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“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves even when we risk disappointing others.” – Brene Brown

 

What are Boundaries?

 

I like to explain boundaries as the limits and guidelines we set and hold in place to inform other people (and ourselves) how we want and need to be treated, in order to stay happy, healthy, safe and well.

 

Boundaries allow us to feel secure and confident, they bring order to our lives. When we strengthen our boundaries we get clearer on our needs and this empowers us to decide how we want to be treated in relationships with others.


Even if we don’t feel the need to express our boundaries out-loud, just having them clear in our own heads, allows us to relax and be ourselves.

 

Here are some categories of boundaries and examples for each one that specifically come up in romantic relationships:

 

 

🌻 EMOTIONAL BOUNDARIES:

 

Communicating, listening, respecting and validating each other’s feelings and needs in the relationship. Separating your moods from your partner’s.

 

If something goes wrong in your partner’s day, you don’t take on the responsibility for their feelings to the extent that it affects you negatively. There’s a difference between listening and being supportive and taking on someone else’s moods.

 

How you will deal with and communicate during conflict, arguments or disagreements.

 

🌻 INTELLECTUAL BOUNDARIES:

 

Difference in opinions, beliefs, values. Its ok to differ on some things but you both need to decide which things are acceptable to disagree on and those that are deal-breakers.

 

Any differences of beliefs, values and opinions should be respected and one person should not attempt to change the other’s views. EVEN if it means that the gap is too wide for the relationship to continue.

 

🌻 TIME BOUNDARIES:

 

You should both respect each other’s time, lateness, cancelling at the last minute etc can be an issue here. Wanting space for yourself and allowing your partner the space and time that they need for themselves too.

 

Time to do things that are important to you for hobbies, friends, family etc.

It’s healthy to do things outside of the relationship. Spending time together, date nights and quality time is a factor here.

 

🌻 MATERIAL BOUNDARIES:

 

Who pays for what, do you split the bill on dates, if you’re prepared to borrow or lend money to each other and others.

 

Money and finances can be a tricky subject to discuss but for obvious reasons it’s super important to make decisions like who pays for what together.


When you live together it’s doubly crucial to talk and agree about finances.

 

🌻 SEXUAL BOUNDARIES:

 

Every person has the right to consent or not consent to any sex, who, when, how and where you have sex. You can set limits for what you’re comfortable doing, trying and each partner should respect the other’s limits.

 

Talking about sex can be difficult or unfamiliar if you’re not used to discussing it openly. But it’s definitely worthwhile talking about sex your likes, dislikes with your partner.

 

🌻 PHYSICAL BOUNDARIES:

 

Your personal and physical space, are you happy to be affectionate in public, hand holding, kissing, cuddling in the company of others and how comfortable you are with these things?


How important is physical affection to you?

 

🌻 PRIVACY BOUNDARIES:

 

Respecting each other’s privacy, phones, computers etc. how do you feel about questions

about your past?

 

Of course it’s good to be open, but perhaps there is a level of detail from past relationships that isn’t helpful or comfortable to share with each other.

 

🌻 PRACTICAL BOUNDARIES:

 

If you’re living together what are you happy to do around the home and what do you expect your partner to do towards your lives together. If one cooks, does the other clear up? What about the housework, arranging household bills etc.

 

How about arranging date nights, holidays and social events? How important is it to you that your partner does some of this organising? Or do you prefer to do the majority of planning etc?

 

How to talk About Boundaries?

 

If we have experienced toxic relationships in the past we may not always have known what our boundaries are until someone crosses them. It’s a good idea to communicate your needs and non-negotiables early on in the relationship.

 

You can do this by asking your partner about their needs and boundaries. Ask them early on what the deal-breakers are for them in a relationship and what are some of their expectations of you as their partner.

 

You can then reciprocate by talking about what is important for you. Discussing boundaries and needs is an ongoing process in relationship as you get to know each other better, don’t expect everything to be sorted in one discussion, but by talking about these things early in a committed relationships you start as you mean to go on.

 

You don’t have to lay out your boundaries in one go or even communicate them all at all, (as most of them will be respected naturally when you’re in a loving relationship).

 

The important thing is knowing them yourself and therefore knowing when they are being pushed.

 

Some Points to Remember when Communicating your Boundaries:

 

YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR MIND

 

You have a right to change your mind and you shouldn’t feel guilty for changing your decision about something, as long as you are clear about communicating your new choice (especially if it affects others).

