8 things strong women do at the start of a relationship to set healthy boundaries

Navigating the start of a new relationship can be thrilling, but it’s also critical to establish healthy boundaries. This is something strong women, like myself, understand well.

Hi there, Tina Fey here, relationship expert and founder of Love Connection. I’ve learned that clear boundaries are not about building walls; rather, they’re about setting the stage for a strong, respectful union.

In this article, I’ll share eight habits of strong women who set healthy boundaries right from the beginning of a relationship. These are tried-and-true strategies that I’ve personally used and observed in others.

1) They Communicate Openly

Being a strong woman isn’t about being invincible, it’s about embracing vulnerability and using it as a strength. This starts with open communication.

In the early stages of a relationship, it can be all too easy to keep things light, avoiding any heavy discussions. But strong women know that setting healthy boundaries begins with clear, honest communication.

Open up about your needs, your expectations, and your non-negotiables. Remember, this isn’t about making demands or giving ultimatums; it’s about inviting your partner into a conversation.

Strong women understand that open dialogue fosters understanding and respect, building the foundation for a healthy relationship.

In my own experience, I’ve found that the more I communicate openly, the more respect and understanding my partner and I share.

2) They Prioritize Self-Care

Strong women understand the importance of self-care. They know that a healthy relationship doesn’t mean losing yourself in the process.

Audrey Hepburn once said, “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” This quote has always resonated with me.

In the madness of a budding romance, it’s easy to forget about personal needs and desires. But strong women make it a point to maintain their hobbies, friendships, and alone time. They know that taking care of themselves makes them better partners.

When I first started dating my husband, I made sure to keep my regular yoga sessions and coffee dates with friends. That personal time helped me stay grounded and reminded me of who I am outside of the relationship.

So remember, setting boundaries isn’t just about defining what’s acceptable from your partner; it’s also about preserving your own personal space and time.

3) They Understand Their Worth

A strong woman stands firm in her self-worth. She knows her value and refuses to accept anything less than what she deserves in a relationship.

In my book, Breaking The Attachment: How To Overcome Codependency in Your Relationship, I discuss the importance of recognizing your own worth to avoid falling into the trap of codependency.

I’ve personally struggled with codependency in the past, and it took a deep understanding of my own worth to break free. I had to remind myself that I’m deserving of a healthy, balanced relationship, and so are you.

Don’t be afraid to set high standards for yourself. After all, a strong woman knows she’s high value and deserves nothing less.

If you’re interested in learning more about this, check out my book on Amazon here

4) They’re Not Afraid to Say No

This might seem counterintuitive, but strong women understand that saying no can actually be a powerful way to establish boundaries.

In the early stages of a relationship, it’s easy to want to say yes to everything your partner suggests. You might feel the need to please them or fear that saying no might drive them away. But agreeing to everything, even things you’re uncomfortable with, can lead to resentment.

I’ve learned this the hard way in my own relationships. There were times when I agreed to things that I wasn’t comfortable with just to avoid conflict. But in the long run, it only led to feelings of resentment and a breakdown of communication.

Strong women are not afraid to say no when something doesn’t align with their values or comfort levels. They know that a partner who respects them will understand their reasons and respect their boundaries.

So don’t be afraid to say no. It’s not a rejection, but rather a self-affirmation. 

5) They Set Clear Expectations

Setting clear expectations is a crucial step in establishing healthy boundaries. It helps prevent misunderstandings and potential disappointments down the line.

In my own relationships, I’ve found that being upfront about what I expect from my partner, as well as understanding their expectations of me, has been key to maintaining harmony.

For example, I am a firm believer in spending quality time together, so at the start of a relationship, I make it clear that I value regular dates and meaningful interactions. But I also make sure to understand my partner’s expectations in return.

Strong women don’t leave things to chance or assumptions. They communicate their expectations and encourage their partners to do the same. This way, both parties know where they stand and can work together to meet each other’s needs.

6) They Don’t Ignore Red Flags

Let’s be raw and honest here. No relationship is perfect and everyone has their quirks, but there’s a significant difference between quirks and red flags.

Strong women don’t brush off red flags or make excuses for their partner’s behavior. They confront issues head-on and make tough decisions when necessary.

In my past, I’ve ignored red flags, hoping they would somehow disappear or that my partner would change. Spoiler alert: they didn’t, and he didn’t.

It’s crucial to recognize and address warning signs early on. Whether it’s a lack of respect, constant criticism, or any form of manipulation – these are not traits to be ignored.

Take it from me, addressing red flags early on will save you from potential heartache down the line. So be strong, be brave, and always trust your intuition.

You deserve a relationship that brings you happiness and respect – never settle for less.

7) They Maintain Their Independence

Strong women never lose their sense of self in a relationship. They maintain their independence and understand the importance of having a life outside of their partner.

In the past, I found myself giving up my hobbies and interests to spend all my time with my partner. Over time, however, I realized that this didn’t lead to a healthy, balanced relationship.

Strong women make sure to keep their passions alive and continue living their lives as individuals, not just as someone’s partner. They make time for their friends, hobbies, and alone time, understanding that these things contribute to their overall happiness.

So remember, maintaining your independence isn’t about distancing yourself from your partner; it’s about preserving your individuality within the relationship.

8) They Don’t Rush Things

Here’s some raw honesty for you: strong women don’t rush into things. They understand the importance of taking things slow and letting a relationship develop naturally over time.

In the past, I’ve let the excitement of a new relationship rush me into commitments I wasn’t ready for. The result? Heartache and regret.

Strong women know their worth and aren’t afraid to take the time to ensure their partner is a good fit for them. They don’t push for immediate commitment or make rushed decisions out of fear or insecurity.

They understand that a healthy relationship needs time to grow. It’s not about how fast you get there, but about enjoying the journey and making sure it’s the right one for you.

Final thoughts

Navigating the start of a relationship can be tricky, but setting healthy boundaries from the get-go is essential. Remember, strong women aren’t born; they’re made. By following these habits, you too can set the stage for a healthy, balanced relationship.

For more insights on establishing boundaries and overcoming codependency, I invite you to check out my book Breaking The Attachment: How To Overcome Codependency in Your Relationship.

Remember, setting boundaries isn’t about building walls; it’s about creating a relationship based on mutual respect and understanding. 

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Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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