Sunday, 29 March 2015

Needs along a broad spectrum, rather than exact needs

Once again, it’s been eons since I posted anything. Admittedly, that’s partly just down to laziness…I just haven’t felt like writing anything in eons.

But, it’s also been that I worry that in writing my thoughts here – on what is basically a public diary – I’m sharing too much, prescribing what I want and need in a partner and a relationship too much. Re-reading some of my previous posts, it comes across as “I need this very exact thing in a man.” And that's not what I need today, it hasn't been for a long time. Today, I understand myself better and I know that, for the most part, it's much more a case of "I need this thing, somewhere within this really broad spectrum."

I do think, looking back, that in my very early writings, back when I first realised that I definitely need this dynamic in a relationship, I was quite specific in my own head, about what I thought I wanted. It was “I’m this and so I need you to be that.” That said, I don’t think I really appreciated how prescriptive I was being, at the time.

But time, maturity and experience mean that, for all of us, what applied yesterday doesn’t necessarily apply today (and, of course, what applies today may not necessarily apply tomorrow). And for me, time, maturity and experience mean that I now understand that what I actually need in a man, and in a relationship, today, is somewhere on a broad spectrum of the things that I value, the things I need – but it’s no longer just “I’m this, so I need you to be that.” It’s more “I lean this way and I need you to lean that way, but I’m not sure where, on the broad spectrum between my “this” and your “that,” we need to meet.”

In other words, it’s not that I need x rather than y. It’s that, in most areas, I need something closer to x than y.

This isn’t yet another post of “I need this list of things, values and attitudes in a man” post…I think I’m done with those, in all honesty. It’s more to say that I don’t have a long list of uber-specific criteria…and I haven’t, for a long time.

I do still have a small handful of must-haves/dealbreakers and that’s okay. I’m not “up for anything” because I’m just not easily amused enough for that! For me, everything in life is about quality over quantity. I’d rather never meet “him” – painful as that is to digest – than settle for a man I don’t love or who doesn’t love me, just to have someone.

But as much as I’m not “up for anything,” I’m also not set on “exactly this one thing.” There’s a broad happy medium in there between the two, somewhere, and I’m looking for something and someone who is somewhere along that spectrum…hoping that *I* am somewhere along the spectrum that fits with his needs.

So, as I said, I do still have a handful of things I know that I need, but not 100…and that, for me, is the important difference.

It’s okay to need this, this and this and to say that you won’t date someone who isn’t those things. But it’s not okay to need “this” times 100, to have mapped out the exact person you need, with a list of 100 must-haves…because:

1) You’ll never find that exact person…you can’t design your very own human ;)

2) Dictating that you need those 100 exact things in a mate puts a heck of a lot of pressure on anyone reading it. They’ll see that they’re only x number of those things and will walk away, feeling that they don’t stand a chance, so why bother (they’ll also likely think you a bit of a nutter ;) )

3) If you state that you need a perfect mate, anyone meeting you will expect – rightfully so – that you’re perfect too (and I am very, very far from perfect). So you’re setting yourself up for rejection when this perfect mate meets the not-so-perfect you.

4) You may miss out on an amazing connection, because someone you could have fallen deeply in love with didn’t have all 100 criteria you thought you needed and so was never on the radar.

For example, in my profile here, and on the two “naughtier” websites, I’ve recently changed the language to suggest that I need a man who is quite assertive…maybe even somewhat aggressive, but I kept the old language I already had, that I need him to be a gentleman, and a romantic.

That new language, the broader description of personality traits, is a cosmic shift in what I used to say and think I needed. Where I’m now saying that I need a man who is somewhat primal and somewhat gentle – a man somewhere between those two ends of a long spectrum - I used to say that I needed a gentleman, full-stop, a man who would never be rough or aggressive…I was saying that I needed a man who sat exactly at the exact end of a huge spectrum of personalities.

Not only is asking for something so incredibly specific asking for the impossible…it turns out that I don’t even want that extremely exact personality in a man ;)

So there was me, shooting myself in the foot over and over…and frustrating several lovely uber-gentlemen who were expecting to meet the quiet girl who is the perfect complement to the gentle dominant – and instead met strong-minded and gregarious me, who really actually wanted a man who’s a bit gentlemanly, yes, but also a bit of a primal aggressor.

I didn’t really appreciate, at the time, that in asking for this uberly gentlemanly sort, I was silently suggesting that I’m the meek and quiet sort of submissive woman – because the yin to the yang of the gentle dominant is the quiet girl.

And I’m extremely submissive, when I sense dominance in the man I’m with…sometimes his dominance does bring out the quiet girl inside me…but my submission is not often the quiet and meek sort. I’m not submissive in general, quite the contrary. I’m quite gregarious, cheery, silly, irreverent and sometimes, I’ll cringingly admit, annoyingly opinionated.

And within a relationship, within a romantic connection, some of the excitement for me, some of the appeal is the exact opposite of gentle. Sometimes I do give my submission freely and meekly and I love the feelings and the meanings for both of us that go with that. But sometimes, if the chemistry is there, I want him to take my submission. Sometimes, when I’m spouting off and being opinionated and I suddenly realise that not only is he coming right back at me, he’s winning…I feel myself start to swoon, lol. Because in that instance – I haven’t actively decided to give my submission…he’s taking it, because something in him is bringing something out in me. Chemistry is flying between us and we both know it, but it’s still something that he’s taking rather than something I’m giving. And that? Is really, really, REALLY well, um, *blush*…hot.

