You may imagine that true intimacy involves the overturn of boundaries so that you are able to develop a closer relationship with your beloved. However, healthy relationships require partners to have clear boundaries.
Boundaries, in a physical sense, are built in order to keep out intruders who may cause damage. Similarly, in an emotion sense, boundaries are kept in order to prevent people trampling on sensitive issues and overstepping the mark.
If you are in love, you may enjoy your relationship being an all-encompassing part of your life in which you share everything. The temptation to wear ‘ his ’ and ‘ hers ’ dressing gowns and eat from the same plate can be present. Telling your innermost secrets to your lover and forgetting your own needs may come naturally for a while. Later on down the line though, you will discover that the old boundaries you used to have become necessary once more.
Unbalanced, weak relationships involve one partner who sets boundaries the other follows regardless of their own needs. Healthy relationships on the other hand, involve partners who have struck a balance between their individual needs. Likewise, no one is afraid to speak their mind about their views and opinions, and no one shamelessly inflicts their idea about what is the right way to run their relationship on their partner.
The type of boundaries people maintain in relationships can be about anything from major lifestyle views, to personal needs that stem from what an individual requires in order to function happily. Fidelity, finances, moral choices and even diet and comfort may be topics that require unique boundaries.
Once individuals in a relationship have established boundaries in their own minds they need to make them clear to their partner. Furthermore, when boundaries are recognized they need to be respected or the relationship will weaken and fall apart.
The kind of boundaries you set in your relationship depends upon what you need and want. While some partners may seem to have endless rules and stipulations about how they conduct their relationship and behave, others might have a more relaxed attitude involving greater freedom. However, this is an indication that looser boundaries are agreed upon and respected, otherwise, the relationship is doomed.
Boundaries, although sensible and practical, do not spoil intimacy and romance. Instead, they create an atmosphere of strength and security in which love can survive and prosper.