Today, we’re going to focus on Boundaries - lesson # 3 in this 5 part series.
I meet many women who have no issue with setting up and adhering to boundaries in other areas of their life – yet compromise all over the place once in a relationship with a man. So today, we’re going to focus on Boundaries - lesson # 3 in this 5 part series celebrating Valentine’s week.
Why do we need boundaries?
For one reason, they act like a “fence” protecting our property. When you have healthy boundaries set up that you stick to, it actually gives you more freedom to make better choices in your romantic life.
Another advantage to boundaries is they it help you easily recognize others who take personal responsibility and respect themselves, making it easier to zero in and attract (or stay with) the right mate.
Many people who I serve through my coaching practice often arrive at my doorstep with a history of unhappiness and dissatisfaction in their past relationships. What always gets revealed is where they had compromised too much at some point – many times to avoid being alone.
Wondering if you have unhealthy boundaries? Take a look at the top 7 signs:
1) Putting up with behavior that’s disrespectful
2) Giving in to things that are not aligned with your values
3) Settling for less than you know you really need or desire
4) Staying in a relationship that you know already has passed its deadline
5) Smothering the person you’re dating with excessive needs or control
6) Going back to a relationship that you know is over
7) Entering a relationship that you already know isn’t going anywhere
After a lifetime of dating and having relationships, I personally have experienced probably all of these at one time or another. One relationship in particular I had many years ago I fell head over heels in love and suddenly found myself in category # 3. He was gorgeous, charming and romantic AND had divorced 4 times, was emotional unavailable and still had feelings for his last wife.
It was so frustrating because we had a very real, deep connection but he kept (emotionally) going in and out of the relationship. He’d be all in, and then suddenly all out. What I needed and desired was his full attention and commitment but I kept settling by forgiving his behaviour in the hopes he would eventually change.
After a year of this I finally rose up and honoured myself by ending the relationship.
Is any of this resonating for you? Don’t panic, I’m going to help you!
To get you started on the road to honouring yourself, the first thing I want you to do is throw out the list you have of your perfect partner. It likely reads something like:
- Athletic, perfect body, powerful leader, wealthy, ambitious, fun, witty, smart etc…
In all my years of coaching, I have yet to meet anyone who got divorced/ broke up because their partner wasn’t witty enough!
Instead, I want you to get clear and make a list with your preferences and the character of your ideal partner.
An example of a character trait would be how they treat themselves, you and those around them. Do they treat waiters like servants or do they treat everyone with respect and a sense of equality?
Your preferences are your common interests, goals and values. When you list those out, think about what you could live with in another person and also what you could not live without. Just like the relationship I was in years ago, I got clear that I can’t live without a man being emotionally ready for a relationship. Look at past – or a present relationship – for clues.
You may see yourself in one (or many) of the above scenarios. If you do, take heart and have compassion for yourself. As I often tell my students and clients, you’re only doing the best you know how at the time – if you had more information before than you would have been doing things differently, so there’s no use beating yourself up. Be grateful this article is coming to you now!
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Do you have questions for Kim? Leave a Comment Below.