*Ahem*, carrying on...sometimes I’m the quiet girl who wants the sweet and gentlemanly romantic guy…but sometimes, I’m the feisty girl who wants the predatorily aggressive guy. And since I’m the monogamous sort, I need one man who is some as yet unknown combination of gentleman and aggressor…because I’m one woman, who is a combination of quiet and feisty.

In order for me to be who he needs and for him to be who I need…he'll be the sort of man who sometimes wants to be given a girl’s submission, but sometimes enjoys actively taking her submission.

He'll be somewhere along that very broad spectrum between gentle and aggressive. Not 100% gentle, not 100% aggressive. But somewhere between the two.

But the part I love is that I have no idea yet and no pre-conceived notions of where on the spectrum he “should” be.

Why do I love that?

Because it means I’m not pre-judging every man I meet, to see if he fits into that uber-specific and pre-defined slot I already designed.

Because it means that I get to experience the thrill and excitement of feeling a chemistry building between us, when we meet, as I digest what his dominance is doing to my submission and vice versa.

Because it probably means that I’m not about to meet a man who expects me to fit into his uber-specific and pre-defined slot that he already designed.

And the thing is, I feel this way about most things, in terms of relationships. I know I need “sort of” this…but I won’t know what the magic, exact, “this” is until it lands right in front of me. I won’t know what, exactly, works for me until I find the man who just feels right for me, until I meet the man who I can sense sees me as the one who feels right for him.

And he will have a list too – and I’m only going to fall somewhere on all of his spectrums, not at any exact point that he already dictated.

No one is perfect (least of all me!!) and no situation is ever perfect…and I can genuinely say that I’ve always known that, I’ve never wanted or expected perfection in a man or a relationship. But I do think that, once upon a time, I had a very long list of must-haves and dealbreakers. I thought I needed very exact and very specific things in a man and a relationship.

The thing is, everything I’ve just said is more a clarification of the way that I’ve long since looked at relationships, rather than a brand new way of thinking for me.

I’m still the girl who prefers skirts over trousers. I’m still the girl who loves pink. And I’m still the girl who wants a relationship that encompasses traditional gender roles. I still have needs in a relationship and a man that I’ll see as Mr. Right.

It’s just that I only have a very rough sketch of who my Mr. Right might be, rather than a completely filled in drawing of him. 

I still want the “fairytale,” I still want the magic that is love and contentedly ever after…it’s just that I’m not going to know the plot of my fairytale until/if I’m living it :)

Saturday, 17 August 2013

What submission means to me

I know it's been eons since my last post and, for anyone still reading this, I could go on and on about what's happened in the last 18 months, because life's been busy and lovely as usual and I'd have loads to write, but I'm determined to write more than just an update, so the very short update is:

I am still single - though I have met several lovely men, there just hasn't been that magic click yet.  I am still in London and in love with the city and (ecstatically) am now a permanent resident of the UK, I don't hate my job, I have a pretty fantastic group of colleagues and I am still blessed with a fabulous group of friends who I love dearly.  All in all, life is pretty good, despite the fact that Mr. Right For Me hasn't found me yet.

So, with that out of the way, onto the title topic that I started writing a year ago and am just now feeling motivated enough to finish, lol.

Most of my real life friends have no idea, as far as I know, that this blog exists. I suspect most people I know in "real" life have no idea that this element of my personality even exists.

But I am blessed with a small handful of friends who do know of this blog and of this side of me...because they too share many of these thoughts.

One such friend pointed out that, whilst I have written in detail about my thoughts about traditional relationships and about how I view dominance, I haven't written nearly as much about what I would bring to the relationship, about how I view submission.

I think I've certainly touched on it, over time and within other posts, but apparently, I haven't made my thoughts very clear.  And it's occurred to me that it's quite odd to have a blog about dominance and submission without discussing an entire half of the equation!

For me, submission is something that builds on itself, grows over time and isn't about me, it's about us, the couple.  But at first, it is, in fact, driven largely by my own innate personality.  Submission isn't something I consciously think about, when I'm with a dominant man.  It just comes out, without my doing anything consciously, because I am naturally reacting to his dominance.

In other words, the submissive element of my personality is brought out by the behaviour, attitudes and personality of someone else...and in turn, I'm sure that my submissive behaviour, attitudes and personality bring out the dominant element of a man's personality.  It's the yin and yang, the chicken and the egg.

But all of that said, what does it mean to me to submit, when I do feel submissive toward a man?  When I automatically and naturally submit, what is it that I'm doing?  If I had to summarise it, I'd say that there are three things that symbolise the crux of submission for me: trust (in the dominant man), a deep and ever increasing understanding of him and, eventually, devotion to him...occurring in that order. Certainly, those things alone are just as important in a dominant man as they are in a submissive woman. You both need to trust, you both need to understand the other and you both need to be eventually devoted to each other and to the relationship.  But how they occur and play out is different, depending on which side of the relationship you're on.

In my last post, I wrote about my increasing sense of independence and I eluded to becoming less trusting and, dare I say, more cynical. And whilst I think that's all to be expected and par for the course, given my urban, single girl, lifestyle, I often used to think that it isn't a mindset that lends itself well to submission!

As it's been so long since that last post, I can now say that I've become much more comfortable with that single, urban, modern and independent side of me because I've grown to understand the submissive side of me that much more.  One side is not squashing the other...I am both an independent woman and a submissive, old-fashioned, girl.  It's just a matter of who I'm with that decides which of those two sides of my personality comes out.

