Apr 022014
 

A reader writes in to give me some advice…

Long time lurker. Only writing to say that your making a big mistake IMHO by not moving with J. Your smart and can find a new job but its not smart if you chose your job over the person you love. If your not putting love first in your priorities maybe you need to organizae them different.

So… you’re saying who I love should be more important than what I love… because it’s just that simple, right?

Not only that, but you’re telling me I should quit my job, abandon my career, and give up everything I’ve worked for to move across the country with J… because that always works out, right? Because people who sacrifice everything to be with their partners never end up resentful or bitter…right?

Wait… Why do I have to be the one to move with J?

Why the fuck didn’t you tell J to stay here with me?

Oh, right… I forgot. In a (heterosexual) relationship, both the man and the woman are supposed to do what’s in the ‘greater good.’ Only the ‘greater good’ isn’t always greater — it’s usually just ‘his.’ She’s supposed to make sacrifices, give up her career, and leave her home in service of ‘their’ goals. Only ‘their’ goals are really ‘his’ goals because she ceases to exist when the “he” and “she” become “them.”

Fuck you.

Fuck you for your simple-minded romantic idealism, and fuck you for your sexist, tacit endorsement of women’s subservience to men. (Honestly, I don’t know which of the two is worse?) Fuck you, anonymous fuckstick, but also, kudos for managing to be offensive on multiple levels.

What might be worse, though, is that you probably think you’re being nice, don’t you? You probably think you’re being helpful by passing on your wisdom… right?

Let me disabuse you of those notions. You aren’t being nice, and your ‘humble opinion’ isn’t all that humble (saying it doesn’t make it so). You aren’t being helpful, either, because spouting off some bullshit about love that wouldn’t make it to the inside of a knockoff Hallmark card isn’t wise — it’s vapid, cheap, and woefully (or willfully) ignorant of the complexity of human beings and life in general.

I don’t know if you’re male, female, or non-binary, but I know for a fact that you’re a twat-level-ten douchebag. Take your douchebaggery elsewhere, anon. It’s not welcome here.


thumbnail image from “Big Mistake” (2010) by double:zanzao. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0).

  43 Responses to “reader advice: “you’re making a big mistake””

  1. My feelings exactly.

    This afternoon, my 23-year-old son announced his feminist stance and stood up for equal rights for both men and women to choose their own destinies. I was so damn proud, I got a little teary-eyed, then patted myself on the back for raising an enlightened, smart, wise, witty young man.

    Not surprisingly, he’s fascinated by the idea of femdom. I swear I had nothing to do with that!

    • I was so damn proud, I got a little teary-eyed, then patted myself on the back for raising an enlightened, smart, wise, witty young man.

      You should be proud — the world needs more enlightened, smart young people. :)

      Not surprisingly, he’s fascinated by the idea of femdom. I swear I had nothing to do with that!

      Whether he’s curious, interested, fascinated or otherwise, (regardless of whether or not he’s interested in it personally), that speaks to his curiosity and interest in the world around him… and that? That’s fucking fantastic!

      Thanks for sharing this, Night Owl. It made me smile!

  2. Staggered by the sheer sweep of this lurker’s ‘advice’. Not an ounce of appreciation of Your openly declared dilemma in all matters j. A ‘genuine’ lurker ought to be fully read-up on Your exquisitely defined anguish on this subject so clearly comes off the worst for being so myopic.

    You keep on being You. Your true fans will always outnumber those who seek to stir things up, confusing provocative prose with ill-advised ‘insight’.

    • Staggered by the sheer sweep of this lurker’s ‘advice’.

      Yeah, it’s the assumption that we all share the same priorities, or perhaps, the belief that we should all share the same priorities.

      A ‘genuine’ lurker ought to be fully read-up on Your exquisitely defined anguish on this subject so clearly comes off the worst for being so myopic.

      Thank you! Yes. I agree, and I almost said so in my post. I mean, I wanted to say “You’re a terrible lurker!” but that would have been childish. (…not that I’m not childish, I’d just prefer people didn’t know it) :)

  3. Wondering if you aren’t overreacting.
    Hormones or age—and yes—I am a woman. You’ve been complaining about J leaving, blabla, but if you do want to be with someone, male or female; it doesn’t fucking matter in a relationship. In this age, everyone has a career. Perhaps because I’ve passed that stage, living as a diplomat, I don’t see the relevance, because people who care about each other find a way to keep a dynamic. However fucked up the dynamic is. J has priorities and so have you, and those are mere choices. The anon comment was totally crap, but so is this post. Unless this is a high school drama situation. Then apologies, go on, my mistake.
    Don’t post my comment if it bothers you. Heck, delete it. I’m prejudiced, since I’ve lived everywhere and learned to share my live with people who matter, since this is a short journey.
    Good luck in all your endeavors.

