I've written before about the confidence inherent in a submissive woman, how she thrives under the guidance of a confident, dominant man and how her submission, in itself, drives her confidence in herself.
I've written about the beauty of chivalry and courtship in a traditional relationship, about men behaving as gentlemen and ladies behaving as...ladies.
And, just last week, I wrote about my struggle to hold onto my true submissive self, to try to let the man lead.
I've been thinking about how it all comes together...and about what else is involved for me, in feeling submissive toward a man.
The kind of dominant man I'm attracted to is motivated to lead because he wants his future partner to be healthy and happy, because he enjoys the idea of seeing her happy and fulfilled in whatever she does. He still wants her to please him, but that isn't his main focus. He tends to be caring, friendly and wholly interested in her - her thoughts, her hopes for the future, her dreams and her needs.
When he speaks of the structure he would set in a relationship, he speaks of wanting his future wife to be safe, of wanting her to be able to relax and let him do the worrying. He speaks of seeing her as his most treasured possession, the person he will respect and love most in this world.
When such a man speaks of how he wants to lead, he talks about wanting to encourage his future partner in activities, about looking after her well-being. He seems to thrive on responsibility and derives much of his happiness from the idea that he will be driving his partner's success as a person. That he will be responsible for her growth.
There is, of course, a want for his own needs to be met, but the tone of that usually makes it seem like he is more interested in his partner's happiness than in his own.
And often, when I feel that in a man, I find myself melting into his mentality. There are few things that can make me feel submissive toward a man more than if I feel like he wants to take responsibility for me, that he wants me to be happy. I respond by wanting to make him happy.
When I meet a man who wants to lead a woman, possibly me, because he sees her as someone he would value more than anyone else, I feel myself wanting to understand him - I find myself wanting to understand what makes him tick, what his hopes and dreams are.
The kind of dominance I find most attractive is that rare combination of confident leadership, chivalry and a genuine desire to better someone else.
It's a fine line I suppose. The husband leads, but he does so by consulting his submissive wife...he leads her to her own hopes and desires. He asks her what she wants out of life...but he also learns to read her. He encourages her and drives her to do things he knows she wants to do, but that she never actually says. Sometimes he knows what she wants before she knows.
But, he is the leader, the head of the household...he isn't simply doing exactly as his wife wants. He is picking and choosing, using his wisdom and understanding of his wife to know what she needs. It means that sometimes, he makes her do the things she's most scared of - because doing those things is the best thing for her. It means that sometimes, he won't let her do the things she most wants to do - because those things are bad for her.
For me, in order to see him as dominant, I need to view a man as wiser than me...I need to trust him more than I trust myself. To me, that wisdom means that through his responsibility for his future partner, he gets to know her better than she knows herself...and he helps her become her complete self through that extra wisdom. He lifts her up higher than she can lift herself.
And when I feel a man lifting me up, when I can tell that my happiness and well-being are so important to him, all I want to do is fall into him and let him take that responsibility...and I want to do everything I can to support him in his hopes and dreams.
And I suppose that's the funny thing about it all...each person is putting the other person's happiness before their own and as a result, they both achieve happiness.
It's an amazing level of love and trust and is much of what makes a traditional relationship so powerful and so fulfilling.
I look forward to feeling it someday :)