I used to think I had to remind myself to be feminine, to be submissive, when the time felt right...but eventually I realised that no one has to remind herself to be herself.  Almost so simple that it elicits a giggle...but sometimes it takes awhile to see yourself fully.

I used to worry that the more independent I became and the longer I was single, the less submissive I would become...because I thought I would lose the ability to feel feminine, to feel like I could give someone else the reins.

But, what I've learned is that before I can trust him, I had to trust myself.  I had to trust that whilst I'm well capable of taking care of myself, of succeeding on my own, when the time is right, I will feel submissive toward a dominant man because that's who I am.  And within that, I now trust that when I don't feel submissive, the time isn't right, the chemistry just wasn't there.  Because I am not submissive in general and to any man, I'm submissive when it feels right and to the right man.

I guess what I've realised is that at first and in small ways, I don't have to try to trust and submit to the right man.  My gut instinct, it seems, is pretty reliable.

The perfect storm of feeling submissive, for me, is that I have learned to trust that when I trust a man and when I feel dominance from him, I will naturally act and feel submissively toward him.  And if I don't feel submissive toward a man, it's just because I don't feel any dominance from him...not because I'm not submissive and probably not because he isn't dominant, just because we aren't feeling it from each other.

It's not like a magic switch, of course, it isn't like - I meet a man, he seems dominant, I trust him so I give myself to him...nor would I want it to be like that!  The journey can't be measured in length or time and the ongoing journey is much of the fun and loveliness of the dynamic.

Once my trust starts, it grows over time and with that, my submission grows (and, I'm sure, his dominance grows).

And that brings me to the second element, a deep and ever increasing understanding of the man I am submitting to.  If I've trusted him enough to start to hand him the reins, to start to give myself to him, then it flows naturally that I want to learn what submission means to him. Because submitting, to me, means making him happy.

After all, I need to understand what makes him tick as a dominant as much as he needs to understand what makes me tick as a submissive.

Within that, I'd want to learn what he likes and what he doesn't like, what annoys him, what makes him happy, what draws him to me.

Maybe that's a really small thing like remembering the details of his favourite drink, or noting that when he first wakes up in the morning, he's grumpy (or, err, not grumpy!) - and adjusting my behaviour accordingly.

But maybe it's something more important, like paying attention to the small details of what, in me and in my submission, he is drawn to...the ultimate goal for me, in understanding him, would be to understand how he wants me to submit to him.  Is it the look in my eyes?  Is it the way that I speak?  Is it how I touch him, how I react when he touches me?  Is it my attitude?

The most beautiful part of the understanding element, to me, is that there are countless ways and details that I will learn about him that I can't even imagine right now - I won't know how to understand him until I meet him, because my submission isn't about me, it's about us as a couple.

I also know that there will be times when I fall, in being submissive to him, and so part of understanding him will be understanding - and accepting - his dominance when he corrects and/or admonishes me.

Accepting that he is reminding me of what I want - to understand what he wants.  To be submissive for us, not for me.

Because ultimately, I want to devote myself to him just as I want him to devote himself to me, I want to give him my everything - good and bad.

Life isn't perfect, relationships aren't perfect, so who knows if he and I would ever get to that magical point, but the ultimate goal to me - the third element of submission - would be to trust him so much, to understand him so well, that I have completed surrendered to him, I am completely devoted to him.

The ultimate goal for me, in my submission, is to be the partner and the woman that he and I both want and need me to be.

To get to that point where what makes me happy is to make him happy.  To get to that point where I trust him with my everything.  To get to that point where I understand him like the back of my hand and behave in way that shows that.

Because when he looks into my eyes, I want him to see love.  I want him to see a woman who loves to make him happy and knows exactly how to do it.  I want him to see a woman who feels, with every ounce of her, that he makes her happy.

Is that really too much to ask? ;)

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Too much independence?

Well, obviously it's been awhile since I posted here...nearly two years, how time flies! I didn't disappear, I've simply been lazy :O Who knows if anyone's even still out there...

The simple truth is that whilst I like having this blog, I find the actual writing bit to be a bit of a chore that I have to force myself to do.

I like that my thoughts are here, to remind myself of what matters to me and how my thinking changes over time...and I love that so many others seem to have similar mindsets to me, given the number of public and private comments I receive from my posts. It's lovely to know that I'm not alone in loving the idea of a more old-fashioned manner for men and women to relate to each other.

But I'm such a perfectionist that ever actually sitting down to write an entry feels like quite a task, because it feels like it will take me forever and that I won't even be happy with the end result. But I suppose it's simply a matter of no pain, no gain, isn't it? I'm always happy after I post, I always feel productive and like I made a bit more sense of my thoughts...I just have to remind myself of that when I'm inwardly whining beforehand about the prospect of writing an entry!

If anyone is actually still out there, a quick recap of the last 21 months of my life:

I spent much of 2010 in a relationship (Taken in Hand, of course)...my first, since moving to the UK in 2007. Whilst he and I are still good friends and I learned a lot about myself during our relationship, we ended things for the simple reason that our feelings just never took off to that next level.

It was heartbreaking at the time, but eventually, I was ready to move on and ready to take the never ending things I learned about myself and about what I want into my next relationship.

I spent 2011 mostly just enjoying life...just living life. I was reminded, often, that I live in an absolutely amazing city and that I'm blessed with a wonderful family and a wonderful group of friends. I was reminded that whilst my dream of this old-fashioned life hasn't come true yet, I'm not exactly living a dreary life!