    • Wondering if you aren’t overreacting.

      Wondering if you’re not quite understanding the context or the genre? If someone I didn’t know said something similar to my face, I would have smiled politely and blew it off (keeping my thoughts about their stupidity to myself).

      I might have asked why the person advised me (female) to make sacrifices instead of J (male), but I wouldn’t have called them a twat-level-ten douchebag to their face.

      But, of course, this is the interwebs. While I’m somewhat knowable through my writing, the commenter is completely anonymous to me and I’m okay with calling out their idealism and their sexism… because it does make me angry.

      Hormones or age—and yes—I am a woman.

      Wow. Also, huh?

      First, I realize that your comment is about the love/priorities thing, and while I think it’s unfair, condescending, and dismissive, I’m fine with shrugging it off. Yes, we all have hormones that affect us, and yes, we all have thoughts that change as we age. So?

      But put the romantic idealism aside for a moment… you don’t think I should be offended/angry by someone who suggests I should make sacrifices and doesn’t mention the possibility of my male partner making sacrifices? That’s pretty fucking sexist, and if that doesn’t offend you (as a woman, as a person with a career, etc.), then I’m surprised.

      In this age, everyone has a career. Perhaps because I’ve passed that stage, living as a diplomat, I don’t see the relevance, because people who care about each other find a way to keep a dynamic.

      Sure, but not all careers are as established, personally fulfilling, or as financially stable as others.

      I’m not sure what you mean by “passed that stage” — passed the stage where you have a career? (meaning you’re retired or doing something else?) or passed the stage where you prioritize such things? I’m also not sure I understand your statement about relevance — do you mean our careers aren’t relevant?

      because people who care about each other find a way to keep a dynamic […] J has priorities and so have you, and those are mere choices.

      You’re right on about priorities — both J and I have careers, and those careers are more important to us than each other. We are consciously choosing our careers. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t care about each other, and that doesn’t mean I’m not going to be conflicted, or sad, or whatever else I might be.

      The anon comment was totally crap, but so is this post. Unless this is a high school drama situation.

      You’re suggesting I’m being too dramatic and/or immature. Please be more specific. Am I being too dramatic by 1) being offended by the assumption that we all prioritize the same things? 2) being offended by the ridiculous sexism? or 3) being sad, conflicted, [fill in the blank] that my partner and I are splitting up?

      I’m prejudiced, since I’ve lived everywhere and learned to share my live with people who matter, since this is a short journey.

      Sure, we’re all biased. You’ve learned your truth — that sharing your life with people who matter is more important than anything else. But that doesn’t mean that your truth is my truth, nor does it mean anyone else should share your priorities.

      Good luck in all your endeavors.

      Thank you, anon. I appreciate the well wishes, and I appreciate your thoughts (even though I disagree with some most of them). :)

  4. I don’t usually comment on blogs, as I prefer to lurk, but I have something to say.

    I’ve been following your blog for months and the relationship between you an J is intense and part of the reason for that is the knowledge of its end. Because you both embrace that life is much *more* than just ‘finding someone to spend your life with,’ I think you’re able to experience a depth of emotion that other people will never find.

    Too many people define their life in the search for a lifelong partner. But life isn’t something that can be condensed into a neat little package like that. Everything in life has an ending. I find it far more mature and inspiring that the two of you look past the fairy-tale notion of a perfect, eternal love. And wish that others out there had the same courage that the two of you show every day.

    I hope the two of you are able to enjoy the remaining time you have together to its utmost and I wish you both luck in whatever comes after.

    • I’m glad you delurked for a little bit, Lynne! (Nice to meet you, BTW!)

      Too many people define their life in the search for a lifelong partner. But life isn’t something that can be condensed into a neat little package like that.

      Yes, to all of this! There are so many ways to define a life, so many goals to achieve. The idea that finding romantic, forever love is the be-all-end-all is far too limiting and restrictive, I think. And as you suggest, even if it is the be-all-end-all, it’s not so simple and easy as we’d like it to be.

