Question: My boyfriend said that she was happy for me that I can experiment with my submissive feelings. We tried and he’s not into BDSM and we agreed that I am allowed to “find my master”… no limits… He says he is fine with that and I really really want to believe him, but it is almost unbelievable to me!
Answer: Now that is what we call “Compersion” (a.k.a. “Frubble”) and it is a scary feeling if you haven’t experienced it much in your life. Compersive feelings are positive loving feelings one can feel towards a partner (and perhaps even toward the “partner’s partner”) when you see or hear about your partner enjoying things he/she does with someone else. It is more or less the opposite of jealousy (even tho you might sometimes feel jealousy and compersion at exactly the same time in polyamorous relationships.. but then the compersion wins).
Compersion is the act of enjoying giving love by giving space to love.
Sometimes people mistake it for the bargaining metaphor in relations, the tit-for-tat way of thinking where indeed you might start to be weary when your partner gives you the gift of freedom. “What might he want back” would be a reasonable fear in these situations… perhaps even a reason for panic if you’d fear that he might want more from you than you could possibly give…
Love is also giving
But… what if there would be no bargaining? What if your partner is genuinely happy for you that you found someone to explore your sexuality in a way that is sometimes difficult in a long lastig relationship -especially if your kinks differ from your partner’s-.
In the integrative theory of emotion the feeling is love is said to clearly have two directions. We want to get love, certainly! But imagine what your life would look like if there’d me no one to give love to… Wouldn’t that be the bigger emptyness?
Now imagine, what if your partner enjoys the glow in your face when you had a great day/evening/night with someone else… what if your partner is genuinely enjoying your enjoyment?
Now if that is the case that would be: “compersion”…
Compersion is being happy about the fact that your partner is happy (full stop right there… without the “because then can I…” or the “at least now I don’t have to…” of the “bargaining relations “-approach)
And if you could surpass that fear of “what will he want back now” and if you could let that idea soak in and enjoy the fact that your partner loves you that much… Maybe you want to give him something back. Not because you’d have to but because you’d know it’d make him a happy guy.
May your choices reflect your hoes, not your fears (Nelson Mandela)
- More about this in English: Search “compersion” @ KinkAwareCoach.com
- More about this in Dutch: Wat is “compersie”?
alternatives are there to be found
Maybe it’s a good idea to professionally give me (Skype)call? Possibly together with your partner? Just to look where lessons can be learned from yourself without XTC.
… if you want to talk (anonymous) over a cup of tea or coffee? …you can
If you have something you’d want to let me know or ask:
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