What Are Your Limits in a Relationship?

What Are Your Limits in a Relationship?

Last update: 14 June, 2017

When it comes to limits in any sort of relationship, whether it’s familial, social, or romantic, some are generally shared by everybody. Some, however, are personal, established with the people around us according to what we’re prepared to tolerate.

In romantic relationships, limits can vary a lot from one person to the next. Some people can tolerate and even forgive infidelity, while others never would no matter how in love they are with their partner. The person’s upbringing, personal experiences, values, and self-esteem have a lot of influence in this regard.

However, although everyone has their own personal limits and there is diversity between them, there are some behaviors that you should never let slide if you want to protect your self-esteem and your dignity. 

Limits and emotional dependence

Almost everyone knows what they don’t want from their relationship. However, when the other person crosses that line, people often stay in the relationship and feel incapable of ending it and going their separate ways.

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Even though they know they’re not okay with that behavior, they prefer daily suffering over the pain of permanent loss.

They see their partner as a vital necessity, like food or sleep, and so it’s impossible for them to detach themselves. The fear of losing a loved one is so big for some people that they put up with behaviors like lying, abuse, or oppression in order to maintain the relationship.

Seeing one’s partner as a necessity is the result of emotional dependence. It occurs when you’re incapable of establishing your own set of criteria and limits.

Dependent people normally express their way of thinking in the following ways: “I’m sure things will change,” “it’s not that bad, maybe I’m just exaggerating,” “they do it because they’re stressed, it won’t last forever,” etc. They justify their partner’s behavior even though it’s hurting them because they need to convince themselves. Although they know deep down that these are just excuses, they make them feel better, forgive their partner, and continue with the relationship, at least momentarily.

Limits and self-esteem

Healthy self-esteem, or accepting oneself unconditionally, is a pillar of mental health and emotional well-being. A low self-esteem, or lack of acceptance of oneself, is the starting point of many psychological problems.

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When this is clear to you and you’re consistent with it, you won’t put your needs beneath theirs. This attitude isn’t selfish at all, if that’s what you’re thinking; it’s quite reasonable. If you’re at peace and in alignment with your ideas and values, you’ll be more in harmony with the other person, and in turn, that person will feel better with you.

Finally, you can’t let anyone restrict your individual freedom. It’s the most valuable thing that you have. You have to be free to come and go, to decide what kind of lifestyle you want to live, to have your own friends, etc. Therefore, always put your freedom above everything else.