All of us have dated or have had relationships that we later realize weren’t healthy or didn’t give us exactly what we wanted. One of the reasons for this is not the responsibility of the other person, but falls on us. So later, we look at the negatives and tell ourselves “I’ll never date someone who does xyz again”. This is where we discover our expectations and set boundaries. However, once we start dating someone new, our boundaries and what we want, magically disappear. How does this happen and how can you set boundaries early on? Well grab a glass of whiskey and get ready to get tough. It’s time for Drinks with Jess.
Maybe you’ve had a string of relationships that were quite up to par. Maybe you’ve been single for a while. Maybe you, like many of us, believe we will stick to the plan of not allowing people who display certain types of behaviors or character traits into our dating lives. Miraculously, here enters an insanely beautiful woman who seems to possess everything that you are looking for. Caught up in the excitement that it’s someone new as well as caught up in the sheets for days on end, our boundaries become non existent. Just like beer goggles make looks disappear, or a Saturday night at a strip club makes money mysteriously vanish, sex (especially fantastic, raw, wall climbing sex) makes boundaries evaporate into thin air. After a while, you notice that this new love starts to display behaviors or demonstrates character flaws that you don’t appreciate. Then the relationship becomes frustrating and a game to win control. Now that isn’t pleasant is it?
Here’s a little secret. Boundaries are sexy. You see, women are attracted to those who know what they want. They love you for being you and want someone who has their own beliefs and opinions and stands up for themselves. Unfortunately, because you don’t want to lose this new prospect of feeling loved and satisfied at all hours of the day, you start to succumb to their wants and needs while forgetting your own. After a while, you no longer are an individual and she loses her attraction to you. Setting boundaries is your responsibility, and only you are accountable for your experience. It’s not as hard as you think (unless you are a sap without a backbone). We can accomplish boundary setting in 2 steps.
Step 1 – Know what you want (and what you don’t want).
So for this step, I will give you an example. I don’t (in fact) I won’t allow someone who thinks connecting via text all the time will build a relationship. Vocal energy and face-to- face time is needed to build intimacy and attraction because as women, we base our connection and attraction on feeling. Texting only allows them to feel their phones.
So I take what I won’t put up with, i.e. building a relationship via text, and change it to voicing and declaring what I do want. I want someone who will have phone conversations and go out to spend time together in order to build a relationship. Seriously, I think those who create and engage in these long term, long distance, only online/email relationships and claim to fall in love without ever meeting are nuts.
Step 2 – Use your boundary/expectation from step 1 and be accountable for sticking to it and creating what you want in a relationship. I want to build a relationship and attraction with someone who doesn’t hide behind a screen.
If this is what I want, all I have to do is make sure I too make the effort of calling and asking her out. You see, many people say they want something but don’t take the steps to get it. If you don’t hold yourself accountable for your end in creating what you want, then you can’t blame anyone but yourself when you are unhappy or frustrated.
In addition, if you do make the effort and stick to this expectation and your new love doesn’t, such as not returning calls, flaking on plans etc, then you know that this is not the person or situation that you want and you can choose to walk away with integrity and ease.
So my friends, setting boundaries is important for various reasons. Simply put, it allows you to focus on what you want instead of wasting your time with what you don’t want. It holds you accountable for your part in building the relationship that you want. And finally, it’s a wonderful leaderesque quality that most women will find immensely sexy. Now go out there, know your boundaries and act with catlike precision sticking to them. And if you do forget from a sex-crazed mind, have no fear; just join me again next week for more Drinks with Jess.
Jess is a dating coach, best selling author, and radio personality in Philadelphia. She provides the LGBTQ community with no-nonsense, straight forward advice to understanding your mind in order to navigate the complex dating scene and go after and get the people you desire.