      I hope the two of you are able to enjoy the remaining time you have together to its utmost and I wish you both luck in whatever comes after.

      Thank you for this. :) We are enjoying our time, enjoying each other, and looking towards the future with hope, fear, sadness, happiness… all of those beautifully complex, often-overlapping emotions that make life so brilliant and wonderful.

  5. Well said, and a hilariously witty put-down of a Cro-Magnon patriarchalist.

    Apart from the total absence of apostrophes where required, this is a dead give-away:

    “maybe you need to organizae them different”.

  6. hmmm…well, while I think anon’s *tone* was impolite, and certainly misogynistic, I understand the bare bones of the note. I’ll just say…life is short. A job (yes, even a career is still a job) is one thing, but the human interaction of this kind of deep love is rare. Yet you have to do what is right for you two…we’re mere voyeurs peeking in the window.

    I wish you both all the best.

    nilla

    • I understand the bare bones of the note. I’ll just say…life is short.

      For the record, I understand it too. I get it — life is short (we should figure out what we want and do our best to get it while there’s time!).

      It’s not necessarily the content of the message that offended me. It’s not the suggestion that love is most important (to the commenter, to lots of people) — it was the suggestion that I’m doing it wrong, that my priorities are wrong… and of course, the sexism (that too!).

      but the human interaction of this kind of deep love is rare.

      You’re right, and I absolutely recognize that. I’m trying to find peace with the fact I may never find it again. It’s some comfort (and an odd one) to realize that love is often fleeting, even in the best conditions. At the least, I know I’ll be able to look back and think: damn, that was rare and special and fuckinghot and I’m so fucking glad I had it for the time it was mine… :)

  7. I’m still sad that what you have with J is going to end. Your relationship isn’t perfect (they never are), but it seems to be more special than many people’s relationships.

    Looking at it from an optimistic perspective, though, there are things to be happy about. J’s job change must be a phenomenal opportunity to move across the country, away from you. It’s obvious that your career is meaningful and fulfilling to you, too. Career satisfaction is really important, because we spend so much time on our careers. (Speaking of, I’m working on improving my own career satisfaction, but it’s going slowly.)

    • Your relationship isn’t perfect (they never are), but it seems to be more special than many people’s relationships.

      I might be more willing to consider this if I wasn’t already so biased. :) With that said, I do think some of the “special” comes from the fact we always knew we were on borrowed time.

      Looking at it from an optimistic perspective, though, there are things to be happy about.

      Yes to this! J is excited, and I’m really excited for him. He’s a fucking genius, but unfortunately, a largely unrecognized one. He deserves to be recognized and to find his work as fulfilling and valued as I do mine.

      (Speaking of, I’m working on improving my own career satisfaction, but it’s going slowly.)

      That’s fantastic news, Neo. :) Working on improving your career, even if it’s not where you want it to be, can be satisfying in it’s own right.

  8. I think you’re making a big mistake giving too much of your precious blog attention to a know-it-all – but that’s just my opinion. ;)

    I can understand how this irks you, because it’s your decision and it wasn’t being respected. This anonymous person apparently has some sort of patriarchy concept, and doesn’t understand that you’re enjoying a “matriarchy” (sorry for lack of a better word) lifestyle.

    So… You Go Girl!

    The decision you made was yours. It wasn’t an easy decision, and it was his decision as much as it was yours.

    Now send that person back to their stack fairytale romance novels were everything in life works out perfectly with everyone living happily ever after.

    • anonymous person apparently has some sort of patriarchy concept, and doesn’t understand that you’re enjoying a “matriarchy” (sorry for lack of a better word) lifestyle.

      Maybe that’s true, but even if I wasn’t in a D/s (femdom) relationship, the same thing would be true. We value our careers… we value them more than each other… at least in this particular context we find ourselves in.

      The decision you made was yours. It wasn’t an easy decision, and it was his decision as much as it was yours.

      Yes! Thank you for this — it was our decision, separately and together.

      Now send that person back to their stack fairytale romance novels were everything in life works out perfectly with everyone living happily ever after.

      Heh. This is precisely why I don’t read fiction. :) I’ve never enjoyed fairy tales…

  9. When I first read this earlier today, obviously I laughed (because you have a hilarious way with very angry words) but it also struck me that were I to have received a message like this I wouldn’t have thought it was sexist. Not because it *isn’t* sexist (it is) but simply because I am so used to hearing shit like this that I have apparently stopped even noticing it.

