Yin Meets Yang

Keen Category: Love Advice

Silhouettes of a woman and man holding hands on a beach at sunset with yin and yang symbols over them

In Taoism, a Chinese philosophy, there are two fundamental principles: one negative, passive, earthy, dark, cold, wet, and feminine (yin) and the other positive, bright, heavenly, active, dry, hot and masculine (yang). It is believed that the interactions and balance of these forces in people influence their behavior and fate.

Opposites attract without question. When you meet that one special person you consider your perfect match, a soulmate, the magnetic pull is undeniable and the differences between you obvious from the start. You are polar opposites and often miles apart in the ways you relate in a relationship. In most instances, your guy will be "yang", oriented towards his intellect, self-driven with traits that are considered masculine. And you "yin", receptive and emotional with traits considered feminine. As yin and yang, you complement each other perfectly and are the balance of intellect and emotions.

Men naturally identify with the more masculine characteristics, the "yang" aspects of their intelligence. They gravitate toward analysis, reason and logic in making decisions and approaching problems. A man exerts his masculine intelligence conquering old ideas and concepts and paves the way for new ones using his ingenuity. A man will grow to understand that through sheer will and relentless perseverance he can make a difference in his world if he aligns with high ideals and achieves excellence. He will gain authority every time he succeeds at influencing others and will learn to value male brilliance as a light in the world that casts out the darkness of archaic beliefs. In relationships, his tendency will be to want to lead.

Women more naturally identify with the feminine qualities of receptivity, emotional logic and intuition, the "yin" aspects. They tend to seek complete understanding of a situation before making choices. A woman's natural tendency is to intuit cues from her surroundings, mull them over and base her decisions on hunches. She values love and support above getting what she wants. She will evolve to become more intuitive, compassionate and in tune as she consistently trusts the validity of her intuition and sees that loving compassionately brings meaning to her life and a sense of purpose. In her relationships, it is natural for her to give intuitive guidance and support with love.

There is of course tension between these two styles of thinking and approaching life choices, as men often exercise their masculine strength sometimes at the expense of women's desires for deeper understanding and emotional logic. A man that is too yang will be driven away from his emotions, think a woman's intuition is nonsense and her emotionality childish. A woman who rejects the yang characteristics in her mate will find it hard to relate to her man, expecting him to be as communicative and nurturing as she is and will be heartbroken when he is not. She might find her man cold and unresponsive to her needs and constantly demand more from him, not appreciating his way has value. If she is cognizant enough to know he's not callous but instead reasonable, she can grow to appreciate the masculine intellect for its ability to problem solve without allowing emotions to cloud his thinking. But when there is opposition the result can be likened to the King and Queen becoming opponents, each trying to dominate and dethrone each other rather than ruling together. The lack of appreciation of the differences results in discord, imbalance and inequality. A couple will fail to relate to each other until the currents of love force a new approach. The change that is necessary is appreciation of the differences, learning to value the reflection that a mate is to their individual souls.

Yin and Yang complement each other in every respect and polarities naturally strive for balance and harmony. A relationship will work when there is respect for the differences and when couples don't try to dominate each other, but instead embrace each other's style of relating. If they can admire each other's yin or yang qualities, they can then blend their approaches when making the decisions they have to make from day to day. They will recognize their approaches as complementary, each adding to the other. The result will be harmony in the decision making process and in confronting relationship issues.

The psychological task for both men and women is to become conscious that their partner's yin or yang traits are not as foreign as they might have thought. Their partner is a true reflection of their own inner masculine or feminine side. In the case of a woman, she holds the same intellect, drive, problem solving abilities and many of the other masculine qualities of her mate. It is only that she has not yet actualized them, drawn them out of hibernation and begun to use them consistently to balance her emotional side. Daily she receives impressions of her own maleness in the relationship mirror. Through the reflection of her mate, she can assimilate and integrate some of his positive traits, recognizing them as her own. Conversely, a man needs to cultivate his intuition and emotional side. If he can value the reflection of emotional intelligence in his mate, he will become more comfortable with his own emotions and learn to trust his intuition more.

In each individual, the balance between masculine and feminine intelligences is a dance of unity. To conceptualize the masculine and feminine working in balance, imagine an artist before his canvas. With his feminine intelligence, he looks inward for the subject of his painting. Tapping into the imagery of his subconscious, he brings the subject into definition. He then applies what he knows technically to bring the object of his vision into form. He may analyze elements of light and dark to give the painting depth and illumination. He will rely on his masculine intelligence to choose the right brush, colors and strokes to create the effect he wants. From beginning to end, the work of art will be created through the intertwined harmonies of two unique intelligences, and the finished painting will reflect this union. Moving from intuition to reason, feeling to impression and then into form, the finished painting is visionary art created through a balanced intelligence.

We usually imagine male intelligence leading this dance of balance while the feminine follows. However, this is a reversal of what is natural and even logical. The feminine intuitive function must be the guiding principle leading the masculine forward to fulfill the destiny of the individual. The feminine, the receptive aspect, receives the signs and messages and interprets them with an emotional intelligence. The masculine will further analyze them, make sense of them logically and begin to create constructs through which the visions can be applied to life. He will then pursue the visions, actualize and materialize them. The reverse would prove debilitating. The individual would be blindly thrusting his logic, reason and will, moving the world to suit his ideas without guidance or the ability to see the big picture. He would achieve what he has deemed reasonable and miss what was intended to be his path. Personified, the feminine would be running behind him, trying to influence him by inserting intuitive impressions after the fact. Her contribution would be meaningless other than to point out mistakes that have already been made. This reversal has been more the rule for most who value masculine intelligence as supreme. And women are often the first to criticize men when they have proved themselves ignorant and resistant to woman's intuition.

Relationships are a psychological course in learning how to bring yin and yang into balance as well as learning about love, friendship and creating a happy and fulfilled relationship. Couples who are psychologically balanced and whole within themselves, co-create exceptional lives. They team up to fulfill a mutual vision for their lives and through collaboration achieve great things together.

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