Love

25 Key Emotional Boundaries Set By Women In The Healthiest Relationships

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Do you struggle telling others how you feel — or even identifying how you feel? Are you more concerned with your partner’s needs than your own wants? Do you abandon yourself in romantic relationships and disappear from your social circles?

These are signs that you lack healthy boundaries in your relationships. 

Relationships thrive under the right conditions. They don’t just accidentally happen because you met the right person or because you’re lucky.

It helps if you were raised in an environment where you knew you were loved and you were taught how to communicate your feelings. But even under the best conditions, relationships only thrive because you have developed the skills for love to flourish.

Setting and keeping healthy boundaries is one of the most important relationship skills you could ever master. Without boundaries in your relationships, you can easily find yourself in toxic situations that eat away at your self-confidence and your happiness.

To set healthy emotional boundaries, you first need to understand what a boundary looks like — and how to set one.

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What are emotional boundaries?

Emotional boundaries are energetic barriers between you and another person. They allow you to define what is your responsibility and what is not your responsibility. They help you define the difference between what you feel and what your partner feels.

You can think of boundaries like the cement barriers that are in place between traffic going in two different directions. You are responsible for your side of the street and your partner is responsible for their side of the street. Your job is to keep your side of the street clean and to allow your partner to clean their side of the street.

We often refer to this as The Responsibility Equation. This equation may sound simple; however it is not necessarily easy to implement, and it goes like this:

When someone has a problem with you, it is their problem. And when you have a problem with someone it is your problem.

Understanding and implementing this simple equation will help you set and keep healthy emotional boundaries and allow you and your relationship to thrive.

RELATED: 5 Tips For Establishing Emotional Boundaries In A Relationship

25 emotional boundaries women set that help them create and maintain healthy relationships

1. They honor their agreements, especially ones they make with themselves

Keeping your word is all about your integrity and the ability of others to trust you.

2. They trust that their emotions are valid

Seeking validation for your feelings from others signifies that you don’t trust yourself or your feelings. Trusting your emotions creates trust in yourself and your decisions.

RELATED: 7 Signs You're Being Emotionally Invalidated By Your Partner — And What To Do About It

3. They ask for what they want and need

Your partner is not a mind reader. To get your needs met, you must share what those needs are.

4. They speak how they feel

Your partner is also unable to intuit how you feel about something. Sharing your feelings validates you as an individual and confirms that your feelings are important.

5. They don’t take on other people’s problems

It is not your responsibility to fix your partner’s problems or vice versa. You can support each other with love and kindness, but do not take responsibility for their behavior.

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6. They disregard unsolicited advice

When you trust yourself, you don’t find yourself responding to the opinions of others. You know you are your own authority.

7. They don’t over-commit themselves

When asked to do something for someone else they answer, “Let me think about it,” first before committing to it, and then they do just that.

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8. They put their self-care ahead of their to-do list

Fill your own cup first so that you can serve from your saucer. If you are on empty, then you are of no use to anyone.

9. They master their inner dialog by changing negative thoughts to positive ones

Having a positive inner dialog allows you to stay in your power and not feel like a victim of circumstance.

10. They treat themselves with kindness and compassion — even when they make mistakes

Perfectionism destroys self-esteem because it creates an unrealistic expectation that you cannot live up to. Accept your humanness and learn from your mistakes instead of beating yourself up over them.

RELATED: How To Keep A Positive Attitude In A Negative World

11. They don’t put their lovability in the hands of a stranger

Your lovability comes from within you. You don’t get love from someone. The love you have for yourself is reflected back to you through the eyes of your beloved.

12. They’re not fooled by instant intimacy

Just because you feel an instant connection doesn’t mean that you’ve found your soulmate. Attraction and chemistry are not necessarily signs of an ideal life partner.

13. They accept that conflict and challenges will arise and work to resolve them

The goal is not to meet someone who you never fight with (as this will never happen). The goal is to use your disagreements to become closer, so your love deepens over time.

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14. They don’t twist into a pretzel trying to earn love

If you want to be loved for who you really are, then you have to show up as who you really are. Being authentic draws the right people to you, and repels the wrong people — so let your light shine brightly.

15. They don’t go into sacrifice trying to please everyone

There’s no use trying to make everyone you know happy. Instead, focus on the things that bring you joy so that you can spread happiness by inspiring others to do the same.

16. They expect their partner to respect them

Respectful love has a boundary. The happiest of couples fight fairly and with ground rules in place so that love and respect can flourish.

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17. They don’t let others dictate how they feel

Your feelings are yours. Don’t wait to find out how everyone else is feeling and then jockey your position based on what’s going on around you. This is completely inauthentic.

Instead, check in with your body's sensations and identify how you feel without the influence of others, even your partner.

18. They keep their individuality in the relationship

It’s nice to have similar interests, but you’ll want to make sure you don’t lose yourself in the relationship. Make time and space for hobbies and activities that are just for you to fill your own cup.

19. They ask for and accept help

Having boundaries doesn’t mean that you are alone and on your own. It is okay to ask for help when you need it and to accept help when it’s offered.

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20. They know to take a break when emotions get heated

You are the only one who can calm your nervous system. Taking a pause so things do not escalate is one of the best things you can do for your relationship.

21. They do not shy away from crucial conversations

Sharing your life with someone will demand that you master having uncomfortable conversations. Rather than allowing things to build up, keep communication lines open and discuss things as they occur.

22. They know their terms for love and are willing to fight for them

Don’t let someone else steamroll you into always doing things their way. Stick up for yourself and make your desires known.

RELATED: The 6 Types Of (Healthy) Fights Every Long-Lasting Relationship Must Have To Survive

23. They risk being vulnerable

Having boundaries doesn’t mean that you wall your heart off from your partner. It means that you feel confident enough to be vulnerable and share your truth.

24. They reserve the right to change their mind

Your opinions, your desires, and your feelings all have the potential to change. It is your right to change your mind.

25. They don’t go along to get along

Compromising yourself begins by being too accommodating. Speak up because you count, and you matter. Anyone who wants you to be a doormat is looking to take advantage of you.

RELATED: 5 (Classy) Ways To Be Assertive, So People Give You The Respect You Deserve

Clear emotional boundaries are possible

Relationship skills are not something you are born with, nor are they taught in most families. Be patient with yourself as you learn a new way to navigate your intimate relationship.

It’s best to choose one from the list and practice it instead of trying to change everything all at once. Otherwise, you are setting yourself up to fail.

Healthy relationships with clear emotional boundaries are possible. Desire is not enough; you must be willing to learn new skills. Most importantly, be kind and compassionate with yourself through the process.

Remember the most important relationship you’ll ever have is the one with yourself.

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Orna and Matthew Walters are Soulmate Coaches who have been featured guest experts on Bravo’s "The Millionaire Matchmaker." They're the authors of the free ebook, "7 Steps To Soulmating," which can be found on their website

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