Boundaries in Dating by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

Discover the key to successful relationships with Henry Cloud's bestselling book, Boundaries in Dating. Read our review and find lasting happiness.

"Boundaries in Dating" is a book written by Henry Cloud and John Townsend, a clinical psychologist, and leadership consultant

Dating can be fun, but it's not easy. Meeting people is just one concern. Once you've met someone, then what? What do you build? Nothing, a simple friendship, or more? How do you set smart limits on physical involvement and Financial involvement? Individual responsibilities?

Respected counselors, popular radio hosts, and best-selling authors Henry Cloud and John Townsend apply the principles described in their Gold Medallion Award-winning Boundaries to matters of love and romance. 

Helping readers bridge the pitfalls, Boundaries in Dating unfolds a wise, biblical path to developing self-control, freedom, and intimacy in the dating process. 

Boundaries in Dating help singles to think, solve problems, and enjoy the benefits of dating to the hilt, increasing their abilities to find and commit to a marriage partner. 

Liberally illustrated with insightful, true-life examples, this much-needed book includes such topics as 

Sins You Can Live With:

  • Recognizing and choosing quality over perfection in a dating partner 
  • Don't Fall in Love with Someone You Wouldn't Be Friends With
  • How to ensure that honest friendship is one vital component in a relationship 
  • Don't Screw Up a Friendship Out of Loneliness
  • Preserving friendships by separating between platonic relationships and romantic interest 
  • Kiss False Hope Good-Bye
  • Moving past denial to deal with real relational problems in a realistic and hopeful way . . . and much more. 

Related Topics: 

Book: Boundaries in Dating: How Healthy Choices Grow Healthy Relationships

  • Originally published: 2000
  • Authors: John Townsend, Henry Cloud


About the Author Henry Cloud and John Townsend

The authors of this book, Dr. Claude and Dr. Townsend, not only graduated from the same famous Christian university but also are outstanding Christian psychologists. 

Not only do they co-host counseling clinics, but they also co-host lectures, radio shows, seminars, and co-author books everywhere. Their research on boundaries is currently the most outstanding, widely praised, and affirmed.

They co-authored the Gold Medal Award-winning million-dollar best-selling book "Boundaries Updated and Expanded Edition". and are both authors of many bestselling books, including Boundaries in Marriage, Límites, Safe People, Boundaries with Teens, Boundaries with Kids, Beyond Boundaries, etc.

Does Christian Dating Need Boundaries?

When it comes to dating, many people think of romance and sweetness. Therefore, lovers also like to seek such love through dating. But for Christians, there are all kinds of struggles when dating, and sometimes unnecessary fear and guilt. Therefore, Christians need to know that dating needs to set boundaries.

  • One: What is the world line?

In short, the boundary is the "territory boundary", just like a fence marking where your yard ends, it belongs to others, and it belongs to others. In the same way, personal boundaries can also clearly delineate personal emotions and personal domains. In fact, boundaries are like a tool. If you use them well, they can cultivate your love, responsibility, and freedom.

  • Two: Your boundary is your soul, so what aspects does your boundary contain and what does it protect?

Your love, your emotions, your values, your behavior, your attitude, these are your boundaries. Setting boundaries does not mean you are cruel, on the contrary, you may save yourself. If this boundary is well grasped, it will become a milestone in your love maturity.

In dating, you have freedom and responsibility. What is freedom? I can do whatever I want. That's not freedom. Freedom is not doing what I don't want to do. So in the dating process, when many people only want to be free and not responsible, problems will arise. So people who are dating need to understand that your date has responsibilities, what kind of responsibilities? God is a holy God, and inappropriate sexual relations that God displeases should not take place.

  • Three: Think of boundaries as strengthening the relationship, not ending it.

Boundaries can help you diagnose the quality of your dating partner. How can a man who refuses to listen to his wife really give for his wife? In fact, boundaries can solve the problems of irresponsibility, control, and manipulation. If you want to have a happy marriage and family, then boundaries are the first part.

What is the definition of dating?

Chatting with a few friends recently, I often mentioned the meaning of dating, and the purpose of dating. In everyone's impression, dating is a way for unmarried men and women to get to know each other better for the purpose of getting married. Today I would like to share with you some of my classifications of dating.

1: Clueless dating: The ignorant type of dating mainly happens between underage boys and girls. The two are still ignorant about love. It's just a kind of hazy pursuit of beautiful love in adolescence, just a kind of curiosity about unknown fields. At this time, parents must establish a correct view of love and marriage in front of them.

