Boundaries are a necessity in your relationship. But creating boundaries can be tricky, especially when it comes to something we are uncomfortable talking about. So, what boundaries do you need in your relationship for it to feel like a safe and welcoming part of your life?
Physicality is a part of relationships, but it doesn’t mean there is a rush or a need to cross the finish line as fast as possible. Understand that being in a relationship isn’t a race. There isn’t a winner and loser, and there isn’t a “how-to” book on the stages of dating someone. Everyone is different, and with that difference comes wanting to go faster or slower than others. The real key is to sit down and talk with your partner. How are they feeling? How are you feeling? Things should happen when both parties are ready.
Intimacy is something that comes with time and trust. It isn’t a currency that you are entitled to because you’re in a relationship. The last thing you want is for your physical relationship to be more serious than your emotional relationship. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment when you’re at your place along with your partner. But before you get in the heat of the moment, before you are alone in a room, talk with your partner about whether or not sex is something you are ready for at this point in your relationship.
Communication is key. Talking about it will only lead to a safer and more relaxing environment. Love isn’t just the physical, and once you understand that, when things start to kick off. One of the biggest things that need to happen is consent. The most significant boundary when it comes to sex is whether or not your partner says yes. If they say no, then that’s it. Whatever was happening is now over. Plain and simple. You aren’t entitled to anything physical because you brought your partner out on a date.
There is a comedian, Alex Falcone, who has a joke where he talks about the possibility of raising a son and how he would have the take about consent with him. He goes on to say, “while consent is great, what you are looking for is participation.” He talks about how if you ask your partner for sex and say “sure,” then it’s bad sex, but if they respond enthusiastically (I’m not allowed to write what he said. It’s explicit.), then that is consent.
But just in case you need some rules to follow.
There should be no ambiguity when it comes to consent. Either they said yes, and you have consent or not. Silence is not a form of consent.
Getting consent, for one thing, does not mean it is a universal yes. With every new thing comes a new agreement, and consent can be withdrawn. After all, people can change their minds.
Everyone needs to be clear and conscious when giving consent. Someone who is too intoxicated or inebriated by alcohol or drugs or is not fully awake or unconscious is incapable of giving consent.
Consent is not something that should be coerced. It needs to be given to you willingly and freely. Just because you are in a relationship doesn’t mean you get a free pass to have sex whenever. It’s a two-person effort, and if the other person doesn’t want to do it, then you’re out of luck.
Boundaries are crucial in any relationship, but you need to make sure you set physical boundaries in a romantic relationship. Sex can be fun, and consent is super important, but physicality in a relationship isn’t only just sex. How does your partner feel about PDA? How should you act when around their family? Maybe you need time to decompress after work before socializing. Whatever sort of physical boundaries you need to set with your significant other should be said. Sharing your boundaries is only going to improve your relationship, and if that person can’t respect your boundaries, you need to figure out if that is someone worth your time. Respect goes a long way.