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(c) 2004 by Deborah Teramis Christian. All rights reserved. Contact the author for permission to reuse.
























I am conscious at times of a great burning need to belong. To have a special place by a special someone's side. But having that need and feeling its intensity as I sometimes do has also led me to make some poor decisions in the past about whom I should belong to. Or say, rather, that that is an understatement. I have at times been with people who needed me for their own reasons, but not because they loved me, or wanted my submission, or even wanted me (really) by their side.

Through a series of relationship misadventures, it was finally brought home to me some years ago that I am mine, alone, and I belong to myself. It is up to me to make a wise and well-qualified choice about to whom I give myself, if and when I do so. And unless they embrace what I am giving – and give me a part of themselves in return - then there is no real, enduring exchange.  In that case, I would be back to square one, of belonging to myself.

I think that is a fine place to be, for what it offers, but it still does not address the desire to belong to someone else. I have come to see that this is a near-constant in me. Forgotten, sometimes, in the background, but pretty much always there.

Sometimes I worry at this like a bad tooth. Is my desire to belong simply emotional backsliding, out of the land of fierce independence I have occupied for quite a while, and into some needy dependent state I would rather avoid? Is it the natural flip side to a strong person owning herself and her space, wanting to have a place where she is nurtured and loved and protected by another? Is it (as I am inclined to think) an integral part of my slave heart and submissive psyche? The part of me that seeks a special niche in relationship to a dominant partner? For I find that this need to belong (need – not merely desire) is a hallmark of the happy and successful slaves I know.

Patience is not about waiting. It is about being here, now.

These days I am pretty much on guard against letting myself belong. That is, I guard against going there with anyone who does not actively court that counterpart role with me. I think (hope; believe) that I am past my days of projecting that desire unto others because it filled my need of the moment. Now I tend to wait for the open invitation from someone who demonstrates themselves over time to be the appropriate dance partner in that regard. I am sure that as with everything, when the time is right and the relationship right, that I will get that invitation, explicitly.  But sometimes (as, this week), when a friend shares with me an anecdote about her submission, and the depths of it come clear to me, and part of that anecdote reflects how very much she belonged to another...

Well. Sometimes I am aware that I am not precisely in that place, myself, in the context of a balanced relationship.

Sometimes I feel like a misfit for how unreadily I fit into traditional relationship niches – but then again, that just seems to be how I am wired. I feel bittersweet about the One I belonged to for a long while, who chose not to claim me completely. I still love her, though I do not look to her to be my partner or my Owner. Certainly I wonder where the dominant is who seeks her counterpart, and for whom our mutual dilemma is simply that we have not stumbled across each other yet.

The quandary I describe seems common to many slaves who are in quest of an Owner/slave relationship. I have a strong sense that I work best in partnership, and I view the productive interdependency of Owner and slave as a partnership in the best sense of the word. I have also learned that to be in the wrong partnership is worse than being in no partnership at all.

I am a very patient person, but I will not say that I "wait" for the right partner. I have learned that patience is not about waiting: it is about being here now. So I am here now, in the moment....but hopeful, always, and radiating that intention that at the right time, in the right way, with the right person, I will finally find the One to whom I can belong.






The Need to Belong