2: Blind date dating: Blind date dating occurs between unmarried adult men and women, or divorced, anyway, they are all for marriage and family. That is what we call a blind date. There may be more than two parties present on this kind of date, sometimes the introducer may also be present, and sometimes even the family representatives of both parties are present, so this kind of date is relatively embarrassing, so many young people Men and women are more disgusted.

3: Dating with Purpose: Purpose-type dating occurs between adult men and women. The protagonist of the date is often one or both parties who are already married. Generally speaking, this kind of date is quiet, no third person knows, and the two people are relatively less emotionally invested. Most of the time, it is to satisfy a certain desire, and the two parties have less commitment to the relationship. For some, it's dating with other motives than getting married.

How to set boundaries in dating?

Covenanting between couples and couples is something that benefits each other—all healthy relationships have healthy boundaries.

Boundaries are not limitations.

They exist to give you the freedom to express your needs and values ​​while also respecting those of your partner.

Therefore, the three chapters of the contract-setting boundaries have three benefits:

  • This is a necessary way to eliminate interdependence.
  • A prerequisite for emotional health.
  • A learnable skill that determines the success and longevity of any relationship.

Setting healthy boundaries can transform your relationship and boost each other's self-esteem.

So, how to make three chapters in marriage?

Boundaries are unique to everyone, and they cover a range of topics and can be large or small.

In the simplest terms, boundaries in a marriage are the limits of what a person is willing to accept from their partner. Boundaries are an outward expression of a person's core values ​​and beliefs that reflect their needs: security, respect, and love.

Married couples can draw boundaries around:

  • Parents (e.g., whether to live with either parent; if not, how often to visit both parents; how many life-specific details about your marriage should they know).
  • Personal privacy (for example, agreeing not to check the other party's phone, not being forced to share past details).
  • Communication (e.g., zero tolerance for yelling or name-calling).
  • Autonomy (for example, the freedom to make your own decisions, to work toward a goal, or to maintain friendships outside of marriage).
  • Physical space (e.g., zero tolerance for violence, agreements about sex, including when, where, and how).
  • Money (e.g., not hiding money or debts from each other).
  • Family life (e.g., expectations of shared parenting, chores, spending quality time together).
  • Relationship rules (e.g., loyalty and loyalty expectations, trust and respect).

You can make various agreements within the various boundaries mentioned above, and the agreements reached by each couple will be different.

Many people may say, I also know that it is better to make a three-chapter marriage proposal, but the problem is what to do if the other party can't do it, then you need to figure out how to make a three-chapter contract effectively.

4 Ways to Set and Respect Boundaries Between Your Spouse

#1 Use Clear Communication

Take the time to identify what is important to you in your relationship and in your life. What is the bottom line where you can’t back down? Where are you willing to be more flexible? Once you’ve established specific boundaries, use clear language when discussing them with your partner:

"Please don't speed when I'm in your car."

"Please respect my privacy."

"I don't like raising my voice during the conflict."

"The pressure of having sex made me uncomfortable."

"I need to give myself half an hour after I get home from get off work to decompress and take better care of my kids."

Sit down with your partner to discuss your values, express your needs, and agree on boundaries that support those needs. Make sure these are boundaries that you are both willing to abide by.

#2 Set Clear Consequences

Once you and your partner have discussed your boundaries—the "musts" and "musts"—the next step is to be clear about the consequences of not following them.

For example, if you and your spouse make a pact not to raise your voice when you have an argument, stop arguing if yelling occurs during an argument, or go for a 30-minute walk alone.

You have to follow through on the consequences of any breach of boundaries.

Not playing by the rules can make your partner feel like you don't respect your boundaries — if you don't respect your boundaries, why should I?

#3 Take responsibility

Where there is a cause there is an effect, everything you say or do has a consequence, whether positive or negative.

For example, if you constantly criticize your spouse, they may alienate you. If you speak softly and don't yell during an argument, they're more likely to feel safe and crave physical intimacy and connection.

The same goes for respecting your partner's boundaries.

Everything you say and do (or do not do) affects your partner.

Understand that you may make mistakes along the way, especially if you and your partner are first setting healthy boundaries. Take responsibility when you make a mistake, apologize sincerely, and always come back to clear, respectful communication.

#4 Seek professional help

Setting boundaries is hard. If you really can't, it is very beneficial to consult an experienced marriage and family therapist or other professionals.

Book Review

Boundaries in Dating - Mature boundaries - This means protecting both parties. 

The role of getting along—dating—long-term observation: (Human nature hates a vacuum, and will fill the void with promises)

  • Opportunity to get to know each other and form relationships in a safe environment (build your support system)
  • The dating process that lets you sort things out
  • Dating helps build interpersonal skills (communication, boundaries, trust, honesty, etc.)
  • Dating Heals and Repairs
  • Dating is a relationship, and the process, and the relationship, have its value
  • Dating makes people understand what kind of opposite sex he likes
  • Dating provides an environment to learn sexual self-control and other learnings that delay gratification

Mature boundaries mean: Saying yes to good things and saying no to bad things.

