dating,  love

8 Steps to Set Christian Dating Boundaries!

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Christian dating boundaries are crucial for protecting your heart and maintaining healthy relationships. Boundaries create a safe space for us and keep others from overstepping into our personal space. They ensure that we are not taking on the problems, emotions, and thoughts of others, nor are we pushing our needs and responsibilities onto our partner.

According to Oxford Languages, a boundary is “a line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line.” Essentially, a boundary is a like a fence or a gate that prevents unhealthy people or strangers from entering your life. With boundaries, you have the time and choice to decide if you want to let someone in. You get to evaluate if the person has a good personality, is kind, and worthy of being in your personal space. By setting and maintaining boundaries, you establish a foundation of mutual respect, trust, and understanding in your relationship.

Emotions Cloud Our Judgment

Emotions can cloud our judgment and prevent us from seeing someone’s true character. It’s all too common for individuals to invest themselves fully into a relationship only to later realize that their partner is not a good match. Therefore, it’s important to exercise caution and wait for a commitment, such as marriage, before giving someone access to the deepest corners of your heart, mind, and body.

Wait for a commitment, such as marriage, before giving someone access to the deepest corners of your heart, mind, and body.

By waiting for a commitment, you ensure that your relationship is built on a strong foundation of trust, respect, and mutual understanding. You give yourself the space and time to evaluate if your partner is truly compatible with you in all aspects of life. This doesn’t mean that you have to be closed off emotionally, but rather that you are setting healthy boundaries to protect yourself from potential heartbreak and disappointment. In the end, waiting for a commitment can save you from unnecessary pain and help you build a lasting, fulfilling relationship.

22 Signs You Have No Boundaries

  1. You struggle to say no to people, even if it goes against your own needs and desires.
  2. You have difficulty accepting when someone tells you no or sets a boundary with you.
  3. You are easily swayed by others and may change your mind frequently to please them.
  4. You use manipulative tactics, such as lying or blaming, to get what you want from others.
  5. You allow people to hurt you repeatedly, without setting any boundaries to protect yourself.
  6. You take responsibility for other people’s emotions, even if they are not your own.
  7. You may blame others for your own mistakes or shortcomings.
  8. You try to avoid conflict by constantly saying the right thing and avoiding misunderstandings.
  9. You expect others to handle your emotions with care, often without communicating your needs directly.
  10. You become emotionally dependent on partners or friends, needing their constant presence and attention.
  11. You or your partner micromanages various aspects of your life, such as money, diet, or physical fitness.
  12. You overshare personal information without considering the other person’s boundaries or comfort level.
  13. You ask personal questions of others, even if they may not be comfortable answering.
  14. You let people into your personal space too quickly, without establishing trust and respect first.
  15. You try to become best friends with people quickly, even if you have just met them.
  16. You put your partner on a pedestal and do not acknowledge their flaws or weaknesses.
  17. You have a tendency to emotionally explode on your partner, rather than taking time to process your emotions and communicate effectively.
  18. You feel entitled to others’ thoughts and personal stories, without considering their own comfort level.
  19. You or your partner may feel sad or disappointed when the relationship doesn’t meet your expectations or needs.
  20. You struggle with codependency  and rely on others to make you feel better.
  21. Your arguments tend to be repetitive, with no real resolution or change in behavior.
  22. You may find yourself in compromising situations, such as being alone with someone for extended periods of time or engaging in sexual activities that go beyond your own personal boundaries.

It’s important to remember that having healthy boundaries is essential for maintaining healthy relationships and self-care. If you recognize some of these signs in yourself, it may be helpful to seek support from a therapist or counselor to develop healthier boundary-setting skills.

Related Article: 10 Emotional Needs That Destroy Relationships!

What are healthy boundaries in relationships?

Healthy boundaries in a Christian dating relationship happens when two people decide to respect each other. Also, when each of you respect God’s wishes for emotional and sexual intimacy within the confines of marriage. Also, in a healthy relationship you respect each others’ boundaries and both of you don’t overstep into husband/wife roles (responsibilities that are for marriage).

Read below for signs that you have healthy boundaries in your relationships.

