Occasionally someone will ask me how to set healthy boundaries while dating.
There are a couple of reasons women ask this question.
Reason #1 – It’s been a long time since she’s dated and she’s not sure what the rules are now (e.g. sex on the first date, who pays for dinner, etc.)
Reason #2 – She’s been taken advantage of in the past and wants to keep it from happening again.
They are sometimes other reasons that have to do with specific blocks to love, but those two are pretty much the main reasons women ask about setting dating boundaries.
The truth is, this question is actually about 3 things: courage, honesty, and follow through.
One of the hardest things that we can do is to have the courage to be honest about our feelings and nowhere is that truer than in our Love Lives. The second hardest thing is to do what you say you’re going to do, line up your actions with your real desires and ENFORCE your boundaries by following through.
When you first start dating someone, you are so concerned with making sure you are making a good impression, because if he’s The One you don’t want to mess it all up and ruin your chances with him.
But the thing is, if he really is The One, then he will actually appreciate your honesty. And when you share what you really need, what you aren’t willing to tolerate in a relationship and what you want to be able to give, he’ll be REALLY, REALLY INTO IT.
Because he’s The One.
And if he’s NOT the one, you need to know that as soon as possible so you can release him and save that space in your heart and your calendar for The One – because he’s coming.
So let’s say you’re on a first date and you need to know if he wants to get married someday – so you know whether you should invest time, energy and emotions (because he’s The One) or release this person with love (because he’s not).
What boundaries look like:
You take a deep breath, summon up your courage and and as naturally as possible you say, “I’m dating to meet my Soulmate because I want to be married someday. What about you? Why are you dating?”
Then you listen to his answer (without interrupting) and BELIEVE WHAT HE SAYS.
If he says, “That’s really cool. I want to meet my Soulmate and get married someday too.” Cool. You can go out again.
If he says, “Wow. Well, I’m not really looking to get married anytime soon or maybe ever.” Cool. You are polite and kind, finish your date and thank him for a lovely time.
You don’t ask more questions about his feelings about marriage. You don’t try to help him see why marriage is great. You do nothing whatsoever to try to change his mind.
You BELIEVE HIM and send him on his way with no hard feelings to make room for the love you know is coming – because he is NOT it.
Here’s what not having boundaries looks like:
You take a deep breath and say, “I’m dating to meet my Soulmate because I want to be married someday. What about you? Why are you dating?”
He says, “Wow. Well, I’m not really looking to get married anytime soon or maybe ever.”
You think, “He’ll change his mind once he realizes how loving/caring/giving I am.” And you set about trying to convince him that getting married is actually a great thing and that the two of you should spend more time together.
Whether the issue is getting married, having sex with a new partner, or anything else – setting boundaries is about courage, honesty and following through. Once you’ve had the courage to be honest about what you want and what you won’t tolerate, you have to put your money where your mouth is.
Pssst! Steal my proven 3-step formula for attracting marriage-minded men HERE.