So, you’ve made a connection with someone on Seeking. Congratulations!

You’ve had a pre-date video chat, downloaded the URSafe app, and picked an outfit that’s giving you some serious She’s All That vibes. But there’s still one more thing you can do to protect yourself, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. 

Set boundaries!

Sometimes we get so caught up in the butterflies of a new connection that we don’t stop to think about setting boundaries.

Boundaries are a simple way to communicate expectations right away. They help you discover, articulate, and maintain your needs. In addition, they help protect your space so there aren’t any surprises — like when your date leans in for a goodnight kiss and you turn your head faster than Zoolander at the end of a runway. Talk about awkward!

So, how do you go about setting boundaries? It may seem overwhelming, but we have 5 things to consider before taking the next step with a new connection.

5 Ways to Set Boundaries with your Seeking Connection

1) Know What Type of Relationship You’re Looking For 

Take some time to really think about what you want from a connection. Do you eventually want a monogamous relationship? Or are you hoping to find someone like-minded to spend time with? Both of these types of relationships are valid, but it’s crucial to know whether you are on the same page. 

Once you know what you’re looking for, remember to also decide what you are comfortable with. If you aren’t comfortable with commitment and just want someone fun and attractive to accompany you to social events, talk about it with your potential partner, ASAP. Even if they give you more shivers than Ed Sheeran, if you don’t want the same type of relationship it’s not a match. You don’t want to start any connection secretly hoping to change their mind or intentions. That never ends well.

2) Know Your Communication Style 

It’s important to understand your communication style and let your potential partner know. For example, how often do you want to communicate before your first date? Once a day to check base? No limits if the conversation is flowing? 

And how do you prefer to chat? Do you want to stick within the Seeking platform until you meet IRL, or would you prefer messaging within WhatsApp? Are you comfortable with sharing your phone number or social accounts to message before meeting in person? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you maintain the space you need. 

3) Know Where You’re Willing to Go 

Pick any romcom and chances are you’ll come across a scene with a sport coat-clad gent anxiously gripping a bouquet of flowers as he waits for his date to open the door, while she’s on the other side smoothing her hair. Together they get in his shiny convertible and cruise off to their romantic first date. It’s cute in movies, but in reality, it’s not a good idea for a stranger to know where you live or to hop in their ride, no matter how cool it is. 

Decide ahead of time where you are willing to go on a date and how. Your safety comes first. Seeking recommends meeting your date for the first time at an agreed-upon public location and ensuring you have your own ride home as well, whether that be in your car, a rideshare, or a friend.

And maybe you only want to meet during the day, and nowhere secluded or private. You decide what works for you and communicate to your date when it comes up in conversation. If they suggest picking you up or meeting at their home or hotel room first, you say no, and if they insist, take that as the only red flag you need. They don’t respect you or your boundaries. 

4) Know What You’re Ready to Share  

In today’s social world we have become accustomed to instant access to personal information at a swipe, but you still get to choose who sees what and when. No one is “owed” this info, and if your connection pushes you on it, they aren’t a good match.

It’s important to know what you are and are not willing to share or talk about with a new connection. Not everyone wants to be an open book right away, and that’s ok! Whether you prefer not to jump into politics, religion, or other personal topics, or divulge your most embarrassing moment, decide ahead of time what’s off-limits for you. 

This boundary does not just pertain to what you’ll gab over during appetizers. We’re talking about picture requests. If you get a “send pics” message and your eyebrows immediately furrow with concern, you need to let your new connection know what that boundary is for you. Maybe you don’t send pics until after a month of dating, or it’s not your jam at all. You decide and stick to it!

5) Know Your Physical Limitations

Picture this: He’s just walked you to your car after an amazing first date and you’re both looking at each other gooey-eyed as you nervously shift your feet from side to side. This is the time when he may naturally feel it right to lean in and seal the evening with a smooch. Sounds straight outta Hallmark — but you have a “no-kissing-on-the-first-date” boundary.

If you don’t communicate your boundaries ahead of time, your date could be left with an unmet pucker and wounded pride. Silly scenario aside, communication is essential. We can’t say this enough: know your boundaries when it comes to physical touch and intimacy, whether it’s holding hands, kissing, or rounding all the bases. And as with any boundary, stick to it tighter than a t-shirt on The Rock.

The Truth About Boundaries 

We would be remiss if we didn’t take the time to clarify what boundaries are NOT. 

Setting boundaries does NOT mean you’re demanding or picky. Instead, setting boundaries shows that you know who you are and that you’re not willing to settle for less.

Boundaries ARE about saying YES to yourself and what makes you comfortable, without compromise. After all, that’s why you chose Seeking, right? 

The good thing about boundaries is, they can change as your relationship progresses. You may not always avoid sharing how you voted in 2016, or give yourself whiplash if they lean in a little too early. But only YOU can decide when and how they shift. Never apologize for your boundaries or let anyone pressure you to forgo them.

Seeking has taken many steps to ensure your safety within the dating space. We hope our 5 ways to set boundaries with a new connection have armed you with even more ways to stay safe, happy, and empowered. 

Log in to your Seeking account today or take the plunge and create your Seeking profile! Want more awesome tips, stories, and advice? Check out the rest of the Seeking blog!