 

If you let someone do something once, it doesn’t mean you have to let to happen again. You can change your mind and set new standards of behaviour. If the person says something like; “Well it never bothered you before.” You can reply with “Well it does now.” Simple as that.

 

REFUSING TO TAKE THE BLAME

 

You can support and acknowledge your partner’s feelings but if they put the blame on you via guilt, let them know you will not accept responsibility for their actions.

 

SAYING NO

 

Remember that the whole point of having guidelines and boundaries is to be able to look after your own wellbeing. Learn to say ’NO’ if something goes against your values or impacts you negatively.

 

MAINTAIN YOUR OWN FEELINGS & OPINIONS – DON’T LET THEM BECOME BLURRED

 

Couples should maintain their own separate identities and that is why you were attracted to one another in the first place. It’s crucial to not let someone ‘blur’ their own feelings or opinions with yours. Neither of you should assume the other feels the same or try to speak for each other.

 

 

ESTABLISHING YOUR BOUNDARIES & COMMUNICATING IF YOU FEEL THEY ARE BEING BREACHED

 

1)  ✅ If your partner crosses one of your boundaries, process your emotion first. You can journal/write down why you felt upset and if you’re feeling triggered use some deep breathing or maybe the 7-11 breath (inhaling through the nose to the count of 7 and exhale to the count of 11, do this a few times until you feel calmer). Both of these actions will balance your nervous system to allow you to feel more relaxed.

 

2) ✅ When you feel calmer, state your boundary clearly and make it known that you won’t tolerate this boundary being crossed. Say why it bothers you and mention the behaviour, rather than being critical of the person. State what you need to happen instead clearly and what you will do if the boundary is crossed in future.

 

For example: “When you criticize my opinion it makes me feel you don’t respect that we think differently about this. In future I need you to listen to my opinion as I do yours. If you can’t do this for me it shows a lack of resect for me that I can’t put up with.”

 

OR “I don’t like being late for social events. If you are late again, I will make my own way there.”

 

OR “ It upsets me when you are irritable and snappy with me. If you do this again I will leave the room. I won’t talk to you until you agree to be respectful.”

 

3) ✅ Be loving: Say that the relationship is important to you and that you are setting boundaries because you want to be with this person.

 

4) ✅ Reciprocate by asking your partner what their boundaries are and respect and honor them the best that you can.


I hope this is helpful for you if you're already in a relationship or looking for a healthy one!


P.S. If you're 40 + single and want a relationship, you may really like my NEW program: 💕Solo to Soulmate: Finding Love Offline: A fun & empowering path to organically attract your partner without dating apps.💕


❤️ 🦋 In this course you’ll go from feeling discouraged, stuck and like love is passing you by to feeling empowered, inspired and confident that you can enjoy the freedom of an organic path to meet your soulmate, without the time-consuming frustration of dating apps.


We’re starting soon and places are limited. The first 10 people to enrol will get a special rate in return for their feedback as founding members! If you want to join us on this life-changing 4 week course please get in touch by writing "First 10" in the message box here!


The Solo to Soulmate Program will be included in my upcoming Healthy Relationship Formula 8 week program beginning on the 16th of April!! Go here to read more about this and to apply!

 

 




How Do you Know if you've Found a 'Keeper'?


When it comes to finding a great relationship, we often think about stuff like aligned interests, having similar values, and feeling that spark of physical attraction.


But when we’re wanting a relationship to last, there’s definitely more to it! There are certain qualities that really make a relationship tick, like being kind, talking openly, and respecting each other's boundaries.


These qualities aren't just nice extras – they're the things that build a solid connection and make love last.


In my opinion there are at least seven key personal qualities that show you've found someone pretty special to share your life with.


In this blog I’ll talk about each one and why it’s important to making your relationship healthy and happy.


In the second section ⬇️ I’ve also given some real-life examples of what these qualities would look like in a partner so that you can tell if he really possesses them or not!


The 7 Essential Qualities to Look for in Your Life Partner

 

  1. ✅ Kindness: Kindness is crucial because it forms the basis of how you and your partner treat each other and those around you. It's about being considerate, empathetic, and compassionate. In a relationship, kindness shows up in small gestures, like thoughtful actions and words, being supportive during tough times, and genuinely caring for each other's well-being.

  2. Communication: Open communication is essential for understanding each other's thoughts, feelings, and needs. So it involves your partner not only expressing himself but also actively listening to you without judgment. Healthy communication will create more trust, intimacy, and connection in the relationship, allowing both partners to feel heard, valued, and understood.

