Dating can be pretty eventful, even for mature women.
Before the first date, your mind is flooded with thoughts. Will it be fun? Will my date like me? Will I like my date? Will we have enough to talk about?
Then, there’s the date itself. If there isn’t chemistry, it’s a bummer. But if there is, let the magic begin!
It can feel so exciting to find someone you click with. If you haven’t clicked with someone in a while, it can feel like a relief.
You’re trying to keep your hopes in check, but they’re still there. And when the date ends, your mind is flooded with more thoughts.
Will there be a second date? If so, when? Could this person be the love of my life, some day?
Let’s say the dating continues, and it’s everything you hoped for. But then a boundary is broken.
Boundaries can be broken at any stage of dating. They can be broken in the later stages, as in the example above. Or they can be broken as early as on the first date.
We can’t always prevent boundary breaking, as we can’t control others’ actions. But there are ways we as mature women can set boundaries from the very beginning.
Here are several opportunities to set boundaries, no matter what stage of dating you find yourself in:
Opportunity #1: Set Boundaries When You First Say “Hello”
Mature women don’t have to sit down on the first date and say, “Listen. Here are my boundaries, and here’s what I will and won’t accept. Oh, and it’s nice to meet you.”
You can, of course, set boundaries in other ways. You set them in the way that you carry yourself when you first say hello. You carry yourself with confidence.
When your date asks a question, you answer it honestly, even if you don’t think it’s what they want to hear. You embrace who you are. And you communicate in a way that says, “I’m to be respected”—without ever having to say it.
Your date might, accidentally or not, break a boundary anyway. And that’s not on you.
If a boundary is broken, you can let them know. From there, it’s up to you to decide whether it’s a deal-breaker.
If you feel your date isn’t the one for you, that’s okay! As a mature woman, you will have other opportunities. As Jay-Z says, on to the next one.
Opportunity #2: Set Boundaries When You’re Moving at Different Paces
This is kind of like the “I need space” situation. If you’ve been on the receiving end of this, you know it can be the worst.
How much space do they need? A little? Or do they need it, like, forever?
It can be either or. But in any case, a boundary is being set.
Sometimes in dating, people move at different paces. You might want to be “official” well before your partner does, or vice versa.
You might want your dates more spaced out, while your partner wants them closer together. One of you might be unsure of what you want. One of you might just like a bit more “me” time.
Moving at different paces can even happen well into the relationship. Does one person want to move in together sooner than the other? What about getting a dog, getting married, or having kids, if you want those things?
If you need to slow things down or speed them up, set that boundary. Your partner should know what pace you need for the relationship to have the best chance at working out.
Opportunity #3: Set Boundaries When You Feel Disrespected
The hope is that you’ll never feel disrespected during dating. But it happens to many mature women.
Someone may intentionally disrespect you — perhaps by putting you down to elevate themselves.
Alternatively, someone might accidentally make you feel disrespected! Miscommunications happen. (But be careful when discerning what’s accidental and what’s not.)
In either case, it’s time to set boundaries. Share how you feel, and get to the bottom of the other persons’ intentions. In any case, share what you will and will not accept.
Say no to bad behavior and yes to yourself.
After setting boundaries, decide if you’d like to continue to date. If someone has disrespected you even once, it’s not a good sign. But you’re free to roll the dice.
If you’re disrespected again, it might be time to call it quits. No one deserves to be disrespected.
Opportunity #4: Set Boundaries When You’re Communicating Values and Desired Lifestyles
Setting boundaries doesn’t always have to feel like a negative experience.
Setting boundaries can be a perfectly reasonable, healthy part of building a life with someone. Mature women all do it!
We all have things we want (and don’t want) in relationships to feel happy and fulfilled.
In dating, it’s great to express what those things are! Such discussions will help your date learn more about you and your compatibility.
For example, if you want a monogamous relationship, that’s a boundary worth expressing. Your date may agree, or they might prefer a different relationship style.
We all have different boundaries. Learning what those are can help us treat others with understanding, respect, and kindness.
Setting boundaries can even be helpful for “the small stuff.” For example, here’s a boundary of mine:
I don’t want the person I’m dating in the bathroom while I’m doing my thing. I know many aren’t like this, but that’s a boundary of mine!
If this kind of boundary is broken, no big deal. But it’s still a boundary my partner respects (and actually shares!). What are yours?
By Setting Boundaries, Mature Women Honor Who They Are
Knowing your boundaries in dating is everything.
It can help you understand yourself more deeply, so that you know exactly what you want and need.
It can empower you to express your deal-makers and deal-breakers to potential partners. And it can set you up for success in your relationships.
Setting boundaries is a great way to honor yourself and ensure you feel happy, valued, respected, and fulfilled in your dating life.
I hope you enjoyed this post and would love to hear from you! What boundaries will you be setting in dating?