Dating is a part of life, the moment we start to have an interest in the opposite sex, it is part of what we want until the day we die, even healthy married couples continue to date. However, dating someone doesn’t give you special access to their entire being. It just means you’re a bit closer and intimate than friends.
Setting boundaries in dating is always a good idea. A lot of people date just to get what they want from the other person and dispose of them like used napkins after they are done. Creating and setting boundaries in dating relationships is a thorny road, a few people consider it a hindrance to the development of the couple because a lot of things are left unsaid.
Financial boundaries while dating
In a traditional culture, the man would shoulder the expenses of all dating activities to attract the woman. It is also a demonstration of their financial capabilities as a provider for his future wife and children. Then there’s also a lot of men also just want to show off to attract women.
A lot of women also use their charms to get favors from men, but then again, there are a lot of men who do the same.
Protecting your financial assets from people who deceptively use love and romance to pick your wallet is one of the reasons why you should create boundaries in dating.
The first thing you have to remember is not to be overly generous, even if you can afford it. You want the person to fall in love with you, not your money. The way you act while your courting and dating, should be the same ten years after you are married, that way expectations are kept real.
There are even couples who have legal contracts (like a prenup) while cohabiting in order to protect themselves from a messy breakup for sharing assets. Money should be kept his, hers, and together. Discuss arrangements and create boundaries in dating on the subject and how it would change after marriage.
Physical boundaries in dating
Dating eventually leads to sex. Some people even do it before they officially become a couple, and if they do it frequently enough, it could lead to them going steady. There are other couples that go through the motions of romance, then bases, till it eventually leads to sex, sometimes even marriage before sex.
Couples are composed of two different individuals, their idea of dating and sex may not be the same. One party may be more aggressive in moving things along sexually before the other party is emotionally ready. Leading your partner could result in misunderstandings and frustrations that could abruptly end the relationship.
It’s important to discuss sexual boundaries in dating way before things become hot and heavy.
There are also different levels of sex. Not everyone is comfortable with hardcore sex, especially with toys, weird fetishes, and more than one partner. Forcing your partner to go through it while using steady dating as a license could lead to a bad relationship. Form sexual and physical boundaries, it protects dating couples from the complications.
There are also people who have issues petting and making out in public. It doesn’t change the fact how much they love the person, they are just uncomfortable with public displays of affection. It’s important that the more aggressive party understand the level of perversion varies from person to person, especially when in public view.
Physical and sexual boundaries for dating people may break down over time, but don’t force yourself, consider 50 shades of grey, make sure to get consent. Date rape is a crime.
Emotional boundaries in dating
Dating someone involves a lot of emotional intimacy. It sometimes feels that your entire being is at the hands on one person. If it’s a healthy relationship, that feeling is mutual and reciprocated.
However, there should be a bit of space to grow and mature further as an individual. Even if you feel you want to dedicate your entire life to someone else, you shouldn’t.
Giving up a few of your dreams for your intimate partnership is part of life, but not all of it. Your primary personal goals should be in sync with your partner and your relationship.
It doesn’t make sense for someone who wants to educate children in Africa to build their future around someone who wants to become a programmer for Google. Bill and Melinda Gates were able to do both, but that’s after giving up control of Microsoft and becoming one of the richest couples in the world. Unless you belong to that top 3% that can make more money than can be spent in 100 lifetimes, you have to be more practical about planning your future.
You may wonder what’s the connection between your dreams and your emotions, your dreams are the source of your passions. As your dreams change over time, and when it does, so does your passions. Giving up on those dreams is very emotional, replacing them with something else, for example, children, is also very emotional. Sharing those emotions with your significant other is a key ingredient to a healthy relationship, but keeping some for yourself is part of personal development.
A deep intimate relationship, such as marriage is not a reason to end your personal development.
You have to continue working on your dreams, even if other priorities such as child-rearing take up most of your time. Make sure to keep boundaries in dating, marriage, and relationships to keep your identity regardless of who your partner is. When you die, it’s important that you are remembered for your achievements and what you leave behind, not as someone’s spouse.
Creating boundaries in dating will make it easier to protect your individuality while being devoted to your partner. Those boundaries can be temporary or permanent depending on the circumstances. Living your life for someone else may sound noble and it a proper way to spend your life, but you have to leave some for yourself. Remember, the better you are, the more resources you muster, and the more you are able to do. Just like someone who started a software company that’s now one of the largest corporations in the world and educating lots of children in Africa at the same time.
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