7 Signs Of Unhealthy Boundaries That Can Hurt Even The Best Relationships

Many people have a history of unhappiness and dissatisfaction in their past relationships, where they've compromised too much.

Last updated on Jan 08, 2024

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Many times, women give their power away to men. They start out strong, confident, and living a full life, but as the relationship progresses, they wake up one day realizing they haven't spoken to their friends in months, and their whole life revolves around supporting their man.

If this sounds familiar to you, you're guilty of having unhealthy boundaries in a relationship — and it can start affecting your life completely.


When you have healthy boundaries set up that you stick to, it gives you more freedom to make better choices in your romantic life, and helps you easily recognize others who take personal responsibility and respect themselves, making it easier to attract the right person.

Here are 7 signs of unhealthy boundaries that can hurt even the best relationships.

1. You adjust your life to suit their schedule.

When you have set plans — whether it's work, time to exercise, or a night out with the girls — you find yourself rearranging your life to fit your partner's needs. While you may think of this as being flexible, the truth is that this is likely a pattern in your life and relationship.




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There's nothing wrong with adjusting your schedule every now and then to accommodate your partner, as every relationship requires compromise. However, it's a sign of an unhealthy boundary if you're always putting your needs secondary to theirs.

A healthy relationship is built on mutual respect, and without that, you're in a one-sided relationship where you do everything for the convenience of your partner. It's a toxic imbalance.


2. You give in to anything, even if it doesn't align with your values.

When you begin to compromise your core values and beliefs just to maintain balance and harmony in your relationship, it's completely unhealthy and a sign that you don't have set boundaries.

No matter how people try to push you around, it's essential to your conscience as a person that you stay true and stand firm in what you believe. Otherwise, you risk losing your identity.

Not only that, but when you give up your values, you destroy any authenticity in your relationship. Because a good partner wouldn't allow you to compromise who you are just for their comfort.

3. You settle for less than you deserve.

You may do this because you fear being alone, feeling the pressure of society, or having low self-esteem. No matter the cause, when you accept less than you deserve, and forfeit having your needs and wants met, you easily become dissatisfied with yourself and your partner.




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You should never settle for anything less than you deserve, because you're more than worthy of love — with another person and yourself. When you set healthy boundaries, you're showing other people how you want to be treated.

4. You stay in a relationship past its deadline.

When a relationship is approaching its expiration date, why would you want to stick around with something that no longer suits you? By staying in a bad or toxic relationship, you're stunting your emotional and personal growth.


Even if you're scared of change or don't want to fully accept the reality of the situation, by overstaying your welcome, so to speak, you stagnate. Instead, it's best to acknowledge when a relationship no longer fulfills you and has served its purpose, and move forward without ever looking back.

5. You smother the person you're dating with excessive needs or control.

Again, mutual respect is essential for a healthy relationship to thrive, but when one partner has controlling tendencies, it can easily lead to resentment. One partner may begin feeling suffocated and start to pull away due to the excessive demands.

If you're doing this in your relationship, you're not setting healthy boundaries. While your behavior may stem from insecurities or fear of losing your relationship, it often results in a loss of autonomy on your partner's part.

Rather than smothering them, when you set those boundaries, you're fostering independence and respect where you both can live authentically and support one another.




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6. You go back to a relationship that ended.

Going back to an old relationship that ended, especially without recognizing the reasons you broke up to begin with, leaves you in the same patterns you've been struggling to break. You may look back on this relationship fondly and find a sense of comfort in familiarity, but you're only hurting yourself.

When you don't address those underlying issues, you're sure to repeat the same patterns. Without healthy boundaries, you lose your understanding as to why the relationship ended in the first place. And though old habits are hard to break, they are mandatory if you ever want to find the right partner.


7. You enter a relationship to avoid being alone.​

The fear of being alone forever is something that plagues plenty of single people. But why would you want to be in a relationship for the sake of being in one? That's not healthy for you, nor your partner.

Entering a relationship for all the wrong reasons — i.e., a fear of loneliness — means you're quick to overlook any potential red flags that popped up in the past, like a lack of respect, poor communication, or no shared values.

While it's perfectly normal to want companionship, doing so in this way results in an unfulfilling relationship and hinders personal growth. And that's not the right attitude to take into future relationships.


signs of unhealthy boundaries that can hurt even the best relationships

To get you started on the road to honoring yourself, the first thing to do is throw out the list you have of your perfect partner.

Instead, get clear and make a list of 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.


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Kim Sarrasin, also known as the Queen of Hearts, is a relationship expert, dating coach, and speaker. She's appeared on North America CBC TV, Global TV, The Globe & Mail, BC Business, and Shape Magazine.