How to Be in A Relationship
Let’s take the man vs. woman out of the equation. Instead of saying, “this is what women want” or “this is what men want” lets say, in relationships, one partner takes on the male energy and one takes on the female.
If the woman initiates, pursues, offers casual sex if she really wants more, then she is automatically being masculine.
The male, then, takes on the feminine role- receiving, feeling, being cherished.
In romance, opposites attract. We want a polarity or there is no chemistry, no real interest. To create that polarity, regardless of gender, one partner usually takes on more masculine traits, creating attraction to people with the opposite attributes.
Since the sexual revolution when women began to take on careers, education, and personal achievement at a greater rate than in the past, they got the equality they were striving for, but not the love.
In her amazing book, Dr. Patricia Allen writes that Dr. Carl Jung said that every man has a feminine side, feeling side, and every woman has a masculine, thinking side, but until the 1960s, men who had to go out into the world and become “breadwinners” repressed their feminine side, while women became “homemakers” and repressed their masculine side.
In the 1970s, the feminist movement communicated for the first time on a mass scale that “maleness” or the male qualities that represent success, was actively pursued by women.
Money, power, independence and prestige were all within a woman’s grasp and for the first time represented something that could be realistically achieved without sacrificing cultural values. What was sacrificed, were the traditional roles of male and female that had for generations been the foundation of successful relationships.”
In Jungian terms, both male and female had begun to develop both sides of their true selves.
Dr. Allen goes on to say:
“Soon, there were no rules of behavior particular to the male or female in relationship. He could call her. She could call him. She could pay, or he could pay, or they could split it. He could pursue or she could. Free love was in. Commitment was out. Equality was the name of the game! Soon, relationships became a kind of battleground on which men and women sought equal status, equal degrees of power and prestige. If this were restricted to the boardroom, it would represent only a broadening of the field of combat- but, not surprisingly, it entered the bedroom as well. With both men and women vying for the same position, the courtship dance was abandoned to two partners struggling for the lead. In the process, we forgot how to make love with one another.”
How to make the relationship work? Each partner goes with the energy flow and exchange and doesn’t trample one another.
Choose for yourself what feels most authentic to you. Not all men want to be the masculine provider, earning money and success. Some want to stay home and raise children and plan the calendar.
Not all women want to be homemakers and give up careers. Statistically speaking though, a lot do.
So, we have to communicate if we want successful partnerships. We have to understand the varying factors, such as masculine or feminine energies alive in both, brain wiring, love languages, and learn to speak to one another in ways that we can hear, lovingly.
Dr. Allen suggests that for a relationship to be healthy there has to be complimentary energies. In other words, there can only be one female and one male, so which do you want to be?
The feminine wants her feelings cherished, masculine wants his ideas respected.
Robert Bly, in his book, Iron John, asks women to “allow men to express their masculine, “red knight/wild man” shark energy before being pressured to prematurely suppress it and become “white Knights.”
Perhaps we women fight our men for the throne. Just as men may have new roles to play and ways of being in this post-feminist movement world, women may actually think they want a masculine man to provide, proclaim and protect, but yet, she is actually being masculine in her career and relationships.
If you want to build an empire, you may need to find a sensitive feminine man to be with who can hold down the fort while you create.
Ask yourself, “What is my priority today? Family or career? Then, proceed. Get clear on where you stand.
Truly, I think of myself as so feminine because all my friends say that I am, they see me as sensual, sexy, soft. Yet, in my life I am driven, have a career, business, and do think of myself as building an empire and have put that over family. Perhaps in my masculinity, I am looking for the wrong traits in a partner and have been confused.
Wanting a man to show up with money and a generative career in the world, I push against my men, and blame them for being so feminine. I’ve failed to see that the way I show up (masculine) automatically attracts men in the feminine position. I can see now that I blame many men in my life for their passive, seemingly, “weak” stances at times, when really, they are just holding the opposite polarity.
I said in my big post that all the women I know are educated, successful, powerful women and we want men to show up and protect, proclaim and provide. Yet, how can they?
Perhaps we women, in all that worldly success, are embodying the masculine and the men then show up in the only way that they can- respecting our ideas and supporting us in seemingly sensitive, feminine ways.
This is the gift of the communication, removing our masks and speaking our truths, no matter how vulnerable, and why it is so vital to not condemn others for their exposure.
For, to expose is to explore, and by writing that piece, I got to engage in many conversations, that have helped me to grow, evolve, and understand better than I ever could have before if I kept quiet for fear of upsetting the status quo.
I’ve learned from you. My heart’s expanded. Compassion has deepened. I see more clearly now. Without showing up, laying my cards on the table and saying how I see it, I can’t be mirrored, have reflection, or grow.
So write. Dance. Express. Show up. All of us. Choose to be the qualities of masculinity, or femininity, honor that you have both and choose which you want to play out in your relationships.
Communicate via verbal, nonverbal, sexual, spiritual, touch. Communcation is key to intimacy.
In realizing the context in which I have been operating, I am now free to choose.
I want to be feminine in my relationships. I want to be cherished and have my feelings honored and to create family and home, so I best quit emasculating all the “red knights.” 😉
To tell you the truth, in the last few days since writing this article, the men in my life have shown up big time.
When I look around, I see that I am surrounded by incredible men. In embodying the feminine quality of receiving, I have been served well by the masculine.
If you enjoyed this post, please sign up for my newsletters here. Thanks!
Iron John should be required reading for both sexes.
The question i find myself asking is “is it possible for the roles to flip flop?” Does it really have to be one or the other or can two have the capacity to communicate in such a way that one can have the lead and then relinquish when the other wishes to take it. I find an inner voice saying “yes” that is possible, but i couldn’t say I’m sure I’ve seen it. And I don’t know what it would look like.
From experience…. It is possible to “flip flop”, however I think of more like a dance. If both you and you partner know the dance you are doing it can be an incredible dance.