Too Close for Comfort?


Not sure where he begins and you end? Find out if you have healthy boundaries.

13. Do you read your partner's mail or email?

14. Do you make important personal or relationship decisions unilaterally?

15. Do you label, explain or deride your partner's feelings to him or her?

16. Do you speak in the "Royal We?"

17. Do you get so involved in your partner’'s problems that you lose sight of your own feelings?

18. Does how your partner feels about you affect how you feel about yourself?

19. Do you think about your partner's problems even when they have nothing to do with you or you’re not together?

20. When your partner is mad at someone, do you get angry with him or her, too?

More Connected Than Separate
Your relationship boundaries are highly permeable; you tend to lose yourself in your partner and may have difficulty distinguishing your needs and feelings. While some things may not seem like boundary invasions to you (e.g., the open bathroom door policy), your partner may feel differently, so it's worth checking out his or her views on these subjects. The danger in this much permeability is that if you and your partner don't see things the same way, you may not feel whole. When you don’t have your relationship, but you are it, you depend on your partner's love and approval to maintain your emotional equilibrium.

Both Connected and Separate
Your relationship boundaries are moderately permeable, which is the most adaptive position in an intimate relationship. There is enough togetherness to maintain a couple bond, but not so much that it stifles individuality. Again, some of these areas may or may not feel like "emotional trespassing" to either or both of you, but just to make sure you’re on the same page, ask your partner to take the quiz, too, and compare results.

More Separate Than Connected
Your relationship boundaries are low in permeability, which isn't always a bad thing, especially when both partners prefer it that way. This is a relationship pattern more typical of older couples, where each individual has had a number of years to develop singular, personal habits and ways of maintaining his or her "selfness." But be careful: putting too much space between you two can stifle intimacy or indicate a lack of trust in the other person.