In the beginning of a relationship, it usually feels like you'll get along perfectly and will never hurt each other. Then, slowly, before you know it, you're treating each other in ways you never imagined you could. You're breaking relationship ground rules that you never even talked about — and at that point, you might wish you had. Making your expectations clear in the beginning may not prevent you from falling short of them, but it will help you identify when that happens and nip the issue in the bud.
"Boundaries are essential for every relationship," Counselor and Marriage and Family Therapist Jameela Jackson, LAC, LAMFT tells Bustle. "What's important to remember is that every relationship is different, meaning we at times may need to be flexible with boundaries. When communicating boundaries, couples leaning toward gaining intimacy in their relationship may want to learn to express the meaning behind a boundary or 'ground rule.' For example, a partner may say, 'I feel disrespected when you answer text messages or calls from your ex after 11 p.m.' That way, the significant other now understands the boundary and why it was needed."
Your ground rules should be based on you and your partner's specific needs, but just to give you some ideas, here are some ground rules that experts say can help set the foundation for an adult relationship.