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Do Boundaries Matter In A Physical Intimate Relationship?

Written by: Viloshni Moodley, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


An act of self-love is knowing your worth and value. Making the right decisions responsibly to prevent unwanted sexual health issues or possible traumas. Knowing and understanding yourself will allow you to know what your boundaries are. What are boundaries? Boundaries are usually an indication of where something starts and ends, e.g., a portion of land. In the same way, boundaries help people navigate through life knowing what they are comfortable with and how they want to be treated by others. Boundaries between partners are a healthy sign of a relationship.

Often, it is our responsibility to teach people how to treat us, especially when starting a new relationship. It is good practice to ensure the person is aware of your non-negotiables and what is acceptable. Allowing disrespect at the beginning of a friendship or relationship can allow it to penetrate throughout the relationship, which sets in as a norm once the relationship progresses.

The question of what came first, the chicken or the egg, same with the sperm speeds for the ova. Generally, a male should chase a female, and in same-gender relationships, the one who does the chasing is the one who takes the dominant role. You may be saying this is so outdated. A male is made to hunt. When you are the one who is always calling or reaching out, he becomes bored and does not have anything to challenge him. In this way, one can give up power by demonstrating neediness. Setting boundaries and taking ownership of our needs and feelings will make us realize that it is ok if they want to call, they would, or they would message if they wanted to. It is also perfectly acceptable if someone is busy and cannot do so. It does not mean we care any less, but we take control.

Healthy relationships are dependent on maintaining personal boundaries that are communicated and understood between both individuals. Boundaries should not be rigid, and expect them to change as you journey through the different stages of the relationship.

Guidelines On Key Areas To Set Healthy Boundaries

Expectations – these need to be communicated clearly with detail to every aspect to ensure fulfillment to both parties. It is also great to have a check-in periodically to assess how you are fulfilling the expectations for each other.

Non-negotiables – everyone has different thresholds based on their value and moral compass. Agree on what you will tolerate and not, e.g., lying, cheating, being shouted at, physical abuse, or mistrust as some examples.

Financial – Money can easily become the poison in a relationship. Thus, decide on joint or separate bank accounts and how financial matters will be managed.

Sexual – everyone has different preferences. You may have mismatched sex drives or want to be adventurous in the bedroom, and boundaries help you both navigate through any differences or similarities. If you or your partner are not sure of your sexual boundaries, then one of you will be unhappy by trying to fake your satisfaction in the bedroom to please the other. Agree on what is acceptable and what you may try as in experimenting. This should be fluid and not rigid unless there is a certain definite no, no’s that should be made known not to be brought up again for discussion.

Past Relationships – talk about what you are comfortable sharing, and the rest should remain where it deserves to be in the past. It is the present that matters.

Family – to maintain great relations with the family, agree on basic boundaries on each other’s family interaction.

Friendships – Mutual boundaries of respect should be set as some friends maybe liked or disliked by your partner, and these should be taken into consideration. Decide on reasonable decisions as to who is allowed as friends within the relationship.

Ambitions – no one can crush your dream or your goals—set boundaries related to these as they require time and focus.

Children/Pets – these are usually hard and fast boundaries. This is a huge responsibility and change to the dynamics that need to be agreed upon.

Time – as important as time together is, time apart is also needed to recharge. Make sure this is agreed upon.

Social Media – agree on what access your partner has to your social media and vice versa. Communication apps, tracking apps, calendar apps – all of this is part of boundaries. The relationship may not last, but social media is permanent, so consider these carefully.

Breakup – If the relationship becomes strained, will there be a cooling-off period, what will the living arrangements be during this time, when all else fails, who stays and who goes, etc. This is not the nice part, but it needs to be clear.

How To Set Your Boundaries

Know your boundaries – it is worth taking the time to identify what are your boundaries are. Once you know them, you can communicate them to your partner with ease.

Choose when to discuss them – do not put off discussing your boundaries once you have identified them, especially if it is a new relationship. Ensure that both you and your partner do not have any distractions. Adequate focus and contribution to the topic of discussion with an open mind will be required.

Make them clear – To have a mutual understanding, it is important to prevent any grey areas or ambiguity, best to keep them clear and concise. When communicating your boundaries use the word ‘I’ instead of ‘You”.

Allow for compromise – We all make mistakes. Whilst some boundaries are non-negotiables that you will not accept if broken, give your partner some room for innocent mistakes unless they continue to disregard your feelings.

Create a love agreement – this can be used as a reference when an unpleasant situation arises. It can capture the aspects of the relationship to manage the relationship.

People change, relationships change, boundaries change, do not be afraid to review and discuss as you journey along. If it is something you find hard to do, reach out for guidance, I will be glad to guide you.

For more information, follow me on Facebook, Instagram and visit my website!


Viloshni Moodley, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Viloshni Moodley is an accredited Sexpert practicing as an Online Intimacy Coach. She is the founder and owner of Ultimacy Online, since leaving her over 25 years of management experience within Corporate. Her passion for empowering individuals with positive sex education and breaking the cycle of negative conditioning has influenced her change in her is a career path. She believes relationships are the most important factor to overall well-being and is thus passionate about making a change to ensure people have more fulfilling relationships. Having a happy, healthy relationship provides balance in individuals and couples. Her work specializes in coaching individuals or couples who wish to achieve certain goals in the bedroom and short courses in different areas of sexuality.



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