Sending nudes to a near-stranger in the early stages of dating is a boundary for me.
The anxiety I could physically feel told me I'd be crossing my own boundaries if I yielded.
My friends also tell me they feel highly nervous, overcome with anxiety when setting boundaries in the early stages of dating.
SEE ALSO: How to stop caring what people think about youSo, why are boundaries so important?
"Boundaries set the basic guidelines for how a person wants to be treated," according to Neil Wilkie, founder of online couples therapy platform The Relationship Paradigm.
While this post deals primarily with boundaries in dating and romantic and sexual relationships, I'd note that boundaries are vital in ALL relationships — be that with family, friends, colleagues, and even your internet followers.
If you're not 100 percent sure of your own boundaries, Lloyd said you might be clued in by your instincts.
Discussing your sexual boundaries with a new partner is particularly important in making sure you both feel comfortable and safe.
When it comes to intimacy, it's advisable to bring up sexual boundaries before you've entered a sexual encounter with that person.
Setting boundaries while social distancingGiven that we're living in a global pandemic, we also need to think about a person's boundaries in relation to COVID-19.
You might feel fine with hugging a close friend, but the person you're meeting up with might not be up for that, for example.
Just because you're in the early stages of dating someone doesn't mean you have to compromise on something that keeps you feeling protected and safe.