24 Signs of Healthy Boundaries In Romantic Relationships

  1. You take your time to get to know your partner, and you don’t rush to let them into your life too quickly.
  2. You feel content and happy with or without the other person in your life. You aren’t trying to please them to keep them in your life, and you can be yourself.
  3. You and your partner respect each other’s thoughts and emotions without policing or judging them.
  4. You both share your emotions without blaming the other person for causing them. You acknowledge that there are two sides to every story.
  5. Each partner goes to God for happiness and peace and doesn’t expect the other person to cheer them up or make them happy.
  6. In Christian dating, intimacy should be balanced and not overly emotional or physical. You trust God to satisfy your physical and emotional needs.
  7. You and your partner respect each other’s differences and learn to love each other’s uniqueness.
  8. You are not codependent and don’t need each other to feel good, happy, and secure.
  9. You both understand that you are not each other’s saviors or healers, and you don’t have a God complex.
  10. Both partners respect each other’s boundaries, and no means no. There is no pressure to say or do anything that you don’t want.
  11. The relationship is free from control, manipulation, and gaslighting.
  12. You and your partner feel respected and respect each other.
  13. Neither partner is punished for making a mistake or doing something the other person doesn’t like.
  14. Both partners take responsibility, apologize, and grow to become better people. There is no blame-shifting, guilt-tripping, or excessive shame in the relationship.
  15. Both partners have clear communication and are able to express their needs and wants without fear of judgment or criticism.
  16. There is mutual respect for each other’s time and priorities. Each partner understands that the other has responsibilities and commitments outside of the relationship.
  17. Both partners are willing to compromise and make sacrifices for the sake of the relationship, but not at the expense of their own well-being or values.
  18. Each partner maintains their own identity and interests outside of the relationship. They don’t depend on the other person for their sense of self-worth or happiness.
  19. Both partners take responsibility for their own emotions and actions. They don’t blame the other person for their own feelings or behavior.
  20. The relationship is built on a foundation of trust and honesty. Both partners are truthful with each other and don’t keep secrets or hide important information.
  21. Each partner feels supported and encouraged by the other person. They don’t tear each other down or make negative comments about each other.
  22. The relationship is balanced, with both partners giving and receiving in equal measure. One person is not always the giver and the other is not always the taker.
  23. Each partner takes time for self-care and self-reflection. They understand the importance of taking care of their own emotional and mental health in order to be a better partner.
  24. The relationship is not based on power dynamics or one person trying to control or dominate the other. Each partner is seen as an equal and valuable member of the relationship.

If you don’t possess these traits, it may be a sign that you are not quite ready for marriage yet. You can take a quiz to further assess your readiness for marriage!

8 Steps to Setting Healthy Boundaries in Relationships

  1. Determine your values: Decide what your values are and what you want to uphold in your dating relationship. Make a list of your non-negotiables and what you’re willing to compromise on.

  2. Set Clear Boundaries: Clearly communicate your expectations and limits in the relationship, both emotional and physical. Be willing to walk away if your boundaries are continuously violated.

  3. Seek an Equally Yoked Relationship: Date someone who is also committed to growing spiritually and morally. Being with a partner who is not aligned with your values can bring you down to their level of pain and dysfunction.

  4. Build Self-Confidence: Work on loving yourself and realizing your self-worth. This will make it easier to spot emotionally healthy partners and harder to date someone who disrespects you.

  5. Recognize Red Flags: Don’t ignore warning signs of abusive, controlling, manipulative, or jealous behavior. Set clear limits on what you will and won’t tolerate in a relationship.

  6. Speak Up: If you’re uncomfortable with something, express your feelings to your partner or a trusted mentor. Make sure your boundaries are respected and your voice is heard.

  7. Stay Aware: Educate yourself on what behaviors are toxic and what makes a relationship healthy. Recognize your own negative patterns and work on healing from past traumas.

  8. Revisit your boundaries: As you grow and change, your boundaries may need to be adjusted. It’s important to revisit your boundaries from time to time to ensure they’re still serving you and your relationship in a healthy way.

Related Quiz: Are you codependent?

How Boundaries Protect Us

Boundaries protect us from being in abusive relationships and doing things outside of our comfort zone.

Boundaries also protect you from people that seek to control OR manipulate you because they’ve become fixated on getting what THEY WANT. Reactive people that struggle with fear, shame, and guilt need to control the world to feel safe. They hate to hear the word “no” and feel entitled to YOU (thoughts, body, feelings, money, time, etc.)

