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New Relationship Boundaries: 12 Lines All Couples Must Draw Early On

When you first start dating someone and become committed, it can be very exciting. But there are also some new relationship boundaries to negotiate.

new relationship boundaries

New relationships are always special and exciting. Naturally, you’re not thinking about putting up walls and setting new relationship boundaries.

If anything, you don’t want any boundaries between you and your new partner because you just want to melt into each other 24/7!

Honestly, when you’re busy feeling butterflies and infatuation, anything your partner does is adorable and charming. But sooner or later, you’re going to have to set up boundaries.

So, it’s better to set them up in the beginning, that way, you can both ease into them. Why surprise your partner halfway through your relationship with how much space you need or your non-negotiables? It’s better to get it over with in the beginning.

[Read: A checklist for a happy and healthy new relationship]

The most important rules for new relationship boundaries 

Boundaries are a great way to see if you and your partner are even on the same page. Maybe you aren’t as compatible as you think.

But what kind of boundaries do you need to set in your new relationship? You probably haven’t thought about it yet, but it’s time you did.

If you’re wondering what boundaries you need to set in your new relationship, well, good thing you’re reading this feature.

We’re going to talk about all the new relationship boundaries you should set early on in your new relationship. It’s time to understand the rules that matter in a happy and healthy long term relationship. [Read: 13 new relationship mistakes couples make ALL the time!]

1. Communication 

If you want this relationship to work, you both need to be clear on how you communicate. You may not be into texting, but that doesn’t mean your partner knows that. Maybe they hate talking on the phone, but you love it. How are you going to talk? [Read: Use these 12 habits for texting in the early stages of dating]

This can lead to some problems in a new relationship. The person who prefers texting might be resentful that the other one always wants to talk on the phone. And the phone talker might be annoyed that their partner only likes to text.

It’s important to let them know how you usually communicate. Be clear and upfront about your preferences. That way, they’re not offended when you send them short texts or want to have long phone conversations. This is one of the most important new relationship boundaries.

Communication is essential, so you need to be on the same page with your partner. [Read: The 16 steps to better communication in a relationship]

2. Alone time 

Everyone likes their own personal space. Just because you have a new partner doesn’t mean you need to spend every waking moment wrapped around them. How much time do you need for yourself?

It doesn’t have to be a serious conversation but it’s certainly something you need to casually discuss. Some people need more time to themselves while others don’t. [Read: How to be a better partner to an introvert]

It’s good to approach this discussion by talking about whether or not you are an introvert or extrovert. Introverts require a lot more alone time to recharge and rejuvenate themselves. Whereas extroverts need time with other people to charge themselves. 

You see, if you have that fundamental personality difference, it could be quite difficult to negotiate a happy medium. If you don’t know your personality type, you can go to a website like 16Personalities.com. Take the free online test so you can learn more about each other’s personalities and the need for alone time.

3. Type of relationship 

This seems to be an issue for many couples. One person just wants a casual relationship while the other one is looking for something more serious. It would have been best to talk about this on your first date – or even before.

You don’t want to get into a new relationship and find out they only want a casual hookup and you are looking to get married!  [Read: When to define the relationship – 20 signs it might be right now]

You would think that most couples would talk about this in the beginning when they are negotiating their new relationship boundaries. But they don’t.

In fact, most people just assume that the other person is in agreement with them. 

However, you are not a mind reader, and neither is your partner. You cannot make any kinds of assumptions when you are in a new relationship. You have to ask your partner clearly, and upfront about what they want. And you need to tell them what you want.

Now, your commitment level is your decision, but you need to express your level of commitment to the relationship. If not, you’re going to have some serious drama and heartbreak happening in your relationship. [Read: 50 questions for a new relationship to predict your romantic future together]

4. Social media 

Many times in a new relationship, people are hesitant to post pictures together on social media. They probably do this because they are cautious and don’t want to seem too over eager too soon. Plus, how do you really know how your partner feels about it? [Read: 15 real relationship goals most couples have no idea about]

Some people are very private, and they don’t want their personal life out there for everyone to see. While others practically narrate their whole lives for everyone’s viewing pleasure 24/7 with reels, stories, and more *tiktok?*. So, you need to talk about what your preferences are for social media as a new relationship boundary.

You are between a rock and a hard place if you don’t openly talk about it. If you don’t post pictures, then it might bother your partner. But if you do, that could also annoy them. [Read: Social media & relationships – The good, the bad, and the ugly]

Another aspect of social media that is one of the most important new relationship boundaries is the “relationship status” one.

Do you say you’re in a relationship and name your partner? Do you keep it as “single?” This needs a serious conversation before either of you makes a move to declare your relationship to the world.

We all know how influential social media has become in our lives. So, it’s important to talk about social media and how they feel about it. [Read: Does your Facebook relationship status really matter that much?]

5. Dates 

Though your first couple of dates may be wild or unique, in reality, once you’re in a long-term relationship, your dates will be more predictable and ordinary. You and your new partner need to come to an agreement on how you wish to spend time together.

Talk about what you normally like to do. Do you like going to movies, happy hour, dancing, or listening to live music? If you do, then tell your partner. And ask them what they like doing. You may enjoy watching Netflix on the couch all weekend, but your partner may enjoy going for walks.  

