I have tried to keep my half of our relationship free of expectations of Him. We have our own lives and our own circles. We communicate frequently and see each other less frequently. In a long distance relationship, most of the relationship occurs from a distance, much of the relationship occurs in my mind. That is not to say that I make up what exists for us in my mind, but it means that my thoughts of Him fill in where the distance keeps us apart.
Gillette has been writing a series of posts on trust and relationship. She makes many valid points and has touched on several reasons why my past relationships have failed. Sometimes, we see another person, not as they are, but as we want them to be. We develop expectations, we write a story in our mind of what we have shared and what it means. We impose our own desires and meanings on someone else and begin to create expectations based on that story.
As a relationship develops, it is difficult not to hold expectations. Our emotions reflect those expectations. To trust someone is to expect them to be honest with you and not to intentionally hurt you. To love someone is to feel affection for the person we perceive them to be. We may base our feelings and emotions on our interactions with that person, or a set of traits we see them as having. Our perceptions may be correct or they may be based on a misrepresentation (either one that the person has presented to us or one that we have imagined). We may choose to overlook or not notice things that clash with our perception. In our relationship story, we incorporate our expectations. We expect certain interactions, we look for the return of emotions, we begin to expect that person to meet our needs. The question becomes, what is it that we truly need? I know that I have wants and desires, I often use the word need interchangeably when referring to them. I do know that those are not needs, but when I use that word, I may be conveying a different expectation to others. I may actually be indulging myself by thinking I need more than I do.
When I communicate with J, I often tell Him I need him, or need something from Him. What I am meaning is that He (and the things that He does) prompts a content, happy and fulfilled feeling within me. I do want Him, I desire Him madly, but the fact is, my life is not contingent on Him. I sometimes read of others in long distant relationships (or sometimes any relationships), they talk about how difficult it is, that they do not get what they need from the other person. I have been asked how I stand being apart from Him and how I deal with the distance. The funny thing is, I have been in some 24/7 relationships where more distance was present than is between J and I. Would I love to have more time with Him, absolutely. Do I need to have more time with Him, no.
When we first began talking, and even after we first met in person, I was drawn to Him and I felt very attracted to Him. I did not expect our relationship to develop and deepen to the point that it has. I initially expected a much more casual relationship. When the relationship was evolving and our feelings were deepening, I worried at times. I wondered if I would begin to feel needy or jealous of His life apart from me and His other commitments that kept Him away. That has never happened. I may appear needy at times, those times that my desire and longing for Him are great, but I am really fine. I like that I can desire Him so much (sometimes to the point of obsessive thoughts), but still be okay emotionally. I accept the limitations, I accept the distance and the commitments that we both have (apart from one another). The bottom line is that thoughts of Him make me happy, so sometimes I dwell on them. It makes me happy to serve Him, to do things for Him, so I do sometimes think about what it would be like to do that all of the time. Those thoughts have never taken me to the point of thinking that I had to have that, that He will never be able to fulfill my needs due to being away.
I recently read a blog of a submissive that talked about the sacrifices she had made for her dominant. She talked about not getting enough attention from him and that she only had him, nothing else in her life. I know that everyone's dynamic is different, but I did not get the impression that he required her to be so involved. She was blaming him for not meeting the needs she had created. I resisted commenting, because I did not think that it was my place (or that she wanted to hear), but my thought was that she was suffocating him. Her idea of service to him was to cling to him and control him. There seemed to be very few boundaries that had been defined in their relationship. I do know that my views on things have been tempered by interactions with those in poly relationships. I have come to understand how they can deal with feelings of jealousy. My desire is for J to be happy, when my service to Him and my relationship with Him makes Him happy, I am a content submissive.
I am not trying to be judgmental or to tell anyone else that our way is the best way, but for me, this works. We have our lives, both apart and together. He has become very interwoven in my life apart from Him. I think of Him often, I know that my actions and decisions are influenced by Him. That has been my choice, to internalize Him so deeply within me. He does share His opinions with me and He cautions me on things, but He does not demand that I do things a certain way. I, in turn, would never presume to tell Him what to do. I do try to convey my support and my caring.
The basis for our relationship and the success of our relationship is trust. I do not remember ever trusting someone else as much as I trust J. My trust in Him was developed early on. I think there are many reasons for that. His original communication with me was very open and candid. So much so, it surprised me, but it also allowed me to know He was being honest with me. At times when I struggled to open up to Him and reveal something that was a source of shame or embarrassment, He has never reacted with shock or judgement. He is one of the most open minded people I know. He has also never given me any reason not to trust Him. Our open, honest and frequent communication has continued, I think that has prevented misunderstandings from occurring. I feel comfortable with telling Him anything that is on my mind and He is very good at asking me to share things with Him. Though much of our communication is not face to face, we have become adept at avoiding miscommunication. We both ask for clarification if things aren't clear.
I also believe that our trust and our communication have been aided by the fact that there seems to be a spiritual connection between us. I don't know how to explain it further, than to say it has been there from the beginning. It is an innate understanding and bond that has always existed for us. Despite that connection, that we both acknowledge, we don't rely on it or take it for granted. We still work hard at communication . We never assume agreement or understanding without discussion. From my own experiences, I know that assumptions and expectations can damage a relationship beyond repair. I also know that our own expectations are often doomed. I have lost past relationships to the expectation that they would last forever, I also lived a large part of my life rejecting relationships, because I did not think that they could survive at all. Now, I am savoring every moment and try not to expect much beyond today. This has worked so far, not a day goes by that He doesn't bring a joyful moment into my life.
I don't put too much stock in fairy tales, but in this one, she slays the dragon herself.