Dec 302012
 

ds-breakup-rulesWhen a relationship is in trouble, people try to fix it by communicating more, spending more time together, identifying problems, and implementing solutions. Some people call off D/s, others renew their focus on D/s, and in general, they try to remember what make the relationship work in the first place.

Sometimes relationships can’t be fixed — people grow apart, argue, and lose interest. For one reason or another, all relationships end.

Don’t worry… J and I are fine.  :)

While our relationship is pretty good, the inevitable break up is something I’ve thought a lot about. Like most relationships, we’ve had our share of problems and being in a “driving distance” relationship complicates things. Besides that, J and I share similar thoughts about the durability of relationships (I’m not interested in finding a forever-partner) so we both understand our relationship will likely end at some point.

Thinking about the end isn’t fun, but in a way, it’s helped me to hope for the best and plan for the worst. In planning for the worst, we have two “breakup rules.” While they probably won’t end up saving a relationship that’s irreparably broken, they still make me feel more secure about the relationship we have now.


Breakup Rule #1: J isn’t allowed to break up with me

Yep. That’s what I said. J can’t break up with me — He’s not allowed. I’m the only one who can break things off. Since I have final say in our relationship, I also have final say in when it’s over.

We’ve actually used this one. More than a year ago, J wanted to end the relationship because of a minor mistake he made. I said “no.” He was wrong to want to end it over something so minor and easily fixed, and I was right to say no.

Of course, because there is a possibility for more serious issues and because there are two people in the relationship, I realize the rule is symbolic more than it is functional — it exists only in theory. In practice, if J “checks out” of the relationship, then it’s over — it’s not possible to have a relationship with someone who doesn’t choose to have a relationship with me.

Besides that, I realize the rule isn’t really enforceable. If J is so unhappy that he wants out, I couldn’t force him to stay in the relationship even if I wanted to. If the relationship deteriorates to such a degree that one of us is that unhappy, chances are the relationship is over anyway.

But if we do have serious problems, it buys me time to think things through and figure out we might fix what’s broken. If the relationship is beyond repair, it gives me time to come to terms with the inevitable and gives me the symbolic power to dictate the terms of our demise. However symbolic it may be, that measure of control is comforting to me.


Breakup Rule #2: The 72 hour retraction window

Should I choose to end the relationship, I have a 72 hour window in which I can “take it back.” Essentially, as long as it’s within three days of breaking it off, I can issue a retraction.

We haven’t used this one yet, but it came about because I did break up with J once about a year ago. I got upset with him over a difference of opinion and what I read his as insensitivity toward my position. It was silly thing to have argued about. Although the issue was very important to me, the details didn’t affect either one of us.

Within 24 hours of breaking up with J, I realized I had overreacted. Telling him it was over was a mistake.

I wanted to take it back, but I wasn’t sure how to do that without invalidating my feelings. Besides that, I’d like to think that I’m a rational person who doesn’t let my emotions get the best of me. Admitting that I had acted irrationally was difficult for me (damn my pride), but I did it anyway. I swallowed my pride and apologized. It was the the right thing to do, but it was also a terrible blow to my ego.

After we talked it over and made up, I told J that we should have a “retraction window” if I ever end up doing the same thing again. While I was half-joking, we both realized it was a good idea. Now, if I ever find myself so irrational as to break things off without thinking it through, I have 72 hours to take it back.

I know the the breakup rules are a bit silly — the first is symbolic and unenforceable, and the second exists only to mediate my potential immaturity. But they do serve a valuable purpose in helping me feel confident and in control. For that reason, maybe they aren’t so silly after all.

 

  11 Responses to “the breakup rules”

  1. Definitely not silly, in my opinion. Doms/Dommes all seem to have a need to control and organize (nice way of saying manipulate…did you see the niceness???) as many details as possible. This helps them to feel more comfortable and happy in their situations. No matter the (admitted, and quite humorous, lol) flaws in the reasoning or enforceability of the rules, they give you a sense of comfort in a situation that is normally so beyond control for other people, right? That’s all that matters!

    Now….to figure out a way to apply your rule #1 to my BD with ME being the one in YOUR position….”Sir, babygirl wants to dictate the rules and regulations of any potential breakup….babygirl thinks you shouldn’t be given a choice in the matter, ‘kay?” Yeah….probably wouldn’t work….

    • @Cassaundra: “Doms/Dommes all seem to have a need to control and organize (nice way of saying manipulate…did you see the niceness???) as many details as possible.”

      I did see that! Thank you! In addition to needing control, we also like descriptions of using words with positive connotations. (I DEMAND POSITIVE CONNOTATIONS!!!!) :)

      “they give you a sense of comfort in a situation that is normally so beyond control for other people”

      I think you’re right on this. They make me feel better, and so even if they don’t do anything more meaningful than that, it’s something. Besides, we human-types do lots of stuff to make ourselves feel better… no reason this should be any different than that (I think?).

