Navigating a relationship can be tough!  People come into relationships with different expectations.  Sometimes one partner’s vision of what he or she wants in the relationship does not match what the other partner wants.   When differences arise, don’t be afraid to talk about your concerns.  Open communication is key to a healthy relationship.

Emotional Boundaries
It is also healthy to have different interests and to have time apart.   Both partners should feel free to spend time with other people without having to ask permission.   No one should feel trapped or pressured into spending all of their time with their partner.   Neither partner should feel obligated to say “I love you” simply because those words were spoken by the other partner.   One partner may move faster emotionally than the other.   Respect each other’s emotional pace and personal boundaries.

Physical Boundaries
Don’t rush into a physical relationship if you aren’t ready.   Openly communicate what level of intimacy you are comfortable and respect your partner’s boundaries around intimacy.  Everyone should be allowed to say “no” and have their wishes respected without feeling guilty.

Digital Boundaries
Think about what you send via text and email before you send it.   Once you send a message or a photo, you lose all control over who sees the content or what happens with the information.   Keep all your phone and website passwords private.   Everyone is entitled to digital privacy.

Boundaries are about respect: respect yourself, respect your partner, and respect each other’s choices.  If you would like more information about relationships or boundaries, visit www.loveisrespect.org and Military OneSource.

If you feel like you are in an unhealthy relationship, there are resources available to help.   You can contact the Family Advocacy or Community Counseling Program on your local military installation for support, services, and information.