By Tahlia Terhune, Guest Writer

“Don’t talk down to me.”

“It’s your turn to pay.”

Acknowledging personal boundaries helps contribute to a healthy relationship. If you feel comfortable speaking your mind, this could be because you have established your boundaries and know where to draw the line in your relationships.

Having attended the relationship workshop on Oct. 25, I can now say I have a better idea of what unhealthy or healthy relationships look like. Our generation has failed at striving for healthy relationships, and I think a large part of that is due to what we tolerate.

At the workshop, we spent a lot of time discussing boundaries and what ours were. When I think of the word boundaries, I typically lean towards physical boundaries, because we already have a few generalized social norms to go by.

Never have I actually spent time thinking about what my emotional boundaries were, let alone what my economic boundaries are.

In a romantic relationship, you may need to establish boundaries in all of these regards. Physical abuse is easy to identify, but mental and emotional abuse can easily be forgotten.

In a romantic relationship, you usually have someone that wears the pants. They are more of a leader in the relationship and this is perfectly natural.

However, if the leadership begins to turn into a dictatorship, this should be a red flag. A controlling man or woman in a relationship needs to be spoken to about boundaries. If you don’t like being talked down to constantly, make that known.

Feeling comfortable empowers you to express your thoughts easier. It’s not solely explicit to romantic relationships. It may come in handy when a friend has insisted they’ll pay you back for dinner for the fifth time now.

If your boundary and personal values say, “I won’t let a friend take money without paying me back,” you’ll find yourself with an advantage to let them know that’s what you expect. If you haven’t acknowledged this as something you value, you may allow the friend to continue this behavior.

In turn, the situation could make you uncomfortable, but you might not necessarily know how to go about it. This may lead to unhealthy relationships that have unidentified boundaries.

Identifying your boundaries ahead of time gives you more opportunity to establish them early on in the relationship. I think we should hold each other accountable for finding our boundaries and implementing them.

Knowing your boundaries will give you more confidence and allow you to be more comfortable in relationships with your peers, romantic partners, friends, parents and everything in-between. Do not tolerate anything that isn’t up to your standards. ◼︎

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