Just how does one know how to move on after a relationship has come to an end, regardless of the reasons behind it? That is sometimes a confusing question for submissives to answer for themselves. Often a submissive will feel lost and all alone, as if they feel that no one will understand what they are going through. True, no two circumstances will ever be alike, but speaking from personal experience, it does help to talk to someone.
It doesn’t really matter what relationship type it was, and that does include vanilla relationships. There is always some sort of sting to it, and some sense of loss. Sometimes we choose to end the relationship, sometimes the other party chooses to end it, and sometimes we are just at a total loss to know what happened because the other just up and disappeared. Yes, the later does sometimes happen, and I do feel as if those are the ones that tend to blindside and affect us the most because there really is no sense of real closure.
I don’t have all the answers when it comes to this subject, but I hope that I can help someone else with the tips and strategies that I have learned over the years. I am going to break down the tips into two separate categories – online and real life. Why differentiate between the two? I feel that sometimes there are things one would do a bit differently in each of the situations. Feel free though to use what helps you the most.
So the relationship just ended, and you are wondering just what to do. Everything seems just so painful and your email account and/or messenger have left no place for solace for you right now. How can you make it easier?
- Place emails in a folder with a name on it that won’t make you think about what it contains. Perhaps something like – “Deal with later” or something of the like.
- Place photos and other memories on your hard drive onto a flash drive or cd. Put it away for the time being where it is not going to be a constant thought.
- Hide the other person’s screen name on messenger in a location where it is not going to be seen constantly. You do not have to delete them entirely this way at this point. Just about every messenger out there has a way to make groups, and select screen names to place into those groups. Just check the information page for your messenger for details on how to do this.
- Write yourself a letter about all the things you are feeling right now, record any thoughts, date it, and set it aside. When you think you have come to the point of being able to move forward with your life – revisit that letter. Why? It is a way to check in to see if any of those feelings or thoughts are still there. If they are, then perhaps you are not quite ready to move on. Don’t be too hard on yourself though because it is normal to sometimes think we are ready when really we are not.
- Try not to play the “would have, could have, or should have” game with yourself over this. In the end, nothing really would have made the end result any different. In reality it may have only delayed what would have happened anyway, and really that just makes it that much harder. Everyone is human and we all do make mistakes from time to time. It boils down to learning from the experience and moving on from it. Beating yourself up over it – be it mentally, emotionally, or even physically is not going to help.
- Find something to do with your fellow online submissives. Sometimes we need to just have interactions with those who don’t potentially want our submission. It is okay to be selfish with our time like this for a while. It is important to have this support network because they understand where you are coming from, and where you eventually want to be.
- Later when things have calmed down for you emotionally revisit the things you have stashed away. Do you want to keep it? Do you want to delete it? Only you can decide which is best for you in the long run. I just urge you not to make that decision when things are still so fresh because quite often it will be done rashly, and you may end up with regret over it.
- If you use a chat program that has avatars consider giving yourself a makeover. Take this time to change a little something about your avatar. It doesn’t have to be something drastic, but perhaps maybe a different hair style. Yes, this does work for guys too. Everyone needs a little pick me up sometimes, and this usually does the trick for me.
Tips for Real Life:
So the relationship just ended, and you are wondering just what to do. Everything seems just so painful and the world around you (i.e. Your personal surroundings, be it where you live or places you normally go) has left no place for solace for you right now. How can you make it easier?
- Gather up any photos, mementos like cards or letters, or other things that looking at right now will just make you feel down about all this. Place them in a box and put away in a closet or cupboard for the time being.
- If you used a messenger or email to communicate when you were not able to see one another face to face use the same techniques as in my online tips.
- Make a date with your friends for a girls or guys night out. Make it something fun and that isn’t going to make you think about things for a while.
- Check what social events might be coming up in your local community for something fun to do. It does not have to be something that costs anything to do. Check your newspaper, community bulletins, and even signs posted at your favorite shopping center for ideas.
- Always wanted to try something? Why not check into making it happen. Doing some constructive things with your time is a good thing right now. Half the fun in trying something new is figuring out just how to make it a reality. This does not mean you have to actually try it, but putting some productive thought into the process does take your mind off of other things.
- Have you wanted to be involved in your local kink community? Not sure where to find them? Fetlife* is a good resource in seeing if you have a local kink community or one that isn’t too far of a drive. Try a lunch or dinner meet-up to get your feet wet. These are in public places, low key, low pressure, and a good way to meet new people. Have questions about it? Contact the host of the meet-up – most are generally willing to answer your questions.
