What’s a single person to do in today’s dating world? Is there a balance between modern and old-fashioned etiquette that can result in a great connection between a man and a woman? Perhaps there’s something we can learn from the popular philosophy of Yin & Yang. The symbol of Yin and Yang is a recognizable image to most, but what does it actually mean, and how does it relate to dating?
Yin and Yang are opposites – constantly intertwining to balance each other out and create perfect harmony. Yin is the more passive, gentle, receptive, soft, round, dark and feminine energy. Yang is more assertive, hard, angular, light, bold and masculine. If we oversimplify it, yin is associated with female and yang with male. When women and men step into their respective “male” and “female” energies and their behavior matches, there is a dynamic interplay that works beautifully.
In today’s world however, we are bombarded with messages, advice and “rules” about what to “do” or “not do” and how to act when dating. Add in feminist women, sensitive men, cultural nuances and voilá – we’ve got a whole lot of disharmony going on.
Dr. Pat Allen, a Jungian psychotherapist and author of Getting to I Do says that while we all possess masculine and feminine energies, there can be only one “male” and “female” in a successful relationship. She affirms that you should choose whether you are going to be yin or yang when dating, and then stick to it! In other words, if a woman says she’s yin and wants her date to pay for dinner, she should avoid telling him which exit to get off to find the restaurant (according to Allen, she should keep her yang mouth shut.)
With more and more independent, self-sufficient women, many females find it harder to connect to the softer, gentler side that will be in greater harmony with a male’s primary provider nature. If we follow Dr. Pat Allen’s advice however, working females will be yang in the office, and yin in the bedroom.
This doesn’t mean women can’t be strong, powerful beings and men can’t be sensitive…it just helpful when dating to honor those Yin & Yang characteristics that are innate.
So, ladies (forgive the sweeping heterosexual generalizations here) be yin! Let the guys take the lead. Embrace the chivalry. Allow yourself to be receptive. This may be challenging at first – especially if you are taking on a more yang role in your work life, but it’s essential if you want a relationship with a yang man!
Men, be yang! Initiate, open doors, help us with our coats, pick up the tab for drinks…even if we can do all of this on our own.