real love boundaries

In this week’s episode, I’m going to be exploring one of my favorite topics.

You guys know that I’m obsessed with healthy love, and I’m also obsessed with healthy boundaries.

So today’s video is going to be all about how healthy love IS boundaried love, and really, we’ve all been sold a bill of goods when it comes to what healthy love really looks like.

From the fairy tales we read our kids to the most popular movies, romantic love is depicted in a completely unhealthy and unrealistic way, much of the time.

Today’s episode is kicking off Boundary Bootcamp season!

So for the next 8 weeks or so I will be focusing on all things healthy boundaries and effective communication so you can create lasting, vibrant relationships in your life!

Earlier I said we’ve been sold a bill of goods and let’s talk about that for a moment.

The media portrayal of romantic love for example, “You complete me” (Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire) or going even further back to, ”Love means never having to say you’re sorry”    (Ali MacGraw in Love Story) is bullshit so much of the time.

No one can or ever will complete you because, in order to be in a healthy relationship you need to already be a whole person and trust me when I say, real love means saying you’re sorry early and often.

The implication is that real love knows no boundaries as two become one. It’s may seem romantic in a Romeo and Juliet sort of way to think that you can’t live without another person but you can and you did.

We are exploring these misconceptions because they do a disservice to those who are actually interested in relationships that can grow and endure.

Below are a few questions for you to consider to determine your conscious and unconscious beliefs about romantic love.

  • When you are in a romantic relationship do you give up the rest of your life?
  • Do you feel like being in love means everything has to be about that person?
  • Do you give up your friendships or your alone time?
  • Are you the friend that gets into a relationship and falls off the face of the planet?
  • Do you look to romantic love to make you happy?
  • Do you believe that if you can just find the right person – all will be well and you’ll finally be happy? (This belief can put a lot of pressure on a relationship and be a set up for failure since happiness is an inside job. Only you can figure out what makes you happy in your life.)
  • Do you think that real love means not having emotional or psychological privacy?

Some couples demand this kind of complete and total transparency about everything from what went on in your Private therapy appointment to what you texted your pals that day. This is a clear lack of healthy boundaries and more like a prison than a relationship. Having a right to your own thoughts and feelings is not being disloyal to another person. Respecting the other person as separate from you is another really important part of this process because what are boundaries? They are the understanding of where you end, and the other person begins.

The goal of being in a healthy relationship and being in a relationship with good boundaries is to create interdependence as opposed to codependence. So what’s the difference?

Codependence means that when something is happening to the other person, it feels like it’s happening to you. You feel responsible for the other person’s choices, their outcomes, or they feel responsible for yours or both. Interdependence means that it’s a choice. There is a balance of power and sharing of responsibilities for the relationship.

Boundaries are the solid foundation on which to build lasting love. So don’t be fooled by films or fairy tales of enmeshment being the path to true love because only two complete people coming together actually creates hot, healthy, vibrant enduring love.

So, I hope this episode got you thinking about any limiting beliefs you may have about boundaries in romantic relationships since it is kicking off Boundary Bootcamp Season 2018!  

If you liked today’s episode, please share it on your social media outlets and look for what’s coming up because we have a lot of fun stuff planned including a FREE masterclass training mid-September. Stay tuned for details…

Thank you for watching, listening and sharing and as always, take care of you.

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  1. Hi Terri
    Just listened to your intro video on boundaries. For the last 2 years a coworker (female) would give everyone a hug in the morning and again upon leaving at days end. Her and I connected or whatever the term is and became fast friends because we (seen) each other thru the souls lens because we were abused children. However, many coworkers had problems with her hugging. It didn’t bother me at first but I became confused by it later on. I felt like she wanted something in return and other times it just felt like too much maybe because i grew up in a dry home and as a lesbian myself I questioned if hugging her everyday twice a day was crossing a line because I’m in a relationship and I felt guilty to hug her that much.
    After about a year I got used to her hugs and then she became intermittent with them and I found myself missing them and wondered if I had done something wrong. Some mornings I dodged around her so I wouldn’t have to navigate how I felt about giving her a hug back. Now she has quit and me and my coworkers are feeling like we are missing something. We joke about it now that we won’t be getting anymore lovebombs.
    Was this a sort of manipulation?
    And knowing I am lesbian early on she would hug me when I was seated in my chair and hug me so hard she pushed her chest into my face. I was paralyzed physically and I was extremely uncomfortable but for some reason I didn’t want her to think she made me uncomfortable. I was frozen with fear to say anything and embarrassed at the same time.
    At one time she demanded I stand up to hug her when she became upset because a coworker she became close to died. I did stand and hug her but it was a strange thing to do for me because I felt like I had done something wrong by not initiating the hug toward her. It never occurred to me to hug her. I wanted to be friends with her but I’m not sure what that meant for her at the time. And for me I wanted and needed a friendship outside my partnered relationship but not at the expense of me questioning what was really going on and what her intentions really were.
    Im in a place in my life now that I’m learning boundaries for the first time. My mother is a narcissist and I went no contact with her 3 yrs ago so navigating my relationships is a new thing to me.
    Sorry this is so long but I do look forward to more videos on this issue. Thank you Terri.

