What is a boundary?
Is your boyfriend doing something that they don’t like and they can’t get him to stop. Friends and clients will often ask “How can I set and enforce a boundary to make my boyfriend do what I want?” That’s not how it works, exactly, but there is something you can do so that, no matter what, you’re getting what you want in your relationship.
Today, we’re going to talk about what is a boundary and how to set one.
“Boundary” has become a sort of self-care buzzword.
Set them and you’ll have nothing but health and happiness in your life. And while that’s true in a lot of ways, it’s not entirely true and it’s often easier said than done.
A lot of guys that I talk to misunderstand exactly what a boundary is and how to set them and how to enforce them, so today we’re gonna get clear on all of that.
First up, what is a boundary?
It’s not a rule or an agreement that you come up with together. It’s not something that you’re trying to force or manipulate your boyfriend into doing. It’s for you, about you, and by you.
Here are some examples of boundaries:
- “I will only have sex with a condom.”
- “I will not be in a monogamous relationship.”
- “I will only be in a monogamous relationship.”
- “I will only allow people into my home if I know about it in advance.”
- “I will not have sex with someone who is having condomless sex with other people.”
- “I will only have sex without condoms.”
Boundaries are personal. They are going to be unique to each person. Boundaries are going to be informed by your values, your personalities, your wants, your interests, even your past traumas. Boundaries help you get what you need in a relationship.
(I published an article + whole video all about figuring out what you need in a relationship and getting those needs met)
But boundaries are not about controlling someone else.
They’re not, “You can’t sleep with him. You have to use condoms with everybody else. You have to stop leaving socks around the apartment.”
Once you understand what a boundary is and you get clear on your own, it becomes much easier to enforce them.
You are in control, so you just don’t cross them. If a boundary of yours is that you are always going to wear condoms when you have sex. If a guy comes along and he doesn’t wanna use condoms and he won’t budge on that, then just don’t have sex with him.
If someone violates your boundary, you are usually able to restore it pretty quickly and immediately. You have an idea of what exactly you need to do.
So if you set a boundary that you won’t talk about your personal relationships with your family and your parents ask you about them, you just say you’re not gonna talk about that. If they keep asking about them, then you leave the room maybe or you leave the house entirely. And if this becomes a pattern, then you just like stop coming to visit.
When you know your boundaries you’re in control.
You might be uncomfortable and sometimes you might bump up against them and it might be painful to enforce those boundaries sometimes, but ultimately you’re going to be living into a life that is fun and fulfilling and healthy for you.
It’s also important to remember that you’re not the same person this year as you were last year. You change and it’s okay for your boundaries to change with you.
I also want to offer an important caveat here that boundaries can be a helpful tool in taking care of yourself, but none of this is an excuse for someone to harm or violate you. None of this is an excuse for abuse, manipulation, toxic behavior, sexual assault, anything like this. If something bad happens to you it’s not your fault.
Boundaries are just one part of a healthy gay relationship.
If you wanna learn more about building a relationship that is fun and fulfilling for you, I put together a playlist with some of the best of the best on dating, sex, and relationships for gay guys.