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4 Important Ways to Set Boundaries in Dating

by victoriavadenking
4 comments 7 min read

As a woman in her early 30s, I must admit that my early dating years were filled with too many uncertainties. Most specifically, I wish I’d learned how to set healthy relationship boundaries when I first started dating.

There’s no doubt that I would have saved myself heartache, literal tears, and failed relationships had I learned early, how to set boundaries in dating.

Unfortunately, without learning or knowing what I needed or didn’t want during dating, I had to stretch and compromise much more than I had to.

Time and experiences eventually taught me (the hard way) that anyone who wants to be in your life should at the very least meet you halfway or go over and above to make you feel wanted, loved, and appreciated.

1. Learn How to Date Yourself First

I know now, that I cannot control the actions of those around me, but as a mature woman, I can set boundaries with the people I choose to date from the beginning.

I agree that like me, many women find asking for the things we need a little uncomfortable, unnerving, and it can leave us vulnerable.

However, when we do the work to figure out who we are, we become more fulfilled, experience healthy relationships, and grow.

In the years it has taken me to grow into a confident woman who knows exactly what she wants, I’ve had to step up and face the challenges that crop up in my relationships as a result of unmet needs.

No matter where you are in a relationship, or how long you and your partner have been together, setting boundaries will help you practice self-care and establish expectations.

If you aren’t sure of your boundaries or are looking for ways of setting them, I’ll tell you how.

2. Be Familiar with Your Values

The first lesson I had to learn before I could establish boundaries of my own was to know what my values were. There were times in my dating life where winning the approval of the man I was with was important to me.

Even though the approval of a partner feels good, we have to be careful not to compromise our values and boundaries.

Whether it’s how you dress, talk, the hobbies you like, or even your friends, holding on to someone else’s approval rather than thinking about how we feel or what our beliefs are can erode our sense of self.

In the end, we aren’t able to distinguish ourselves from the relationship. The beginning of my journey to setting boundaries began with a notebook, a pen, and some introspection.

I took stock of what I felt went wrong in past relationships and what I could have done better. The more I wrote, the more I realized that I had long discarded values I held dear to me.

If you aren’t sure what your values are, the best thing to do would be to allow your instincts to clue you. If you suddenly feel an emotional trigger or are about to do something that doesn’t feel right, that’s when you know someone has overstepped a boundary.

3. Communicate Your Boundaries Early

Once you know what your values are, it’s time to communicate the same to a potential partner. A guy I really liked once sent me one of those ‘send nudes’ texts.

Deep in my heart, I knew I wasn’t comfortable sending sexy pictures of myself to a guy I barely knew.

However, since I had a crush on him and hadn’t learned how to set boundaries, I kept stringing him along with promises I knew I couldn’t keep.

In the end, rather than telling him what my boundaries were, I burdened and compromised myself just to keep him happy.

If you’ve just started dating someone, you don’t have to make your entire first date about setting boundaries. There are plenty of ways you can do that, including how you say ‘hi’ when you first meet your date.

Are you comfortable with a hug, a quick kiss on the cheeks, or a handshake?

Remember to be comfortable with yourself and embrace your being. When you communicate with your date, let it show that you are one to be respected without having to say it.

If your date breaks a boundary, whether intentionally or accidentally, it’s not on you. Now is the time to tell them they’ve crossed a line then decide whether what they did is a deal-breaker.

4. Treat Yourself Like the Prize You Are

One of the things I realized when I started learning how to set boundaries is that I was creating more attraction. I was the prize and setting boundaries made me look more attractive, and my life more peaceful.

I was showing potential dates and partners that I respect, honor, and put a value on myself. This is exactly what you want to do for yourself when you start dating.

Keep in mind that setting boundaries have nothing to do with manipulation or control. It is more about defining what is or isn’t acceptable to you. One of the boundaries I learned to set early is those surrounding sex.

I learned how to speak openly and honestly about my expectations and draw a line where I felt I wasn’t comfortable. For instance, and this is a personal choice, I chose not to have sex with a man I’d just met.

I find that not giving up the cookie too soon helps me gain some self-control and think critically about the direction things are going.

I’m able to see red flags more clearly in the absence of an emotional bond evoked by sex. As a result, I can avoid regrets later.

As a woman that knows her worth, it’s vital that you learn not to flounder. Remember that you’re a prize and you deserve to be courted or be in a long-term relationship if that’s your goal for dating.

If you’ve been seeing a guy for months or years, and all you’re getting is friends with benefits or casual dinners, it’s time to draw a boundary. This way, you will quickly see how he responds and know how he feels about you.

Keep in mind that not everyone that seems interested in you should have you.

You owe it to yourself to who you give yourself up and setting boundaries will only offend those that aren’t invested from the beginning.

Try to be as discerning as you can and get to know someone before you fully welcome them into your space and your life.

Knowing what you now know, what boundaries do you think you will set up?

This post was all about setting boundaries in dating.

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Alberta January 7, 2022 - 1:35 pm

I agree, Victoria. Anyone who wants to be with you, in your life, should meet you halfway. I think many people (men and women) should ask this of their partner but they don’t. Sometimes it’s because they have low self esteem and/or think others will just not date them.

Also, it’s amazing to see how many of us go through life without actually thinking about what our own values are. What will we stand for? What will we never stand for? What things make us who we are?

Why are people afraid to ask themselves these questions?

victoriavadenking April 11, 2022 - 12:28 am

I could not agree more. I love how you phrased that.

Jasmine Hewitt March 17, 2022 - 10:14 am

Thank you for pointing out we don’t have to sacrifice our own personal values for someone else!!

victoriavadenking April 11, 2022 - 12:32 am

100% agree! Thank you for commenting!


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victoria vaden

a diaper duties mom blog


victoria vaden king

Victoria Vaden

Original YouTuber when ‘viral’ was just a flu symptom. My English degree qualified me to tell stories (the good kind). So, I'm sharing the not-so-normal reality of motherhood and marriage.

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DYEM is for the not-so-perfect, spit-up-stained, smile-through-anything moms out there looking for sanity. Motherhood is messy and full of mistakes. You'll find plenty of that here.

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