Setting physical boundaries in dating relationships

30 Oct

No further.” The lack of belief in yourself feeds into an insidious self-perpetuating cycle.It’s hard to stand up for yourself when you believe that you have very little of value to offer in the first place – something that is reinforced by the way that people walk over you and take advantage of you.

How many times have you had someone – a friend, a lover, even family – pull a guilt-trip on you?I wouldn’t take responsibility for what was ultimately my screw up and fix it – either through trying to work things out with my girlfriend or by dumping her and walking away – and so I instead tried to shirk the blame and refused to acknowledge that anything was wrong.This is going to be a tricky section because what I’m about to say is going to sound an awful lot like victim-blaming, which is not my intent. People who have poor boundaries and low self-esteem are typically easy prey for abusers.These situations are often a sign of having poor boundaries – the result of a mix of low self esteem and an unwillingness to take a stand for yourself.Many people will cheerfully take advantage of those with weak boundaries; they look for people who are willing to put the well-being of others above and beyond their own in an effort to please others and make them like them.After the honeymoon period, where I was just astounded that I was having sex, our relationship became a matter of constant fighting, jealousy, guilt trips and having to justify myself on an almost daily basis.Almost every fight we ever had would escalate from disagreeing over what to rent at Blockbuster to threats of breaking up with me… I allowed her walk all over me because I was willing to put up with this.One of the most common signs of a predatory, abusive personality is the testing of boundaries: trying to push someone further and further out of their comfort zone, using a cycle of rewards and punishments in order to manipulate someone into being willing to knuckle under.I’ve received many letters from women who had boyfriends who consistently tried to push the envelope of what they were comfortable with – demanding nude pictures, trying to bully them into sex they didn’t want to have (especially girls who were not ready to have sex yet) or into sexual practices they didn’t like.The other frequent cause for poor boundaries is an unwillingness to take responsibility for one’s own actions.Taking a stand – saying that you will not tolerate or put up with certain attitudes or behavior – means being willing to accept the responsibility of that choice and thus shouldering the consequences.