by Corey Turner

Compromising boundaries can have disastrous results… On a relationship, on the individual person and on those around us. Let’s, for a moment, focus on what we want out of our relationships, specifically, dating relationships. When asked to come up with lists of wants and don’t wants in a dating relationship, most students’ lists look extremely similar. The lists all tend focus on respect, fundamentally. Respect in a dating relationship leads to understanding, loyalty, honesty, etc. Without respect, none of these other desired attributes would exist in the relationship.

Most folks talk about respect as if it were something desired from someone else or thought of as a gift to be given to another person. Defining strong boundaries and being a staunch defender of those boundaries is the ultimate sign of self-respect and self-love. This potential lack of self-respect (compromised boundaries) could lead to resentment of the other person in the dating relationship, low self-esteem and unhappiness.

A long time ago, I was in a dating type relationship with a girl whose boundaries were not consistent with mine. The problem was, I was very attracted to her and this blinded me, so, unfortunately, I ignored my need for boundaries and tried to make myself fit into her life and vice versa. In the end, we I had different ideas about what exclusivity meant and I finally had to put my proverbial foot down and strongly define my boundaries.

Obviously, this spelled the end of this particular relationship, which, looking back, was clearly for the best. Vowing I’d never find myself in this position again, I decided to document my boundaries by making a list. Ultimately, compromising one’s boundaries so another person fits into their life will likely result in a mutual lack of respect between the people in the relationship, not to mention, dwindling self-respect. So how does one ensure that they refrain from compromising their boundaries? A good start is simply to write in down…