As mentioned previously, boundaries are the rules or limits that define what is you and your responsibility and what is not.
In close relationships it is not uncommon that partners have similar emotions and goals. Of course, one partners’ behavior will affect the other, and depending on your values you will have certain beliefs about what your role is emotionally with your partner. These are your boundaries.
And although it is a healthy goal to not cause your partner hurt or sadness, you are not actually responsible for how they feel, because you are not responsible for their thoughts or their physiology.
It is important in a relationship to discuss your values and needs. If you do not voice your needs, then it is not your partner’s fault if they do not meet those needs. Your partner is not a mind reader, nor should they be expected to be.
An emotional boundary might be how much or how little you share with a partner about your childhood, your family, your sexual history or what you discussed in therapy today. How quickly you disclose these things is also a boundary. Again, these boundaries should be flexible and depend on the type and duration of the relationship. It is not healthy to tell everyone everything about yourself upon first meeting. Neither is it healthy to refuse to talk about your family or feelings with a partner you’ve been with for a good amount of time.
Boundaries in a relationship should be something that are mutually agreed upon and may change over time.