    I’m glad you called this person out, and I might have to send people I know to this blog the next time I hear that “oh but you won’t want a career if you have a baby”, “oh but it’s just a job, and you know, you could totally have a child etc” – I am getting a lot of this at the moment because I have just hit thirty. Funnily enough there is never EVER any question around which person in my own happy couple will be the one to give up their job. Because for women jobs are things they do to kill time in life while they’re waiting for a man. For men jobs *are* their life.

    So thank you. And for the record, I have absolutely no advice whatsoever for you and J – it sounds like you’re struggling with a really fucking difficult situation, and I would no more hurl unsolicited advice at you than I’d start hurling rocks. Best of luck, though, I hope that good things happen for both of you.

    • but simply because I am so used to hearing shit like this that I have apparently stopped even noticing it.

      I know, right? I didn’t notice it at first either…. I was so ticked by the unwanted advice and unnecessary judgment that I almost missed the sexism. It really is nearly invisible and ubiquitous. How fucking sad is that?

      “oh but it’s just a job, and you know, you could totally have a child etc” – I am getting a lot of this at the moment because I have just hit thirty.

      Heh. I hear you. I’m two years ahead of you on that one. :)

      and I would no more hurl unsolicited advice at you than I’d start hurling rocks.

      Next time I cross the pond, we’ll meet up for drinks and hurl rocks at an abandoned building or something. :)

  10. Well, I for one just want to say… YOU GO GIRL!!!

    Life isn’t all THAT short and to chase love across the country on a whim rarely if ever seem to work out. I never understood the stupid pressure put on women to give it all up to chase a man.

    Love doesn’t make a long term relationship work all by itself. I can state rather matter of fact that when things like where you live, jobs you do, and activities outside of work begin to pull you a part… the love just doesn’t survive well.

    You’ll never meet another J, but when you are happy and content with your life you’ll be blessed with a multitude of wonderful people to pass thru your life… and you never know. You and J may get another chance later in life.

  11. I have to agree with the anonymous reader who sent in that comment. Not because I think it’s a romantic mistake, but rather because otherwise you won’t stop vomiting angst over everything for the indefinite future.

    Quite frankly I think J can do better than you anyway so it’s good he is getting a chance to taste better, less bitchy fruit it’s just that the internet doesn’t need the whining of a whiny domme bitch who could have done something to help herself, but decided not to.

  12. I’m an advocate of amore and eros – I believe in love.

    I considered moving to Canada to be with my Serafina. Logistically it turned out to be easier for her to move here, but my first consideration was my future slave’s relationship with her family, as I have none to speak of, so I would be sacrificing little. If I had it to do over, I would have moved there not long after we met . . .

    I was a Chief of Staff to an elected official, and held a low level elected position myself. After 10 years in the “wilderness” as an activist, I had 10 years of government service under my belt, and was very highly respected in my position. I had newspapers fawning over the level of service my staff and I provided, a paper that normally despised my politics admitted that the services we provided were a model for others to aspire to copy.

    But, I gladly would have walked away for love, had that been the most efficient way to join with serafina. In the end, I walked away anyway, in order to be a caregiver for my dying Mother. That was actually a more difficult decision, my Mother and I have always had a tempestuous relationship, she despised the fact that I’m a dominant and sadist (I was “out” to my Mom since the early 1990’s) and seemed determined to make my life difficult, even as she was passing. Despite all that, I’ve never really regretted the decision.

    My point isn’t trying to justify what anon said. Clearly you found the suggestion incredibly offensive, and I’ll give you that. No doubt, were I in your shoes, I’d feel likewise. The language in your response might even be said to be mild compared to what I’d have said, were I in your place. My dad worked in packing houses most of his life, my cursing vocabulary could make a longshoreman blush.

    My point is that love and affection have real value, and that careers are more than a little bit overrated. The things that are really important in life are rarely monetary. As the beatles said – money can’t buy me love . . . Oh, money would assure that I’m comfortable 10 or 20 years from now, but really, what is that comfort compared to the love and devotion of a dedicated slave.

    Maybe J isn’t that kind of submissive. Certainly my Serafina would never let a career opportunity get in the way of who we are together. Maybe his parting is what you deserve, perhaps he’s holding you back from discovering “the one” who’s submission completely fulfills your dominance.

