Communication Differences Sex & Intimacy

Are you okay with that?? : 15 Questions to Help Set Your Relationship Boundaries

Setting (or resetting) relationship boundaries is an essential part of a healthy partnership.

But at first, they may seem overwhelming. Thus, far too often, these conversations fail to happen. This leaves the relationship open to misunderstandings and miscommunication, with each partner vulnerable to unintentional mistakes by their partner.  

A relationship is a personal contract between two people. 

And it can be easy to make assumptions about what that contract entails, but we all have different perspectives and expectations for a relationship.

So you shouldn’t “assume” anything; don’t assume your partner knows what your boundaries are, and don’t assume that you know what their boundaries are.  Talk it out and find out for sure. 

Talk it out relationship boundaries

Even if you have been in a relationship for an extended period of time, it is a good idea to revisit your boundaries.  They may have changed, or you may now have a better understanding of what you find acceptable (or not). 

Although it can be a difficult and uncomfortable conversation, it will likely bring you and your partner closer together.  We believe that boundary conversations are also beautiful; you and your partner are creating the rules of your relationship – together. 

The creation of your relationship guidelines isn’t as glamorous as a first kiss, but I think it’s far more important.   

And it may take multiple conversations, but it will be worth it.  Difficult conversations like these are the ones that are the most fruitful and impactful in a relationship.      

Moreover, we are inundated with outside influence when it comes to relationship boundaries. 

But what really matters is what you and your partner feel and think.  At the end of the day, a relationship is about the two people in it – no one else.  Therefore, the rules of that relationship should be a reflection of just those two people.

So when you are answering these questions, try your best to ground yourself in what feels right to you; not what would make your family, partner, or friends happy, but what you truly think, feel, and believe.

(We demonstrate this “what feels right to you” concept by closing our eyes and rating our discomfort levels with various scenarios in our Uncomfortable Relationship Boundaries YouTube video)!

Ultimately, we hope these questions help you consider what you’re truly comfortable/uncomfortable with, and what you expect in regards to how your partner treats you and interacts with other people.

If your partner is unwilling to have this conversation with you, that’s a red flag. Find out 30 more dating red flags you might be missing.

Questions to Ask Yourself First

1. Have you spent time considering your boundaries before right now? 

2. If not, why haven’t you?  Is there something holding you back? 

For the remaining questions, we’ll split relationship boundaries into three different sections:

1) Interacting with other people

Covering interactions that may be seen as uncomfortable, crossing the line, or even cheating.

2) Interacting with other people online

Establishing boundaries for online behavior – something relatively new in the relationship space.

3) Interacting with each other 

Considering perhaps the most overlooked aspect of a “relationship boundaries” conversation: How you are going to treat each other is as worthy of a discussion as how you are going to treat and interact with other people.  

Interacting With Other People in Person

Note: A good way to gauge how you feel about these questions is to imagine walking in on your partner doing them *despite your current rules*.  So for example, if you walked in on your partner flirting with someone else, and you would not be ok with that, then flirting is past your preferred physical, interpersonal boundary for the relationship. But if it doesn’t bother you to imagine that happening (even if not flirting is a current rule in your relationship), then it is within your personal boundaries.

Note 2: Regardless of where your boundaries fall, the goal of this reflection and conversation is not to force one another to have the same levels of comfort/discomfort for the same actions. Rather; it is to express your personal perspectives, then establish boundaries and rules you can *both* agree on – ones that make *both* parties comfortable. To avoid overly influencing each other’s answers, either complete these questions separately, or make a little game out of questions 4 and 5 by closing your eyes and rating your level of discomfort with your fingers, like we do in our Uncomfortable Relationship Boundaries YouTube Video.

3. How do you want your partner to interact (or not interact) with other people?

This is a purposefully broad opening question. Is there something specific about the way your partner interacts with other people that makes you feel uncomfortable, confused, or insecure? Reflect on this and be sure to bring it up during this conversation. You may find that the intentions behind their actions are different than what you assumed, or they may agree that certain actions are inappropriate for your relationship.

4. How would you feel about your partner having the following physical interactions with someone else?:

– Hugging
– Back rub 
– Playing footsie
– Holding hands
– Sitting on laps
– Dancing with someone 
– Dancing suggestively with someone
– Kissing on cheek
– Kissing on lips
– Making out
– Giving/receiving oral 
– Anal penetration 
– Vaginal penetration
– Threesome
– Watching (voyeurism) 
– Complete sexual openness – no rules or boundaries for sex 

5. How would you feel about your partner having the following emotional / non-physical interactions with someone else?:

– Giving out their number at a bar
– Texting same person each night
– Frequently liking, commented, and engaging with the same person on social media
– Going on recurring dinner dates with same person
– Polyamory – Having another relationship altogether

6. Are there any words you wouldn’t want your partner using with other people? 

Some people casually use pet names like baby, honey, sweetie, babe, etc. when talking to other people, but this also might make one or both of you a bit uncomfortable or come off as a red flag. Talk it out if so.

7. What do you want your partner to do if someone starts coming on to him/her? 

Interacting with other people online

8. Are you comfortable with your partner following any and all social media accounts they wish to?

9. What do you want your partner to do if someone starts coming on to him/her online?

10. Do you feel comfortable with your partner viewing other people’s bodies (e.g. porn, strip clubs, etc.)?

11. Would you feel comfortable with your partner talking to a sex worker (e.g. only fans, chat, cam, etc.)?

Interacting With Each Other 

IMO this is one of the most underrated areas for boundaries.  Setting these boundaries within your relationship is essential to maintaining your own identities, explicitly stating your expectations, and keeping you excited to see each other.

12. Is there a certain amount of space/time away from your partner that you want everyday?

Relationship boundaries and space

13. How would you like you and your partner to talk to each other when you are upset?

We could write a whole article about this (oh wait – we did) but creating a structure for your arguments/disagreements is essential for preventing them from turning into fights.  

14. Do you have any specific suggestions for “rules” regarding how you behave around each other?

For example, we have a rule about not having our phones out at the dinner table, so as to prioritize our attention and demonstrate our respect for one other.

15. Do you think your partner may have different boundaries than you in these categories?

If you answered these questions alone, feel free to contemplate how your partner may respond to some of these questions. If you feel you truly know their answers and they know yours – then great! But if this brought up a lot of questions about how they might respond, or you’ve realized some of your answers surprised you – then now is likely a great time to have another (or your first) relationship boundaries conversation.


Final Note

During the conversation with your partner about boundaries, the two of you may disagree.  Try and have a conversation and understand where your partner is coming from.  Even if you end up changing the boundary/rule or compromising, it is essential that each of you feels heard, understood, and ultimately comfortable with the final decisions. However, if something is still uncomfortable after discussion, and is a deal breaker for you, do not compromise. 

What other questions would you suggest reflecting on before or during a relationship boundaries conversation? Let us know in the comments!

Did this resonate with you? Follow me on Instagram for more tips or apply for a free coaching session to talk through your unique situation.




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