Normal & effort

In talking to some friends over the weekend, I realized how expectations are formed around what I think of as “normal.” Sounds very reasonable. Sounds good. Sounds like something everyone would do. And my guess is everyone does. The problem is that “normal” is really quite subjective. There are very few things that everyone expects out of others. Usually along the lines of the 10 commandments… but other than not murdering, stealing, or cutting in line at Starbucks, it’s all relative to our own life experiences and how we have processed that information.

So what has become totally normalized to me, may well be completely abnormal to someone else. I mean it could vary really widely! The difference can also be pretty catastrophic to my relationships if I am not careful. I have a certain set of expectations out of people I become close to. Specifically, I have certain expectations out of my submissive(s). A lot of the things I have come to expect really seem like no-brainers to me. But the discussion over the weekend reminded me that “normal” is relative. And if that’s true, I shouldn’t assume that someone isn’t making a pretty herculean effort in my direction. (Also, I shouldn’t assume something that seems herculean to me is any effort at all to them.)

Effort is important to me. I require it from anyone I’m in D/s relationship with. If I don’t feel like someone is making an effort for me, I tend to not feel like we’re in much of a relationship. Be it right, wrong, or indifferent… that is how it goes with me. The bigger the effort, the more special I feel. It makes me feel more dominant when I ask for something that I feel requires effort and he comes through for me. Now I realize that I need to also take into consideration what he feels requires effort. And on top of that, I won’t necessarily know when he is making an effort unless he volunteers that information or I ask for it.

I asked the raven a few questions last week. Turns out that something I considered to be completely normal and not requiring effort was something completely new for him. He’d never actually done it before. On top of that, he gave me photographic evidence. That’s another thing that seems quite normal to me but is a big effort for him. That knowledge left me feeling he really must be into me and into our relationship to make this kind of effort for me. And the husband is making a much better effort to keep me informed of all his comings and goings. I am alone with my thoughts this week, and I want to spend my time appreciating the men in my life and the effort they make for me.

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