I’m a sensitive person. So far, I’ve lost my younger sister followed quickly by my mother and then my grandfather who helped raise me. As a result, I built walls, really thick, tall walls, to protect myself from being hurt.
Growing up, I was friendly to most people, but only let a few people get close. I tended to be more of a relationship person, preferring to develop close relationships with a few rather than date around. All of this was a way to protect myself from being hurt.
I wasn't aware of the concept of boundaries until after my divorce when I learned what to look for when someone crosses my boundaries. Up until then, I just built walls to keep people out.
I had set boundaries with my kids, but I didn’t think of them that way. When they whined, I loving looked at them and let them know when they could speak where I could understand them, we could talk. I held firm. I was able to do that with my children because of the way I had been raised and modeled my parenting that way.
However, I hadn’t really seen examples of that in the context of romantic relationships. The only thing I truly understood about boundaries had to do with sex. But what about boundaries when it comes to how you're treated?
I tend to learn through reading, processing and then discussing with others. One of the best books I’ve read on boundaries is “Boundaries in Dating” by Cloud and Townsend.
There were a lot of “a-ha” moments for me and situations where I found I had been on the receiving end and guilty of some things.
Some of it you read, and think, “Well, duh,” but I’ve never honestly focused on it and processed it in terms of a relationship. I haven’t analyzed relationships and what I’m feeling. I’ve had some key takeaways in forming my boundaries for future relationships. Here are some quotes that rang true with me.
Honestly, this book is full of great advice. I highly recommend it for anyone who is dating or in a relationship and interested in making it better. Boundaries are about letting the right people in. Walls just keep everyone out. Boundaries allow you to have meaningful connections with healthy people; walls do not.
I'm single and loving it. Two kids and a busy job. Life is an adventure. Being single is liberating. Life is short, spread joy.