Set Boundaries Earlier on in Relationships, and Save Yourself Heartache, Energy and Money
By Marcus Neo
The internet is filed with articles about the importance of setting boundaries. Well-meaning as they are, most don’t paint a clear picture of how boundaries actually work, and more importantly, why we willingly relinquish power and our self-respect to partners.
I've heard of countless stories of guys who failed to read the red flags and set boundaries, all because they feared their women would leave them.
But guess what, you’re probably better off without a woman who displays these signs:
She demands your phone and laptop password
Do not let your partner cajole you into sharing your phone or laptop password with her. She might jokingly ask for it, or take a sneak peak over your shoulder. Tell her politely that you believe in mutual boundaries with regards to phone access. If she accuses you of being super secretive, or lacking trust, don’t bother with justifications. Move on.
She raises her hand, or actually hits you
It is unhealthy for partners to physically threaten or assault each other. The common narrative that female partner violence doesn’t exist isn’t true. Women can fling objects, punch or kick, causing serious injury and distress to significant partners. You are in no way obliged to "be a man" and accept this vile violent streak. If a woman shows signs of physically lashing out, draw the line ASAP and move on.
From love bombing and wild sex, to ….. frigidity
The sex was mind-blowing in the beginning. She called you “Baby”, and sent you sexy voice messages. Then out of nowhere she started to push you away, reject your sexual overtures and claimed to have the proverbial headache. But here’s the catch. She said you were still “the love of her life”, and wasn’t willing to let you move on without her.
Well, a lot of guys have been through this.
This is a typical trait in narcissists - first they get you to fall madly for them (wild sex is second nature to them in this phase). Once they’ve ascertained that you’re all in, well, they're OUT, or asexual, or frigid, or whatever. Instead of owning up to this confusing switch in behavior, they realize it’s just easier labeling you “sex crazy” or “sex deprived”.
If your partner freezes you out after the initial love bombing stage, LEAVE. Don't fall for the classic ruse where she grants you permission to explore lovemaking with others, while she remains “the love of your life”. If you need help on moving on, and how to get laid, here’s an excellent resource.
She asks details about your exes while hiding hers
There's no reason for either of you to dig out details on each other’s pasts. So watch out for the woman who'll casually squeeze out detailed information (names, surnames, addresses, workplaces, etc) about your past lovers whilst cautiously divulging barely a first name about hers.
Also draw the boundary, or leave, when a woman constantly checks into whether you’re still communicating with your exes or not. Chances are she's doing just that.
She's high-maintenance and refuses to eat anywhere but fancy
Are you dating a woman who expects to be taken only to the most expensive restaurants? Does she come up with lame excuses to not eat at regular joints, either trashing them, or passive-aggressively telling you to go ahead without her, as she’ll “just starve and eat nothing instead.”
Chances are this woman herself eats inexpensively when it’s on her own dollar, but feels entitled to expensive dinners when it’s you who’s paying. Draw the line and tell her that expensive dates are reserved for special occasions. Don’t be surprised if she moves on.
She's an energy vampire, and life's passing you by
Does your partner demand all of your free time, and sulk when you mention hanging out with the guys? Does she callously dismiss your interest in a new class or hobby? Constantly criticize friends and family who are important to you? Watch out.
If you do not see yourself growing emotionally or intellectually with your partner, or worse still, she ensures that you stagnate along with her, isolating you from existing friends and making sure you never meet future ones, it's time for a serious overhaul.
Discuss problems with well-meaning friends who’ll point out the obvious, and help you establish boundaries to either improve your relationship, or move on, keeping your dignity intact.
There’s no love without self love.