Look To the Western Sky

A blog about single life as a parent & the dreams of a writer by Margo L. Dill

Setting Boundaries: Dating

So I’ve started dating again, and my friends have been on me about setting boundaries. You should know this about me: I am terrible about enforcing the boundaries I set, and I constantly question the boundaries I do manage to set. So if you landed on this post to see how to set and enforce boundaries, check back in a year. This post is going to introduce you to the problem, and maybe we can learn together.

Before I go on about boundaries, I have to share the funniest thing that has happened to me while dating so far. I do mostly online dating. I don’t meet a lot of single, available, tall men from working out of my basement and being the mother of a 6-year-old. SO…I’ve been on the apps you hear about. They are not as bad as you hear. But one day, I had a “zero” date–what you call the “meet and greet” when you’ve exchanged messages and maybe a phone call with someone, but you haven’t met yet.

Anyway, I had a zero date at Starbucks, and I thought it went pretty well. We had talked on the phone and exchanged a few text messages before this, so we had each other’s phone number. We talked for the hour I had at Starbucks, and he went on and on about how he hated online dating, how people needed to be upfront, and how no one could focus on one person anymore,  and then at the end, he said: “Well, we could do a dinner. I’d like to see you again.” So, I thought okay, why not? Then he didn’t text. So, a couple days later, before I decided to move on, I sent my typical text: “Hey NAME, how is your weekend going?”

And the response I got back this time. . .

“Pretty good so far.”

“Is this Gwen?”

That made me laugh out loud. So I decided, well this is over, but it didn’t stop. He kept texting as if I was Gwen. And he said:

“Sorry if I didn’t recognize the number.”

30 minutes passed

“Should I delete this number?”

Finally, I decided to let him know his mistake and told him it was Margo, and yes, he should probably delete the number, and I wished him well.

SO boundaries. . .my friends say that I try too hard to fit into other people’s lives instead of letting them know how to fit into mine. I agree. They also say that once I set a boundary that is reasonable and I am comfortable with, I have to STOP apologizing for it. Set it, have a good reason for it, and then move on with my life. If someone doesn’t respect a reasonable boundary, then they are the problem–not me.

What do you think? Are you good at setting boundaries?

 

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12 Comments

  1. HAHAHA. thanks for sharing. I used to be bad about setting & enforcing boundaries, but I am much better with it now. We need to swap online dating stories cuz my fave one is Wrestling Rick (yes, he was another Rick). But it’s much too lengthy to type out. The thing about boundaries is the same about anything else in life: practice makes perfect. (or at least improvement).

  2. Love this post!

  3. I can’t actually say whether I’d be good at setting boundaries around dating since I’m in a committed relationship. However, I do try to set personal boundaries unless it’s Facebook or with my son. Those not so much.

    • I think setting boundaries is important for any relationship, but hopefully, in a committed relationship, you don’t have to do it much because the person already knows, loves, and respects you!

  4. I think there has to be some give and take from both. The relationship is unbalanced if one person calls all the shots without regard to the needs of the other.

  5. I was fortunate to have four sons in just over six years. I learned very early on to set boundaries. It was my only way to deal with an extremely busy life-style. And, yes, I’d do it all again.

  6. Thought I should clarify something. I’ve been married over sixty years, so I don’t have a clue what goes on in today’s dating culture. Maybe I’ll pick up some tips from you gals, not that I intend to use them in that venue.

    • Ha, Judy! 🙂 You are lucky to have been married for such a long time–but knowing you and how great you are, it is not surprising!

  7. Thanks for sharing the story! Hilarious … but not really!!!

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