Setting & Maintaining Boundaries
Safety & Awareness | March 1, 2020
By Alicia Gehrig, Community Outreach Coordinator, Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services, Inc.
Did you know that the month of February was Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month?
Although February has come and gone, the importance surrounding violence in teen dating relationships remains extremely relevant and should be recognized all the time. One in Three teens in the US will experience physical, sexual or emotional abuse by someone they are in a relationship with before they become adults. Boundaries are important in any relationship, whether it’s a friendship or dating relationship. Boundaries are a way to communicate self-respect and honesty about what you are comfortable with and what you are uncomfortable with. This all starts with an open and honest conversation. Setting boundaries is not always easy. It can be awkward and can cause some tension but ultimately, boundaries are necessary for having healthy relationships.
Different types of boundaries you can set include:
- Emotional Boundaries: It’s important to take some time apart to hang out with different friends (of any gender) without feeling guilt. Being able to communicate openly about your feelings without fear of retaliation or negative consequences is important. If your partner says, “I love you”, its okay to not say it back if you don’t feel the same. You don’t have to say anything you’re not comfortable with, and your partner should respect that.
- Physical Boundaries: In a healthy relationship, you should talk about things you are comfortable with and things you are not comfortable with. You should never feel pressured to do anything you don’t want to do. You have the right to say NO at any time.
- Technology Boundaries: Are you comfortable with sharing your passwords to your social media accounts with your friends? Are you comfortable with someone sharing pictures and texts you’ve sent? These are important questions to consider. No one (except a parent) should ever demand or expect passwords or private information without your consent.
Remember, setting boundaries is important in any relationship and these conversations are often best to have at the beginning of the relationship. You deserve to feel safe and supported. If you feel otherwise, call Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services to speak with an advocate anytime of the day or night, (920) 235-5998.