Do you even know where the line is?
At what point do you say, “This does not work for me and I won’t put up with it?”
Or better still, if you are in the process of creating a new relationship, “Here’s what would not work for me and, if it should occur, I will not stand for it.”
Obviously, we’re talking here about boundaries, values and expectations.
First, do you know what yours are? Second, have you communicated them to your existing partner or would-be partner? Third, is there a fit?
If the fit is not good, and you haven’t already committed to this person, move on quickly, no matter how much in love you think you are. Don’t imagine you will be able to change him or her. You won’t. Run as fast as you can.
On the other hand, if you are in a relationship and there is dissonance over these things, you have to renegotiate it on terms that are in accord with your values and respectful of your boundaries — or leave. Don’t settle.
The fact is, most people enter into long-term commitments without ever having this kind of discussion.
They decide on the basis of unspoken assumptions and expectations and without knowing their own boundaries. Then they get upset when they discover the assumptions were wrong, the expectations were unrealistic and boundaries were crossed. Then they blame their partner for not conforming to their fantasy.
When JoAnn and I got married, a friend came to our house and made us go down a whole list of words and say what they meant to us both. Words like commitment, fidelity, monogamy, polyamorous, open/closed marriage, sex, money, control, children and so on.
The idea was to see whether there was agreement over all the most important issues likely to arise in our relationship. Fortunately, we were more or less on the same page.
If, once having awakened, you want to create an enlightened relationship, the only way forward is to declare what you want in the relationship from this point on, no matter whether it’s the one you are in or a new one.
Setting boundaries is not about imposing conditions on the other person, making demands they can’t meet, setting expectations they can’t fulfill, or controlling them. That’s the old way.
From here on it’s about how we relate to one another so that we respect each other’s boundaries and values and honor each other’s needs and desires.
This is not an easy transition to make. Old habits die hard. But the first step is for each of you to establish your boundaries and know exactly where you draw the lines. At what point would you say — “That’s a deal breaker?” Do you need some help to figure that out?
In the Expanding in Love Workshop, you will be shown how to define your boundaries through a Radical Healing Conversation that doesn’t become an argument or blaming session.
You will also come to understand your own sexual personality and that of your partner, giving you a better understanding of your and your partner’s boundaries in this important area of life.
I’d love for you and your partner to join us for a wonderful weekend of expanding in love for yourselves and others. When your relationship is strong and balanced, everyone around you benefits.
P.S. If you want to find out more about the Expanding in Love Workshop, join me on February 13 for my FREE class, “Assessing Your Relationship.” Join me, won’t you?