It came on me out of the blue that it was time for this in my own life, so I’m passing it on to you. This serves as a reminder that if you want your relationships to last they should be fluid and able to change as you and your partners do.
That means your rules and relationship expectations need to be discussed too. Depending on how in flux your lives are that can mean having these discussions fairly often, but even if everything is stable and you’re content it’s still a good idea to pull things apart now and then. So….
When you read this, think back to the last time you had a relationship discussion with your partner. Did you talk about changing needs? Did you talk about feelings you might have that you’ve been hiding away? If you have a list of rules, did you go over it and check to see if any of them no longer apply or needed to be changed?
Can you even remember the last time you did that? If not … take this as your cue to do it. This past year and a bit, has probably been the hardest that most of us will ever have to face. Relationships are falling apart, because people are falling apart. And to a certain extent there is only so much you can do.
Let’s face it, pretty much everyone is swimming in depression and desperately waiting for things to get better. Some of us will have trauma from this last year that it will take us ages to get over. Long distance relationships, which are a bit of a focus here on this blog, have been especially hard hit.
Why? Because when you don’t live together you depend on daily communication to keep things going, to keep that spark. But right now that’s hard. People draw into themselves when they are scared or upset. On top of that with this extended lockdown it can be hard to find things to talk about to keep those lines of communication open.
My biggest fear, and I know a lot of people share it, is that once things begin to go back to a somewhat more normal course there may not be much relationship left to save. It can be hard to bounce back when you’ve drawn so far apart.
It’s much easier to keep a relationship together if you don’t wait until it’s dead. So in that light, this might be the perfect time to have this check-in between you. Discussing where things are, and what problems are happening can be the reality check that a relationship needs.
So take the time. Schedule it. In fact, maybe set your calendar to remind you to go over these thing every few months. If nothing else having a specific topic may help you keep those lines of communication going.
And if your partner is not in a place where they want to discuss anything serious, you may have to make a couple of attempts. Give them some time between each one, to get used to the idea, but don’t give up. Relationships take work and if you care about the person you’re with then it’s worth the effort.
This is not aimed at Doms or at subs specifically because I think both sides of the relationship are responsible for communicating. But if you are specifically having issues or problems with the relationship, or feel you need things that you aren’t getting than you should be speaking up. That’s what a responsible partner does.
As someone who has dealt with depression on and off, and who has dealt with depressed Doms in the past, I can tell you for sure that it’s not easy to keep things going through a slump. The all-year slump we’ve been having has destroyed a lot of relationships and you don’t want yours to be one of them.
So here’s a handy list of things that can be important during a D/s relationship check-in:
1. Start with a general discussion about any problems you’re having, problems you’ve noticed. Talk about things that have been improving too. Don’t let these conversations always be about the negatives. The key notes are usually needs/wants/struggles.
2. Start a discussion of rules if you have them. Have some been dropped or left by the wayside? Are they rules that are still needed? If not you can consider removing them from the list entirely. If they have been dropped because help is needed than that should be discussed.
If you don’t have rules are there other relationship structures that are lapsing? That would require the same conversation.
3. Now’s a good time to go over that list of rules (if you have one, of course). Ideally this list should be compact and easy to remember. You (both sides of the relationship) should be able to remember most of them off the top of your head. If you can’t it might be too long.
Get rid of ones that are no longer needed. Reinforce rules that are needed but haven’t been followed lately. Add new rules based on struggles.
4. Probably the hardest part of this conversation should be one about feelings. Are you content with how things are now? If not what do you need to feel safer? Have you been hurting? Angry? Try to work through them so you can create a path together to move forward.
Now, If you haven’t done this in a while, or if there have been a lot of changes in your lives than this could be a very intense and long conversation. It’s okay to break it up into chunks everyone can manage because the last thing you want to do is get to the hardest part, in the middle of all the emotional stuff and… someone has to leave, or go to bed.
And if you do break it up into several different discussions, make sure you schedule the next part. Don’t just walk away and plan to pick it up later. It’s very easy to start a conversation like this and never continue it. Maintenance is important. Just consider this whole experience as a spring cleaning. It’s a lot of work but it’s necessary.
Now that you have your task I will leave you to get to it. If you have any questions feel free to drop it in comments or email me. I do (eventually) answer emails though I can be slow. A lot of times the ones that come through the contact me button are attached to e-mail addresses that bounce though.
So if you don’t hear from me that might be why. I received a lovely e-mail the other day about my punishment post, from a sub who was nervous about getting punished and when I tried to reply it bounced. So if that was you, I’m sorry! You can try again from another address maybe?
But on that note I’ll wrap things up. See you soon!