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How To Establish Boundaries In Dating And Romantic Relationships

Establishing boundaries can be a very important thing to do in dating and romantic relationships, especially for women. The boundaries that a woman does set in these situations are based on her values and on what she believes are appropriate behaviors for her in those dating and romantic situations.



Let’s look at two boundary situations:
•If on the second date a man asks a woman to go away with him for a weekend, I would advise her to reply, “Thank you, but I could never do that until perhaps we knew each other a lot better.”

•Another situation: They’ve been dating and having sex for six months, and he then asks her to move in with him. If the woman desires, ultimately, to marry this man, I would recommend that she reply, “Thank you, sweetheart, but I could never move in with you unless we were married---or at least engaged.”

The 3-part structure behind my suggested boundary phrasing is, first, to thank the man for the offer, then, to decline it forcefully (“never”), and, finally, to tell the man of any condition (engaged or married) that might change the woman’s mind.

•A last example: the woman wishes to marry the man and listens to him propose marriage, but also say that he doesn’t want to get the ring or set a wedding date “just yet.” What should she say? Again, she should stand up for what she reasonably wants and believes in and say, “Oh, sweetheart, I could never get engaged without a ring and wedding date. That’s what an engagement is, sweetheart.”

In any of these situations, if the man then asks why the woman can’t do what he is asking, she should answer in the following manner, standing behind her beliefs and values: “I just don’t believe in doing that sort of thing; that’s not the kind of woman I am.”

How would you establish the boundaries in your dating and relationships? Any tips to share with me?

About the Author:

Py Kim Conant, the author of Sex Secrets of an American Geisha: How to Attract, Satisfy, and Keep Your Man, from Hunter House, October 28, 2006. Looking for dating, sexuality, and relationship tips and secrets? Visit her website at


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