  3. Respect for Boundaries: Respecting boundaries is about honoring each other's individuality, autonomy, and personal space. It means acknowledging and accepting differences in opinions, preferences, and desires without trying to change or control each other. When your partner respects you in this way it will give you a sense of safety and security in the relationship.  This is important for both of you to feel respected and valued for who you are.

  4. Integrity: Integrity is the foundation of trust in a relationship. It's about being honest, reliable, and consistent in your words and actions. When someone lives true to their word and follows through on their commitments, it builds confidence and reliability in the relationship. Integrity creates a sense of dependability and stability, allowing both partners to feel secure and confident in each other.

  5. Loving: Understanding each other's love languages and expressing love in ways that resonate with your partner is vital for building intimacy and connection. I’ve written a blog on the Love Languages so have a read here if you want to learn more! Whether it's through physical affection, words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, or gifts, expressing love in ways that are meaningful to your partner strengthens the bond between you. Loving gestures create warmth, closeness, and emotional connection in the relationship. This will give a sense of appreciation and affection for each other.

  6. Friendship: Friendship is important to a strong and lasting relationship. It's about enjoying each other's company, sharing laughs, and being supportive and encouraging towards one another. Being friends with your partner means having each other's backs, enjoying shared interests and activities, and being there for each other through thick and thin. Friendship brings joy, companionship, and camaraderie to the relationship, making it feel like a partnership built on mutual respect and admiration.

  7. Loyalty: Loyalty is about being committed and faithful to each other, especially during challenging times. It's about standing by your partner's side, remaining loyal and supportive, and prioritizing the relationship above all else. Loyalty creates a sense of security and trust, knowing that you can rely on each other through good times and bad. It strengthens the bond between you and deepens your connection, making the relationship feel solid and enduring.


How Do I Know if my Partner is Right?


Here are some real-life examples to help you tell if a partner really has these qualities or not!


  1. 💕 Kindness:

✅ Example of Kindness: Your partner notices that you've had a long day at work, so they surprise you with a homemade dinner and run you a relaxing bath to help you unwind without you even having to ask. This thoughtful gesture shows their empathy and consideration for your well-being.

👎🏼 Example of Unkindness: You express your excitement about starting a new hobby, but instead of supporting you, your partner belittles your interest, calling it a waste of time and money. This lack of support and criticism undermines your confidence and hurts your feelings.


  1. 💕 Communication:

Example of Healthy Communication: During a disagreement, both you and your partner actively listen to each other's perspectives without interrupting. You express your feelings calmly and honestly, and your partner responds with empathy and understanding, leading to you both feeling heard and a being able to agree on some sort of constructive resolution together.

👎🏼 Example of Lack of Communication: Your partner shuts down and refuses to discuss important matters that are affecting the relationship, leaving you feeling frustrated and ignored. This avoidance of communication prevents issues from being resolved and creates tension and resentment between you. Resentment is the silent killer of many relationships!


  1. 💕 Respect for Boundaries:

Example of Respecting Boundaries: You communicate to your partner that you need some alone time to recharge, and they respect your request without taking it personally. They give you the space you need without pressuring you to see them until you feel ready.

👎🏼 Example of Disregarding Boundaries: Despite your clear boundary of not wanting to share personal details about your past relationships, your partner repeatedly probes and insists on knowing every detail, disregarding your comfort and privacy. These sorts of questions are a total breach of your chosen privacy boundaries and if your partner continues in this way it kills trust and creates tension in the relationship.


  1. 💕 Integrity:

Example of Integrity: Your partner promises to attend your important family event, and even though they encounter unexpected work deadlines, they make every effort to rearrange their schedule and fulfill their commitment and be there for you. This demonstrates their reliability and trustworthiness.

👎🏼 Example of Lack of Integrity: Your partner repeatedly makes promises they never keep, such as saying they'll help with household chores but consistently failing to follow through. This pattern of unreliability undermines trust and causes frustration and disappointment.


  1. 💕 Loving:

Example of Expressing Love: Knowing that physical touch is your primary love language, your partner surprises you with a warm hug and a kiss on the forehead after a long day, instantly making you feel cherished and loved.

👎🏼 Example of Lack of Love Expression: Despite knowing that receiving compliments is important to you, your partner rarely offers words of affirmation and rarely expresses appreciation for your efforts. This lack of love language compatibility can lead to feelings of insecurity and emotional distance. I've written a blog on the 5 love languages here if you want to know more!


