You Can (and Should) Set Relationship Boundaries

3 years ago

Recently, I was asked for advice from a beautiful twenty-something young woman who is helping me to rediscover fitness in my life. She needed some dating advice and I was flattered that she thought I could offer some helpful information to her. After all, it has been awhile since I was twenty-something.

This young woman had recently reconnected with a male friend that she had worked with in the past.   He surprised her by confessing his feelings were more than friendship and asked if she would come and visit him as he lived in another city.   She was excited but apprehensive about this and asked my thoughts.

The first thing I did was to ask her about her feelings regarding his revelation and requests.   Her answers were very mature for her age.   She explained that she liked this young man and wanted to get to know him better "in a more-than-a-friendship way".   However, she was concerned about going to his city and wanted to take things slow.  She wondered how to convey this to him.


Image: Iryna Yeroshko via Flickr

I told her to tell him to come to her city (her "turf")  for a visit and to tell him her boundaries.   She was amazed at my advice.   She asked, “Are you sure I can tell him my boundaries?   Is that okay?”    I laughed and told her it is perfectly fine for her to tell him her boundaries.   I asked her why she thought it would not be okay.   Her reply was, “Because he’s a man!”    I laughed and told her, “Yes, that's right - he's JUST a man”.     Her eyes lit up and she smiled.   I knew she understood.

It is important for young women (and some old ones, too) to understand that it is okay to have standards and boundaries for your relational life.    There was a time that women were considered "the prize" and she set the tone of the relationship.   Somehow that has gotten turned around and some of us are living a chameleon life.  We give a lot of energy trying to be a pleaser because we don’t want to be alone. Don’t lower your standards.   When you start contemplating them remind yourself..... “He’s JUST a man”.

QUESTION(S): What do you think about having dating standards?



Elaine Gray



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