Boundaries are Still Important
It is said that communication is the most important aspect of a healthy relationship.
I would agree, but I think the first thing you should do with your communication skills after they’ve been developed is establish boundaries.
Boundaries are hard lines that you draw between yourself and others, distinguishing where your relationships lie and what type of relationships they are. Boundaries are based on what you are comfortable with, what you will tolerate, and how much of yourself you are willing to give to another person.
While hedonism runs rampant in our society and instant gratification reigns supreme, it can be difficult to maintain your own boundaries, whether it’s due to your fleeting desires, or due to the fact that having strong boundaries isn’t the norm.
Our culture glorifies blurred lines. We WORSHIP blurred lines. We often run into blurred lines in platonic friendships when we cross over into “friends with benefits,” or in romantic relationships when it is proposed that we “don’t have a title… let’s just see where this goes ;)”
It sounds like a fun idea — all the rewards without any responsibilities. Because that always works out perfectly, right?
Living in a pseudo-reality where human nature comes second to conscious desires inevitably leads to a crash ending in which real reality triumphs. You can’t allow yourself to get as close as possible to someone — especially for women — and expect that there will be no emotional attachment. This is not how humans work. We are not meant to risk creating another life with someone and then not care about them at all, or not want them to care about us.
Boundaries come into play way before this, though, and they’re more important than ever. Because most people do not expect others to have strong boundaries to distinguish their relationships and even less have strong boundaries of their own, boundaries must begin way before those lines can become blurred. This means having boundaries not just with what physical activities you engage in, but what situations you put yourself in. Are you putting yourself in situations that leave you vulnerable to having your boundaries crossed? Are you putting yourself in situations that make it unclear to others where those lines lie?
It may be interpreted that you are crazy, untrusting, or assume the worst about others, but it’s none of that and frankly, other people taking issue with your boundaries is a great way to filter them out of your life.
It’s the principle.
It’s for you to be able to distinguish different types of relationships with others, and for others to know where they stand with you. It’s so no one is left hanging, feeling betrayed, feeling used, and for women especially, for your safety, so you’re never in a position where something regrettable could happen.
It’s to keep your emotions strong and crisp, so you don’t desensitize yourself to your own feelings of emotional attachment.
So that when lines become crossed, your first instinct isn’t to suppress, ignore, and shut down the budding feelings of an emotional connection.
So your emotions remain exhilarating and you can completely indulge in them when they arise.
So when you do experience emotional attachment, it is safe, healthy, and fulfilling.