dating,  love

5 Steps to Set Christian Dating Boundaries!

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Christian dating boundaries are needed to ensure you guard your heart. Boundaries keep people from overstepping into our space. They ensure that we are not taking on the problems, emotions, and thoughts of others. Nor, pushing others to fill our needs and take on our responsibilities.

Boundaries are defined as “a line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line” according to the definition in Oxford Languages. Ultimately, a boundary is a line that keeps unhealthy things out of your life and gives us the space to see if our partner is a good match for us.

Emotions can get in the way of us seeing someone's true colors. Many give their entire being to someone they realize later is a bad match. So, it's wise to wait for commitment (marriage) before letting anyone enjoy the deepest corners of your heart, mind, and body.

22+ Signs You Have No Boundaries

  1. You have problems saying no
  2. You can’t accept no for an answer
  3. People can change your mind easily
  4. You will do what’s necessary to change peoples’ mind
  5. Manipulation, lying, control, blame-shifting and codependence is present
  6. You allow people to keep hurting you
  7. You feel responsible for peoples’ emotions
  8. You blame others for things you may have done wrong
  9. You constantly try to say the right thing to avoid misunderstandings
  10. I expect others to be careful with all my emotions
  11. You fall in love quickly and need the presence of that person constantly
  12. Someone in the relationship micromanages money, diet, physical fitness, etc.
  13. You over share information and none of your thoughts are private
  14. You ask personal questions and you expect people to respond
  15. You let people into your personal space quickly
  16. You expect to be best friends and be close to people you have met less than a month
  17. You think your partner is perfect and don’t know anything about their inner trauma, fears, and weaknesses
  18. You emotionally explode on your partner instead of taking it to God
  19. You feel entitled to hear people’s thoughts and personal stories
  20. You or your partner feels sad when the relationship doesn’t make them happy or meet their needs/expectations
  21. You are codependent and need someone else to feel better
  22. Your arguments are always about the same thing and nothing changes
  23. Compromising situations: You talk super late/long on the phone and you are alone with each other for extended periods of time, especially late in the night.
  24. You allow everything to go too far and you are left wanting to have sex. The further you flirt with temptation Is the more you’ll desire sex because you are awakening your love. Uncontrollable lust usually overtakes you when you are crossing your limits: touching below the waist, touching of boobs, oral sex, dry humping, extensive making out, touching of butt, fantasizing, and long passionate rubbing that incites sexual feelings.

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 and 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.

14 Signs of Healthy Boundaries In Romantic Relationships

  1. You take your time getting to know the person. You don’t rush to let them into your life too quickly.
  2. You are happy with or without the other person. You aren’t trying to people please to keep them in your life. You can be yourself.
  3. There is no thought policing. Everyone is able to have feelings without having to share them. Thoughts are private for a reason.
  4. People share their emotions without blaming the other for causing them. You both share while acknowledging that there is two sides to the story.
  5. Each partner goes to God for happiness and peace. They do not expect their partner to cheer them up or make them happy.
  6. Intimacy in Christian dating should be balanced. It shouldn’t be overly emotional or physical. God should be satisfying your physical and emotional needs.
  7. You are not expected to be like your partner. You respect that you’re different people and you learn to love each other’s uniqueness.
  8. You are not codependent. You don’t need each other to feel good, happy, and secure.
  9. The God Complex isn’t present. You both don’t need to fix or heal each other.
  10. No means no. No one is pushing the other person to say or do something they don’t want.
  11. The relationship is free from control, manipulation, and gas-lighting.
  12. You feel respected and you respect your partner.
  13. You aren’t punished when you do something wrong or if you do something your partner doesn’t like.
  14. Both partners can take responsibility, apologize, and grow to become better people. There is no blame-shifting, guilt tripping, or massive amounts of shame in your relationship.
  15. They don’t keep being pushy about the same thing over and over again. They may give you opinions but don’t force their thoughts on you. You are allowed to decide your diet, money, fitness, etc.
  16. Respect physical boundaries. Examples of physical boundaries in relationships: Avoiding being overly physical, avoid being alone or alone for long periods, Have a mentor to talk to them about your weaknesses, Avoid laying down together, Avoid kissing make out sessions, avoid talking about physical and emotional things that lead to physical connection, and be aware of what each others struggles to help each other be accountable.

If you don’t have these traits it is a sign you are probably not ready for marriage. You can take this quiz to further assess how ready you are for marriage!

5 Steps to Set Healthy Boundaries

  1. Develop Confidence. Love yourself and know how special you are. This will make it hard to date someone that tries to break you. And it’ll help you better spot an emotionally healthy partner.
  2. Don’t Ignore Red Flags. Know what you are worth and don’t settle for abuse, control, manipulation, lying, confusion, constant crying, jealous behavior, etc.
  3. Vocalize. If you don’t like something talk to them OR a mentor to ensure that you are being respected and heard.
  4. Be Aware. Understand what makes a relationship toxic and what makes a relationship healthy. Learn to spot your own bad behavior and heal. Then, you will be able to see it very clearly in others.
  5. Set Clear Boundaries.
  6. Be Equally Yoked. Date someone that wants to grow in righteousness just as much as you. If you date someone that doesn’t want to grow they will drag you down to the level of pain that they’re feeling.

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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