You’re single, you don’t have anyone to answer to! Do your thing; no rules, regulations or boundaries to live within. Who cares if you’re being completely rude and disrespectful, right? Wrong. You may not have a boyfriend to answer to, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some boundaries you need to establish and respect.
You have to set these rules to maintain friendships and keep your sanity. Are you wondering where the inspiration for this post came from? Let me tell you…
After I called off my engagement, I fell into the habit of hanging out with one certain guy. I don’t like to necessarily call him a rebound, because we never technically were ‘dating’ by our own standards, nor were we ever sleeping together, but we did spend several nights a week together.
So while I was out of town one weekend, he took my best friend out to dinner. Weird, right? It gets worse. He took her out to dinner with his family. It was extremely bizarre, and it pissed me off. After that, I decided that it was time that I set my own boundaries so that I did not do such a thing to any of my friends.
Set your Boundaries
I know, buzz kill. You mean I can’t just go around sleeping with whomever I want? Totally sucks, but it’s true.
There is a very simple way to go about setting your boundaries. Simply ask yourself, “would that hurt me?” You have to answer honestly. Really think about how you would feel if you heard that your best friend went to dinner with your first love; then think about how you’d feel if an acquaintance went. There will be different reactions to the hypothetical situations based on the relationship you have with the offending party, and that is how you know where your boundaries lie.
You don’t have to walk a mile in the other person’s shoes, you just have to put them on. Are they too tight, too big? Are they downright ugly? Don’t spend time hashing out extra details that “may make it OK.” Think about it, go with your gut, and draw the line.
Don’t Forget your Boundaries
And don’t ignore them either. It’s easy to let your rules kind of float out the window when there’s an enticing situation knocking on your door, but don’t do it! It’s easy to set rules, but it’s much harder to live within them. It can be restricting, that’s unavoidable, but there are several things you need to remember:
- You are the one who set these rules
- You set them because you know it would hurt if the tables were turned
- Following your rules makes you a better person
That’s right. Holding yourself to the standards you hold others to makes you a better person. It makes you respectable. We all know the “give respect, get respect” mantra. If you live within your rules, others will be inspired to follow the same when it comes to what may hurt you. It’s catty but girls often think, “well, she’d do it to me, so who cares?” If they think, “oh, she would never do that,” they’re less likely to do it to you.
And on that note, remember, not everyone is going to live by your same rules. Your friends will do things to you that you think, “I’d never do that.” That’s a crappy feeling, I know it. I felt it when my best friend went to dinner with my faux-rebound, but don’t stoop to that level. I promise you, it’s easier to hold your head high and know that you are being respectful rather than “getting even,” which is an entirely separate post.