It’s easy to get lost in that gap between what you expect and what is reality. It’s easy to feel LOST and unsure. It’s easy to mourn the loss of the things that may never be, to hang on to those expectations and redefine them as needs. To tell yourself you can’t live without whatever would have come from those expectations playing out, even though their reality may look miles apart from what they look like in your mind. It’s easy to not see the beauty right in front of your face because you’re too busy being lost in the gap.
I know. I’ve felt all those things. Many times.
I think it’s easy to fall into this cyclical trap within D/s, especially when you’re the one who asked for this, if your personal growth tends to move at a much faster rate, at least initially, and there are love language differences to both understand and cater to. Add in a long history within the relationship, and there’s plenty to continuously stumble over, plenty of old thinking that creeps into expectations and you may not even know you’re doing it.
There are a few ways in which I’ve managed and diminished that lost feeling: honest and vulnerable communication, practicing patience and trust, and evaluating my own motives. The communication speaks for itself; it’s invaluable. The only way to be truly loved is to be known, so I must know myself, trust in my ability to search for and know my truth, and share that willingly. I must listen to, receive, and accept M’s truth, too.
I’ve had to be patient with myself, and understand that the world isn’t going to end, no matter how lost I’ve felt. I’ve had to have patience with M, and give him time and space for both understanding and putting belief and feeling into action. I have had to trust that he has our best interest at heart, always, and know that mistakes will be made.
Most importantly, in my humble opinion, is evaluating my motives, and challenging my perspective. Some things I initially believe I need, I do not. They are wants, and not necessity. Hanging on to those can create a very ugly place in my head that breeds resentment. This actually succeeds in diminishing my confidence in myself, and results in a snowball effect of sinking deeper into that pity party, causing me to question more things about us as a whole. It’s no good for anyone. Some things aren’t even fair to expect of another person, especially if the person just isn’t capable or willing, and they may not be healthy for either in the long run. Communicating is the only way to know.
Also, some things I believe I need, and think I’m not getting, are needs or wants that are actually being met, but I’m just not seeing them, because they don’t look the way I imagined they would, or I didn’t know M’s intent in his actions. Assumptions suck. Asking questions always helps; communicating always helps.
I’m not saying I can prevent myself from developing expectations, or never feel a gap between those expectations and reality. I’ll do those things again, I’m sure. But I don’t feel so lost; there’s comfort to be had in the knowing of myself and my truth, in our open communication, in my trust in M, and in practicing patience. And in enjoying the moments, in the here and now.