    1. Thanks for sharing your story here with us, Donna! Sounds like she was a bit of a boundary bully and that really no one knew exactly how to handle her in the work environment. Your mixed emotions seem very normal to me as she seemed to push the line by sort of sticking her chest in your face on that forced sitting hug (ug!) The take might be for you to get clear about your own physical boundaries and what you’re comfortable with and next time express it with words. They can be kind but firm and then you won’t be in a repeated situation that made for a tense work situation at times. Stay tuned for more vids on boundaries and language to set them! Thanks for being here 😉

  2. Dear Terri, You are the person who brought this term “personal boundaries” into my life and you were really hitting the nail on the head. Cannot thank you enough for that. From then on I am improving and building my boundaries. Although it is not always easy.
    What I would be really interested in is, how you could introduce this term to kids/ teens? If teens aware of their boundaries, they could spare themselves from many many disappointments and bad experince. Do you maybe plan to touch upon this topic?
    As I became aware of the importance of boundaries I noticed, my twelve year old kid is melting all his boundaries just to please others. I just don’t know, how to open his eyes. If I could turn back time, I wish someone told me in my teens that it is ok to disagree and it is ok to have your own thoughts.

    1. Aniko,
      I am so happy the Boundary videos have helped you. I will add your idea to my list of vids to create. It is important content to be able to teach kids and teens how to draw boundaries and you are already modeling healthier boundary behavior for your son. Stay tuned for the vid and keep up the great work!

  3. Hi Terri,

    I’ve been enjoying your videos. Especially on boundaries. I didn’t realize just how badly I needed help with this until fairly recently. I’m not a spring chicken, but somehow I’ve managed to live my life inviting people to stomp all over me. Well, that is slowly changing, thank goodness! I do have a couple of questions for you…

    I’ve realized that boundaries are simply behaviors or comments that I won’t tolerate being aimed at me. There is no instruction manual about what a person should or should not expect. Yet, I’ve often been in situations where people do or say things that don’t seem bad to me until later. For example, I have a friend that used to be rather bossy with me and would say things to me that were apparently not very nice. It wasn’t until a couple of co-workers said to me that she was kinda mean to me that I started to realize, this isn’t a normal exchange between people. My question, how do we define/create these boundaries in a way that doesn’t take things over board into being too sensitive?

    My second question is about how to enforce boundaries. I find at the time the boundary is crossed I am frequently so stunned that I don’t have a clue what to say or if I do open my mouth what I do say will be extremely hurtful to the other person. The other possibility is, I don’t realize that it was a boundary crossed until it continues to pop up in my mind as an irritant. Do I go back and confront the person or just wait for the next time I encounter a similar situation and have my defense ready?

    Thanks for the work you do!

    1. Majorie,
      Thanks for your interest in Boundary health! You are in luck as Boundary Bootcamp Season (2 months a year I focus on discussing tons of topics relating to boundaries) has just begun. Stay tuned and I will be covering many of your questions in weekly Wednesday Wisdom sessions and we will also have a boundary awareness-raising challenge starting September 5th. Looking forward to sharing this content with you!

  4. Such an important topic, and I really appreciate the distinctions you make between interdependence and co-dependence. That really resonates, and I think this idea applies to non-romantic partnerships as well. Will more specific applications and examples be covered beyond romantic partnerships or marriage? It seems a dearth of support exists for troublesome boundaries with siblings and other family members, and I would especially welcome this. 🙂 Your way of speaking and explaining information is both knowledgeable and personable, both clear and engaging, so learning from you is a joy.

    1. Debra,
      Yes as Boundary Bootcamp season continues I will be hitting boundaries and communication in all kinds of relationships – including family and friends. Stay tuned and thanks for being here with us.

  5. Hello! Thank you for your videos and resources! I’m a 39yr old happily married mom of two small children! I married at 33 and found out thru my marriage my family of origin’s true feelings towards me. Trying to set boundaries at 33 wasn’t received. I discovered my father is the most toxic extreme narcissist EVER! I had to learn who I was after my separation/divorce from my parents and siblings. I struggle with PTSD from that experience but everyday thru healthy nutrition, yoga and meditation I’m healing from the inside out! I enjoy your resources immensely!

    1. Jennifer,
      Thanks for sharing your story here with us. I am cheering you on and so impressed with how much you have already overcome! Keep up the great work!

  6. Like Chris, I was also in a destructive relationship: 15 years of what I now see was emotional abuse. The lack of boundaries is probably the simplest and clearest way to summarize the dysfunction. But all the while I thought I was doing “the right thing,” as I’d been taught in church and in the media. “Turn the other cheek,” “The last will be first,” and other BS I was fed, along with decades of nice girl training, and myths about what true love looks like. I’m just now — in my 50’s — beginning to believe that my story and my opinions and needs are just as valuable as the next (male) person’s. This cultural indoctrination runs deep!

    Thanks for your clear reminders of what “healthy” looks like. I’m doing much better this time around, 9 years into a much healthier relationship. But I still find that it takes constant vigilance and continual check-ins with my body, otherwise I can slip back into “pleasing” mode.

  7. Hi Terri ,

    Love from england, found you on youtube a month ago. Listening to your videos has changed my life. I watch them every week. I’ve been to counciling for many years and never learned as much.

    Thanks for helping

  8. Thanks Terri.So true .Especially after being in a destructive relationship with a narc.I m now discovering my boundries actually for the first time in my life and i m 60 now. ..
    You look very beautiful love your New hair.
    I live in Holland otherwise would be great to meet you in real person some time.
    ?Chris Hartgers

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