For online relationships to work really well they need ‘ground rules’, or mutual agreements on how to act, treat one another and manage the relationship online. This is where digital boundaries come in.
Digital boundaries are our wants and limitations when it comes to online relationship activity.
Having our digital boundaries respected, and respecting the digital boundaries of our partners, is super important for the health, safety and happiness of online relationships.
There are three main steps to setting and respecting digital boundaries:
Step One: Check in with yourself
What are your digital boundaries?
Before you speak to your partner/s about digital boundaries, it can help to think about what you want out of your online relationship/s.
Some questions to ask yourself are:
- Is it okay to post about our relationship publicly?
- Do we post our relationship status publicly?
- Is it okay for me to be tagged in posts, photos etc?
- Is it okay for us to check-in to places together?
- Do I want to be able to follow or friend other people in my life?
- What are my expectations for communication via texting, calling and social media?
Step Two: Talk to your partner/s
Communicating around boundaries is an essential part of any relationship. This way, we can share our own boundaries with our partner/s and we can also find out about theirs.
This step will involve negotiation and compromise so that you can mutually agree on how your online relationship is going to work. This being said, no one should feel as though they have to agree to something they’re not comfortable with.
It’s important to know too that your digital boundaries can change over time as your relationship grows and changes. You may want to change some previously agreed upon boundaries, or add in new ones along the way as you continue to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. As long as there is always mutual agreement, then it’s all good.
Step Three: Respect all boundaries
Once digital boundaries have been set and communicated, it’s super important that they’re respected.
If you’re ever unsure about whether or not your partner/s would be happy about something happening in your relationship, the best thing to do is ASK. Never assume that you know the answers. You need to make sure you have their consent at all times.
To find out more about relationship boundaries, check this out: