Relationships are always a tricky thing, no two are the same. However, there are a few general rules that somehow manifest themselves in healthy ones.

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Partners have a mutual understanding of how much love to show, partners know what they can and can’t do or say around their significant others, and partners will know when and where they need to work as one and decide together. Above all though, the one thing everyone should know is their partner’s boundaries.

Everybody has things that set them off or make them uncomfortable, and the person you’re with or could be with is no exception. There will be certain phrases, actions, and senses that you can not allow yourself to expose them to on purpose. Maybe they hate yelling, maybe they’re uncomfortable with sexual topics, or maybe they have some sort of trauma with a phrase like “sink or swim.” In any case, you need to know about things of that nature, so you don’t do them.

Take some time, watch your partner and take note of what they like and don’t like. Remember if they mention something from trauma or if they react negatively to something, and likewise be ready to make sure they know if something like that comes up for you. Above all, discuss it with them. Talking and making sure you both have clear and concise instruction and explanations will help you both tremendously, and make it much easier to see boundaries you might otherwise miss.