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Attracting and Keeping a Partner

Author: Bluedeacon

Filed in: relationships, dating

This is kind of an odd thing, I'm not really people savvy - but then again if I can find people and keep one for as long as I have, anyone should be able to. For the record though, I think she should have more credit for the longevity :). The following are solely from my observations and experiences.

Attracting someone (nonspecific):

Years ago, just out of high school a witchy friend told me that my best bet for finding people was to simply be myself, and to imagine what things I wanted out of the relationship, and that in due course people would present themselves. She also warned that it was dangerous to focus on a person you don't know or to try to force yourself upon someone you do know. In the long haul this has been good advice - with being patient and watchful I've met many very good people, and quite a few of them have had a strong impact on my life in one way or another; it's also been my experience that we often put our wants ahead of our needs when looking, and in picking a specific person without really knowing them (quite often on the basis of looks alone) we doom ourselves to failure.

I think it's important to be yourself and be genuine - don't play games or roles, don't try to pass yourself as something you are not to the best of your self-awareness - and be patient and observant. When you are just your genuine self, the people you will want to attract will find themselves drawn to you, because you are what they seek, or because they can identify with you. You should also strive to be the person others would want to be around (ie, have a positive attitude) and what you would expect others to be (cultured, honorable, with integrity, to name a few) - these are things always worth striving for.

You should know yourself and where you are/what you want to the best of your ability, and be open to the possibilities. That is, be open to those who would share themselves with you and do not count out those who you don't see as 'potentials' but give to others, you never know what you will learn from or teach to another, or what gift will be given - and quite often you are surprised. With my wonderful wife, we met through a mutual friend, who had wanted to make Suzanne unhappy (thought I'd dump her) but who actually had chosen us well - and I knew I wanted someone stable, and recognized that I needed someone who was strong and could handle bdsm and a person with ADD. At the time, I hadn't really realized just how well she did these things, or even that she did them, it just felt right somehow; but the longer I am with her the more I appreciate what she is able to do. Still, on paper if you had looked at us at first we wuld not have seemed compatible - and I've often heard from people who found the 'right' person was not the person they thought would have been ideal.

Since going online, I have tried to define what I was looking for and be realistic, and along the way I've had people I've taught things to, and others who have stepped in and taught me when the time was right for the lesson. I mostly just posted my thoughts and responded to others on the list I was on and in watching responses, found out who were my supporters, and also had people decide that I'd be a good friend as well - I think national list can be better, in general the communications can be more open and honest than local - and I've been lucky to have those who are more experienced take an interest in my progress. You don't know for sure which of these people will either be the person you are looking for, or will lead you to that person, but the better you know yourself and are able to present that, and the more specific/truthful you are about what you are seeking at the moment - friend, mentor, playpartner, experience maker, life companion - the better your success; perhaps I should clarify that by pointing out that we may have several things we seek at a given moment, with different people. For instance, you may find a person to be a good friend, someone to confide in, or who will open up to you - as with the first two women I'd met online with whom I discovered just how much 'vanilla' life overlaps 'M/s' or D/s and it was quite a pleasant surprise. You may be seeking people with more experience to learn from, someone who will be willing to teach or play to help you learn about yourself and the lifestyle, and a life partner - each in their own time, or all at once. I've gained the people I have by sharing myself and my experiences and questions online, and have found occaisional tolerance from those who remember the mistakes they made when they too were new.

I've run into many dommes in particular though who despair at how often they are lead to believe that a person seeks to serve when they really just want sex or to explore - and a tip I've gotten is to be honest about what you seek, and be friendly, not pushy. There are those who will just meet you out of the blue but most dommes, anyway, would either like to get to know you as a person/friend or at least would like to get to know you as a fellow poster on a list, and then like most people they're often more receptive to helping you learn, explore, or just have some unadulterated fun. Another point I would like to make here is that I often hear (most particularly from femdoms) that very few of the people who ask them to meet in person actually show up. Yes, I know all about that feeling of nervousness and fear that comes from meeting someone face to face or talking on the phone for the first time, believe me I do as a person who is more shy than I appear to be, but it not only looks bad for you, but it tends to make the person you were supposed to meet more reluctant to meet others in the future - and you may be that 'other' someday in the future.