      “Now….to figure out a way to apply your rule #1 to my BD with ME being the one in YOUR position….”Sir, babygirl wants to dictate the rules and regulations of any potential breakup….babygirl thinks you shouldn’t be given a choice in the matter, ‘kay?” Yeah….probably wouldn’t work….”

      *laugh* Oh, my. I think you’re right… this probably wouldn’t work so well… but it might make for a hilarious conversation!

      • I will remember your “positive connotations” demand in the future!! I always try to do that, except when people make me mad….then my mouth runs away with me sometimes and I say things I don’t really mean in the way that they come out. It’s something I am working on….but it’s achieving much less progress than some of the other things!

        Yes, the fact that it makes you feel better IS the most important thing. The image of control is one of the oldest ways that we have always made ourselves feel better about things going on in our lives! I mean, really….weathermen??? I have never understood this concept, because half the time what they predict is NEVER what comes to pass….but it gives people the feeling of control over the weather (something we absolutely CAN’T control) because they can track fronts and make predictions (Um…that’s all I can think of to say that they do, cause I don’t watch the news or the weather…..).

        Yes, I’m sure it WOULD make for a hilarious conversation….and a nicely sore bottom/back as well! Maybe I WILL try it when he is home! ;-)

        • @Cassaundra: “Yes, I’m sure it WOULD make for a hilarious conversation….and a nicely sore bottom/back as well! Maybe I WILL try it when he is home! ;-)”

          You’ll have to let me know how that conversation turns out! (Maybe after it’s over, I can offer you an ice pack?) ;)

  2. I don’t think this is silly at all! Why can’t we discuss things rationally for a “If this happens, here is how I’d like to handle it?” I applaud this kind of foresight.

    • @Bilikesscifi: Thanks! I admit it’s a *little* silly, but I’d rather plan for the worst than feel at a loss for what to do.

  3. I actually have the same rule in that, you cannot break up with me. It IS, of course, not effective, if someone wants to be gone, then they will be, physically or emotionally, and in the end it’s the same thing, but I think that it does remind one of the dynamics of the relationship, even in that situation.

    I always like the way you think.

    Probably because it’s so close to the way I think, too.

  4. @MsConstance: “if someone wants to be gone, then they will be, physically or emotionally, and in the end it’s the same thing, but I think that it does remind one of the dynamics of the relationship, even in that situation.”

    Yes to this! I hadn’t thought of it that way — that a “rule” like this is a reminder of the dynamics, even if it’s unenforceable. In thinking about it, it’s sort of like a collar. Lots of people in D/s relationships use collars (lots of people in vanilla relationships use rings) as a symbolic reminder of their commitment and of the “rules” of their relationships. Collars aren’t 24/7 functional–people don’t use them to tie their subs up, nor do they force subs to be submissive. Wedding rings are much the same–they don’t keep people from growing apart, nor keep them from violating each others trust, nor keep them from leaving each other.

    They’re just reminders of what’s in place. In the same way, I guess, rules like this remind us of commitments, promises, and what we agreed to when times were good.

    “I always like the way you think. Probably because it’s so close to the way I think, too.”

    Thank you! And I can see it too–in reading some of your blog, I can see the similarities in our thought processes. :) Great minds think alike, right? :)

    • It really IS funny to me how much I agree with most of what you right.

      I often find female dominants are a bit too into the Royal Bitch scenario, or the Porn Queen, or the Spoiled Princess, and none of those roles apply to me at all.

      I *can* be a royal bitch, but I require a reason and I try to keep those moments to a minimum. When you’re a bitch all the time, it rather loses the effectiveness. If you hold that until it’s really called for, people remember and they tend to want to avoid it happening again. As a way of life, though, it’s tiresome for all.

      The Porn Queen is just silly – I’m so short that if I wore thigh-high boots they’d be crotch high and I’d probably kill myself in them anyway.

      The Spoiled Princess is childish and churlish. I know what I want and am quite capable of asking for it – most of the time, anyway, because, like you, I hate looking – or feeling – needy.

      I prefer the persona of the Queen. Even the Prince kneels before the Queen, after all. I can live with that one.

  5. @MsConstance: Of course we agree! Great minds!

    I see a tiny bit of me in each of those personas. I try not to be a bitch, and I’m self-aware enough to correct myself most of the time.

    I like being a Porn Queen from time to time, as I look kick ass in thigh high boots, even if I can’t walk in them all that well. I’m a reaction junkie, and also terribly vain, so anything that might get me a jaw drop or insta-hard-on makes me happy. Unfortunately, I think I’m more into playing Porn Queen than boy is.

    I try to avoid being childish, and like bitchiness, it’s something I can generally recognize and self-correct.

    Queen? That, I can’t quite see myself there. I’m happy to be commanding court jester. :)

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