And so that brings us to 2012 and the title of this entry. I'm content with my life...maybe even happy. I have numerous reasons to be happy and any modern-minded girl would probably be in heavenly bliss in my shoes. I'm gainfully employed and well respected in my field, I'm often looked to for input by people more senior than me and I'm often sought after for tasks more senior than my role should include. I live in an amazing neighbourhood with nearly everything at my doorstep. I answer to no one, I come and go as I please and I do what I please.

But some days, I can't help but fret, a bit, that I'm still looking for "him." I lament to myself that whilst I've got this amazing modern life, I'm not a modern girl and this isn't the life I really want. I wonder if it's become a self-fulfilling prophecy, to some extent. I wonder if I've waited too long. I wonder if I'm not doing what I should be doing, whatever that is, to find "him." Worse, I wonder if "he" doesn't see me as a potential "her" because I'm living this modern girl life, seeming to be a modern girl.

Since first discovering what I wanted in a relationship, I have grown to love and to be proud of the contradiction that is my personality. I used to think I needed to try to be less opinionated, less independent, in order to attract "him." But I've learned to feel that my strong opinions and independent nature don't make me any less feminine...they make me me. I've learned that, truth be told, I'm not very submissive, in general. It's that I want to relate totally differently, to my future man, than I relate to everyone else. I want to submit to him, not to the world. I've learned to trust that the right man for me won't just accept those traits in me, he'll treasure them. Because he'll understand and love that I'll submit to him because I trust him more than I've ever trusted anyone. Because he'll understand that I'll submit to him because I see him as stronger than anyone, myself included, more confident, wiser, etc. Because he'll understand that by leading me, but refusing to let me be the strong and confident one, he is giving me a gift of freedom that no one else can.

But, I wonder if I've become so comfortable and complacent in my own strength and independence that I've lost perspective of how I come across to others. It used to be that I felt myself automatically assume that the man in my company would lead me. After all, I'd made it quite clear that's what I wanted, so why wouldn't he?

But more recently, with more time and life events behind me that I led myself through, I find myself automatically assuming that the man in my company won't lead me. And when I don't immediately sense that he's a leader, I lead myself. It's an exasperating and depressing cycle.

It's jarring to think about, frustrating to realise, because I wonder if I won't let myself have what I want. It feels like my independence is taking over my life, preventing me from the life I really want. Either I'm becoming so independent that I just don't give anyone else a chance...or I've become so independent that no one sees me as needing or wanting someone else to lead. Maybe no one sees that I don't really want this modern life.

There have been a handful of men in the last few years that, without even trying or realising it, I've felt submissive toward. There was just something in their personality, in the chemistry between us, that snuck past my strong nature and made me trust their lead, trust their judgement.

But I have to wonder...do I really need that specific and seemingly rare chemistry? Or is it possible that the man strong enough to lead me needs for me to first make myself step back and follow him? Does he just need me to give him the chance to lead? Does he just need to merely see that I want him to lead?

The perfectionist in me can't help but cling to the idea that the right man is a man so strong that he'll lead me despite my own independent nature...but the realist in me thinks that the perfectionist might be being...well...unrealistic ;)

For now, I'm trying to trust the latter. Whilst I still think this contradiction in my personality will be attractive to the right man - I still value my own ability to be independent and strong - I am trying not to assume that my own strength is all I have...I'm trying to trust that if I don't decide the next step, someone else might decide for me...if I just let him :)

So we'll see what this year brings. I know it will be a fun year - the Olympics are coming, my mother is finally coming over for a visit, I'm (hopefully) becoming a permanent resident here...who knows if, amongst all that fun, I'll meet Mr. Wonderful? :)

Sunday, 4 April 2010

True love and connections, a clarification

It's a bit fascinating, flattering and surprising to me, but my last post caused quite a stir. I've received a number of notes from readers expressing their thoughts about the idea of true love. And it flows that in a number of those notes, readers also commented on various things I've written and the things I've said that I want in a partner.

It's been about half and half of people (men and women) agreeing and disagreeing with the idea that true love means that there are no others...and it's heartening to know that there are so many who agree and recognise how important it is :)

At the same time, debate and discussion are always good things and so I'm also interested in the reasons behind the disagreeing emails I've received. I don't want to just broadly discount all of those ideas, but I did notice a theme across most of the emails from those who disagreed with me, who said that true love isn't possible the way I described it.

The theme I saw in those emails is that many readers thought I meant that true love means you'll never even be briefly physically attracted to someone else...a stranger, a colleague, etc. And the resounding disagreement was "that's just hormones." And, drumroll please, you're all right :)

It seems there's a bit of a misunderstanding in what I meant...in reading back through my post, I realise that I kept using the word "feelings," but I never clarified what those encompass, I never further defined the word.

When I spoke of "having feelings" for someone, I was speaking of emotional involvement - and lasting physical feelings. To me, that encompasses romantic feelings toward someone, and it encompasses long-standing physical attraction to someone. It does not include just fancying a stranger who walks by, it doesn't include observing that your colleague has nice legs.

