This is a guest post by Mistress Steel. It was part of her Steel’s Chamber Scrolls which is now defunct. Shared with Permission.

You have gorged. Years have passed from that first moment of recognition of self. Over those years you have explored different people and situations. Peeked inside of places you may have decided just weren’t really you and moved on to explore further. In the process, you have had to slowly let go of so many of your conceptions of self. Who you are, who you want to be and what is true inside of your core.

Perhaps you have reached that point where casual, noncommittal involvement no longer addresses your needs. There is a growing desire for one strong relationship, with someone who will know everything about you from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. It is a terrifying prospect. So much easier to choose shallow involvement’s where the investment can be tossed if the other person gets too close to your emotional center. But, you know there is more. You have seen a further gate in your mind that you simply cannot reach without risking deeper parts of yourself. You want to go there. Or perhaps, you must go there. And something inside of you tells you that the only key to that gate is a ‘real’ relationship. To take that trust to its deeper levels.

Looking for a lifetime partner is quite different from looking for a play partner. Not only must you find someone to love, but you must also find someone to like, respect, laugh with, dance with, fight with, and then... they need to match you. In those most intimate, dangerous ways, you must match. All of this plus perhaps mingled households, stepchildren, different careers. You know it is a huge challenge. Yet the culmination of that challenge is a unified key to the gate, and you suspect that through that gate is the potential of everything.

To take steps to find a lifetime partner you must first deal with yourself. A lifetime partner does not rescue your life. They are not a salvage crew. So you begin by sorting out your own life. Putting it in order. Take control of the details. Begin taking active steps to improve your physical, mental and spiritual health and well being. Solve your problems. When these tasks are done, then you will stand on a level place. A place where you can rationalize your choices and decisions, evaluate those you meet not based on raw need but from a place of solid strength.

Take time. Time to get to know people. Time to get to know yourself. There is no race to the finish line. Desperation will make you make inappropriate choices. If you are in a centered place, you will tend to attract others who are also operating from that place. Those who seek out ‘vulnerable’ people will not see you as an easy mark, nor will you be bamboozled by their bushwah. Be direct, honest, clear and courteous in your dealings with others. Pay attention to the details. Look toward the individuals ‘actions’ if you want to know who they are. When actions and words align consistently over a long period of time, then you will decide they are worthy of trust and respect. Be selective. Choose with quality.

Enter a new relationship slowly. Try to bring with you no expectations. Live in the moment and try not to project ‘futures’ on top of possibilities. Allow yourself to be content in the moment, to see how you fit or do not fit together. Do not settle for less than what you need. At this point, you know that you cannot change anyone and that everyone is in constant change. You do not buy a shoe and ‘wear it in,’ it should fit beautifully and comfortably from the first moment you put it on. If you feel you need to change something about another person to make them just right then, you are in trouble. Find someone who makes you laugh, who accepts your flaws without trying to change them. Remember to love them.

Written by F.R.R. Mallory – also known as Mistress Steel. This article may be excerpted from Extreme Space, The Domination and Submission Handbook, Safe, Sane and Consensual, Dangerous Choices or other books by F.R.R. Mallory and shared here with her permission. Please click on the book title for information on how you can order a copy of these books and others by F.R.R. Mallory.