When I first started this blog, I wrote about trust. About the deep trust a woman puts in her man when she submits to him and about his journey to gain that trust.
I still think all of it is true and more so. My ideal in a relationship is one where I would trust my future husband with my everything, I wouldn't keep anything from him and he could make as many decisions for me as he wanted, my hope is that he would choose to make many, if not most, decisions.
But, that means that I have to trust him so deeply that I trust him more than I trust myself, I have to know him inside and out, I have to know that he knows *me* inside and out.
I often - maybe always - refer, on this blog, to my future partner as my future husband. And whilst it's true that I want to get married someday, I would submit to him gradually, beginning long before we got married...because when the two of us are standing in front of our family and friends, professing our lifelong love to each other, I will already know that I can trust him more than I've ever trusted anyone in the world. I'll be standing there, professing my lifelong love to him, because I trusted him enough to have already submitted to him.
But then the question remains, when would I start submitting to him? And, how gradual would it be? How quickly would I begin to trust him enough to give him the bigger aspects of my life to lead? And from his side, how does he begin to trust me? How does he trust that my submission is true, that I do truly trust him? How does he trust that he's allowed to take control? That I want him?
None of it is as simple as one answer, of course. It's not like I can say "30 minutes into the 4th date, I'll trust him enough to submit to him." And it's further not as simple as saying "6 months into our relationship, I'll allow him to lead my whole life." From his side, I doubt it's as simple as "When she blinks 3 times, I'll know she wants to be mine." It depends entirely on the two of us, how we connect, how we get to know each other, our personalities. But I do know that I couldn't submit right away...I don't believe in love at first sight and I don't believe that I would just know "instinctively" that I could trust him with my submission without knowing who he is.
When we first meet, I will feel a strong connection to him and I will feel generally submissive toward him, I know myself well enough by now to know that a truly dominant man has a natural affect on me. When in such a man's presence, I realise after the fact that I was submissive to him in small ways without even realising it...in my attitude, in my mannerisms. His masculinity and dominance brings out my submissiveness and femininity. When a man has brought out my natural submissiveness, when his own personality has allowed me to shed my protective modern exterior, I have a very strong interest in seeing where things will go...I find myself drawn to him and wanting to see how he will lead me. I know from my own natural reaction to him that he has the rare potential to be very real.
But, I don't give myself to him in a greater sense in those first moments...there is no way I could, because I don't know him enough, I don't know who he is or what leadership means to him and most importantly, I don't know if he truly wants me. I can't tell yet, in those early moments, whether he just fancies me or whether he sees me as a woman he wants to take responsibility for in a bigger sense.
It feels a bit arrogant and obnoxious to say, but a man has to earn my submission. If I am to give up my freedom to him and trust him with my life, I need to know that he will act responsibly, I need to know that he cherishes me and puts me above everything else in his life. I need to know that I'm special to him, that he wants the best for me. It isn't to say that he wasn't already those things when we first met, I'm sure he was - and hopefully he cherished me from the day we met. But I'm not a mind reader, I need time to see that, to trust what I see in those first moments. I need to keep seeing those things.
When I first wrote about trust, I mentioned that a dominant man has the task of undoing all of the hurt the woman has been through before. I still believe that, I think any adult woman becomes distrustful after enough time out in the modern dating world. Sadly, most men don't act as gentlemen and we ladies have to become a bit cynical to protect ourselves...we have to allow, somewhere in the back of our minds, that no matter how lovely a new man may seem, he may turn out to be just like the others. So, we hope and we wait and we watch how he treats us, we allow ourselves to be courted and chased...but we keep our wits about us, keeping ourselves grounded and independent whilst we learn about him.
And for me, after a time, I will realise that he's true, that he's worthy of my submission. I'll realise that I can let go and let him take care of me...and whilst at first, it won't be my whole life, giving him that first bit of true submission will feel beautiful. Later, when enough time and knowledge has passed that I know I can completely trust him, it will feel more beautiful to entrust him with my whole life. It will feel freeing and amazing.
I've spoken before of the "dance" of dominance and submission...of the melding of two people over time as they begin to trust each other. So, whilst I need time to be able to trust a man enough to submit to him, I know that he needs to build trust of his own...he needs to trust that I trust him.
As I've said before, I find confidence in a man extremely attractive - whilst I want to wait to submit until I trust him, I need him to take the lead in small ways from the beginning. And that feels like a very stressful contradiction of terms for him! Because basically, I'm saying that I don't want to give myself to him until I'm ready, but I want him to take baby steps to lead from the very beginning. I want him to try to understand me, I want him to gently make decisions.
And to be fair, when I try to think about all of that from his perspective, it seems like a tall order! It seems like he has to take a bit of a leap of faith in terms of understanding me and guessing what I need. If he goes too far in these baby steps of leadership and I push back, what will happen to his confidence? How will he trust me? If a dominant man is told by a woman, however subtly, that he led incorrectly, that she's uncomfortable and not ready yet, will he try to lead that woman again? What can she do to reassure him that she very much wants him, but that she needs time? What if he wants her submission before she's ready to give it? How does it affect his confidence when she says no to his leadership?
But, I guess that's the chasing and courting...his job is to understand me. To court and chase me so that I will eventually give him my submission - to court and chase me so that I will eventually trust him more than I trust myself. To court and chase me so that he will have the greatest tool of confidence of all - the complete trust of a woman and her submission.
At the end of the day, trust is - to me - probably the most vital part of a Taken in Hand relationship. It is the most delicate and fragile part of the relationship in the beginning, but it's also the most beautiful once it's there. It takes time to develop, a true lifelong Taken in Hand relationship isn't born in a few days...but when it is born, it is amazing.