The Yin and Yang of Relationships

black t shirt

No matter who we are, we seek balance in all aspects of our lives. On a physiological level, our bodies are in a constant quest to achieve homeostasis, or physical balance and health. When we are broke financially, we try to figure out how to make more money, just as when we are in abundance, we look for ways to spend. When we are tired, we sleep, and when we are full of energy, we find ways to expel it. Always balancing, always adjusting, always changing in some large or small way to come back into balance when we lean to far one way or the other.

But what happens when we find ourselves in relationship with another human being that is also juggling their own balancing act? And how does that affect our own? Well, I have a theory that has proven to be true, or at least worth continuing to explore in my own life. It is a Yin/Yang-based theory. For those who might not be familiar with Yin and Yang, in traditional Eastern philosophy, they represent Moon and Sun, or dark and light, or for the purpose of this discussion, feminine and masculine.

On my own and without a ‘romantic’ relationship, I find myself very balanced in feminine and masculine energy and activities. I find myself managing and maintaining tasks that are traditionally masculine in nature, from taking out the trash (really hate it, but probably no more than men do) and a myriad of home repairs to taking on the responsibilities of running a decent sized business and having to interact primarily with men in negotiating, maneuvering, outwitting competition, handling legal and accounting details and having to make intellectual decisions for the good of the business rather than emotional ones. As a woman, I find these tasks challenging, but they have become easier over the years because I have been solely responsible for them.

I also tend to my feminine side as a ‘homemaker’, and take pride in my soft surroundings, plush furnishings and enjoy being in the kitchen creating mostly experimental meals that for the most part come out really delicious. My feminine side is filled with flowers and rainbows and plants and sweet animals that are also beautiful and soft. I love to giggle and play, and delight in sugar and spice and everything nice.

Finding time for everything in my life is its own balancing act as the demands of both aspects are ever present and pressing, but each day I manage it all, and at the end of the day I don’t feel like a woman or a man, but often the superhero of my own realm. Exhaustion is common after balancing it all, but balance I always manage to find.

For all intents and purposes, when I balance it all on my own, this superhero feels pretty a-sexual, though there is always a pull towards the feminine, because I am after all, a woman. But I find myself wearing clothing that is not particularly gender-leaning. Jeans and a T-shirt, you bet. Sweats, great! At home you will generally find me in bizarre combinations of sleep-pants with pink hearts on them along with a dark green John Deere sweat-shirt with oil stains on it from the garage, and my hair in some crazy hair-do after I pin it up just to get it out of my way, or maybe a silk gown over top work boots and my hair down and beautiful. One never knows. I certainly never do from one day to the next. But it is a clear indication that I am balancing two distinct and separate energies, and as goofy as I probably look, I don’t really care. Nobody is here to see me except my viking armor hoodie and chicago cubs hawaiian shirt who couldn’t care less, and nobody comes over unannounced, EVER (so don’t even think about it).

When I go out, that’s a little different, though if you look closely, you may see evidence of what I am talking about in the way I dress and present myself. A brilliant combination of softness and strength. Men stare, women glare and most of the time, nobody talks to me because they don’t know how to approach me. After a rare person gets to know the ‘real’ me, they often tell me that they thought I was intimidating, or a bitch, or stuck-up, or my favorite combination “an intimidating stuck-up bitch”. All this interpretation with my never having uttered a single word. So, it is either my clothing or the strength of my balance they sense. Or maybe it is both. Who the hell knows.

But this I do know: When I enter a romantic relationship, everything shifts inside and out. I’m not talking about feelings of love or being in-love. I’m talking about something else. I’m talking about my inner Yin/Yang balance. And the degree to which this shift occurs is directly proportionate to the balance of the man I enter relationship with. I am still seeking balance whether I am aware of it or not. And I can see evidence of this shift by how my preferences change from my attire to what I feel more drawn to and more capable of. The exception to this rule is if the person I enter relationship is as Yin/Yang balanced as I am, and then pretty much nothing changes, and we usually end up best friends rather than romantic partners.

But when the man I am in relationship with is strongly masculine (always my preference), I am allowed to energetically become more feminine. In fact, I must in order to find balance within the relationship. I notice my appearance changes dramatically and becomes much more feminine (flowery dresses, silky lingerie, more jewelry, more make-up, etc.) I prefer to be domestic more than business oriented and I prefer to plant flowers and fill my home with them then to cut the grass with my tractor (yes, it’s a John Deere). I become absolute opposed to taking out the trash or having to deal with snips and snails and the like. You’ll find me barefoot in the kitchen or in a bubble bath or making a spa appointment for a pedicure and manicure when a quick sandwich, a shower and old rusty nail clippers used to satisfy. These are not planned changes, they are automatic. Energetic homeostasis. The balance of Yin and Yang between two people. Men are the protectors, the providers, the warriors…it is masculine nature, while women are the nurturers, pamperers, care-takers…all feminine in nature.

I’m sure there are a bunch of feminists out there who are ready to ring my neck right about now, but I don’t care. I think their Yin/Yang balance is a little skewed towards the masculine myself, but that is just my opinion. Regardless. this automatic change is something I have witnessed in myself over and over again to some degree.

An example of how a more feminine man affects me is just as dramatic. I dated a fellow several years ago who was sweet, kind, intelligent, owned his own business, flew a private plane, took me to the finest restaurants an was by all accounts a perfect gentleman. But one day, we were in a lovely park together, and a strong breeze started to blow the cool air on us, and he cozied up behind me, put his head on my shoulder (he was an inch or so shorter than me which is also not something I am really comfortable with for all these same reasons) and asked me to protect him from the cold wind.

Aahhhhemmmmm…deal breaker. He immediately put me in the masculine role, and I immediately and literally felt nauseous. All I could think of was “Get your little head off my shoulder and act like a man!”. I couldn’t help it. I didn’t say it out loud because I didn’t want to be hurtful, but there it was. His femininity became like a repelling magnet when turned the wrong way. There was no way around it. It was the last time I saw him. I learned that I can become more feminine, naturally, but not more masculine. It wasn’t possible. I could stay balanced alone or become more feminine with a more masculine man. And the more masculine he is, the better for me.

There are many wonderful men out there who have highly developed feminine sides to them, and I adore them as friends. I love spending time with them, having delightful and often deep conversations with them, but I am never romantically attracted to them. I have to honor that truth if I am to continue to find the balance I am always adjusting to maintain within myself. I’d rather a host of friends and remain balanced and without a romantic partner than be involved and out of balance with someone. That relationship would be doomed to fail from the start.

I don’t know if my theory will make sense to any of you, but it feels right on to me. And since I am the one that has to live with me, I will trust it. I believe that when we are alone, we ultimately find balance, and when we are with a partner, we will also seek that balance as a whole. Like two wrongs don’t make a right, two people that are masculine or two that are feminine cannot make a healthy Yin/Yang whole. You just end up with two halves of something that doesn’t match…like two left shoes or a pair of pants with both legs on the left side of the crotch.

Find a partner that complements your existing balance and allows you to become who you are most naturally. But realize that if you alone are out of balance, you’ll not find a balanced partner. As a dear friend of mine used to say when he would see a a screwed up couple of kids hooking up: “There go two sickies trying to make a wellie!” He was so right.

I’m exhausted. I’m going to bed (in sweats and a silk teddy). G’night!

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write by scott