Setting Personal Boundaries in Relationships

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personal boundaries

When you’re in a relationship, it’s crucial to define and set personal boundaries – for yourself and your partner. Theresa Byrne shares the boundaries she’s set in her relationship.

We need personal boundaries to keep ourselves safe and healthy. Once we identify what they are, we can clearly communicate our needs and how we want to be treated to our partners. But we also need to understand and define boundaries with ourselves. In this video, Theresa Byrne, boundary expert and my boundary course co-leader, shares how she maintains her boundaries in her current long-term relationship.

Setting Personal Boundaries in Relationships

Why we need boundaries for ourselves

When you set a boundary with yourself, you’re saying: “Here’s the line between what’s okay for me and what’s not. Here’s the line that I won’t cross for myself, so I stay in alignment with my true self.”

We set boundaries for ourselves because we love and respect ourselves. Boundaries keep us safe and healthy. They keep our lives running smoothly.  

The boundaries you create for yourself will reflect your needs and priorities are unique to you. This list will give you an idea of some common personal boundaries.

  • Not working past 7 PM
  • Not answering work emails on the weekends
  • No phone calls or texts after 9 PM
  • One hour of TV per day
  • No screens in your bedroom
  • Keeping a regular bedtime and wake-up time
  • Exercising three times a week
  • Not participating in gossip
  • Doing laundry every Friday
  • Not checking Instagram or Facebook every time you’re bored
  • Eating out no more than twice a week
  • Flossing your teeth every night
  • Avoiding people who are hurtful or cause you stress
  • Not drinking alcohol on weeknights
  • Not keeping junk food in the house
  • Limiting yourself to one or two cups of coffee per day

Why it’s hard to set boundaries with ourselves

We might know that limits and structure are good for us, but they’re hard to stick to! Here are a few possible reasons that it’s hard to set boundaries with yourself.

  • Your parents didn’t set healthy limits or boundaries for themselves.
  • Your parents didn’t set consistent, reasonable limits or boundaries for you. (There were no rules, inconsistent rules, or extremely strict rules.)
  • Boundaries or limits can feel like you’re being deprived or controlled.

In our boundary courses, we help you discover and set your boundaries. Once you’ve set those personal boundaries, you can begin to set your relationship boundaries.

In this video, Theresa shared some boundaries she has set in her relationship with John.

  • How much time they spend together
  • Communication frequency/style
  • Co-creating solutions for connection when not together
  • How to bring up upsets
  • How to reconnect after not seeing each other for a while
  • Letting go of the stories and meaning she gives them when they’re not together

Theresa learned to take care of herself and process her emotions when her boyfriend is away for a long period of time. She’s processed her disappointment, let go of control and “shoulds”, and stopped listening to friends advice that she should leave him or he should be doing something he’s not doing. She’s learned to trust herself to know what’s best for her.

If you want to learn how to do boundaries better, join our 5 day Healthy Boundary Series now. It’s free and it will change your life!


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