Have you ever been in a dating relationship where you looked back and wondered where you went? Sometimes we get into relationships where we loose ourselves and don’t realize how much we have lost our voice, individualism, or perspective until we get out of the relationship. Others can tell us but sometimes it takes the brunt of a break up to realize what happened and this wake up call hurts!
Sometimes we loose ourselves in dating relationships because we lack boundaries or they have been blurred. Now when I say boundaries, it is important to know what I’m talking about. It is described by Cloud and Townsend as a property line that defines where you begin and I end like a physical fence that marks where your yard ends and your neighbor’s begins. This property line isn’t an invisible fence that anyone can cross over but it also isn’t the Great Wall of China that shuts everyone out. When we have boundaries in our dating relationships, we are able to show the other person who we are and who we are not. This helps keep us be our own person but also belong within the dating relationship.
Cloud and Townsend offer several ways to see if a lack of boundaries are present in a dating relationship so feel free to look through this list and check if any of them are present in your dating life. If so, seeking professional counselors can offer additional tools and insights so that you can learn to establish boundaries in a thriving dating relationship!
- Loss of freedom to be oneself
- Being with the wrong person
- Dating from inner hurt rather than our values
- Not dating
- Doing too much in the relationship
- Freedom without responsibility
- Control issues
- Not taking responsibility to say no
* Adapted from “Boundaries in Dating: Making Dating Work” by Cloud and Townsend