If my future husband had ongoing "what ifs" and regrets about a previous girl he'd been with, if he wished even a little that things had worked out between them, then I would feel that he didn't truly love me - that something was missing between us. Because in his ongoing regrets about her, he's investing romantic and emotional feelings in her, and taking them from me. I'm not complete to him because part of his heart wants her. If he flirted repeatedly with a female friend, I would feel that he didn't truly love me, for all of the same reasons. However, if my future husband and I were out to dinner one night and, whilst I was speaking to him, his eyes wandered briefly to an attractive woman across the room, I would giggle, raise a teasingly offended eyebrow and tease him about it - I wouldn't feel threatened by briefly wandering hormones, I'd be amused at his raging hormones and I'd know by the brief nature of it that I'm still his, that I'm still complete to him.

The difference between the two scenarios is very clear to me...my point, in my first post, is that when you're truly in love, you don't have to try not to want others, you just don't want others. And whilst I did want to further explain myself, my ideals haven't changed since I wrote my post. I'm only more convinced now than I was when I wrote that entry, that when you have truly found the magic, when you're truly in love, you want for nothing. You don't have to try and work to love your partner, you just do.

There are no regrets about the past, no lingering daydreams about life with someone else or the feeling that you're missing out on anything with anyone else...your true love is everything to you, complete to you sexually, emotionally and romantically.

I'll allow that many people don't wait for it...on the contrary, being single is seen as odd. You are supposed to be in a couple, by society's rules...and as humans, we all want companionship. And sadly, that seems to lead many people to settle for someone they love most of the time, to settle for someone who sort of excites them, to settle for someone who they want just a bit more than they want someone else - because having that person means that you at least have someone.

I'm not superhuman, I'm not better than anyone else...I'm just very passionate in my wants and very stubborn ;) I am also quite content being single...I do want very much to find The One. But I don't want someone...life can be hard sometimes, life can even be completely and utterly painful. But true love is easy...it's natural, it's constant, you don't have to try to truly love someone, the love is just there and it's magical.

So why would anyone...why would I...want to struggle and try to love someone, adding difficulty to my life, when there's a man out there that I'll just truly love, magically? Why would I want to permanently mar my currently happy life by settling for a man I'll have to work to sort of love, for the rest of my life?

They say that in order to love someone else, you have to love yourself first...and I think that the reason I can afford to be so passionate and stubborn about finding someone I truly love is that I've come to really enjoy and appreciate singlehood...and I've come to love who I've become as a woman and a person, I love the experiences I've been able to have - experiences I've been able to have because I'm single, not despite it.

It goes back to that idea about whatifs and regrets. When I hit my late 20s and really came to realise what I wanted in a man - what I still want today - I also felt a bit consumed by regret, by the whatifs of past events, decisions and past partners in my life. I felt like I had wasted time, missed out on time with my One. Eventually though, more life experience, a bit of introspection and time brought me to where I am today.

I'm in my early 30s, I've changed careers, I've moved twice (the second time to a different continent!), I've lost love, I've walked away from bad relationships, I've travelled all over the place, I've met amazing friends, I've managed to keep old friends...and through all of that, I came to be me. I developed a sense of self, a level of confidence, a level of self-assurance that I know I wouldn't have if Mr. Perfect Back Then had turned up.

I might have lucked out, he and I might still be compatible and we might even still be truly in love. But I doubt it, extremely. Early adulthood is a huge time of change, for all of us...and who you are when you start that period of your life is nearly guaranteed to be massively different than who you are when you finish it.

And whilst we all continue to change and grow throughout our lives, until our last day, I truly don't think that any time is as life-changing and vital as those years of early adulthood. So, I'm happy being single because I had the chance to experience some of the most important years of my life on my own, I got the chance to truly find me. I was free to become whoever I wanted to be, who I needed to be. I've been free to develop myself so that I can be that much more loving and happy as a wife and mother, so that I can be happy with myself.

They say we're all settling down later these days than people did in previous eras...and whilst it makes it harder to find The One, because now I have a much clearer idea of the kind of man I need and so I'm pickier...I'm also much more likely to find true love. The man I fall in love with won't be a crush, he won't be a fleeting satisfaction until I fall for someone else, he won't be the man I settled for because Mr. Wonderful got away...he'll be the man so complete, so wonderful to me that I'll truly love him. He'll be the man I gave up my freedom for :)

I won't look back at my life with regrets and whatifs - I'll look back at my failed earlier relationships and will be eternally grateful for what they taught me about me, what they taught me about life. But most of all, I'll be grateful that they all failed - because the failure of those past relationships is what will lead me to my true love :)

If I never find my One, if I'll always be single, I'll get to continue experiencing things on my own...it's not a lesser life than finding the One, it's just a different one. I very much want to find true love, to experience motherhood...but I also know that I can be truly happy even if that never happens.

There are three paths in front of me, life with the One - a life where I get to be truly in love, I get to be a mother and watch my children grow up with an amazing man beside me. There's the life continuing where I am today, going where ever I want to, becoming whoever I choose to be, seeing the world on the way. Both of those, to me, have amazing and endless merits. I'd be lying if I said I didn't prefer the path of finding my One...but I'd be happy, in different ways, with either. The third path though, is the broken path and one that would mean unhappiness and regret for me or my partner...or both. And that would be to settle for a man when I want someone else, to settle for a man when I'm not quite sure about him, to settle for less than true love. And I'll never choose the broken path.

Relationships take work, of course. It's about working together to grow together. Some days the other person drives you crazy, they're too grumpy, too opinionated, whatever. But at the same time, when it's right, you love that they drive you crazy.

It's that old adage, I don't like you - but I love you. Liking someone sometimes takes work ;) But the true love is always there...true love is out of our control, it just is.

