Positive Signs You Have Healthy Relationship Boundaries

One of the first things we're taught as kids is to respect other people's boundaries. We're told to keep our hands to ourselves, not interrupt when someone's talking, and be kind to others' feelings. In conjunction, we're also taught to speak up for ourselves and learn to communicate in a healthy way. It sounds simple enough, but as adults, relationships get trickier — sometimes lines get blurred, and we have to grapple with the fact that everyone has different, complex wants and needs.


We all know there's no such thing as a perfect relationship, whether it's with our BFFs or our significant others. But with healthy boundaries and good communication, we can more than get along with others. For instance, physical boundaries are just as important as emotional ones, and you know it's a red flag when someone feels the need to look through their partner's phone. That goes hand-in-hand with not feeling trust, which is a major warning sign. However, if none of these things occur in your relationship, there are still plenty of signs that can tell you if you're on the right track toward setting healthy boundaries with your partner.

You're not on top of each other physically and emotionally

One of the most toxic traits of an unhealthy relationship is codependency, and if you feel like you're in a codependent relationship, you need to curb it — stat. When two people are in this type of situation, there are little to no boundaries, and an equal partnership is lacking. Usually, there is one person that is the enabler while the other is overly dependent on them. A healthy relationship needs space for people to move and grow — sure, it's okay to ask for your partner's thoughts once in a while, which is actually a good sign that you have open communication and trust their advice. But you should be able to make decisions on your own without having to rely on another person.


Having time apart from each other is also an indicator that you have set healthy boundaries. Being together all the time can lead to frustration and resentment — you need time to spend with others and have your own identity apart from your partner. Alone time is crucial as well, so if your significant other understands that you need a night to yourself to binge-watch "Emily in Paris" while giving yourself a mani-pedi, then you've got a keeper.

Fights don't turn combative

Arguments are normal in a relationship, and in fact, they can actually create a stronger bond between you and your partner. Constructive fighting can open the door to important discussions and lead to a better understanding between two people. They can highlight your differences, which will make you appreciate that not everyone has to see things the way you do. Fights only do damage to the relationship when there are hurtful words, blaming, and arguing just to be right.


But if you've had fights with your significant other and you both walked away feeling like your issue was resolved without you being attacked, then you know you have some clear boundaries on what it's appropriate to address and how you treat each other. It's also a good sign that you feel open to discussing things you're unsatisfied with and are not afraid of a big blowout. Also, remember that walking away when you get too frustrated is a good boundary to have so that things don't get too heated — just be sure to check in on each other when things are cool and resolve the issue in a loving way.

Needs and wants are respected

Everyone has something that they have to have in a partner, whether it's someone who's affectionate or a person who's financially stable. It can be something as simple as needing to say good morning and good night every day or knowing that you need your hand held when you take off during a flight. Whatever is on your list of must-haves, it's important that your partner respects it, and vice-versa.


Asking for certain adjustments from your significant other to fulfill your needs isn't an unhealthy request. It's about making your requirements known so that you don't end up feeling sad or resentful if they're not met. As long as you're not expecting them to change a big part of themselves or make huge sacrifices, clearly stating your needs and wants is a healthy way to set boundaries. Recognizing what's important to you and being able to communicate it with your partner will go a long way toward a lasting relationship. If you see this at play in your relationship already, you're on the right track!

You embrace your differences

No two people are alike — and let's face it, it would be pretty boring to date a mirror version of ourselves. The fun part about exploring new relationships is learning about different cultures and being introduced to new experiences. An introvert might be nudged to come out of their shells with an extrovert, or a poetry lover may convince a hard non-fiction reader to eventually appreciate John Keats.


However, you may have to agree to disagree on some matters, and that shouldn't be a deal-breaker. Differences of opinion should still be respected and valued. Couples should take time to understand what has shaped each other's individual views and what motivates them now — and there should never be any mean-spirited teasing or comparison to other people. Bigger issues such as religion and culture can be tricky if two people come from different backgrounds, but as long as there is mutual respect, then you have proof that you've both set healthy boundaries around your differences.

You communicate rather than assume

When you've been together with someone for a while, you might start to take each other for granted, and doing so will lead to disappointment and resentment. But when you make it a habit of not assuming your partner will clear your dishes or drop everything to listen to you vent about your boss, you have made it clear that you respect their time and energy. Additionally, they should be okay with you telling them that you can't pick them up from the airport because you have to finish a big project (or vice versa).


Saying "no" to each other from time to time is not an indicator of a failing relationship. It's actually the opposite — you value each other's physical and emotional space, and you're not afraid to protect your own time and energy when you need to. You're also giving each other the room to figure things out independently. If you find yourself saying "yes" to everything and feeling overburdened, perhaps it's time to take a step back and learn how to be more assertive — in a respectful manner, of course. But if you're both actively communicating rather than assuming that your partner will automatically do and be everything you want from them, that's a sign you both have some healthy boundaries in place.


Being vulnerable feels safe

There's nothing worse than baring your soul to someone only to have them make fun of you or belittle your feelings. When you're in a relationship with someone, you should feel safe enough to be vulnerable and share your fears, doubts, and past experiences — and no matter how silly your worries are, your partner should be open and supportive. Do you take the time to listen to them vent about their bad day and give them your undivided attention? Do they do the same for you? Then you have healthy boundaries in your relationship. Boundaries are not just about saying "no" — they're also about setting expectations that you will be there for each other when it matters.


Of course, choosing when to be vulnerable is also an important boundary to have. If you need to work out your feelings on your own, your partner should give you the space. When and if you want to share, you can convey that to them. Boundaries can shift over time, and it's important to be aware of your own wants and needs. Be vocal and keep up healthy communication with your partner, and your relationship will thrive.