Part 1: A mature boundary can protect both parties, truth is the most important boundary

1. The role of boundaries:

1. Define us

Boundaries let us know who we are and what we are not; what we agree with and what we disagree with; what we like and what we hate.

2. Can protect me:

    • Boundaries protect me, protect my soul, and let the good things in and the bad things out. When we fail to draw clear boundaries, we expose ourselves to unhealthy and destructive influences. Boundaries draw the territory, what is mine, and what belongs to others, and when the other party asks you to do something that you think is wrong, you should protest, because the other party has exceeded your boundaries.

    1. Your love: your deep need to connect with others, to have a trusting relationship.
    2. Your Emotions: You need to own your emotions and not be swayed by other people's emotions.
    3. Your values: you need to reflect on what you care about most in this voice.
    4. Your Behavior: How You Control Your Behavior in a Dating Relationship.
    5. Your Attitude: Your state of mind and opinion about yourself and your dating partner.

Examples of boundaries: (the law of responsibility, the law of causation, the law of revelation, what I will do, and what I will not do)

    • Speech: Say no to others, and speak up when you disagree.
    • Truth: Facing the Truth About Problems.
    • Distance: 1. Emotional distance; 2. Physical distance; 3. A wounded heart needs time to recuperate, don’t trust each other again.
    • Time: each other needs time to set limits.
    • Others: Both partners need to develop their own support system to help you maintain boundaries.
    • Consequences: Communicate clearly about all the consequences, and then do what you say.

Examples of problems with boundaries:

    • Lose the freedom to be yourself, and never reveal your true self.
    • Attract inappropriate partners.
    • hooking up with someone for a date, not out of value.
    • stop dating.
    • Giving too much in a dating relationship.
    • Just enjoy freedom, no responsibility.
    • control, manipulate.
    • Failing to take responsibility for saying no and simply hoping the other person won't do it again.
    • inappropriate sex.

2. Ask for truth, and be yourself, honesty is the cornerstone of all relationships

I want to be in a relationship with someone who can honestly tell me what I think and feel

  • Be deceitful about the reality of the relationship (you don't like him, he doesn't like you)
  • Have a crush on each other, but deceive yourself that they are just ordinary friends.
  • Conceal things about third parties.
  • hide your true self.
  • Hiding other things (financial, lying about past, lying about achievements)
  • Hiding things about hurts and conflicts (you need to know whether the other party has the ability to face conflicts and hurts directly, and the person who can deal with direct conflicts is the one who can make the relationship last)

If you are deceived:

face-to-face, listen to the other person’s reaction, see how many lies the other person admits in his words and whether he is sad because of this Find a way to find out why the other person lied to you and see how much the other person has changed his past. How hard is that person to pursue holiness and purity? Can the change be maintained? 

Be sure to wait for a long enough time to see what kind of lies you spread, is it to protect yourself, or to achieve his selfish purpose? If it's the latter, face the fact that you're in a relationship with someone who loves who he is rather than who he is.

3. Establish your interpersonal support system. Active growth and complete life will not depend on you. 

If you want to have a complete life, personal growth, professional growth, knowledge, interest growth, etc., there will be no time for a positive growth life or No tendency to rely on dating anymore. 

The more you have a full life, with activities that are fun and inspiring, the less you feel the need to have a relationship to be able to fully remember the importance of storing up all the experiences of wrong attempts, whether by doing The satisfaction of being right, or the pain of being wrong, your past can provide a lot of essential information on what to do and what to avoid when dating. Self-discipline, determination, etc., but eventually failed. 

This requires identifying patterns that have damaged your dating relationship in the past, with the support and help of family and friends.

Part Two: Who Should I Date, Choosing Boundaries—Inner, Character, Friendship

  • Fear of intimacy can make you look withdrawn.
  • Fear of independence can make you look like a controlling person
  • Fear of your own crimes can make you look like the "bad guy"
  • Fear of needing someone to depend on yourself can make you look weak and passive.

