How to Set Boundaries in Dating

Boundaries in Dating: Establishing Healthy Relationships

How to Set Boundaries in Dating?

Boundaries in Dating as an adult can be… Stressful? Disheartening? All of the above? It can also be an extremely fun and valuable experience if you do it right. The easiest way to help maintain healthy relationships is by setting boundaries in advance.

Thinking about your boundaries is important to do before you get into any relationship to make sure you know your expectations and aren’t settling. Here are some categories that are important to think about when setting boundaries in dating.

Boundaries in Dating


Expectations is a pretty broad category, but it’s one of the most important. Ask yourself if you’re looking for something long-term or just a casual fling.

Communicating what you’re looking for makes sure both people are on the same page and avoids feelings getting hurt down the line. Other expectations you should think about are how often you want to see each other, text, or use social media.

Substance Use

Having similar expectations around substance use in a relationship is important. If one partner is a heavy drinker and the other only drinks socially, it might cause issues later in the relationship.

However, if you don’t mind if your partner drinks more than you or if it’s just a casual relationship it might not matter as much as other things.

Sexual Boundaries

It’s important to know what you’re comfortable with in the bedroom and what you need before getting intimate. Thinking about these things and communicating them with new partners ahead of time allows for a more seamless sexual experience when you’re in the moment. 


It’s important to be on the same page regarding finances. In a casual relationship, who should be paying for dates?

If the relationship is more serious, how do you want to split or pay bills? If one partner follows a strict budget and the other has a slight spending problem, there might be some issues later on.


It’s important to think about what you’re comfortable with in terms of your friends and your partner’s friends. How do you feel about friends of the opposite gender? How often do you want you and your partner to hang out with your friends vs theirs?

These are important things to think about so that you can have a good balance between your friends and your relationship.


In serious relationships, it’s also important to think about introducing a partner to your family or meeting theirs. Think about how long you would like to date someone before you would be comfortable introducing them.

It’s also important to think about expectations around holidays and whose family you want to spend time with. 

Building and maintaining boundaries is an important part of every relationship. When discussing boundaries with someone that you’re dating, it’s important to keep in mind that everyone’s boundaries are different.

That doesn’t mean either person is right or wrong. Communicating and compromising is a key part of furthering your relationships.

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