Setting boundaries will help create the healthiest relationship possible. Your relationship should be safe, and your partner is key to making it feel that way. What boundaries do you need in your relationship to make it a safe and welcoming part of your life?
When you think of boundaries, our minds tend to think of physical boundaries first or even emotional ones. But most of us probably don’t think of digital boundaries when it comes to relationships. What even are digital boundaries?
A good portion of our lives is spent online. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, the list goes on, but it puts into perspective why the average time spent on our phones a day as a generation is about 3 hours. It has become a part of the norm, but no rule book came along with it. What does it mean to have the digital world affect your dating life? How do we make boundaries in a digital space?
The Digital World
We live in two worlds: the real world and the digital one. We set rules with our partners in the real world. For example, every person has a different level of PDA that they can tolerate. Some people don’t like to kiss in public, while others have no problem making out in the park. Why do we neglect to find out what makes our partners comfortable or uncomfortable in the digital world? Here are some basic questions to think about for setting digital boundaries:
- Can I tag you in my pictures?
- Can I post or comment about our relationship?
- Do we even change our status to “In a relationship”?
- Should we follow each other’s friends?
- Can I use your phone and vice versa? Laptop?
- When should I expect a response? I know you can’t be on your phone all day.
These are just good starting points. Just like with anything else in a relationship, this is going to take communication. What are the expectations? Cool, now voice those expectations to the other person so that they know them. And don’t get it twisted; this isn’t a one-time conversation. Some of those expectations and boundaries can change. Just give it time and build trust.
Giving yourself boundaries will help build that trust. What’s the rush to be all up in someone’s business? And once you feel more comfortable, maybe talk more in depth about your boundaries and build from there.
You are two people in one relationship and not some weird codependent people who no longer have individual identities.
The Rule Book
Sharing your location
It can be a wonderful tool but can also be dangerous if used the wrong way. It’s one thing to check on your girl’s location when you know she’s leaving work late to make sure she is okay, but it’s another to freak out and not trust them by countlessly checking where they are.
It’s one thing to know your partner’s code to get into their phone just out of happenchance, and it’s another to use that code to get in and read texts and emails.
Posting pictures or status updates is a matter of communicating with your partner – if they are okay with it. Just know that there is a difference between letting the world know you are in a relationship and letting the world know about the intricacies of your relationship.
To sum it up…
Boundaries are a necessity in relationships. But creating boundaries can be tricky, especially when it comes to something we are uncomfortable talking about.
How can you create a boundary so that you can sustain a happy and healthy relationship?
Passwords, location, what you should and shouldn’t post all comes down to two key things: trust and communication. With any aspect of your relationship, it always comes down to those two things. Do you trust your partner? Can you communicate with them effectively and without judgment? Now apply that to the conversation about your online relationship. Do you make it “Facebook Official” or post a pic of you two together on Insta?
Looking for more info on boundaries? Check out our blog on emotional boundaries.