When the book, The Rules, by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider, first came out in 1995, it became an instant worldwide hit. Women everywhere were drawn to the concept of having a set of 'rules' to help them navigate the early stages of their romantic relationships.
Although I don't necessarily agree with the 'rules' themselves, the idea of having a set of personal parameters of what you will and won't accept when you're dating, is a concept I can get behind.
Boundaries are a set of rules we create to let people know how we would like to be treated. They also determine how other people's actions and words affect us and how our own behaviour and words can affect others.
Being crystal clear about how you want to be treated is so important when entering into any new relationship. Setting up the understanding of what you prefer gives the other person the opportunity to figure out if they can meet your expectations, or not.
Once the relationship is established your desire for closeness should be met with closeness. If your new partner only ever wants to hook up on a Friday night after they've already been out, but having an actual conversation with them is like pulling teeth, then it's probably a good sign that they don't want the same thing as you.
If this is happening, and you find yourself making excuses for them, then you need to be honest with yourself and ask why you're putting up with that sort of behaviour.
Being flexible is important. Allowing room for mistakes is okay, but when their pattern of behaviour feels like you have to constantly adjust something within yourself, then it's time to make a decision about what you really want.
A friend of mine recently met a guy through an online dating site. They had a good connection and started emailing each other on a regular basis. One day he sent her an email and called her by a different name. At first she corrected him and decided to give him the benefit of the doubt.
The second time it happened, well let's just say, he ran smack bang into her boundary!
Whether you or I would have given him a second chance is not important, because boundaries are unique to each person. What my friend knew was that she was also talking to more than one person, and it could have been an honest oversight. By the second time, she felt it was a sign he wasn't putting in much effort, and that definitely didn't bode well for a long and happy future together.