Most relationships don’t explode in a blaze of glory because of a single thing. When you see relationship drama unfold on your social media feed, it’s easy to keep watching and be grateful that’s not you It’s almost comforting. You know that’s not your relationship. You and your partner are good. Right?
Remember one thing: The big screaming match in the proverbial front yard of Facebook isn’t how most relationships (kinky or otherwise) implode.
The death knell of some of the best, seemingly most solid kinky or vanilla relationships is when you stop communicating with each other. You let small things slide. You tell yourself whatever bothers you is no big deal. At the same time, your partner is going through their own version of the same thing.
It happens to the best of us – ask us how we know – but it doesn’t have to kill something beautiful and wonderful. Here’s how to start communicating again.
Don’t Freak Out
We’ve talked (a lot) about how vanilla life gets in the way of kink and D/s, and sometimes you have to let it. Certain aspects of your life can’t be ignored. But it not only puts a damper on the sexy, fun times you want, it can also interfere with how you interact, behave, and even think about your D/s. If you’re reading this and realizing things have gotten off course and you haven’t had a real conversation with your partner in weeks or months, do not panic. Don’t freak out. The relationship isn’t over. You just need to get back on track.
Think About Your Reality
It’s easy to get upset that life got in the way of being the best Dominant or submissive you can be, but it’s important to practice forgiveness – of yourself and your partner. Job stressors, sick kids, aging parents, death, money, mental health crises – these are all just a few of the things that derail you. Did something (or several things) demand your attention? Do you still love and care for your partner as much as before? Assuming everything is genuinely good – only slightly off – go easy on yourself. And, most importantly, try to remember that nothing lasts forever, including the crap in your life right now.
Figure Out How You Feel
Sometimes life gets in the way temporarily but instead of getting back to your kinky version of normal, you let things slide. Tasks don’t get done and there’s no follow-up or discipline. Needs aren’t expressed and the tone of voice you use with each other changes. Once you realize how off things are, it can make your head spin. How are you actually feeling? Do you have something you need to express but you’re nervous? Have vanilla stresses bruised your confidence in D/s? Sit with your own feelings for a while to figure out what’s going on in your own head.
Set a Time to Talk
If your relationship is mostly healthy and you developed good communication skills before this setback, there’s a good chance your partner has noticed something is off, too. Broach the topic with them. I say things like, “We feel off” and if John Brownstone agrees, I know it’s not all in my head. Even if your partner is kind of oblivious, say something anyway. “Feeling off” is only one way to express it, but get the words out. Once you have your partner’s attention, set a time to talk. Make sure it’s a time when you can both focus on the conversation and each other.
Don’t Hold Back
I’m a big believer in weighing my words carefully before I speak; others are much more blunt than I am. However you communicate, though, this isn’t the time to hold back. It’s also not the time to hurl accusations. Things have gone either a little or a lot off the rails, and you both want to set it right again. Be honest. Say what’s on your mind. But also remember that you’re both on the same team and you both want a good outcome. And if it’s gotten to this point, no one person is completely at fault. You both created the situation you’re in.
Reset Your D/s Relationship
Recently, John Brownstone and I realized we’d stopped fully communicating with each other. Nothing major had happened. We just stopped paying attention. It didn’t help that we’d both wanted to change a few things about our dynamic and wondered how the other would take it. Instead of talking to each other, we let things slide. Bad move. To get back on course and make the changes we want, we’ve hit a kind of reset on our D/s relationship. What does that mean? It’s primarily about getting back to basics. I’m remembering my manners and thinking of his comfort and care more often. He’s being more stern and demanding (in a sexy, kinky way I like).
Communication isn’t just about how we talk to each other, it’s also about how we interact. Our D/s got away from us. But it was our willingness to talk about everything and then act on our conversation that helped us. If you find yourself in the same position, start communicating and then reset your D/s relationship. Getting back on track might be easier than you realize.