    Maybe not . . . His parting could be something you both regret. You’ll never know for sure until it happens, and then it could be too late for either of you to do anything about it. Life is like that, all we can do is our best, and that’s rarely enough . . .

    I do tip my hat to you, I’d never do as well in a “doomed” relationship as you have. I had a lady attorney who belonged to me for a short time, and I screwed that up by never quite understanding about career priorities. Then again, I’m planning to give up more than $15k in salary this year to go spend some extra time with my Dad, who has Alzheimer’s disease. He’s not going to remember my presence a month after I’m gone, but his day will be a bit brighter when I’m there. That’s worth more to me than any job . . .

    • My point is that love and affection have real value, and that careers are more than a little bit overrated. The things that are really important in life are rarely monetary.

      I didn’t suggest that love and affection have no value, and perhaps your career is overrated, but mine certainly isn’t. I absolutely LOVE what I do.

      For the record, I didn’t mention money. My love of my career isn’t about the money I make, it’s about adoring what I do and being really fucking good at it.

      Oh, money would assure that I’m comfortable 10 or 20 years from now, but really, what is that comfort compared to the love and devotion of a dedicated slave.

      Meh. I really hate these “love or money” assertions because they’re incredibly reductive. It’s not an either/or proposition. And regardless, money is necessary. What good is a “dedicated slave” if you have no home to live in or food to eat? (Still, money isn’t the issue… I only say this because you brought it up)

      Maybe J isn’t that kind of submissive. Certainly my Serafina would never let a career opportunity get in the way of who we are together.

      What kind of submissive? I’m not sure what you mean. Regardless, I wouldn’t want a partner who wasn’t passionate enough about their career to consider whether or not they’d abandon everything and everyone for it. That? That’s passion… and it’s hot, and meaningful, and I have it, and I want a partner who has it too.

  13. Not only that, but you’re telling me I should quit my job, abandon my career, and give up everything I’ve worked for to move across the country with J… because that always works out, right? Because people who sacrifice everything to be with their partners never end up resentful or bitter…right?

    Yes! That is a terrifying amount of pressure to put on a relationship – moving across the country and leaving your home, your friends, probably your family would be hard enough, but expecting J to make up for everything your career means to you? That’s just not fair.

    Oh, wait, I forgot. Because you’re a woman, you’re not allowed to have a purpose in life beyond finding a husband and having your 2.5 kids and white picket fence. Just lose that pesky personality and you’re set!

    I already said this on twitter, but I think it bears repeating: if you were a man, people would be commending you for not letting petty human emotions distract you from your ambitions. But because you had the poor taste to be born female, sad little trolls feel the need to tear you down because the idea of a woman who can’t be controlled is terrifying for them.

    I wouldn’t sacrifice everything for love either. My career is fairly location-independent (all I need is a decent internet connection), but I wouldn’t move to a place without reliable broadband for anyone. I simply cannot be happy without the ability to do what I’m really good at and I would rather end a relationship on good terms than come to hate my partner for inevitably failing to keep me from being miserable and unfulfilled.

    Or in other words, heeeeere troll troll troll.

    • but expecting J to make up for everything your career means to you? That’s just not fair.

      Exactly. That’s why I fucking HATE the “you’re the dominant, you should make him…” and the “my submissive would stay with me…” lines of thinking. Fuck all that D/s bullshit (for the moment) — both of us are human beings, and that’s far too much pressure to put on each other and on the relationship. Fuck that noise.

      Because you’re a woman, you’re not allowed to have a purpose in life beyond finding a husband and having your 2.5 kids and white picket fence.

      I have a white picket fence (painted it myself when I bought my house), so I’m already on my way to happiness, right? :)

      I simply cannot be happy without the ability to do what I’m really good at

      Exactly. Doing what I do is a big part of what makes me who I am. If I gave that up, I wouldn’t be myself any more. First, I don’t want to lose myself, and second, our relationship works because of who we are. If one of us changed, there’s a big chance our relationship wouldn’t work… at least not the same way.

      I’ll risk the egotism of quoting myself, because it’s worth repeating:

      “I’d sooner break it off than ask him to abandon his dreams for me, and I won’t abandon my dreams for him. Our dreams are part of what makes us who we are — if either one of us changed, we wouldn’t be “us” anymore. That’s not what I want. I want what we have now for as long as we can have it.”