As we just said, the first dates will always be exciting, regardless of what you do together. But as time goes on, you might find that you are not on the same page about the things you enjoy doing. You have to find a happy medium. [Read: 33 awesome date ideas every couple should try]

6. Sharing 

We know you just started dating but when it comes to sharing things, this is when it can become a little tricky. You need to lay down these boundaries early on in the relationship.

Do you want your partner to know your passwords to all of your devices? Maybe you believe in splitting the bill but your partner doesn’t.

Sharing goes beyond finances and passwords. Sharing also means self-disclosure and telling your new partner about your past, your hopes, your dreams, your morals, and the whole way you view the world.

Some people view sharing personal information as risky, but others think it will emotionally bond them to the other person. And both of them are true to some extent. [Read: 14 stages of a new relationship to define your budding romance]

When it comes to personal privacy, finances, sharing personal information, and new relationship boundaries, these are always questions that arise sooner or later. So, try to assess what you are both comfortable with when it comes to sharing these things. [Read: 4 month relationship – What to expect when you hit this mark?]

7. Intimacy 

We all know how important intimacy is in a relationship and it will come up in conversation. This is something you need to address as soon as possible.

Maybe you’re not into PDA, or you want to wait several months before having sex. These are things your partner needs to know. Whether you prefer to be intimate early in the relationship or to hold off is your decision, but you both need to be on the same page.

Let’s face it, everyone has a different sex drive. You might be dying to have sex on the first date, while they want to wait until marriage! Even if you are more similar in your approach to physical intimacy, you still need to negotiate the frequency.  [Read: 13 weird, unique ways to build intimacy with your partner]

One of you might want to have sex every day *or multiple times* while the other is happy with once a week. That’s a big difference. So, while it might be weird to talk about that early on in your relationship, it can definitely save you a lot of problems in the future. [Read: How to talk about sex without sounding like a pervert]

8. The future 

You don’t know where your future will take you or how it will look but you have an idea of how you’d like your future to look. Maybe you want children, maybe you don’t, maybe you want to spend your life traveling. 

Though this relationship may be fresh, who knows if this will end up as something long-term or not. But if you want kids and they don’t, this is will be a problem later on.

Again, it may feel awkward talking about these things so early on. However, if you don’t, you might find out that five years down the road you are both on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to your future.

Do you really want to waste all of those precious years only to discover your relationship is doomed because you didn’t talk about this early on? [Read: 60 deep yet fun questions to get to know your partner and peek into their soul]

9. Deal breakers and must-haves

Yeah, this is important. You’re going to need to lay out what you will and what you won’t do for them. This sounds harsh, but let’s be honest, you have boundaries and so do they. Now, it doesn’t have to be big dos and don’ts but they need to be expressed regardless of size.

In addition to deal breakers, you should talk about your must-haves. These are the things that you absolutely can’t do without in a relationship. It could be regular sex or constant texting. It doesn’t matter what it is. As long as it’s important to you, it matters. [Read: 17 deal breakers you need to fix to become a good partner]

If you feel uncomfortable to bring this up, start by talking about what you don’t expect your partner to do for you. Before you know it, the conversation will drift to deal breakers and must-haves, and all without any stress involved!

10. Conflicts 

Who thought this would have to be a boundary to discuss, but it’s essential. How you handle disagreements can make or break your relationship. Maybe you’re someone who needs space after an argument or you’re someone who needs to solve the problem right away. How are you as a person when you fight?

There are five main ways that people handle conflicts: (1) avoidance, (2) competing, (3) compromising, (4) giving in to the other person, and (5) collaborating to find a mutual solution. We all have our own styles, and they were formed by watching our parents in childhood.

So, if you are one who avoids conflict, but your partner is a “yeller” and wants to compete to win during an argument, this can cause some major problems, as you can probably imagine! [Read: How to resolve conflict – 15 best ways to cut out the drama]

11. Sexual kink

Everyone is sexually different. Some people are quite vanilla when it comes to their sexuality, while others are into some major kinky stuff. Some may prefer submissive sex or having sex in the afternoon while others prefer slow, sensual and predictable sex. Neither is bad nor wrong, they’re simply preferences. [Read: Top 50 kinky sex ideas worth trying at least once in your lifetime]

You and your partner will have to see if your kinky or vanilla sexual preferences match each other and see how much your partner is willing to compromise and experiment.

This is very important, because if one of you is into S&M and the other just likes missionary style, then you probably won’t be very compatible. [Read: How to know if you have sexual compatibility with your partner]

12. Clarify and check-in 

You need these boundaries clarified. Now, if you’re unsure about their answer, don’t be afraid to ask again for clarification.

This is your life, and you need to take control of it. If you’re not sure how they feel about a specific topic, then ask them to elaborate about it. That way, you know right away and no one can point the finger at you. [Read: 15 romantic gestures for a new relationship all couples should know about]

Also, as time goes on, you need to keep checking in with one another to make sure your new relationship boundaries are still working for the two of you.

One of you might be violating the other person’s boundaries without even knowing it. So, keep the communication open, and never be afraid to renegotiate if you need to.

[Read: How to keep from moving too fast in a new relationship]

When you’re in a new relationship, it’s fresh and exciting. But like with any seasoned relationship, there need to be healthy new relationship boundaries to set the perfect foundation for a happy romance.

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The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...