even deserve to have boundaries in the first place.Partners might need to talk about how much time they need to maintain their sense of self and how much time to spend together.4. Fear, guilt and self-doubt are big potential pitfalls, Gionta said.We might fear the other person’s response if we set and enforce our boundaries.