      Thanks for your comment, Stabbity. :)

  14. OK, I am going to start this off with a bit of snark and end with some dark reality, so I apologize in advance…. Maybe it’s because my broken ankle hurts, or whatever, but here’s how I see it..

    “Your smart and can find a new job but its not smart if you chose your job over the person you love. If your not putting love first in your priorities maybe you need to organizae them different.”

    I am of the “Consider the source” school of advice taking, and as soon as I got to this sentence, I would have stopped right there. First of all, Not knowing the difference between “your”, and “you’re” would be a show stopper. I know it sounds petty, but that’s one of my pet peeves. Secondly, there’s spelling. I freely admit that I spell like a like a stoned 10 year old, but AT LEAST I USE A SPELL CHECKER. Both of those are very basic things but if you can’t even get the basic shit right, the intent of the message becomes suspect as well.

    Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I shall move on…

    ”She’s supposed to make sacrifices, give up her career, and leave her home in service of ‘their’ goals. Only ‘their’ goals are really ‘his’ goals because she ceases to exist when the “he” and “she” become ‘them.’”

    I am in complete agreement with you on this. “His” dreams are no more important than the ones that “she” holds dear. Nobody should be asked to give up all they have been working for, and “ceases to exist” for another. As you correctly point out, life is a lot more complex than that and the idea that a woman should surrender her happiness in order to make a man happy is both outmoded and faulty at it’s very core. Happiness and fulfillment must be generated from within. Attaching yourself to another, at the expense of your hopes and dreams will not work.

    The poster talks about choosing “job” over love. Neither you nor J have jobs. You both have careers and I can tell you from hard experience that if you love what you do, you are very fortunate and need to hold on to that for all it’s worth. As painful as it is to have made the decision that you did, you are both making the right one and ultimately, I believe that time will bear this out.

    I chose differently and as a consequence, rather than having a career, I now have a job and I hate it with a white hot fucking passion! I dread getting up in the morning, and at almost 60 years old, when I should be looking forward to retirement, I will have to figure out how I can keep working into my 70s and beyond. And what ever became of the love? It’s about as near as retirement, so I lost on both accounts. This is not to say that it would happen the same way with you, or that love inevitably fails, I’m just giving you the benefit of my experience and pointing out that ”putting love first” may be a lovely thought, but I think it’s unrealistic.

    Never sacrifice fulfillment and security for “love” because in the end, you may very well end up losing both.

    • I freely admit that I spell like a like a stoned 10 year old, but AT LEAST I USE A SPELL CHECKER.

      Heh. Everyone knows even stoned ten year olds use spell check. U gotz to be spellinz rite!

      You both have careers and I can tell you from hard experience that if you love what you do, you are very fortunate and need to hold on to that for all it’s worth […] I chose differently and as a consequence, rather than having a career, I now have a job and I hate it with a white hot fucking passion! I dread getting up in the morning,

      This is so important — thank you for saying so! I’m very fortunate to have a job I absolutely adore — it’s one I’m good at, one that inspires me, and one I want to continue working hard at for the rest of my life. It’s a rare privilege to love what you do, and I won’t give that up for anything. It’s part of what makes me who I am.

      As for you, Slapshot, I’m inspired by the fact that you get up and go to a job you hate everyday and still make the best of it, finding humor and friendship and happiness where you can. That’s all any of us can do… (unless we break our ankles, of course). :)

      Thanks for the comment, Slapshot. I ALWAYS appreciate your snark and your wisdom. :)

  15. And all this time I thought your pen name was Susan Patton… :)

    Young women in college need to smarten up and start husband-hunting – WSJ
    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303496804579369420198599600

    What I find ironic among men who explicitly or implicitly endorse this subservience is how they raise their daughters… heaping grand aspirations onto them for independence and equal achievement, while simultaneously undermining it in their mothers.

    • Young women in college need to smarten up and start husband-hunting – WSJ

      I forgot to find a husband in college, so I went to grad school. I got so wrapped up in my studies that I forgot — thank goodness it wasn’t a terminal degree! I went back AGAIN, and the SAME thing happened. I’m so fucking stupid! I’ll look back someday and wish I would have made the most of my time there…

      What I find ironic among men who explicitly or implicitly endorse this subservience is how they raise their daughters… heaping grand aspirations onto them for independence and equal achievement, while simultaneously undermining it in their mothers.

