If you’re brand new to sugar dating, it makes sense that your mind would be on all the sweet ways sugaring differs from traditional dating. With such a strong and refreshing focus on honesty and authenticity, you’re probably not thinking about setting boundaries. You may even be thinking that clearly defined boundaries won’t be necessary at all anymore, but that’s where you’d be wrong.

Boundaries are an essential part of any relationship, including sugar relationships of any commitment level. They preserve the harmony and equilibrium of committed sugar relationships and protect the privacy and emotional well-being of both parties in more casual set-ups. Here’s a closer look at how you can take the guesswork (and the sting) out of gracefully setting, reinforcing, and ultimately embracing boundaries with your present and future sugar daddies.

Figure out your boundaries first.

If you’re brand new to sugar dating, it’s worth taking some time right at the beginning to sit down with yourself and figure out where you stand on a few things. What are you hoping sugaring will bring to your life that traditional dating didn’t? What’s your strategy for making sure you get everything you want out of the relationship?

Sugar dating is a lot like traditional dating you’re used to in many ways. You meet someone promising and hit it off. You spend time together, you get to know each other, and the relationship deepens. But the fact that you’re a sugar baby now doesn’t mean there won’t be challenges or sticking points, so it’s important to be prepared.

Be honest with yourself about your deal breakers, and be prepared to stick to them, as well as set corresponding boundaries. Overlooking something you’ve told yourself was an absolute “no” never ends well, as you likely know, and this is just as much the case in a sugar relationship as it is any other type.

Set boundaries sooner, as opposed to later.

While some traditional relationships may have a clear starting point, it’s also standard for them to just happen. Two people can go from simply being friends, to casually dating, to in an exclusive relationship without there ever being much discussion on the subject. In sugar dating, things tend to go differently. Both parties make a formal decision to enter into a unique relationship, complete with ground rules and any expectations laid right out there on the table from the get-go.

The best time to set a boundary is right at the beginning, when the two of you are hashing out the parameters and terms of your relationship. You both need to know exactly what you expect to get from it in no uncertain terms, as well as what you’re not willing to consider. If you’re looking for something casual and fun for now, but your would-be daddy is looking for someone to settle down with, you both need to know that before starting a relationship and getting your hearts involved.

No detail is too small to consider.

Naturally, the most important thing to talk about with your new sugar daddy is how serious you want things to be between the two of you, as you don’t want any misunderstanding in this regard. Are both of you looking for something serious, or would you prefer more of a no-strings-attached type of relationship?

You’ll also want to discuss whether the two of you are looking for exclusivity, a crucial detail to discuss separately. Modern relationships can be serious without also being exclusive, so it’s essential to make the distinction. If your would-be sugar daddy isn’t happy with the idea of you seeing other men and there’s something he could offer that would make you reconsider, lay your cards on the table. Otherwise, stick to your guns.

You’ll want to talk about the details of what you both expect your relationship to be like once it starts, as well. For example, how often will you be getting together? Which days and under what circumstances? Are traveling and trips things you’ll be doing together? No detail is too small to bring up for discussion. If it matters to you, that’s reason enough.

Be prepared to set or reinforce future boundaries, as well.

When you’re new to sugaring, you’re naturally only going to know what bothers you in a standard relationship. You’ll likely also discover other pet peeves and gripes later that are specific to sugar dating – issues you might not be able to predict starting out. That’s why you’ll want to be prepared to set future boundaries swiftly and firmly as the need arises.

Do you hate it when people waste your time or cancel dates at the last minute? If your daddy does this, be sure to let him know it bothers you and that you’re not going to tolerate it in the future. Just make sure you’re consistent. Don’t hold someone to a standard you’re not willing to stick to yourself. In sugaring, fairness is the key to a happy relationship, and boundaries will help you both get where you want to be.