I’ve been aimlessly wandering through blogland recently. I’ll click on a link, usually through Bonnie’s MBS blog, and read about someone else’s experiences. I might stick around for a few minutes reading recent posts and then I’ll click on the next one and repeat the process. So, what am I doing? What am I looking for? I guess I’m just trying to gain perspective. I want to see what might or what might not be working for other couples in TTWD. I’m looking for things I might want to discuss, but maybe most of all…I’m still trying to convince myself I’m not alone in how I think, how I feel, and what I want.
I’m finding that not only do a lot of us share this desire to be spanked, but we also share a lot of other things that come with TTWD. We have the same relationship caveats, the same fears, doubts, and confusion regarding roles and expectations. I see the lulls in relationships where nothing happens and the highs where everything is perfect. I see the fear and doubt bubble up into an overwhelming sense of being lost when things are confusing – am I doing something wrong? is it enough? maybe I’m expecting too much?
Each person feels at fault when things don’t go as expected, when you both aren’t on the same page. It’s amazing that the feelings are the same whether you are the Top or the bottom – only the perspective is different. It’s all there – fear, doubt, loss of self-confidence, not being enough, general confusion. It seems that relationships in TTWD are indeed stronger and more open, but with the extreme highs, we can also experience extreme lows. It all sounds like a terrifying roller coaster of trust. So, the questions are…what do you want? Can we compromise when we don’t agree? Is it worth it?
How will you know any of those answers if you don’t communicate?
I know it’s easier said than done. I’m not writing/typing this for all of you because I magically know all the answers. I’m actually talking about this for me because I don’t have all the answers. I still don’t know what exactly it is that I want, I’m not sure what it is that I need, and I have no idea what the difference is between what I want vs. what I need or how to communicate any of it effectively.
It all works so seamlessly in my fantasies, but even I’m not the same person in my fantasies as I am in reality. Role playing doesn’t work for me because I have never been able to act like someone I’m not. I’m not the college student with bad behavior problems, I’m not the secretary who makes an abundance of typos, and I’m not the naughty wife who pays bills late or flirts with random guys. Now, please don’t misunderstand me. I know I am far from being perfect.
At home, I can think things to death before coming up with an answer. I am the type of person who will drop everything to help someone else. I lack self-confidence in many things I do. I’m shy about what I want and unsure about what I need. I fear the unknown and too much change makes me nervous. At work, it’s another story. I project confidence and do what’s needed to get the job done. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll ask someone. If they don’t know, then I’ll research and discuss any issues with the customer.
How can I be these two very different people? I don’t even know when the switch occurs. When I get home, the change isn’t immediate, but it definitely leaves me feeling lost and confused. I just don’t know what to expect.
Am I submissive? I know I act like I am, but it really depends on the situation. Do I want him to be the only one in control? Sometimes, but not all the time. Sometimes I want to have fun. Sometimes I want to be punished (for what I have no clue). Mostly I want him to know what I want and to be able to give it to me.
Here are a few things I’ve observed about relationships.
- Communication is number one. You must have open communication for any relationship to work. You have to be willing to discuss expectations, goals, wants, needs, desires, limits, etc. Not only must you be willing to talk, but you must also be willing to listen. You have to be willing to understand what is being said, take time to think about it, and then formulate a response. Communication is the key. If you find it difficult to talk, then collect your thoughts and try writing letters or sending e-mails. You’ve now used the key and opened the door. If you are receiving these notes, then take time to read them, think about them beforehand, and then walk through the open door of communication together.
- Mutual acceptance is a part of any relationship. That doesn’t mean the person you are today will be the same person you are tomorrow – that we won’t learn, change, and grow. What it does mean is that you need to talk to each other about each other. No one is perfect. If we were all perfect, this world would be awfully boring. Take the time to learn about each other. Talk about your experiences and share your dreams. Discuss your fears and share your fantasies. When things change, talk some more. Communicating with each other leads to understanding and acceptance.
- In any relationship, it is inevitable to have both big and small expectations. Unfortunately, when your expectations are not met, no matter how small, you can be dreadfully disappointed. Does that mean you should lower the bar? That depends…did you ever actually communicate your expectations? How on earth do you expect to meet them together if only one of you understands the expectations? And, what’s worse is you feel like the other person isn’t trying or doesn’t care at all when that’s probably not the case. The number one reason people fail to meet expectations is because they were never aware of what was expected in the first place! Both parties should communicate his/her expectations and openly discuss how they are going to meet them together. This won’t cure all disappointment, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.
- You, Me, Us – Until now, you’ve done your thing and I’ve done my thing. Now we’re together, what should change and what should not? Maybe both of you start doing everything together, maybe both of you want to keep things independent. However, the only way you’re going to find out how to move forward in a relationship is through communication. I want to have a girls’ night and you want to have a guys’ night, but on this night we always have our night. Also keep in mind major decisions need to be made together – it isn’t just about you or me anymore; it’s about us.
- The relationship isn’t new anymore. In the beginning, he would send flowers to your office and you would buy him his favorite video game. He would call you during the day just to tell you he loves you, and you would drop by his work to bring him lunch. Now, it’s been months since he’s bought you a card and the last thing you picked up for him was a pair of odor-eaters for his work boots. Do you even remember when you last went out to dinner together? But don’t be disappointed, just remember to step back and take a moment to smell the roses and make time for each other. It’s not that you don’t love each other anymore; it’s that life has a tendency to get in the way from time to time. Try something new together and enjoy each other’s company.
- My Fantasy vs. Our Reality – Trying to live out a fantasy is a lot like trying to meet an expectation. You must communicate what you want and how you want it. Discuss limits and what might happen if something goes awry. Be prepared that in reality things might not go exactly as what you planned from your fantasy. When (not if) the need arises, pause and talk. It’s also important to not be judgmental as this may be new to both of you and you are therefore both vulnerable to criticism. Accept that although things may vary between fantasy and reality, you can still have a great time as long as you keep that open line of communication.
- Respect and trust are requirements (at least for me) especially in intimate relationships. You must be willing and able to respect and trust each other, only then can you be truly open with each other. Even when you don’t agree, both should be respectful of the other’s opinions. If you don’t respect each other enough to listen, then all you are doing is breaking trust. If limits are set, they must be observed so that both people feel safe. When a person submits/turns over control in any way, he/she is vulnerable – he/she trusts you to respect the boundaries that you both have established.
- A relationship is a journey you travel together, so have fun making the most of it.