When is a good time to talk about boundaries?

Last updated on October 30, 2020



I’m now a few days into my first relationship! I want to have a boundaries talk with my boyfriend. I don’t know how to bring it up though. He and I have known each other for years, but we haven’t been close until now and it’s still difficult just talking with him (not because we can’t talk but because I’ve been getting really nervous around him–you know? Butterflies and the like). Well, anyway, when he asked me out, I mentioned that the condition to say yes was that I wanted us to set up boundaries that we would keep and be serious about — I’ve read some (well a lot actually) of your other articles about this stuff, and I’ve found some great points I want to bring up (no cuddling, kissing, etc.) but I don’t know how or when would be a good time to bring the topic up. Should I just text him and say, “Hey let’s talk about boundaries?” Or try to get him alone (in a public place or somewhere we can be seen of-course) and bring it up then? I really don’t want to compromise anything, but my family jokes that I’m a prude when I say stuff like that, and I don’t want him to say that too. More than that though, I want this relationship to bring God glory and so does he, but we’re both new at this and I just really need guidance. So pretty much — how and when should I bring up the topic of boundaries?

Also, is holding hands bad?

Yea, that’s all — thank you! I love that this is a place to get godly answers for this kind of stuff!


Well, a bad time would be to wait until after things have gone too far and then realize you should have set limits. It is better to set boundaries early so expectations are proper. If a boy doesn’t want limits on his action, he will leave. If he is going to leave, it is better to have that over with early than later when you are deeply wrapped up in him.

One way is to send him a link to the material and ask him what he thinks about the limits on behavior. The boy’s version can be found at How much sexual stuff is too much? and the girl’s version is at Is it OK to be sexual with someone you will marry soon?

You may find that some guys will agree to anything, but then proceed to push the limits to see if you really mean it or figure it is all talk. You have to be willing to call things off if he crosses the boundaries.

Don’t worry about what other people think. You want a good relationship that might lead to a good marriage. Be like the heroine of Song of Solomon: “We have a little sister, and she has no breasts. What shall we do for our sister in the day when she is spoken for? If she is a wall, we will build upon her a battlement of silver; and if she is a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar. I am a wall, and my breasts like towers; then I became in his eyes as one who found peace” (Song of Solomon 8:8-10).