One of the things I've learned from Suzanne, that she learned from a teacher in school, is that while we have many things we want, in order for us to move forward and succeed we need to be honest with ourselves about priorities - for instance, if we like to do roadtrips and spend a lot of time on the town, and we also like to garden, we need to decide which is more important because the two are not really compatible. I have seen this single piece of advice change a number of people for the better. First, you need to figure out your most important needs - that is, what needs do you have that if they are not met they will tend to cause trouble or destructiveness in your lif ? This may be direct destructiveness - such as the girl in The Secretary, who would cut herself and leave scars to give outlet to her need, or the person who risks loosing family or a job because the need becomes and obsession or otherwise occupies too much time - I usually say three to five things here. In addition, what other needs do you have, those things with which life would be enjoyable, but you *could* do without if you have to , such as someone who will go easy on a sensitive person or who will protect an overly trusting person, or having a life partner - I'd say five to ten of these. Finally, list your wants - the things that really make life fabulous but without which you'd still be content. Ask yourself in each category which are the most important...for instance, if you have a high need for sex and also for bdsm, and had to choose one, which one would you be better able to do without? For that matter, in a wide ranged thing such as bdsm, what components do you have to have, what could you live without if you had to? Once you have honestly taken such an inventory you will be well on the way to finding the right people.

Understand and communicate intentions and expectations for both people. You know what you want, expect and intend, so try to be truthful; but also be mindful of what others expect as best you can - such things as courtesy, respect, cleanliness, and discretion, for starters. Express yourself openly and honestly, and believe in yourself (your abiliy to be loved, to be a good mate/dom/sub/whatever). In return your group you are with needs to strive to do the same. I can't stress this enough! I suppose that it's because we actually see each other face to face in a local group, and so feel a need to protect ourselves, but yet how can we expect to find others, if others don't feel 'safe' to openly communicate or to be exactly what they are. I've lost count of how often I've been answered privately because the person was afraid of what the group would think of their response on this list as well as others, or how often I've heard people say that they feel like nobody is who they pretend to be or that there is too much role and game playing - and that seems counterproductive, given the overall expectation of our lifestyle, and how often we claim to be open and honest and tolerant.

Keeping them attracted:

It's the little things that count, that keep a relationship together - the way you look at each other, what you say, the thousand tiny things you do on a daily basis, that neither of you really realize. Like, which demonstrates submission more - wearing a collar and kneeling but only doing what you are told (if that) -or- thinking and considering at all times what would be pleasing or what the other wants, and then trying to do it, even though you never make overtly submissive gestures?

For us it can be: doing a little of the other's responsibilities, because the other person is tired or having a bad day. Showing up unexpectedly with flowers. Trying *not* to do the things that annoy the other. Bringing her a new toilet brush because you found her using a washrag to clean. Rubbing just the right spot. Forgiving the other person when they are having a bad time and letting it out on you, because you know they will do the same, and that the other person will always love you. Honestly, I'm blessed in that I *know* she will always be there.

Be considerate of the other person.

Snuggle, touch each other, try to put the other person on an even level with or preferably before your wants/needs, talk, surprise them now and then.

Try to maintain what the other person finds physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually attractive.

Be flexible.

Be realistic of what you expect with each other, and have the strength to believe in the relationship, in your devotion to each other, even when the going is tough, and count your blessings whenever possible. It is all too easy to allow distractions to pull you apart, or to notice the things that are wrong, and I have found the more you focus on what's wrong, the more you will drift apart...the more you focus on what's right and good, on what you are blessed with, the happier you are and the stronger your bond. Just remember to temper it with wisdom. Suzanne is fond of saying that I see women and relationships like cars...and we know that there are those cars that maybe aren't perfect but would never let you down when it counts, and those which are more trouble than good. Likewise, many times we see that many 'failed' relationships around us are caused because either the people expected too much (or the wrong things) or they were too wrapped up in themselves and unwilling to simply try a little harder - and the reward is worth it. On the other hand we have seen times when a spouse is abusive or there simply is no saving the relationship, and you need to move on for each other's good - or at least to save yourself.

Make time to be with each other, to be each other's priority, and to rejuvenate the relationship - whether having a picnic and fishing, or taking a romantic weekend for two at a bed and breakfast, as long as the focus is on each other.

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