- Find a project that is going to take some time to complete. Some suggestions might be doing a thorough spring cleaning regardless of the time of year, catalog your music and/or movie collections, go through your closet and get rid of the stuff you never wear, and go through your personal book library. You might even want to consider simply changing the configuration of the furnishings in your home. You might be surprised how simply changing something in your everyday surroundings can have on your personal outlook.
- After things have settled down and the emotions are not so raw – revisit that box that you put away and decide what to do with its contents. Don’t want to hang onto some of the mementos such as clothes or the like? Consider donating it to Goodwill** or some other donation place that helps others through your donations.
Tips for Everyone:
So you have followed or thought about the tips given, and now don’t quite know how to proceed with getting on with things? Wanting to know what might make the transition easier? Looking for ideas on how to not have a repeat episode?
- Have you reached a point where you are not really sure of which direction to go? You have looked at things and still don’t really understand where everything went so wrong? Believe it or not sometimes it isn’t what we have done at all but rather something else entirely. Something to consider is the fact that what we thought we had sometime really isn’t what we truly wanted. All too often a submissive will settle into a relationship and not really take the time to learn and grow with the person they are with because they are simply afraid of being alone. Wow did I just hit on the elephant in the room? It is okay to be alone, but it is never okay to be with someone just because we are afraid of simply being alone. It is kind of like that old saying, “You have to love yourself before anyone can love you.”
- Take some time and map out exactly what you are looking for in a relationship. Do you want love as part of the equation? Do you want to date this person as well as having the kink? Sometimes we take those questions for granted. Not everyone we meet wants those things. It is something to be aware of because, believe it or not, there are some who simply want the kink without the other ties. It is important that you are clear about what it is you are seeking from the beginning.
- Consider working with a Mentor for a while before that next relationship. It is sometimes helpful and beneficial to work with someone in identifying such things as goals, how to find the right one, and how to even to apply the things we have learned through various resources available to us. Sometimes it does help to have a set of eyes looking at things that perhaps we didn’t see. One can also use that time to learn something new. It is a wonderful thing to be able to look at oneself and hold your head up high knowing a bit more about you.
- Write down three things that went right in the previous relationship. Why was it right? How could it possibly be improved upon? Could you have done something differently?
- Write down three things that went wrong in the previous relationship? Why do you feel it went wrong? This is not a time to play the blame game but rather to identify why we felt it was wrong. Could you have done something differently?
- Set a personal goal for yourself. It can be anything from something you want to learn to something you want to do within the next year or so. Map out how you can make it a reality and give yourself some check-in points along the path so that you can visit with it from time to time to keep you on track to obtaining this goal.
- The most important thing of all is that we need to realize that everyone is human. We all make mistakes from time to time regardless of our role. The hardest thing though is learning how not to dwell on those mistakes. In life there is always a lesson to be learned. It is up to us, however, to move on from it and not live in the past. When we dwell we live in the past. A healthy relationship is lived in the present and looks toward the future. I know this is easier said than done with a lot of us.
Something to keep in mind is the fact that if we are happy then our lives are richer. Being happy means letting go. I know it is hard sometimes but being happy means so many things. When you are happy it shows to those around you. It makes people want to be around you and get to know you. It literally can open doors that we thought were closed to us.
The most important thing to remember in all of this is that there is no set time table for knowing when it is time to move on. Bottom line is that only you will know when you are ready for that search for that next journey. It is extremely important not to rush into the next time. Why? You need to give yourself time to say good-bye and to deal with the emotional aftermath that comes with the end of a relationship.
With every relationship there is something that can be learned from it. It is important to have identified the good things that came with the relationship as well as the bad. Why? To give oneself hope that there will not be a cycle that keeps repeating itself that only leads to heartbreak. When we rush into things we lose out on so much really. Taking time may seem at times more hurtful, but really in the end we are setting ourselves up for success rather than a potential repeat.
I hope that those who read this can find something in it that helps. Just remember that what are important in the long run are what you – yourself - feel is right for you. No one can really tell you how to live your life for you, but look at what is around you. There is a great big world out there that is quite often scary to us on some level, but embracing it makes it worth wild.
I do invite you to share your thoughts, tips, and ideas in the comments. Are you too shy to leave a comment publicly? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Fetlife is free to join. The website has groups, event listings, and many other ways to network. https://www.fetlife.com/
**Goodwill offers generally low cost gently used or new items for sale. When you shop or donate to Goodwill, you are providing an opportunity for someone with a disability or other disadvantage to have job training and/or job placement. I know I donate yearly to my local Goodwill, and have shopped there when my personal budget was extremely tight. They accept clothes, toys, and even home furnishings. Some locations take vehicles and/or computers, but ask that you call them about making such donations. https://www.goodwill.org/