5 Reasons A Relationship Without Boundaries Will Only Break Your Heart

They're essential for healthy relationships.

5 Reasons Why Setting Boundaries Is Essential For Happy, Healthy Relationships getty

Have you been told that a relationship without boundaries isn't healthy?

Exactly what is a healthy relationship, what relationship boundaries you need, and why are they important?

To understand boundaries in healthy relationships, look at the four walls of your house. Those walls are the structure that holds your life together. They hold your food, your bed, your possessions, and it’s where you live your life.


Healthy relationship boundaries are the same as those four walls of your house. They are the things that support your relationship as it grows. To have a healthy relationship that can grow and be fruitful, it is important that it has structures — boundaries — that support it.

RELATED: 3 Key Steps To Healthy Boundaries — And Healthy Relationships


Healthy relationship boundaries come in many shapes, sizes and colors, and they are essential and appropriate for every relationship — whether it be new and exciting or more settled and safe.

Unfortunately, without four walls around it, a relationship can flounder and lead to a broken heart, which why learning how to set boundaries with your partner can help your relationship thrive.

Here are 5 reasons why not setting boundaries in relationships will only break your heart.

1. Expectations aren't clear

One of the biggest reasons that relationships start to flounder is when mutual expectations aren't met. Have you ever been in a relationship where your partner just didn't understand something that was really important to you and that lack of understanding hurt!


Maybe in the beginning of your relationship, you always celebrated Saturday mornings by breakfast in bed. A few months into the relationship, he started playing soccer with his friends, instead.

But, did you tell him how important it was to you that you do that Saturday morning ritual? Did he know how much it hurt that he left you by yourself those days? Or did you just stew and think that if he loved you, he would know how important this ritual was to you?

One important relationship boundary is that you set clear expectations of what is important to you so that you both know. You can’t read each other’s minds and it’s essential that you share what you want and need so that your relationship can be a healthy one.

2. You can lose yourself

For many of us, when we get into a relationship, we tend to lose ourselves in it. In the beginning, all we want to do is be with that person and, as the relationship continues, we keep up that pattern. Because we want to be with them always, we agree to do what they want to do and put our own needs aside.


Unfortunately, as a result, many of us lose ourselves in relationships without boundaries because we give ourselves over completely to the other person, doing what they want and seeing who they like.

Before we know it, we have no idea who we are in the world. Our friends have fallen away, our hobbies are sidelined and we find ourselves without an identity of our own.

And when this happens, our self-esteem plunges. And who wants to be in a relationship with someone with no identity and low self-esteem?

So, set your personal boundaries and make sure that you each have time on your own and that you come back to each other in between.

RELATED: 3 Things People With Healthy Relationship Boundaries Do To Keep The Upper Hand


3. One person might always be in charge

An interesting pattern that often happens in relationships is that one person tends to be in charge.

This particularly happens in marriages with children. Women tend to take over running the family business because they are juggling all of the balls, and the men are left as support staff.

Unfortunately, when one person feels in charge, they can lose respect for their partner, while the partner being bossed around can develop feelings of contempt.

So, make an effort to make sure that you are both the boss of some aspect of your life. Share the responsibility. Couples who work together manage to keep their families running smoothly.


4. You could stop liking each other

Imagine if, every day, you and your partner let each other down because you haven’t set clear expectations. And if, every day, you are a little more clingy to your guy because you lost who you are in the world. Or if, every day, you are condescendingly bossy to your husband because he always seems clueless about what needs to be done around the house.

If that is your every day, do you think that you will continue to like your partner? Do you think the joy that you used to feel every time you saw them will stay with you? Do you think your partner will look upon you with the same respect that he did when you first dating?

Without clear emotional boundaries, the friendship that is so important in any healthy relationship could evaporate. And, then, where are you?

5. Friendships could flounder

Ever since the Victorian age when Queen Victoria and Prince Albert found true love in a somewhat arranged marriage, the ideal of the traditional marriage is that you will find your best friend and the love of your life and a life partner, all in one.


That is a tall order for any kind of relationship — to be all things for a person. A lot of pressure, to say the least.

I have a friend for every mood. I have a friend for when I am sad, a friend for when I want to play, a friend for going to the movies, and a friend to go hiking with. My boyfriend is definitely someone I would choose for some of those activities, but definitely not for all of them.

In a relationship, it is essential that you maintain outside friendships because the pressure to be all things to one person is just too much. Unsustainable, some might say.


Make sure that you make the time and spend the energy to maintain your friendships — friendships that will sustain you no matter what you need or what happens in your life.

Relationship boundaries can be hard to understand, but setting them is an important aspect of healthy relationships.

So, first off, set clear expectations on both sides for what is important in your relationship. Adjust them as time goes on. Make sure that no one is in charge and that you maintain your own, independent life. Work hard to keep liking each other.

Healthy relationships can be hard to maintain, but if you do the work, it will be worth it. I promise.

RELATED: You Can't Have A Healthy Relationship Without These 8 Characteristics


Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC-based certified life coach and mental health advocate, whose writing has been published on Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN, and The Good Man Project, among others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.