      I never thought of this before, but I imagine you’re 100% right here. Perhaps they recognize the potential in their children, but not in their spouses. Interesting thought, DC. Thanks for it.

  16. So I also have a sense of heartache that you and J are splitting up and I get these moments of wanting your life to turn into a romantic film where you get to stay together and stuff. I know that this is because I’ve achieved my main career goal and haven’t found love, and that hurts, so I want to tell everyone to find it find it find it! Screw your career and find your love! If I’d been lucky in love and not in career I would very likely think the opposite.

    The difference between me and the know-it-all is that I get that that is _my_ stuff that I’m projecting on to you, and I don’t tell you it’s your problem. It’s my problem.

    • If I’d been lucky in love and not in career I would very likely think the opposite. The difference between me and the know-it-all is that I get that that is _my_ stuff that I’m projecting on to you, and I don’t tell you it’s your problem. It’s my problem.

      Love this comment — thanks Griselda! :D

  17. I have to agree with your assessment of this “advice.” Total crap.

    I’m of the belief that love is never enough. It’s wonderful and it’s powerful and it’s heady. But it isn’t enough to keep a relationship going by itself. And as someone involved in a loving but temporary relationship myself, I say kudos to you both for recognizing what works for you (both) and proceeding with personal integrity.

    • I’m of the belief that love is never enough. It’s wonderful and it’s powerful and it’s heady. But it isn’t enough to keep a relationship going by itself.

      Yes — this is so right in more than one way. Love isn’t enough to sustain a relationship, nor is any one thing enough to sustain a person. Love isn’t enough, career isn’t enough… you need a bit of all of it to make for a happy person (speaking for myself, at least).

      And as someone involved in a loving but temporary relationship myself, I say kudos to you both for recognizing what works for you (both) and proceeding with personal integrity.

      Glad to know there are more of us out there who are willing to admit it, suck all the joy out of our temporary relationships that we can, and move on (hopefully, happier and better for it). Thanks for the, Anon. :)

  18. This is quite long, so my apologies. I think you have written something very intelligent and thought-provoking, and I would like to add my two cents of whimsy that have come from 3 things I’ve realised recently:

    1) When you find a place, space or person you feel you belong in, too or with (whether that be a job, industry, location, house or partner), it’s good to hold on to it.

    2) Your workplace is bigger, more complex and less in your personal control than your intimate relationships. It’s more easy for you to change something in your relationship than in your workplace.

    3) A strong human connection can transcend time and distance, and is infinitely flexible and re-definable.

    What these realisations make me feel in regards to your choice is that I think you have made the best choice possible.

    We spend an overwhelming amount of our waking hours at work. Finding work you truly love forms a basis for you to truly love your life. Finding a workplace you feel you belong in – where your colleagues are on the same wavelength, where you believe in your work and what your company does, and where you feel respected and rewarded – can be extremely challenging, but is incredible when it happens, and worth hanging on to dear life for. It is another “relationship” that you need to nurture and grow and look after, just like your personal relationships.

    However, since your workplace is bigger than just you and one other person, you are the one who has to be flexible – if you move to a different place where your company does not have an office, your company can not follow you. If your company policy changes in a way that you can no longer be happy with, you need to leave – it won’t change back for you.

    Now, finding a deep and meaningful relationship is no easier. That person with whom you have that cerebral connection with – whom you feel totally at home with – is just as difficult to find as the workplace that makes you jump out of bed every morning for.

    But fundamentally, if your relationship is really that strong and has the potential for life-long permanence that the original anon commenter implicitly suggests in their ‘sacrifice everything for love or you’ll regret it’ mentality, then it *will* transcend distance, time and other intervening relationships you may have. You and J are breaking it off for now, and for solid, well thought-out reasons. It may be permanent. But it may not! Who knows? Maybe you will meet someone else you want to settle down with. Maybe you’ll choose never to settle down. Maybe things will work out in the deep, black unknown we call “The Future” and you two will end up together again. It’s all infinitely open, unknown, flexible and changeable and, as long as you are honest with yourself and each other, it *will* work out for the best – whatever that works out to be.

