The key to dating with dignity has everything to do with setting boundaries in relationships.
Youâll not only have to set the boundaries, but youâll also need to stick to themâwhich can be the hard part.
We tell clients all the time, âItâs all fun and games when weâre talking about theory, a new idea, or an ah-ha moment. But itâs somewhat meaningless until you put your new behaviors into action!â
At Dating with Dignity, we have three âmust keepâ boundaries that should definitely be present in your romantic relationships. If you can set appropriate boundaries, youâll be on your way to a successful and happy relationship and one where you can be yourself.
1. I do not drop my life for anyone.
We call this going on âBoyfriend Hiatus!â For example, when youâre dating someone you like (especially when itâs new), you find yourself on a Friday afternoon contemplating movie plans with friends on Saturday because youâre waiting for your man to ask you out for the weekend.
If you find yourself changing around your life to accommodate him, things are going to end badly in the long run. To begin, you arenât âteachingâ your man to make plans in advance. (Which, admit it: you prefer that, especially if youâre what we call a âPlanner Girl.â) Second, itâs not fair to your friends. And finally, the ultimate result of a long-term Boyfriend Hiatus is that if the relationship doesnât work out, you may find yourself deserted on âFriendless Islandâ as a result of ignoring your relationships for far too long. And that is simply disastrous.
Make sure you donât neglect the life you have! Not only will it ensure men respect you and meet your needs, but it will ensure you always feel complete from the inside out. Remember, âyou complete meâ needs to stay on the big screen where it belongs.
2. Say what you mean, not what you think they want to hear.
As humans, weâve all probably been guilty of this at least once or twice. You know: the flippant âYes that outfit looks great on you!â when it doesnât really. When youâre dating a relationship-ready man and feel like you ALWAYS meet at his house, sleep at his house, drive to his house, etc., but would love it if you two could spend the weekend at your place once in awhile, itâs time to speak your truth. If you find yourself doing the âfake smileâ while telling him you love always sleeping at his house, youâre doing a disservice to the relationship.
Remember, the âCool Girl Mentalityâ is not a long-term approach. If you choose this option consistently, youâll feel unsatisfied and resentful without giving him a chance to hear you out. Maybe he thinks you prefer his place to yours because you havenât taken the time to communicate what you really feel.
Donât avoid the âBullseye Conversation.â Instead, learn how to have it in a powerful but feminine way to make sure that you are being authentic. We know itâs counter-intuitive, but men love a woman whoâs not afraid to gently speak her mind.
3. Remember the boundaries that you set are yours.
Sometimes as a relationship evolves, you may find you need to re-evaluate your boundaries. Perhaps at the start of the relationship you had something you would say no to, and now youâve come to a place where youâre ready to say yes. It could even be something as simple as having a talk about where you are in the relationship. Maybe you thought you wanted to simply see where it was going, and youâve arrived at a place where youâre now ready to feel out where he is (and if that matches where you are).
Boundaries are flexible, and itâs important to always be in choice about what you need and want. When you feel uncertain, take 30 seconds to check in with that intuitive, wise self inside. Most often she knows what you want and need; itâs your responsibility to respond appropriately.
You donât have to be abrasive to set boundaries. In fact, itâs actually possible to communicate your needs in a way thatâs sexy, feminine, and will ultimately make you more attractive to the right man. Click here to get proven dating scripts that will guide you towards better communication, better boundaries, and more fulfilling relationships.
Marni Battista, founder of Dating with Dignity, has professional training in dating and relationship coaching as well as training in the Core Energy Coaching Process from the Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching (IPEC). A certified Life Coach through the International Coaching Federation, Battista is also a Master Practitioner at administering an Energy AssessmentââThe D-Factorââwhich helps clients pinpoint exactly why they are or are not "date-able" and what types of messages they unconsciously broadcast to men based on their thoughts, feelings, actions and attitudes.