A brother in our Porn Reboot Intensive group brought a fantastic question forward the other day and I want to share it here.
“J.K., which boundaries can I release in the late and maintenance phases of my reboot? On one podcast you mentioned that we can let go of certain boundaries during these phases, but you didn’t give any examples. You said not all boundaries should stay active forever.
“This answer is clear for some situations, like the program that shuts my computer down at 9:00 PM. I needed it during the early stages of my reboot but now that I prefer sleeping to staying on my computer late, I don’t need it anymore.
“You often mention your period of gathering dating experience for two years, and then you went to parties. What were your boundaries for sleep since you were still rebooting at that time? I’m assuming you didn’t go home at 10:00 PM to get to sleep.
“I’m not sure if I should keep a bedtime boundary forever, or if thinking this way is a quick path to trial rebooting.”
I think some men who aren’t in our coaching groups and only engage with our free content develop a bit of a skewed view of the porn addiction problem solving system. They seem to think it’s a very straight line from being trapped in your out-of-control behavior to being fully rebooted.
While the system does offer a clear-cut path to recovery, the process of following that path doesn’t always tend to be a straight shot. The system remains the same but every man going through the Porn Reboot process has a different experience. Each man has a different lifestyle and a different set of circumstances that led to his compulsive behaviors.
This skewed understanding makes some sense, though. You’ll notice that most of the free content I offer, from this blog to our YouTube channel to our podcast and so on, discusses the system in a general way. I’m trying to reach a wide audience filled with a variety of men from different backgrounds. I don’t want to get too specific because I’m more focused on helping as many people as possible during the early stages.
It’s why I didn’t outline specific boundaries to release during the late and maintenance phases of the reboot. There is no cookie-cutter methodology for letting go of boundaries. What one man might need to keep as a boundary for years may not apply to another man.
Determining which boundaries to let go of is a personal and individual process. If you don’t have access to someone who is fully rebooted it may take a lot of trial and error. But as you progress through your reboot you’ll start to recognize which boundaries are useful and which you can consider letting go of. It’s something you figure out on your own while hopefully surrounded by support and accountability.
Our brother also asked about my experience with releasing my bedtime boundary. You have to remember, though, that there was no Porn Addiction Counseling system when I rebooted. I was my case study. I went through so much trial and error to determine what worked and what didn’t. So even my process of rebooting wasn’t the straight shot that some men believe it to be.
However, I did maintain very strong boundaries regarding bedtime during my dating phase. I was always in bed by 11:00 PM or sometimes a rare midnight. Whenever I went on a date with a woman, I always made sure to be home in time to go through my evening routine before getting in bed.
I also maintained a two-date rule. The first date was a quick coffee date, no more than an hour, to determine whether there was a possibility of intimacy. If we didn’t get along or I didn’t see myself sleeping with this woman, I would finish up the date and move on with my life. If I was interested in pursuing something with her, I would invite her over to my house for a second date.
My boundaries were especially important during this second date because I still maintained my 11:00 PM bedtime. This meant I needed to meet with my date earlier in the evening so I had enough time to make my curfew.
I hate to break it to you, brother, but you do not have the luxury of living out a romantic Hollywood fantasy. There’s no hanging out with a chick for three or four hours and losing track of time. Maintaining your boundaries is crucial. If you’re rebooting, you must have a deadline for a chick to leave your place.
But again, determining boundaries is a personal experience. You will know what your boundaries should be if you’re willing to be honest with yourself. Checking in with an accountability partner will also help you determine whether you’re on the right track with releasing some old boundaries during the late and maintenance phases.
If you don’t already have an accountability partner or a group of men to check in with, now is a great time to find some. The Free Porn Reboot Facebook group is a great place to find brothers working on their reboot in all stages of the process. Come join us today and let us know where you’re at. Whether you’re still checking out the Porn Reboot system or you’re in the late stage and ready to release some boundaries, there are plenty of men who can help!