So...the second point, many readers commented on the things I've said about what I want in my future partner. I mentioned earlier than being so sure in who I am means I'm pickier than I used to be, which is definitely true. But at the same time, it's not about a laundry list of tick boxes. When I look back at who I've been drawn to in the past and why, each man was very different from the last. There were similarities, of course, but when I think about why I wanted to give myself to these men, it wasn't about a bunch of pre-defined criteria - it was about the magic. It was about who each man was, what he did to my heart, how he made me feel. It was about us.

I have wants and ideas about my future One, we all do and I am picky about my feelings toward a man. I need to feel something amazing toward him to be further interested...but I also know, from life experience, that I just don't know what he'll be like specifically, until it happens. I won't know how to truly describe or define my One until he becomes my One.

After all, you can't go grocery shopping for love, it hits you like an asteroid when you least expect it and from exactly the direction you weren't looking ;)

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

A complete and true love leads to complete submission

In light of my last post, I've been thinking about the basics of love and how it affects submission...about the kind of love I need to find, about the only kind of love I'll settle for: one that is so complete and so true that he and I only want each other...we won't have any regrets about previous relationships, no thoughts of what could have been with others - we will be so in love with each other, so perfect for each other, that we won't be able to fathom being attracted to anyone else. We'll realise, with absolute certainty, that we're meant for each other. And as a result, I will completely submit to him. I'll trust and love him so purely and so completely that I'll give him my everything, I'll view him as the only one I want and need...and knowing how much I mean to him, knowing how much he loves me will complete my submission. It's that last candle on the cake that will allow me to completely let go into him and see him as my everything.

That complete and true love between us is what will allow me to trust him as I have never trusted before.

Romantic love has many levels...there's the raw and primal physical attraction, there's the deep friendship, the intellectual bond...and there's the emotional bond. A complete love has all of these levels and is missing nothing.

I really don't understand - and never will - why anyone would settle for less. When I set out to write this entry, I wondered if perhaps I'm asking for too much. Do we ever truly love someone so completely?

I Googled things like "true love" and "my partner has feelings for someone else." And I was heartened to discover that, nearly universally, everything I came across (both professional and amateur articles) said - to summarise - true love means that you aren't attracted to anyone other than your partner, true love means that your partner is the only one you want. And that when you have feelings for someone else, you can't possibly truly love your partner.

So, I have hope - high hope - that true love does exist and that I'll find it :) And I know, conversely, that I couldn't fully submit to a man, I couldn't give him my everything, if we didn't truly love each other. And what's the point of all of this if I spend the rest of life with a man I don't quite love? A man who doesn't quite love me? A man I don't quite trust? There is no point to that and I could never do it.

The nature of a traditional relationship is that you are so giving toward each other and so open about who you are and what you need, that you fit together seamlessly like two pieces of a puzzle...the only pieces of a two piece puzzle. There is no ambiguity about what you are each looking for and no need to pretend to want or to be something you are not.

I don't need Mr. Perfect, I just need Mr. Perfect For Me. And whilst I'm far from Miss Perfect, I need to be Miss Perfect For Him...he will be so complete for me that I'll love his faults, I'll love his charms, I'll be insanely attracted to him...I'll just love him, for all that he is - and I will love him with 100% of my heart, mind and body. And conversely, of course, I need 100% of his heart, mind and body. Life is too short and my heart is too precious to give it to a man who can only give me some of his heart. And at a more basic level, life is too short to stay with a partner who gets aroused by someone other than me.

I firmly believe that when you are finally with your One, you only have feelings for that person. To have feelings for someone else is to take away your love for your mate - we cannot divide ourselves, we can't divide our love. If he has feelings for another woman, he doesn't completely and truly love me. And if he has feelings for someone else, then my submission is less precious, less valuable to him.

I refuse to be the jealous girlfriend or wife, jealousy is exhausting, harmful and useless...I want to feel so confidently and so strongly that my boyfriend/husband loves me that I embrace the presence of his female friends, I won't wonder how he feels about them, I'll know I'm the only woman he wants - physically and romantically.

And I'll feel pride and love toward him for embracing my male friends, I'll love that he knows that he holds my whole heart, that he knows that he's the only one who can turn my knees to mush. It makes me smile to envision receiving a giant bear hug from a male friend, knowing that my One is watching the complete lack of attraction between my friend and I - my man can see the vast difference in the way I embrace this friend, compared to the way I embrace him.

He'll know how complete he is to me as a romantic partner and as a leader and he'll know how invisible all others are to me.

Relationships and love are about emotions, not ethics. It's not a business transaction where your actions decide your fate - it's a deep connection where your heart decides your fate. I'm not condoning cheating through actions and behaviour, by any stretch - but giving yourself to your partner completely isn't something any of us get to consciously decide to do. Our hearts are either there or they aren't, our hearts either want someone or they don't. Our hormones are either on or off. Our hormones either want someone or they don't. And harsh as it may sound, developing feelings for someone other than your partner means that you are emotionally cheating on your partner. You may not be acting on those feelings, but the feelings themselves signify that you are unable to be true to your partner.

However! The thing is...whilst we have control over our actions, we have no control over our hearts or our hormones, we have no control over the direction of our love. So where behavioural cheating is, of course, a breach of ethics and something to be ashamed of...emotional cheating is just an uncontrollable and important sign that the "love" we think we feel for our partner isn't true and complete. It isn't our fault, it's beyond our control.

