Setting personal boundaries is important in relationships. It allows you to be centered, indicates to others how to treat you, and helps you find the right person.

If we do not set personal boundaries, we can become resentful, stressed, and quickly disappointed in attempts at dating. We jeopardize our chances at forming new, healthy relationships.

To set personal boundaries you must first be clear on your values and your needs. Know what you are willing to do and not do. Know how to say “no” when something is not right for you, and “yes” when it is. You must understand your needs so that you can be mentally, physically and spiritually healthy. Do you allow yourself time for your own care and needs? If you are not doing this now, chances are you will not do this in dating or in a relationship, and it will be difficult for another person to tap into your healthy personal energy that is the foundation for a good relationship.

So start with yourself, evaluate your needs, and begin creating a boundary that you will not cross if it interferes with your personal motivations. Start practicing now with yourself and with the current people in your life. As an example, if you decide that you will meditate daily for ten minutes, then find a quiet place and don’t allow interruptions. If you know that you are exhausted and need some sleep or quiet time, do not agree to go out because a friend is asking and does not want to go alone. By respecting your own limits, you will be more apt to respect the boundaries of others.

I heard Dr. Phil once say, “We teach people how to treat us.” I’ve never forgotten this. It is very true. If we allow people to treat us a certain way, we have taught them it is okay to do so. One of my clients lamented that her sons were very rude and disrespectful to her. As I worked with her she came to realize that she had taught them it was okay to be rude to her. Once she decided that this was unacceptable to her, she created a boundary for herself that she would only be spoken to respectfully and kindly. She changed how she responded to them, teaching her sons how to treat her in the way in which she wanted. They eventually caught on.

So now let’s apply this to dating. You can tell so much about a person by how they respond to your requests and boundaries. Rhonda Britton, in her book Fearless Loving, suggests a three-date rule before deciding if someone is a good candidate for a relationship. I agree with this for several reasons, unless your boundaries are crossed right away. Which is one reason you want them in place.

Set limits or boundaries at the time of each date and stick to them. When you do meet for the first time, keep it brief; thirty minutes to an hour and meet in a public place. Make it clear to your date before meeting that you only have an hour, and say goodbye and leave at the end of the hour. This is very important, especially if you are someone who has trouble with boundaries. It helps you develop better self-respect. If he does pressure you, and you stay, you’ve taught him that you don’t mean what you say, and you can be manipulated or easily coerced. If he is really trying to convince you to stay, there is no need for a second date. He has not demonstrated respect for you. If you are a person who has a tough time with boundaries, then before going out, ask a friend to call you when the hour is up to support you in your intentions.

Set time limits for your first three dates, and vary how and where you meet so you can experience interaction in different venues. Be honest and present with your date and use the time to determine if he possesses the qualities you are looking for. Set personal intentions for yourself to practice respecting your own boundaries.

Keep a dating log and acknowledge when your requests are being met. Note all the positive qualities of your date and the interaction. Also, make note of other things that would be more preferable to you. The dating log will help keep you on track and focused and help you to reinforce your personal and dating boundaries.

Author's Bio: 

Cheri Valentine is your love connection expert. She specializes in guiding busy professional leaders and business owners to find long lasting love to enjoy as much happiness and success in their personal lives as they do in their career. Cheri’s philosophy inspired love by design combined with her strong, supportive nature is reflected in her signature coaching programs. She believes everyone deserves to love and be loved unconditionally, to experience life passionately and to forge happy and healthy relationships. Cheri’s own efforts to make sense of her ended marriages and relationships fueled her determination to get it right, be happy and find the right partner. She has succeeded and recently married her perfect mate. She wants to show you how she did it, and how you can, too, just like the many men and women she has helped to find love. Visit www.CheriValentine.com for your FREE 4 step kit to Attract Your Perfect Mate.