  1. 💕 Friendship:

Example of Friendship: Your partner is not only your romantic partner but also your best friend. They make you laugh with their silly jokes, provide a listening ear when you need to vent, and support you in pursuing your passions.

👎🏼 Example of Lack of Friendship: Your partner prioritizes their own interests and social circle over spending quality time with you or supporting your goals and aspirations. This lack of friendship and support can make you feel disconnected and lonely in the relationship.


  1. 💕 Loyalty:

Example of Loyalty: Despite facing external pressures and temptations, your partner remains faithful and committed to you, choosing to prioritize the relationship and your emotional well-being above all else.

👎🏼 Example of Lack of Loyalty: Your partner repeatedly flirts with others and keeps secrets from you, betraying your trust and demonstrating a lack of commitment to the relationship. This betrayal of loyalty can cause deep emotional pain and destroy any sense of trust in the relationship.

 

POV! In Love and Partnership, Finding Someone Who's Got These Qualities is Like Finding a Treasure 🌻


Things like being kind, communicating well, and being loyal are often the building blocks of a strong relationship.

When you've got a partner who's all about these things, I would say they’re a keeper! They're not just someone who fits into your life, they make it better in many ways.


So, please cherish these qualities in your partner, if he shows you that he has them. They will make your love grow stronger and that leads to a happier you, both of you!


P.S. If you're 40 + single and want a relationship, you may really like my NEW program: 💕Solo to Soulmate: Finding Love Offline: A fun & empowering path to organically attract your partner without dating apps.💕


❤️ 🦋 In this course you’ll go from feeling discouraged, stuck and like love is passing you by to feeling empowered, inspired and confident that you can enjoy the freedom of an organic path to meet your soulmate, without the time-consuming frustration of dating apps.


We’re starting soon and places are limited. The first 10 people to enrol will get a special rate in return for their feedback as founding members! If you want to join us on this life-changing 4 week course please get in touch by writing "First 10" in the message box here!


The Solo to Soulmate Program will also be included in my upcoming Healthy Relationship Formula 8 week program beginning on the 16th of April!! Go here to read more about this and to apply!



 



 

“Once you identify and learn to speak your partner’s primary love language, I believe that

 you will have discovered the key to a long-lasting, loving relationship.” – Dr Gary Chapman

 

What are the 5 Love Languages?

 

The 5 Love Languages is a concept discovered by relationship therapist and author Dr Gary Chapman and he wrote about them in his best-selling book: The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts.

 

Through his private therapy practice of helping many couples with their relationships, he discovered that people tend to favour one (sometimes two) particular ways of showing and experiencing romantic love.

 

The 5 Love Languages are:

 

✅ Physical Affection

 

🫶🏻 Words of Affirmation

 

✅ Quality Time

 

🫶🏻 Gifts

 

✅ Acts of Duty

 

Dr Chapman noticed that couples rarely ‘speak’ the same love language, this means that when we are trying to show our partner that we love them, we normally do the things that we would like done for us.


When relational problems occur after the early “in love” period, of a relationship, he learnt that it was often because each partner was speaking a totally different love language!

 

We tend to use our primary love language when expressing our love, we then get confused when our partner doesn’t understand what we are communicating!

 

We are trying so hard to show our love for the other but our message literally gets ‘lost in translation’ or missed completely because as far as the other person is concerned we may as well be speaking a foreign language!

 

If we want our partner to feel the love we are expressing, we must use their primary love language!

 


How Can You Use the Love Languages to Benefit Your Relationship?

 

Once you have the knowledge of what you and your partner prefer you can make sure you ask for what you would like AND you show your partner how much you love and appreciate them by using their love language!


When you do this, believe me you will be happy that you did!

 

So How to Tell What Yours and Your Partner’s Love Language is? 

 

Take the official Love Languages Quiz (and ask your partner to as well). Then come back here for some advice on how to use both yours and your partner’s love language to nurture your relationship! 

 

Here are some ideas and examples of actions that you can incorporate for each of the Love Languages:

 


PHYSICAL AFFECTION


Holding hands, arm around shoulders when walking, watching TV etc. Cuddles, kisses, sex. Back, foot or head massage.


A hug is a powerful communicator of love and support, particularly at a tough or sad time.


Hugging someone whilst they cry is the most important and best thing you can do, especially for someone who's primary language is physical affection!







