The benefits of setting boundaries within our relationships forms the foundation for:
1. Mutual respect. Respect means that each person values who the other is and understands the other person’s boundaries.
2. Trust. Partners should place trust in each other and give each other the benefit of the doubt. Eliminates any concerns on ulterior motivates.
3. Honesty without guilt or fear of hurting the other. Each person is responsible for their feelings and emotions.
4. Permits Compromises based on compassion of the other person, and the ability to listen and understand their needs and importance for asking what they need.
5. Supports, encourages and celebrates “Individuality” with the relationship. Individually is what brought coupes together so there are no long-term benefits in losing who we are in our relationships. The only short-term benefits are to avoid conflict, discomfort or fear of being honest. -However, it goes against the development of intimacy & it can be an easy trap to fall into.
6. Promotes Effective communication, because transparency eliminates the attempts and time spent wanting to be honest but are too afraid to do so.
7. Reduces, and eliminates arguments based on anger, frustration, control and disappointment. Instead it provides a safe space to “discuss” any issues with the intent to listen, empathize and find a resolution. This approach minimizes our need to defend ourselves which is the first act of war. Instead it provides an opportunity for a discussion, an explanation or simply time to listen.
A Key Reminder:
A person’s issues are theirs to own and take responsibility for. However, it is important to remember that they aren’t yours. So, there is no need to defend yourself, instead the most effective approach is to listen, ask questions for clarity if needed and ask them what they had in mind to help resolve it. This allows them the opportunity to share what they need. And it also allows the other person some time to see if they are capable or willing to commit to meeting these needs. Avoid agreeing to something that you haven’t had time to reflect on it first.
*Sometimes we cannot meet the needs of our partners however, we can support them to find someone who can.
Setting boundaries in a loving relationship creates more intimacy, celebrates individuality and encourages honesty to sharing our needs without shame.
Honesty, Truthfulness, Togetherness, Authenticate, Affinity, confidentiality, close association, close relationship, close attachment, close friendship, friendliness, comradeship, companionship, amity, affection, mutual affection, warmth, warm feelings, understanding, fellow feeling;
In our love relationships committing to intimacy brings us closer towards our desire to connect so sexual expression of love often increases because we are motivated out of respect for the other person to offer them pleasure.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of misunderstandings on what “true’ intimacy is, and the actions required in order to form, deepen and strengthen the intimacy within our relationships for positive outcomes. These relationships are often referred to as happy and healthy because they include both unity and interdependence.
Most of us have difficulties achieving these kinds of relationships because we lack a sense of direction and experience which often triggers feelings of confusion, self-doubt and insecurities. This is a result of the lack of role models during our formative years on understanding relationships. For most of us, our parents were our main roles models at this time so how they treated each other and behaved (within their relationship) deeply influenced our initial beliefs, understanding, expectations and behaviors associated within a loving relationship.
Our limited exposure to healthy relationships from a young age cause us to repeat the same patterns and behaviors as our parents did. Therefore repeated cycles both positively and negatively continue within families for generations. Limited knowledge and opportunities influence our “inability” to make changes because we do not have any other reference points.
One of the biggest misperceptions about intimacy is the belief that it equates to sex. Although intimacy can lead to sex, sex does not necessary lead to intimacy.
Facts about intimacy:
1. The highest form of intimacy with another person is our ability to commit to and share, with 100% honesty the “truth” about who we are, what we need and why these needs are important to us. This is why creating, establishing and setting boundaries within our relationships are so important.
2. By sharing our truth boundaries begin to naturally form between two individuals. Being transparent about who we “are” with another person will either trigger feelings of safety and acceptance or feelings of discomfort and a lack of safety. This is because our ability for discernment is the most clear and effective currently because our focus is about us and not about the other person.
3. By initially being transparent and authentic with others we immediately gain insight into the type of relationship we can form with them; this insight gives us the opportunity for discernment on choosing if this relationship is needed in our life. Discernment saves us time, energy and unnecessary effort so we can accurately make the best possible choices for ourselves which is always the best for everyone involved.
“True intimacy requires time to develop, grow and strengthen and is intended to create bond with another person so we can fully reveal who we truly are. This relationship is your mirror into yourself, it allows us to see who we are so we can continue to grow and evolve and change, not in order to please another but to give us the opportunity to reach our full potential to be the best version of ourselves possible.
Intimacy allows the other person to celebrate your self-discovery instead of being threatened by it. They want what is best for you, they encourage growth with the understanding that the more you love yourself they too will benefit from your self-acceptance. Intimacy eliminates threats and instead encourages, supports and honors the other persons journey.”
The opposite of intimacy:
I highlight this because unfortunately, the insight we gain from our ability of discernment can often conflict with the needs and desires we have already formulated about the other person which are referred to as attachments. These attachments influence our ability to be transparent/honest so it is common for people to justify their beliefs that by committing to this relationship that they will change themselves or change the other person to make this relationship to work.
By making this choice, developing true intimacy within this relationship is immediately limited and hinders its growth. Initially both parties are often riding the high from this new relationship, so they often share quite openly how in love they are, how much sex they are having and discuss their future plans together to travel the world, buy a home, etc.
