By Audrey Tan

Establishing boundaries is a good idea, especially when it comes to dating. Many people date just to get what they want from the other party and then toss them away like used tissues once they’ve exhausted all the good, happy feelings. Spelling out and covering all the different bases can help you to avoid rushing into things, open your eyes to desperate or undeserving people, and avoid setting yourself up for failure. 

To avoid the heartache and pain of a relationship teeming with boundary issues, it is advisable to adhere to basic dating rules, at least at the beginning of the relationship. But setting boundaries can be a thorny subject. It can incite unhappy feelings even just having the conversation. So how can you begin to address boundaries, and why are they important? 

Healthy Boundaries When Dating

Some ground rules can help you get the best out of a relationship and create a mutually respectful atmosphere where both parties can thrive and be happy. Doing this involves:

Understanding your core values

What are the things that are important to you, to your identity? Now that we can finally physically date again, familiarising your core values can help you to navigate and bypass bad decisions that may be clouded by excitement. If you didn’t spend all lockdown being in tune with your thoughts and feelings, it’s not too late. 

Contemplate the values that are most intrinsic to who you are and let them guide you into making the right decisions for yourself. Once all of this is crystal clear, you’ll find it easier to know what you want when dating. 

Communicating your boundaries

Effective communication is the cornerstone of successful relationships. It is crucial in setting boundaries, and it should begin right from the dating stage. Knowing your limitations is one thing; communicating them teaches others how to respect and treat you, as well as setting the scene for healthy, synergistic relationships.

Should you find yourself in a relationship with someone who is constantly violating your limits, especially after discussing them, it’s time to reevaluate and decide whether or not this is the best partnership for you. 

Evaluating risks

With COVID still on the rampage and the Delta variant here to cause even more havoc, there’s still a real risk to dating. To determine what risks you are willing to take, you must first understand the dangers involved. Now that restrictions are lifted, it is fun to go on as many dates as you want, but the virus is still out there. 

Take time and assess the risk factor of each meetup and this will give you a sense of control over your dating life and help you build more meaningful connections. 

Know when to say “no”

Relationships are about giving and taking. There may be times when you wouldn’t mind going above and beyond your comfort level for your partner. Still, it is also essential to stand your ground and refuse certain things. Being resolute can help you establish healthy boundaries, avoid putting you or anyone involved in uncomfortable situations, and earn you respect. 

Doing anything and everything to please your lover could seem admirable. But down the line, the relationship could end up seriously skewed, with you being the pushover. It is important to note that you’re saying no to yourself whenever you say yes to something you didn’t want. And when it comes to saying no, anyone who truly loves and cares for you will respect it no matter what. 

Go slow

We’ve already seen how it’s possible for the entire world to slow down due to the pandemic, so there’s really no reason to rush. Taking things slow might sound boring, but it ensures that you and your date are on the same page before advancing to the next stages of a “relationship”. 

It’s often better to know before getting too close to someone if they’re on the same wavelength or if they’re even ready for the level of commitment you want. Although, it also doesn’t mean that you can’t have any fun. Dating is all about the fun!

Going slowly simply means that you take the time to get to know each person, and there’s no saying you can’t do fun activities while doing so!

After more than a year of social restrictions and our interactions being limited to virtual ones, I think it’s safe to say that we’re ready for things to go back to ”normal”. That is, to get out of the house and start seeing some beautiful faces! And if you’ve been single all throughout lockdown, you may be scared and excited to get back onto the dating scene! 

But as long as you keep these essential tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to a more fulfilling dating life in no time! Go get it, tiger!