My relationships function best in a one-on-one context, when I’m giving a single person my full attention or vice versa. I see myself as the dominant most of the time. But power flows from the bottom up and I’m a pleaser too, so I frequently assume the submissive role cause I enjoy it (need it?) so much. Knowing that I can make people happy is something I thrive on.
At heart though, I’m a very dominant person, and I never realized I was missing an outlet for those tendencies until Shawn handed me the remote as we were about to watch Game of Thrones. He read me well enough to know that I enjoy taking care of little details, and he’s even more of a pleaser than I am, so he gave me control, even though I recognize that he’s the more dominant person1.
Over time, I’ve become the one to do the talking, to decide what we do, to make the small choices that remind me I have wants and needs as much as anyone else. Shawn’s a person I respect, and he’s naturally “better” in the ways that are important to me, so being in control when we hang out has been really fulfilling. I’m getting better at speaking out about things that bother me and thinking of myself and being stronger in general.
- I highly value intelligence, so it’s natural for me to submit to more intelligent people, and he’s way more intelligent than me. He’s also a lot stronger of character. [↩]