To have healthy relationships

You must set boundaries

But what does that mean?

Anne-Marie Hofmann
6 min readMay 4, 2020

If you’re a child of the 80’s having gone through your teen years circa late 90's/early 2000’s, this article is especially intended for you. We are the generation of non-boundary setting. We flat out don’t know how to do it. It’s not our fault — it’s a skill we were never taught — but it is our responsibility to learn to draw that proverbial line in the sand.

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The media that reared us engendered us to believe ridiculous notions; a perfect partner doesn’t need cultivation, he knows what you want — he obsesses over the subtleties of your behavior to decipher your wants and needs. Your only job is to drop hints. For ladies, saying “no” makes you a bitch while for men, hearing “no” means she’s just playing hard to get; and stating your wants/needs in a direct manner makes you selfish.

Oomph. I’m getting a headache.

Me too! It’s no wonder our generation mastered online dating and, with it, created the art of “ghosting.” It allows us to be “safe” behind screens since most of us have no idea how to set boundaries, speak our truth, or deal with confrontation.

But let me be extremely clear.

You will never have healthy relationships until you learn to set and maintain boundaries, and until you learn to respect those bounds set by others. This goes for parents, children, friends, lovers, bosses, housemates, neighbors, doctors— everyone that you maintain any relationship with.

Voicing your needs and limits allows you to love yourself, and respecting the boundaries set by others is the greatest way to demonstrate that you value them for more than how their existence benefits your life.

But if we weren’t taught about boundaries, how do we know when they aren’t being set or honored? Here’s a few examples to help you out:

Boundary setting but not respecting

Parent to child

You have a 6 year old. His name is Toby.

Toby: Mom, can I watch some TV?
Mom: No, you’ve had plenty of TV today. Why don’t you color or play outside, instead? Or you could build with…



Anne-Marie Hofmann

Sassy+Loving. Scientific+Spiritual. Nomadic. Always sincere, often wry. Hopefully romantic. Polymath.