It's a sign that we need to let go, move on and find something that is true and complete. Perhaps more importantly, it's a sign that we need to let our partner go and let them find something that is true and complete.

I often speak here of the selflessness that I see as being so prevalent in a traditional relationship...and I truly feel that the most selfless and caring thing you can do for your partner, when you realise that this person isn't your true and complete love, is to let them go find the one who is. My Googling today reaffirmed my thinking and showed that most people agree.

I don't want to have to try to love my man, I want my love for him to be so true, so complete, that I just love him without even thinking about it...I'll want him and only him. I won't have to try to be ethical and moral, I won't have to try to squash thoughts of other men - I'll love my man so much that he's the only one I'll want. Having stronger feelings for him than I have for others isn't good enough - I need him to be the only one I have feelings for. And I need for him to feel that way about me. I don't share, I want my man to look into my eyes and see only me, I need him to want only me. When I submit to him, I need to know that he wants my submission and only mine.

I am here, single, because I was let go several years ago by a man I had been with for a year, who just couldn't give me his whole heart. I was devastated at the time, I thought we were destined for something beautiful, I thought I loved him and I was so confused and hurt that he didn't want to "just give it more time," that he didn't want to just be happy with what we had. I was terrified of losing him, of never finding another. He kept telling me that though he cared very much about me, he had realised that he just didn't love me...and that he could see my love for him and knew that it just wasn't fair to take all of my heart when I didn't have all of his.

But, when the pain subsided and I could see the world in a happy light again, I came to respect this man more deeply than I ever had before. I respected and cared about him more after we broke up than I did when I thought I loved him. Because whilst he was perfectly content with what we had, with my gift to him, he knew in his heart that he couldn't give me the same gift. He gave me back my gift so that I could move on and find a man who wouldn't just be content with my gift, he'd love my gift with all of his heart - my ex let me free to find a complete and true love.

He could have easily given things more time, as I thought I wanted, he could have settled for what we had - but in doing so, he would have kept me from my complete and true love. And he would have deprived my future true love of my complete submission.

And though I'm still searching for my true love, I am deeply grateful for my ex's selflessness - I'm thankful that I have the chance to find the magic and I'm thankful that I'm not being held emotionally hostage in something that isn't true and complete. And that experience taught me that I would rather search forever and never find it than settle for something less.

None of this deep love happens overnight...and I know for me, whilst it will develop gradually, I won't be able to commit myself to him until I feel it completely. When I find my One, I want - I need - that magic moment where I just melt into him, where we both realise that there is no one else for us, only each other. In order to completely submit to my future partner, I need to feel his complete love for me.

I respect and love myself too much to settle for some of his love, I want all of his love...and the right man for me wouldn't settle either - so I know I can't give myself to a man, I can't commit to him, until I know in my heart that he's the one. And, however slow it has to be, I don't want him to commit to me until he knows in his heart that I'm the one...I don't want him to take my gift of submission until he knows that he will truly and completely treasure it.

I don't want someone, I want the one - I want the magic, I want the fairytale...and in order to make that magic, we have to be everything to each other.

It might take awhile, it might take forever and a day...but I want a complete and true love with Mr. Perfect For Me...and when it happens, I know it will feel truly amazing.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

A love of serving...but only to the right man

Often, in personals profiles and even in discussions with dominant men, I see or hear the phrase that these men are looking for a woman with "a need to please." Or, I read scenarios where they want a woman who enjoys pleasing her man...and that the flipside for these men is that they "get to enjoy the woman's service" or that they deserve this service because they're meeting a woman's "basic needs."

I'm one woman and, as always, I can't and wouldn't speak for anyone other than myself...but every time I see those statements as the only - or even the main - reasons why a man wants to lead, it makes me sigh in irritation and frustration.

I do know that there are men out there with a broader and more giving attitude toward leading, I've had the wonderful pleasure of coming across a couple of them. But sadly, these more giving men seem to be in the distinct minority.

As a submissive woman, I most definitely do enjoy serving a man I've fallen for - and yes, often my enjoyment comes purely from seeing that he is happy. In that moment, when I'm doing something for him and I can see that I'm pleasing him, I'm happy just for that reason. I've even taken pleasure in doing something I absolutely hate, because it made him happy - I actually took pleasure from the fact that my personal sacrifice made him happy.

But the thing is, to take that snapshot and call my service and his ensuing happiness a complete picture of our dynamic is like taking one sentence out of an epic novel. It's like trying to experience a lifelong journey by getting on the bus at the halfway mark.

For a man to think that a woman's want and need to serve are just abstract feelings that can be aimed at any man who comes along, regardless of who he is or what he offers is so silly and ridiculous that I'm almost at a loss for words. (Almost - I'm not one to be at a loss for words ;) ).

For me - and I sincerely hope for most submissive women - a need and want to serve comes from being with a man who is selflessly dominant toward me. I become drawn to please and serve a man because he has treated me like a lady, like a princess. I become drawn to please and serve a man because he leads me with love, because he takes me in directions that are farther than I could ever take myself. I become drawn to serve a man because, before he expects anything in return, he offers me the gift of leadership, he offers me the gift of guidance. And he shows me, in his own way, how much I matter to him...how much my happiness means to him. He shows me that he isn't focused on being served, he isn't thinking about meeting my bare minimum basic needs, he is thinking about wanting me, about guiding me. He shows me that he thinks the absolute world of me.

