Teen Dating Boundaries

Marcelina Hardy, MSEd, BCC
Teen dating boundaries

If you've just started a new relationship, you may be interested in knowing about teen dating boundaries. Understanding what you shouldn't do, can lessen your chances of having to deal with a break up because you've done something offensive.

Understanding Boundaries

While you may have heard the word boundaries many times, you may not know exactly what it means. Boundaries are invisible walls people set up to help them feel comfortable. When these invisible walls are crossed, people may feel uneasy and threatened. People feel like they need to defend themselves by pushing the person who crossed the boundary away.

In relationships, boundaries help each person feel connected as well as comfortable. This connection and comfort helps the relationship grow and sustain itself. As the relationship matures, boundaries can change, allowing you and your loved one to get closer.

Teen Dating Boundaries: What You Should Know

Since boundaries are invisible walls, you aren't able to know exactly what the person feels comfortable with. The following are some teen dating boundaries to keep in mind while in a relationship.

Move Slow with Intimacy

Do not pressure your boyfriend/girlfriend to engage in any form of intimacy (kissing, touching, sex, etc.) unless he/she is ready. If you sincerely care and love the person you are with, you will be willing to wait until he/she wants to engage in certain types of intimacy.

Sometimes it can be difficult to read the signs of whether someone is ready to kiss or have sex. The following are signs a person isn't ready:

  • You lean in for a kiss and the person pulls back.
  • The person tells you that he/she is not ready.
  • When you ask if the person is ready to have sex, he/she says, "I guess…"
  • You bring up the subject of intimacy, while your boyfriend/girlfriend never does.
  • The person is tense or looks worried when you start to become intimate.

Respect and Trust

Respect in a relationship goes both ways. You should never call each other names, take advantage of one another, or do things that would intentionally hurt the other person. You want to love the person you are with and care for him/her as you would want to be loved and cared for. With respect, comes trust. As you and your partner respect one another, a level of comfort develops. This comfort helps both of you open up to each other more by telling each other things you wouldn't tell other people. This high level of communication helps the relationship grow.

Friends Are Off Limits

It is inappropriate to seek out your current boyfriend/girlfriend friends when still in the relationship. If you have a crush on your current boyfriend/girlfriend's friend, the best thing to do is break up with the person.

Warning: Some people think it's never right to date the friend of an ex. This means that either you don't ever pursue a relationship with the friend or you risk breaking up the friendship between your ex and his/her friend. Usually, this decision lies with your ex's friend and not you. It's just something to keep in mind because trouble between friends can sometimes be a major stress on a relationship, which could ultimately cause a break up.

Talking About Boundaries

If you are unsure about crossing boundaries, ask your boyfriend or girlfriend about them. Start out the conversation stating that you sense he/she is uncomfortable when you bring up a particular topic or do something and you just want to make sure you aren't being offensive. This will show that you are sensitive and care about how he/she feels, which will score you major points.

Teen Dating Boundaries