What My Gay Best Friend Taught Me About Relationships
We tend to place so much emphasis on gender when it comes to our differences… specifically our differences in relationships. And often we allow those gender roles to be excuses for things… to be justifications for any discord within the relationship.
Things we chalk up to “he’s such a guy” – emotionally distant, never wants to talk about “us,” insensitive, happy with the status quo.
Things we chalk up to “you know women” – emotionally needy, constantly wants “to talk,” too sensitive, nags to try new things.
But the problem with these justifications is that they don’t leave much room for improvement. They make things we would like to change seemingly unchangeable. But maybe we are looking at all wrong.
I believed in these gender roles for a long time, fully subscribing to the Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus mentality. Until I met a lesbian… and she became my best friend. And in true BFF form, we have spent a lot of time talking about our relationships – how we feel, what needs are being met or not met, our expectations, our fears… all of it. We discuss past relationships, current relationships, and hopes for our relationships in the future. Ya know, all the bestie stuff.
And what I quickly learned is that gender roles aren’t gender-related at all. Because with the absence of one gender does not come the absence of that gender’s supposed role. Instead, the same conflicts arise; the same mismatches surface; the same discord exists. Someone is still more comfortable talking about their feelings than the other. Someone is still more direct than the other. Someone is still more of a caretaker than the other. Someone still wants to have sex more than the other. The instruments in the orchestra may be different, but they still find themselves out of harmony.
So if it isn’t gender specific, then what is it? Where do these differences come from?
Last year, said friend and I took a trip out to Arizona. While there, we decided to get a little woo woo and go visit some of the famous vortexes in Sedona. When in Rome, right? I researched them before the trip and was intrigued when many of their descriptions included what type of energy they strengthen – masculine or feminine. I thought it was a cool concept but didn’t do any further digging.
Then several months ago, I came across a Tony Robbins quiz to find out what your leading energy is – masculine or feminine. Again I was intrigued… so I took the quiz.
My leading energy is apparently feminine. It surprised me a little because I don’t consider myself extremely feminine. I’m the girl who caught snakes and lizards with her brother growing up. I’m sarcastic… blunt… inappropriate. I don’t follow fashion trends, my nails are rarely manicured, and I’m still trying to figure out how to do my makeup.
But as I read more into it, I learned that I was looking at feminine vs. masculine all wrong.
It is a common belief that masculine energy drives the left side of our brain. It is analytical, logical, action-oriented, and direct. It is straight lines and angles. Feminine energy drives the right side of our brain. It is feeling, understanding, intuition, and collaboration. It is curves and swirls. Masculine energy is all about accomplishing – moving from point A to B – while feminine energy is about creating – circling all over the place.
But science has debunked the left brain vs. right brain roles and found that both sides of the brain are profoundly involved in everything – in reason, emotion, language, vision, and everything else we have assigned to just one side of the brain. There is no either/or… there is only both/and. There are decisions that lend themselves to logic and others we have to feel our way through. There are times we must stop swirling and go from point A to point B or we’ll never get anywhere. And times when curves make for a prettier picture. Both sides of our brain must work as one to be whole.
Maybe the same is true of our energies. We all have both… our ratios may vary, but each person is some makeup of both masculine and feminine energy. We may lead with one, but the other is still there following.
Maybe therein lies the real issue. What if life or work or childhood taught us to value one energy over the other? We were supposed to be a certain way, so we focused on that energy and let the other one dissipate – never taking the time to cultivate it… live in it… appreciate it. Or perhaps our leading energy got bruised one too many times so we brought in its counterpart to protect us… leaving our true leading energy banished to the background. Maybe it has all resulted in unbalance… disharmony… too much yin and not enough yang. And if we don’t have balance – if we don’t know our own middle, how can anyone ever meet us there?
We all know the old saying that “opposites attract.” Well, that means we attract – and are attracted to – someone whose energy ratio is inversely proportionate to ours. Like magnets. So unbalanced will seek unbalanced. And maybe that’s the true discord.
Maybe it isn’t about men vs. women or even which energy is your leading energy. Maybe the key to a harmonious relationship is all about first finding balance within ourselves. Finding our own middle point before someone can counterpoint… settling into our yin so we can find our yang.
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