If you have any wall up that keeps them out, they see it as a rejection or it causes them to fear. They may think you want to shut them out because something is wrong. In order to feel good about themselves, they must get rid of the boundary. If you keep saying NO, the person that pushes past those boundaries struggles with toxic emotions. While, the person that allows others to disrespect their boundaries and destroy their fence struggles with people-pleasing, guilt, and asserting their opinions.

In unhealthy relationships, you have two unhealed people that are stuck in a pattern of behavior that causes emotional pain. There is hope if you both want to heal and change. But, if one or both of you continue in those patterns without seeking help and healing then it will become a toxic relationship. In addition, sometimes one person in the relationship is struggling with a mental health problem when they are not able to keep deep healthy friendships/relationships and they continue to cross the boundaries of others and forces others to meet their expectations.

Boundaries are not to punish someone. Fences protect you and the other person from going too far too soon and taking an unhealthy role in someone’s life that is for a therapist, God, or marriage covenant. Boundaries are to redirect. Redirect both people to the true healer, fixer, and lover – God.

Need help navigating dating? I can spiritually mentor you and help you avoid the common pitfalls in Christian dating!

Why are boundaries important?

Don’t ever forget: You are dating and you are not married. Until you are married, even if you have a ring, it is not official.

It’s the saddest thing when women and men give away their pearls, only to break-up later. In the dating phase, you should be getting to know if the man/woman is truly of God and compatible with you. Many people rush and focus too much on attraction, that they miss all the signs that their partner is immature and nothing like them!

Related Quiz: Am YOU Ready For Marriage?

Too many people start doing being their partners emotional and physical caretaker in the dating phase. Boundaries are important because it ensures that two people are not doing too much in a relationship. Why perform marriage duties for someone that may be someone else’s spouse?!

When we give all of our vulnerability and emotional intimacy too soon it awakens our sexual and physical desires. "Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires." Song of Solomon 8:4

Emotional boundaries are important to ensure that emotional intimacy doesn’t become unhealthy. Often times, we get so enmeshed with others emotionally that we begin to be emotionally dependent on them or they depend on us. That’s when we the relationship enters the realm of idolatry and what is God’s role in our lives if relationships satisfy all your needs?

Also, having someone make you feel good is so distracting that many forget to find out if they are compatible with their partner. Did you ask the hard questions? Are they committed to changing bad behavior and growing? Are you compatible beyond strong feelings? Seeking God and a therapist to do deep emotional work is necessary because we all have emotional pain that WILL affect others negatively. Do you need each other to feel good? It is not their responsibility nor our responsibility to make anyone happy! This type of caring can become so codependent and unhealthy. Take the time to dive deeper in learning yourself and them before attaching too quickly.

Physical boundaries will help you both manage your sexual appetite and limit physical contact. Remember, do not awaken love before it is time or you may be tempted to go all the way in sexual immorality. Avoiding sexual sin and situations that cause sexual tensions allows us time to get to know the person, grow in self-control, time to seek God on the situation, and gives us clarity to decide if the relationship is right for us!

Spiritual boundaries in dating are important because you both must have your own relationship with God. You can’t pray, read, and worship together 80% of the time. Imagine if someone was trying to be with you and your boyfriend 80% of the time. You should both have 80% of your spiritual time by yourself with God.

Teenage dating boundaries is important to ensure sexual purity and learn about who you are in the world. Please ensure that you are enjoying friendship and not stepping into the role of a wife or husband before time. Your partner can walk away at anytime. Imagine having sex and getting overly involved with someone that we realize is totally wrong for us?

As a young teenager, you don’t know yourself, others, or the systems of the world fully. Most people think they’re wise before they get into relationships and when it comes crashing down they realize their pride and ignorance clouded their judgement. It’s wise to wait for commitment (marriage) before letting anyone enjoy the deepest corners of your heart, mind, and body.

Related Article: 10 Emotional Needs That Destroy Relationships!

In a healthy relationship, two people are committed to respect each others’ boundaries. Respecting boundaries is a sign of love, respect, and Godly character. I would argue that a man/woman who is overstepping or pushing boundaries is NOT a mature man of God.

This type of man/woman may be a new believer or a believer that doesn’t strive to be a Real Godly Christian everyday. Remember, the Bible says we should pick up our cross DAILY and crucify the flesh, so we can follow the example of Jesus Christ.

Christina Daniels is the founder of Adorned Heart. She is devoted to learning about human behavior and its affects on society. She received a B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Public Policy. She hopes to use her life and academic experience to empower & heal the hearts of women!

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