    People have this silly notion in their head that “Love” > “Work”, and that we should sacrifice everything for “Love”. As if we can not love our work. As if work is meaningless. As if our personal relationships are somehow something we have to ensure we prioritise before everything else, no matter how destructive giving up everything else would be to the mental health of those involved in the relationship, and indeed the relationship itself. As if personal relationships should always be permanent, do not change, do not lose their passion, do not become unhealthy and are not things that can fill us with regret if we sacrifice to be in them and then they don’t work.

    I think people who feel like this often do not expect their work to bring them deep personal fulfilment, and are hoping that their personal relationships will do that for them in place.

    I think what you’re doing is great, and I am sure everything is going to work out really well for you, because you are honest and true to yourself.

    Please keep writing this wonderful blog, as it really is a pleasure to read.

    All the best,

    Dm7

    • 1) When you find a place, space or person you feel you belong in, too or with (whether that be a job, industry, location, house or partner), it’s good to hold on to it.

      Yes to this. I’ve found something meaningful in my work — it’s not just a job, it’s my life. It’s how I define myself, it’s what makes me happy, and it’s important (to me and to others). I get that people find their place in a variety of arenas, but this one is mine. My work is my home.

      People have this silly notion in their head that “Love” > “Work”, and that we should sacrifice everything for “Love”. As if we can not love our work. As if work is meaningless. As if our personal relationships are somehow something we have to ensure we prioritise before everything else, no matter how destructive giving up everything else would be to the mental health of those involved in the relationship, and indeed the relationship itself. As if personal relationships should always be permanent, do not change, do not lose their passion, do not become unhealthy and are not things that can fill us with regret if we sacrifice to be in them and then they don’t work.

      Exactly. What you wrote, certainly, but also, that Love / Work is an either/or proposition, or that it should be, or can be. That’s a giant false dilemma (for my logical fallacy friends), and one I’m not keen to endorse as a means to decide my future.

      …because you are honest and true to yourself. Please keep writing this wonderful blog, as it really is a pleasure to read.

      I’m doing my best, and that’s all I can do. I can’t say I’m immune to mistakes, but I’m doing the best I can with what I have to work with.

      Also, thank you for the kind words, Dm7.

      (wait, D minor 7th? Hmmm… )

  19. As someone in the same kind of relationship (I mean the omnipresent countdown clock, albeit a little more open-ended on this side), I really get where you’re coming from. Their romantic thoughts aren’t the problem, it’s that they just don’t get 21st century romance. It’s not about your FemDomme relationship, it’s about the fact that loving people means letting them be the best they can be and wanting that for yourself too–and them wanting that for you too!

    I hate this old school idealism, wherein she doesn’t get on the plane/she rushes off to get her man/he doesn’t take the job in the big city/he forgets everything else in his life/they promise to marry each other in ten years if they’ve got no one else type of thing. It’s all very… Golden Age of Hollywood/Harlequin romance type of shit. Real life doesn’t always work that way. Real life requires big decisions, sacrifices and at times disappointment. And sometimes you just have to be happy to see your partner flourish, and you have to remember that you’ve had a good life without them in it too.

    People -can- and should be able to function as singular people in a relationship, not as a machine with a hive mind. Christ. And I say this coming from a bottom perspective–NOT that it matters because this isn’t necessarily about D/s, it’s about interpersonal relationships. Get a fucking life, anons.

    Sorry if I’m so grumpy. I’ve had some shitty anon hate the last few days, and then I read Ferns deal and then I came here. People are just cunts. And that’s life.

    xoxo

    • People are cunts. I get judgment, and for the most part, I don’t mind it when people think I’m making the wrong decision — I get where they’re coming from.

      But the way in which they write out that judgment pisses me off endlessly… and of course, when it’s coupled with sexism, I can’t hang.

  20. Delurking after reading all you wrote since you started.
    From the deeply moving to the gut wrenching. Thank
    you for sharing.

    Unlurking after all the wise and wonderful advice from the
    others before me. Stick to your career, no matter what!
    “Slapshot” said it all, better than I can.
    With your career you can deal with the present and the
    future from strength, come what may. Wihout it most
    probabely not.

    Wish you all the best. Both of you.

    Marga

  21. Perhaps I am missing something (I read everything you write, but still…it happens), but has J even ASKED you to go with him?

    • Nope. We’ve joked around about it, but neither one of us has asked the other in any serious way (nor will we).

      In fact, I don’t think he would ask… for the very same reasons I wouldn’t ask him. It’s just not who we are.

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