A discussion on boundaries in new relationships

“Being insecure and feeling ‘lonely’ is the ultimate recipe for self-destruction. You’ve got to teach yourself to feel secure in your solitude. Boredom is the ideal breeding ground for bad decisions.”What a Time to Be Alone by Chidera Eggerue

Seeking instant gratification and connection from new romantic relationships is one of these self-destructing behaviors that can and will take place during a period of insecurity of solitude (in this context, meaning your “single” relationship status).

And because we seek companionship, connection, communication, attention, drama, excitement, intimacy, etc., we tend skip over

  • getting to know the other person beyond surface level
  • getting to know their wants and needs
  • testing compatibility together.
  • honoring our boundaries.  Or even establishing healthy ones.  Or even establishing ANY boundaries for that matter. 

That’s where our behaviors become self-destructive.

So, I’m going to walk through some unhealthy and healthy boundaries to help you discover where you’re at in your personal development and security in solitude or “singleness.”  You can reflect on what self behaviors serve you vs. hinder your development in the journal prompts.

Unhealthy boundaries:

  • oversharing or telling all — trying to air all of your grievances and test how the other person handles them. That is not sustainable or healthy.
  • not noticing those “red flags” — or choosing to ignore them. How many times do you look back on a relationship and say wow, I literally spotted those red flags right away and ignored them?
  • falling in love with someone — anyone — who reaches out
  • allowing someone to take as much time as they can from you. When I was young, this looked like texting someone WAY late into the night.

Healthy boundaries to work on:

  • moving step by step into intimacy and trust,
  • maintaining personal values despite what others want,
  • checking how people respond to certain things you share,
  • putting a new acquaintanceship on hold until you check for compatibility, and
  • deciding whether a potential relationship will be good for you, right now and with this person.

My personal experience

I have these random phases of maybe 3 days to a week of really loving this idea of a particular guy. So usually I will involve my best friend Bean and we will brainstorm funny and extra ways to engage with this guy. Befriending his dog or leaving baked goods on his doorstep. I’ve actually found that this routine is helpful because it keeps things light and it keeps me away from this person. And I need to be away from this person because I am seeking attention.

Another trick is paying attention to how long these phases last. For me, I KNOW that within 3 days, the feeling will go away of wanting to reach out to this person. So I tell myself that if I just hold on for 3 days, I will get over this and be on my merry way.

Journal prompts

When was the last time I participated in pursuing an instant-grat relationship and how did I feel afterwards?

What’s one healthy or unhealthy boundary that resonated with me from this post? Expand on why I likely engage in behaviors that align with that boundary.

What’s a strategy I could use, such as asking myself a series of questions or texting my BFF, when I have the impulse to engage in behaviors that do not align with my healthy boundaries?

What do I do well?

Additional resources

“What a Time to Be Alone” by Chidera Eggerue

We’re Not Really Strangers Instagram account

@whatswrongwithmollymargaret on Instagram

P.S. in case we haven’t met…

you seem normal is a mental health medium run by 24-year-old communication professional (hello!) who… well, seems normal.  Turns out, my roommate is mental illness. Actually more like my unborn, and non-conceived baby. Because it’s like, inside of me. This is getting weird already. Topics of focus: self-awareness (we love it), mood, anger management, perfectionism, relationships & boundaries.

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