That certainly isn't to say that a dominant man doesn't enjoy being served - of course he does! And as I said, I do enjoy - very, very much - serving the right man and I would happily give him 300% eventually, happily serving him with all of my being. But it all goes back to the idea of this being a reciprocal gift...how can a man expect to receive such a precious gift without giving one in return? Further, I want to think that a truly dominant man would only enjoy being served by a woman he has fallen for...where's the magic in being served by a random woman?

Whilst I do think that there are times within a relationship of this dynamic where things become very animalistic and primal - and those times can be very exciting - what makes this so much more beautiful is that we're human beings, not animals. We operate on a higher plane, we operate with deep emotions and connections - it isn't always just a primal need and for me, it's never a primal need until my emotions have taken me there.

I've been accused, on more than one occasion, of giving too much, of not putting my own needs and wants forward enough. And so, on some level, I do love to serve a man...but the wonderful, rare, men who accused me of being too giving didn't realise what they had given me that allowed them to experience that giving. I gave because they gave...it's that vague and somewhat indescribable dynamic where you are both so focused on each other, so taken with each other, that all you want is for the other person to be happy.

I think the reality is that I do love to serve. I love to serve a man who has somehow shown me his incredible gift. I won't actively or consciously think about my needs, I won't wonder what I'll get back for serving him - I won't have to wonder, he'll show me constantly because I'll mean that much to him. Because he isn't thinking about being served, he wants to give to me as much as I do to him.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

The gift of dominance and the gift of submission

When I last wrote about trust and how both people need to develop such a deep level of it before the relationship can flourish, I found myself thinking about the idea of the reciprocal gifts of dominance and submission.

I believe that a woman's submission is a gift and that a man should feel blessed to receive that gift, whenever the woman is ready to give it. I don't think it's an instant all-at-once kind of thing, I think it happens gradually over time - but I do think it's hers to give, rather than his to expect and take.

A truly dominant man will never demand submission, he'll only feel blessed when it is gifted to him. A man can call himself dominant, but only a submissive woman can truly deem a man dominant.

And it's a lovely thought, I love the idea of a man seeing my submission as a gift to him. A gift, of course, is something to be valued, it's something given voluntarily. A man who sees my submission as a gift sees it as something to be valued and treasured, something that has been earned and is not just a blind right. By extension, he sees me as someone to be valued and treasured.

I further love the idea that when a woman sees her own submission as a gift, she is valuing herself and her submission - in viewing her submission as a gift, she's saying that she is too important to simply obey every man who crosses her path. She'll only gift her submission to someone who has earned it, to a man who has shown that he is wise, responsible, caring...to a man worthy of leading her.

Too often, I hear men who fancy themselves dominant saying things like "I'm taking applications for submissives," they talk of training a submissive or they ask a woman how she intends to "prove herself worthy" of his dominance.

And all of those attitudes make my blood boil. It's arrogant, unromantic, lacking dominance and, frankly, a bit embarrassingly silly. A truly submissive woman is only submissive to a man worthy of her...dating and relationships aren't job interviews - you don't send in an application! And submission can't be "trained" - it can't be taught or manufactured, it can only be nurtured and treasured.

But as much as it angers me to see men with these attitudes, it saddens me that there are women who go along with it. There are women who just don't value themselves enough to treat their submission as a gift, they think they have to prove themselves "worthy" of giving themselves.

And submission comes in many forms, all unique and in due time - a man cannot "train" a woman to give her gift. He can only take whatever form of submission she chooses to give him...and then he can guide and lead her to be even more than she ever knew she could. She will, as part of her natural desire to please him, learn about him as time goes on and she will no doubt submit in ways that please him, just because she enjoys pleasing him. But a need to please isn't enough - a woman needs to feel loved, valued, protected, guided...and it's when she feels those things that she gifts her submission.

But, just as a woman gifts her submission - gifts her freedom - to a man, a man does gift his dominance and leadership to a woman - he must value himself enough to save his dominance for a woman who is truly worth it. He is giving her the gift of guidance, he's taking the burden of responsibility off her shoulders and giving her the gift of letting go. He is giving the gift of protector.

Being given the gift of dominance feels wonderful. For the woman, when a man dominates in a caring and loving way, it makes the woman feel submissive, wanted, treasured, protected. His dominance feels like a gift.

So, when a man and a woman have that affect on each other, when they have that chemistry where his dominance brings out her submission and her submission brings out his dominance, they give each other amazing gifts. It's a wonderful level of trust and both people know that the other person values them above all else.

In many ways, it seems logical than one has to start before the other - how can two people simultaneously drive each other to give reciprocal gifts? Who starts first?

I think this is where that old-fashioned courting that I hold so dear comes into play. When a man courts a woman, he is leading in small ways...and when she follows, she's submitting. So, I think the man starts the journey and when a woman follows him, she is gifting her submission in small ways. He leads her and in doing so, asks for her submission...and when she follows, she's giving that submission.

Whilst I do think there can be a moment where she formally gifts him her full submission (and by taking her submission, he is gifting his dominance) I think the gifts begin at the very beginning, working gradually toward the total trust needed to truly gift each other total dominance and total submission...and it's that gradual gifting that makes it so special, ongoing and lasting - neither person ever forgets the value of the gift they've been given and both people treasure those gifts.

Any gift worth having is worth waiting for...and what greater gift is there to a dominant man than the submission of a woman? What greater gift is there for a submissive woman than the gift of a dominant, guiding hand?

I personally don't think anything is greater.