Stop! Wait a minute.
Step Two: Define Boundaries
Sure, February is the month for love, but that doesn't mean letting others have whatever they want. Nowhere in the big book of love, does it say you have to light yourself on fire to keep others warm. Let's talk about boundaries and why it's important to set and then keep them.
What are boundaries? OutoftheFOG.net describes them this way:
Boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify for themselves what are reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave around them and how they will respond when someone steps outside those limits.
Personal boundaries are important because they are a clear sign to you and others, how you want to be treated. Here's some tips on setting and keeping them.
1. Know your limits.
Sure, we all talk about this, but have we ever actually done it? Sit down and make a short list of things you love and hate in relationships. The more your can expand and refine this list, the better relationships you'll be able to build.
2. Communicate those limits.
Unfortunately, we can't read minds yet, so it's important to share your limits with your partner(s). Standing up for ourselves can be uncomfortable, but if we don't do it, who will? Boundaries change, so it's important to continue to communicate them.
3. Stand firm.
Listen, what you allow is what will continue. So unless you establish those boundaries and follow through with consequences, you are really nothing more than a paper tiger. Say it. And mean it.
4. Control, Alt, Delete (if necessary)
You don't need to spend half a year with someone who doesn't respect your wishes; hell you don't even need to spend half a night. If someone is into you, then they will won't be actively trying to do things to hurt you.
At its core, defining boundaries is about self-love and self-respect. Your actions surrounding them will tell others how you feel about yourself.
Now that you're loving yourself and telling others how to treat you, it's time to turn your attention to the other side of the relationship. Tomorrow we'll talk about respecting your partner.
When done right, you can create a beautiful feedback loop and your relationships will keep getting better and stronger.