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Clearly Communicating your Expectations is the Only Way to Establish a Healthy Relationship

Nov 26, 2021

Clear communication is the most crucial aspect of establishing a healthy relationship in your life. Establish what you will and will not put up with from the get-go. If the person you are dating does something that bothers you, do not let it slide. Communicate what you expect from them and what you absolutely will not put up with. You are not being crazy; you are establishing your boundaries. If you let it slide once, you’re going to let it slide twice.

You have the right to your feelings, and if you’re going to allow someone into your life, you owe it to yourself to hold up your boundaries. When we allow someone we are dating to behave a certain way that is inconsiderate of our values, we lose ourselves.

We put this other person on a pedestal.

They then look down on us. If you don’t establish what you expect from the other person initially, you will feel crazy for trying to change the relationship’s dynamic too late. Don’t be afraid to establish your values, ideals, boundaries, and expectations of the relationship from the start. If the other person cannot give you what you need, then it’s better to let them go early on before your heart becomes too deeply intertwined with this individual.

Don’t be afraid to be perceived as “crazy.” Suppose this person thinks you are crazy for expecting your boundaries to be respected. In that case, this person is an absolute waste of your time, and you’re better off letting go of them now rather than after you become so deeply enmeshed with this individual that letting go of them hurts your soul.

We all have the right to our boundaries. What we expect from the person we are dating is never “too much.” Establishing healthy boundaries will help maintain your relationship for the long haul.

It’s never okay to allow inappropriate behaviors to slide as resentment builds up until we eventually explode. This is often why the person we are dating will call us crazy, controlling, or immature. It’s our fault for letting it slide for so long.

We all have different values, expectations, and ideals for our relationships. Therefore, we are all likely to have different boundaries as well. We cannot expect the person we are dating to automatically know our boundaries if we have not established them.

Let’s talk about healthy boundaries. I will share some healthy boundaries; if these boundaries aren’t important to you, that’s okay. We all have different values, and some of the boundaries I believe are important when dating may not be necessary for you. Likewise, some of the boundaries you hold in your dating experiences will not be very important to me. Boundaries differ from person to person.

It is 100% acceptable to expect clear communication from one another. If you are texting and your partner leaves your message on seen without saying, “I’m busy, let me respond to you later” or “goodbye,” you have the right to feel disrespected. If they have time to open and read your message, they have time to respond.

If you are sexually intimate with one another, you have the right to demand safe sex. This includes the use of condoms. This includes asking the person you are dating to disclose whether they are sleeping with anyone else, even if you aren’t committed to one another. You have the right to know how many other people they are sleeping with and how often they are sleeping together. You have the right to ask the person you are dating if they use protection when they sleep with anyone else besides you. Sometimes, condoms aren’t enough to entirely prevent the spread of STDs or bacterial infections. You have the right to require the person you are dating to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases and bacterial infections before you become intimate, after you become intimate, and every single time they sleep with someone else besides you.

You have the right to ask your partner if they are on birth control. You do NOT have the right to demand your partner to get on birth control.

You have the right to your privacy. You do not owe your partner any of your passwords or access to your mobile devices. If they feel insecure enough to need to monitor your devices, that is an issue. Relationships are formed through trust. This is a violation of boundaries, and it enables their controlling behaviors. If you give in one area of your life, they expect you to fold in other areas of your life. It is a show of the lack of trust you hold for one another.

You have the right to your location privacy. Your partner does not need your location. They can ask you where you are going, but you should never be forced to share your location at all times if you do not want to.

You have the right to your love languages. It’s up to you to establish your love languages and communicate how you would like to be treated. If your love language is quality time and your partner invites you over to hang out, but they’re busy working, watching tv, playing on their phone, or playing video games, you have the right to ask them only to invite you over when they are capable of giving you their full attention.

You have the right to your personal space. You are allowed to ask for time and space apart. You don’t always have to be together. I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but most healthy relationships need time away from one another for each person to maintain their individuality. The codependent person in the relationship will often attach themselves to the other partner by attempting to spend every day together and practically moving into the other person’s home. You are not a bad guy for wanting your own space at times, no matter how much space that is. You do not have to let this person attach themselves to you, and you are not obligated to provide financial security for them, either. As adults, we can take care of ourselves. If you want to provide financial or emotional security for your partner, you absolutely can, but you are not obligated to do so.

You have the right to expect a certain level of cleanliness and physical health from your partner as long as your expectations are reasonable and you hold yourself up to your expectations as well. That could be expecting one another to clean up your dishes or laundry. That could be asking one another to brush teeth regularly. That could be wishing one another to maintain a healthy exercise and diet regime.

You have the right to feel safe with one another when engaging in sexual activities. That means respecting one another’s sexual boundaries. That means taking no as an answer and not expecting a further explanation. That means being respectful toward our partners’ sexual drive and energy. That means treating our partner like a human being, not a sex toy. That means understanding that our partner has different desires than we do and does not always want to try the same sexual experiments we do.

As previously mentioned, we all have our own boundaries and expectations in relationships. My expectations might be different than yours. That does not make your boundaries any less important than mine or your partners. The key here is to establish and clearly communicate our boundaries from the beginning. You will save yourself a lot of exhaustion and resentment when you do. The earlier you express your boundaries with one another, the better, and it is NEVER too early. Your partner might not comply with your expectations, they have the right to set their boundaries, and it’s your choice whether you accept those boundaries or not. At this stage, you need to evaluate whether these boundary requests are about control. It should not be a tug-of-war for power in the relationship.

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