Understanding Personal Boundaries

Have you ever become uncomfortable or anxious when someone moves too close to you? You’re chatting away to a cute guy who is incredibly charming and funny when he suddenly touches your face. You have just gone from talking about careers and aspirations to face touching in seconds….wtf? His hand is on your back pressing you closer and you can’t help but step back, bumping into the person standing behind you. Great! You’re left feeling uncomfortable and the cute guy now looks annoyed. What just happened and how did nice and adorable leave you with a sudden need to escape and visit the bathroom?

We all have a shield we use to protect ourselves in our daily lives; also known as our boundaries or personal space and we feel quite unhappy if someone encroaches without warning. It can be frustrating when someone hasn’t bothered to get to know you or feels that 10 minutes worth of witty chat is all that is needed to move in and stake a claim. It’s bad enough when people take liberty and start referring to you on an intimate level when you don’t know them. It’s even worse when they move into your personal space without any respect or understanding of who you are.

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The space you have between those around you differs depending on how well you know the person. A good friend you have known for many years would stand closer to you when engaging in a conversation. You have built a level of trust and respect with each other and have learned each others personalities and boundaries. With someone that you have just met, we tend to stand a little further apart. It is nothing more than a safety measure, think of your instincts, if something goes wrong you want to be able to move to a safe distance or get away.

When it comes to dating or getting to know someone, being flirtatious while respecting someones personal space may seem like a challenge. It really isn’t as difficult as you would think, you just need to take notice of the other persons body language. If you don’t know the person well, or at all, keep a casual distance of at least 2-3 feet. You don’t need to feel their breath on your face to hold a conversation. The person you are talking to will more than likely flee if you try to corner them. So how do you get to know someone and flirt with boundaries?

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Here’s the reality check, if you are meeting for the first time you don’t know anything about them…right?!! He or she may be gorgeous but that doesn’t mean they are not cheating, have a drug problem or are trying to make ends meet and want you to fund their evening. Keep the conversation light and fun and let your inner wit free. Its all about connecting which means you want to find someone who gets you. If you don’t feel comfortable or don’t feel a connection, it just means you both have different personalities, no biggy! Move on…

While you are talking about your job, your love of football or a concert you can’t wait to see, pay attention to the persons body language. Is he or she smiling and engaging in the conversation? While you’re chatting away move in a little closer and watch their reaction. Do they step back? Turn their face away, look unhappy or do they moves closer to you? If they move in closer, then its a great sign. The person is not only interested in what you are saying, they feel more comfortable in your company.

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Once you start to feel more confident and the person who you are talking to is asking more questions to get to know you, then you will know the conversation is moving in the right direction. Just remember, if he or she starts asking you if you own your home or how much money you make then its time to leave. Take your time to get to know the person without coming on too strong makes for great flirting, builds up attraction and helps you to feel more confident about yourself. Each time you ask a question or come out with some playful banter keep an eye for warnings signs. If the person starts to look uncomfortable you may need to back off a tad.

Getting to know someone is about respecting boundaries, paying attention to body language and having fun. There’s no rush, the likely event of a meteor smashing into Earth is very slim, so take your time and enjoy yourself. If the person you are attracted to welcomes your advances and tries a few of their own it will be up to you as to what you feel comfortable with. But if things don’t go according to plan, don’t sweat it, it simply wasn’t meant to be. We are all constantly learning and growing as individuals, just because this particular conversation didn’t go as planned, it doesn’t mean it won’t work tomorrow.

Be patient, be flirty but also be respectful.

x x x

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