In the beginning of this relationships both parties will do everything and anything to please the other person, so from the outside looking in, it resembles commitment and deep love, however over time the “truth” they are so desperately trying to hide or ignore begins to surface. Our fear of rejection begins to override the relationship and our efforts and attempts to be the person we think our partner wants us to be becomes impossible, exhausting and incapable to maintain.
As a result, we begin to crack, and break down. These cracks are actually our true selves wanting to be seen, recognized, accepted and be freed. However, because this relationship started with dishonesty, we will often make every possible effort to avoid being exposed. As a result, we begin to lose our self-confidence, self-esteem and our self-worth. This relationship then becomes a trap, filled with disappointed, shame, angry and resentment to both us and the other person.
In my experience the outcomes never differ, they end due to a loss of trust, feelings of deception, anger, and resentment. The ability to salvage these relationships are almost impossible to ever repair because they were built on dishonesty from the very beginning.
There are basics that govern most human relationships and these basics are what I want to cover below. So here is my list of the ten essentials that I believe make up the basics of healthy relationships:
Now, this all depends on your definition of love. Most people think that love is a feeling, but I would strongly debate that point. Actually, the concept of “like” is really about feelings. When you say you like someone, you are talking about how you feel. But when you say that you love someone, you are not necessarily talking about how you feel about them. Love is much deeper than a feeling. Love is a commitment we make to people to always treat that person right and honorably.
Yes, for those we become especially close to, we will have feelings of love, but I believe it is time for us to re-examine what we mean by love. We must expand our definition of what love means by including the commitment aspect of love. For healthy relationships, we must love everyone. We may not like them based on how we feel about them, but we should love them based on our definition of love above which in turn determines how we should act toward them; that is, treat them right and honorably. This is the basis of all healthy relationships.
2. Serving Heart
A friend says frequently that “you can have everything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want out of life.”
The concept he is talking about is having a heart and life that is focused on serving other people. Life is best lived in service to others. This does not mean that we do not strive for the best for ourselves. It does mean that in all things we serve other people, including our family, co-workers and friends. We must learn to help those who deserve it, not just those who need it—life responds to deserve not need.
3. Honest Communication
In any good relationship, you will find open and honest communication. Communication is so important because it is the vehicle that allows us to verbalize what is inside us and enables it to connect with another person. Isn’t communication amazing? One person is feeling one thing, and through communication, another person can find that out and feel it too amazing.
And this is a vital goal in good relationships—to communicate, to tell each other what we are thinking and what we are feeling. It enables us to make a connection. Sometimes we are the one speaking and other times we are listening. Either way, the central tenet is communication for the sake of building the relationship and making it stronger. And here’s what’s exciting: If we just communicate, we can get by. But if we communicate skill fully, we can work miracles!
Put simply, relationships just work better when we are friendly with others. Being friendly can cushion the bumpy ride we sometimes experience in our relationships. Cheerfulness goes a long way toward building lasting relationships. I mean, nobody wants to be around a grump, do they? The fact is that the friendlier you are the more you are going to have people who want to pursue longer-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with you. So, cheer up, put on a smile, have kind words to say to others, treat people with a great deal of friendliness and you will see your relationships improve.
When forming deep, intimate relationships, we share a vast amount of personal information that we wouldn’t necessarily feel comfortable sharing with others. Of course, the amount of information may differ from one person to the next; research shows that women, on average, tend to share more intimate information with their friends as well as partners, in comparison to men, who generally reserve more intimate topics for their partners. Nonetheless, with our intimate partners in healthy relationships, we feel safe sharing our deepest dreams, desires, fears, past histories, traumas, and goals for the future. Generally, this is a reciprocal and gradual process.
Intimate relationships also tend to be highly interdependent, wherein each partner influences the other meaningfully, frequently, and vastly, in terms of topic and importance. This can range from choosing what to eat for dinner to where to live.
Care is another hallmark of healthy intimate relationships. There is a considerable amount of care each partner places in the other, and this differs from the care that one would typically display to another, non-intimate person. Intimate partners thus show concern for each other’s well-being, comfort in times of distress, and safekeeping the other from harm. While the display of care can differ from one person to the next (as a function of communication style or differing displays of affection, for instance), intimate partners tend to display genuine, selfless care for each other.
In my opinion, trust is what holds the other six components of intimacy together. Trust in a difficult concept to discuss because of its complexity, but we certainly feel it even without fully being able to define it. In my estimation, trust is the confidence that we place in another human being to act in a way of honor and fairness that is of benefit to us, or at the very least, that our partner will not cause us purposeful harm.
Healthy intimate relationships involve partners who are mutually responsive to each other’s needs. This means recognizing, understanding, and supporting each other, both in times of pain (e.g., losing a parent or a job) and gain (e.g., getting a promotion, announcing a pregnancy). When each partner feels like the other meets his or her needs, this culminates in feeling appreciated and loved.
Lastly, within healthy intimate relationships, there is a mutual volition for wanting the relationship to continue indefinitely, which further allows the other six components of intimacy to grow. With the idea that the relationship is to continue for an indeterminate amount of time, it allows for trust to continue to deepen, common knowledge to further be shared, mutuality to envelop, care to be shown, and continual effort be put into responsiveness and interdependence for both partners.
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With Love & Light,
With Integrity Candles Australia (WIA Candles)