Fear of setting boundaries

sex, celibate, abstinence, relationship, men, women, love, marriage, God

I established a boundary with a friend of mine for the first time in my life. Until I decided to take a year away from dating and sex, I had no idea what a personal boundary was or how to go about setting one. I was so afraid of being rejected and busy trying to please other people so they would accept me, that I kicked my own wants and needs to the curb.

That’s what boundaries are about, telling someone else what you will and will not put up with. Because if you don’t tell them, how will they know? For instance, the last guy I dated before I embarked on my celibate journey was a “texter”. When we met, I told him how much I disliked text because the possibilities for miscommunication were endless. I also felt as though text was too emotionally detached and that if someone likes me that much I deserve a phone call. But of course I didn’t tell him that because I didn’t feel I had the right to speak up for what I wanted.

After hearing how much I dislike text (but not getting the real explanation why, in fairness to him) he proceeded to text me a couple days later to ask me out again. Did I take this opportunity to establish a boundary and tell him I don’t accept date proposals or any other conversations via text? Did I make it clear he needs to CALL to arrange a date? NO. I texted back and never said another word about it. And continued to text even though it was not what I wanted to do. I sold myself out just like I always did because I felt I wasn’t worthy enough to ask and receive what I desired and that I had to put my own wants aside in favour of someone else’s.

So, now that I know the importance of establishing boundaries to one’s self-esteem and personal growth, I went about setting one when the opportunity presented itself again. My new male friend asked if he could come over and watch a movie. After much mental deliberation about how he might laugh at me or stop calling me or think I was uptight and crazy, I decided to set a boundary: I told him I no longer allow men to come into my home when no one else is there. Period. I told him it was my new policy and waited for either a) silence or b) laughter. Instead what I got was this response:

“I can respect that. Good for you! How about I meet you after work and we go for a walk?”

Not at all what I expected. I should have started setting boundaries a long time ago.

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