1. What you should not endure and what you can accept What you should not endure:

  • Evil
  • rebellious
  • the wicked
  • Slander
  • pride and ego
  • lie

Destructive personality traits:

  • Act like you can do anything without acknowledging your weaknesses and imperfections
  • Justify yourself instead of accepting feedback from others
  • sorry no change
  • not humble
  • Avoid solving problems
  • Asking for newcomers without improving your own trustworthiness
  • lie
  • stagnant, not growing
  • double face

destructive interpersonal traits

  • avoid intimacy
  • I only think of myself, not the relationship between the two and each other.
  • Pretend to be a parent
  • negative impact
  • Denial of pain, excessive jealousy, and paranoia

2. De-romanticize. A real and lasting relationship should be based on friendship. Don’t fall in love with someone who can’t be friends

  • understanding, trust, dependence, commitment, physical contact
  • Every time you start a relationship, be careful to build the friendship first, don't rush into the relationship, and hold your boundaries.

3. Be careful that you build relationships because of emptiness and loneliness. 

4. Beware of the attraction of opposite personalities. People will long for people who are "opposite" to themselves, and mistakenly think they are complete.

Part Three: Solving Dating Problems: Telling the Truth About My Wishes, Needs, and Hobbies

  • Tell the truth, let the other person know where you want to go, where you don’t want to go, what you want to do, and what you don’t want to do.
  • Tell the other party your hobbies honestly, don’t pretend to like what the other party likes just to make the other party accept you
  • Don't dare to tell the other party your hobbies and hopes because you are afraid of conflicts, and find out early whether the other party is someone who can share with you equally.
  • Remember, every decision you make now is making an impression on the other person, and the other person will use it to gradually understand who you are.

  1. Use the opinions of the support system as the basis for recognizing the facts, and pay attention to the separate development outside the relationship. 
  2. Say goodbye to false expectations. How does TA treat you now?

Part Four: Solving Dating Problems: When Your Dating Partner Is a Problem

1. Disrespect is a big problem, so prevent it from happening (delay, obedience, and complaints cannot solve the problem of disrespect)

  • Need to express: specific behavior + feelings + how you want him to treat you + your consequences and boundaries when you do not act

Do not do this:

  • Say nothing, seems to be the default
  • doesn't matter
  • Indecision, mixed messages

Take all faults and problems on yourself, thinking that the fault is not with the other party.

2. Set Appropriate Physical Contact Limits

  • Sex on a date is often a way to mask a lack of relationship skills—and that's exactly what it takes to get married

The driving force that arouses lust:

  • Need for intimacy and connection
  • need power
  • need to feel loved and desired
  • need to be out of parental control and only
  • Need to avoid facing pain and loss

Sleeping with someone who isn't your spouse, hurting yourself, and hurting others as a result

  • This splits the mind and body of both parties. The body has given 100% and the mind has only given some.
  • An extremely valuable part treated carelessly, its value is greatly reduced
  • Appeases the other person to not deeply develop interpersonal skills and spirituality, and may encourage one person to remain superficial
  • In doing so, you deny yourself and others hurt and pain, and stay stuck in the cycle of addiction
  • Take advantage of others, keep people from going to someone who really values ​​them

3. Draw a clear line - express well - persist with behavior (do a good job of psychological struggle and take on the psychological expectation of the other party's challenge) - be patient

  • Setting limits is the first step: which boundary line has been violated and which boundary line has been crossed must be clearly stated, it is not fair to break up decisively.
  • good expression
  • Stick to your boundaries, set a consequence, and implement it

Emotional distance: limit yourself from getting too deep and becoming more vulnerable. 

Physical distance: leave immediately if a problem occurs 

Time: limit the time you spend together until the problem is resolved 

Commitment process: stop or reduce commitment 

To the extent that you only interact with each other: go to others until the problem is solved.

  • Keep in touch with good friends and let them support you
  • Avoid Reactive Friends: Find Experienced and Mature People to Be Your Support
  • Negative reactions are to be expected. Ta may think that you have a problem, not him. If the other party reacts with anger and defense, you need to persist in silence.
  • Be patient: give him time to grow
  • Questioning motives: Is he sincerely repenting? Is he simply ignorant, or has a personality problem?
  • Give the steps down 

Reading Rewards

Do you prefer to listen rather than read? If so, here’s a nice opportunity to try Audible for 30 days.

Need a bookish gift? Give the gift of reading to the book lovers in your life.

Get new posts by email

Your information is protected and I never spam, ever.

'' content is reader-supported. "As an Amazon Associate, when you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.".

See Disclaimer.
Next Post Previous Post

Related Post

Book Recommender Tool

Looking For More Books To Read?

Explore and find your next good read - Book Recommendations for specific interests.

Get Book Suggestions

Discover ratings, reviews, summaries, and genres.

Book Summary Tool

Instant Any Book Summary

Explore and find your next Book Summary for specific interests.

Get Book Summary

Discover ratings, reviews, summaries, and genres.

Book Series Finder Tool

Looking For Books Series To Read?

Explore and find Book Series for specific interests.

Get Book Series

Recent Post

Book Reviews

Popular Posts