As this generation of women shifts away from the holds of patriarchy into our own sense of autonomy, self-love, and respect, there is noticeable tension between the sexes. Many millennial women are now demanding to have a voice in their relationships, a reality that was just a dream for our foremothers prior to this era. But it takes time to undo the centuries of socialization that taught women that they must sacrifice their mental, physical and emotional well being for the benefit of men. Remnants of this story is still showing up in our romantic relationships, and it takes real self awareness to separate “how you like to be treated,” from the way we were conditioned to be treated. This is when boundaries comes into play.
The boundaries discussion can be a difficult one for women who are innately giving and nurturing. Telling someone ‘no, I don’t want to be with you anymore,’ or ‘no do not call me anymore,’ or ‘no, I no longer want to spend time with you’ can feel mean. But you have the right to your space, to your distance and to your no.
Men who don’t respect ‘no’ and instead go out of their way to wiggle and hassle their ways into your life are not romantics who are ‘doing what it takes’ to get you back. They are manipulative. They are boundary busters.
We saw a horrifically epic display of this just this weekend when rapper Cardi B’s “Rolling Loud” performance was embarrassingly interrupted by her estranged husband, fellow rapper Offset.
Clinical narcissists, in particular, aren’t even doing the work of “wooing” you back because they actually want you, they do it to alleviate their guilt or to win. Someone who truly loves you and has a healthy relationship with themselves would do the actual action work behind fixing whatever caused the split and respectfully give you the space you asked for in the gap.
Some women may have seen his display of affection as “loving,” but in reality, to bombard a woman’s place of work when she has asked for distance is actually harassment and manipulation. Those are not words associated with love and respect.
It’s important that we all get a little more comfortable setting boundaries within all of our relationships–friends and family included.
Here are a couple of tips so you can begin to incorporate boundary setting into all of your connections, according to Growth Counseling Services.