WORDS OF AFFIRMATION


Paying a compliment. Writing a list of all the things you appreciate, like and love about the other and either texting, voice message, little note or verbally letting them know one per day or even a couple each week.


Expressions of love and how much they mean to you.


En- courage: Encouragement to achieve their goals or something that’s important to them.

If there’s something they dream of doing but lack confidence, you’re in a great position to give them the confidence and courage they may need, in the form of encouraging words.



QUALITY TIME


Going to dinner and talking (no phones). Giving them your full attention, listening and sharing.


When listening, having empathy and not trying to fix the problem, seeking to understand and giving the space to each talk. Planning and going on date nights, trips, holidays together.


Going for a walk together, working out together. Daily sharing time when it’s convenient to you both, even if you just share how your day has been and listen to them talk about theirs (even 10 mins of your full attention maybe enough!)



GIFTS


Sentimental gifts, cards with lovely words, sending music, anything they can hold, look at or listen to and know that you thought about them.


You can purchase something, make something, even find something and it doesn’t have to be expensive, it’s the thought that counts.


It doesn’t have to be all the time, but if your partner’s love language is gifts, definitely ensure you get a present when it is a birthday or special occasion. Flowers, jewellery, their favourite food or snack, drink, item of clothing, book, etc.



ACTS OF SERVICE


Acts of love! Doing a chore that you know they don’t like doing, cooking a meal, coffee or tea in the morning, helping with a project, picking up their favourite food for dinner, posting their letter or parcel, doing some research for them if they haven’t got time, fixing something that needs to be fixed, giving them a lift to the station or picking them up from work or a night out, offering to help when they’re short of time.




A Few Points To Consider When Expressing Your Needs!


Request rather than demand because love is always a choice, not an order!


“A request creates the possibility for an expression of love, whereas a demand suffocates that possibility.”


The best way to express your needs and ask for what you want is as a request rather than a demand or criticism! A request gives an element of choice and love should always be a choice.


Once you’ve asked for what you want, it’s up to your partner to respond to your request or to deny it. When they respond to one of your requests it means so much more than if they begrudgingly fulfil a demand.


Here are some examples of how to communicate your needs:


I love being close to you and in addition to sex, I'd love it if you could show me some affection. A cuddle and a kiss a couple of times during the day would mean a lot to me."


“It would make me really happy if we could connect and talk about our day when you first get in. Even if it's just for 15 minutes it means we get some quality time together. What d you think? "


“Do you think you would e able to pick up some shopping on Saturday am? It would really help me if you could?"


Reward & Appreciate by Using Their Love Language


When your partner uses your love language to express their love and care for you, make sure you show your appreciation. You can tell them you appreciate it and how happy the gesture made you.


If their love language is not words of affirmation, then also do something for them in their own love language to show your appreciation in a way that will mean the most to them.


What If Your Partner’s Love Language Doesn’t Come Naturally to You?


If your partner’s love language is not easy or familiar to you, you can learn it with practice, just like any other skill. If you grew up in a house where cuddles and affection weren’t openly given, you should express to your partner that this is why physical affection doesn’t come as easy to you as it does to them.


But also make sure they know that because it is important to them, it’s also important to you. The more you do it the more natural, comfortable and familiar cuddles, kisses and hand-holding will become.


Just take it a step at a time and make sure your partner knows you are committed to being more affectionate in this way, it may just take time for you to adjust.


As we’ve already mentioned, love is a choice and it’s something we do for someone else.


By learning to ‘speak’ your partner’s primary love language you are learning something new, growing personally, making them happy and in turn this benefits you!


So it’s a WIN-WIN-WIN-WIN!


P.S. If you're 40 + single and want a relationship, you may really like my NEW program: 💕Solo to Soulmate: Finding Love Offline: A fun & empowering path to organically attract your partner without dating apps.💕


❤️ 🦋 In this course you’ll go from feeling discouraged, stuck and like love is passing you by to feeling empowered, inspired and confident that you can enjoy the freedom of an organic path to meet your soulmate, without the time-consuming frustration of dating apps.


We’re starting soon and places are limited. The first 10 people to enrol will get a special rate in return for their feedback as founding members! If you want to join us on this life-changing 4 week course please get in touch by writing "First 10" in the message box here! 


The Solo to Soulmate Program will also be included in my upcoming Healthy Relationship Formula 8 week program beginning on the 16th of April!! Go here to read more about this and to apply!

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