Dy**** Posted May 8 Posted May 8 I have heard, seen, and experienced any number of chapters ending in my journey, and in the journey of others. And just like the human experience, be it vanilla, or a hurricane of multi-colored swirl, endings are not always our strong suits. Sometimes we are fearful to put an end to a relationship. Sometimes we are scared of the crisis it will create. Sometimes we are worried about our soon to be ex-partner, and how they'll manage. And sometimes, it's all we can do to run away screaming. While the latter cannot be changed to a more civil outcome (if you're running away screaming, there is good reason!), we in the community have to be better with one another about ending things with maturity, grace, and civility. We shouldn't be doing this for our partner, although that is not a bad paradigm to have. We should be doing it for ourselves, for exercising self-discipline, and out of respect for the community as a whole. We can find ourselves in less than rewarding kink relationships. Be it play partners, casual dynamics, 24/7 lifestyle, whatever your configuration, things can fall flat. Or maybe they run their course, and everyone knew there would be an end date at some point. Or maybe it was unexpected. Or maybe one day we woke up, and it just didn't feel right anymore. Whatever the reasons, if we can still talk civilly, if we haven't become abusive, we should discuss openly why we need to end things. Part of this exercise is to prepare us for the next chapter, which may be two months from now, or two years.......when we meet another who we feel can turn our crank. If we get ourselves in the habit of expressing that we need to end a dynamic because it is unfulfilled, because we have outgrown what it offers, or because of other more lofty reasons, teaching ourselves to express this to our partners, in calm, rational language, allows us to build towards expressing ourselves in future dynamics from the start, which we all know many of us struggle with (our forums have numerous posts where a lack of upfront discussion is almost a universal truth). If we can collectively find the strength to end things well in every opportunity that is possible, we can then learn how to start things well. We can come up with hundreds of reasons why ending things transparently is not possible, but we need to reflect on these walls we build up from past trauma, and ask ourselves if they are truly worth defining ourselves by. Are they worth stunting our growth? Are they worth closing ourselves off from future opportunities? Because the more we hold onto these past events, and the more we don't clearly communicate our endings, and why we are ending, we set ourselves up to never communicate clearly, and to find ourselves in a series of future relationships that are unfulfilled, as we take comfort in hoping our future partners keep guessing correctly as to how to address our wants and needs. It takes a lot of courage to end things directly. But it is the best way to set ourselves up for the growth and self-respect we feel alludes us over time. Consider this minor point: many of us started in vanilla relationships, and hated how they played out, from beginning to end. Why not make endings in this space different? Wouldn't that be a major way to address how the greater world views our community? Wouldn't that make it a little more difficult for outsiders to judge our resolve, our character, and our reasoning for being here? We owe it to the community, but we owe it to ourselves primarily to treat endings like the event that they are: a significant event in the timeline of a kink relationship. By treating each other with dignity and respect in as many endings as can be done this way, we set a standard for ourselves, and for others, that can only be respected and admired. And if we end things thar way, we can carry those feelings of admiration and respect into our future, and not continue the cycle of trauma, negative coping traits, and other tactics that detract from our true potential. I have faith that we can all contribute to a better, healthy community.