Apart from many other things, a relationship can be seen as a lab where we see, examine and heal patterns that we have fallen into. At times you are lucky and you recognise a pattern before making a wild mess out of it. Because when you recognise something for what it is, you are empowered to make a choice: you are empowered to change the unhealthy pattern by reacting from a place of free will rather than from one of conditioning.
Here’s a big one: the roles of men/women in heterosexual relationships. (Heterosexual relationships are complex enough, that’s why I’m focusing on those without mixing in the same-sex dynamics which are also fascinating too).
On the most primitive level it is:
Man goes out and hunts, comes back and provides.
Woman stays at home, looks after children and cooks.
Thanks to the Feminist movement this has long been questioned, dissed, and we’ve got plenty of examples of how that’s most certainly not the only way.
But these patterns are engrained much more deeply than in the obvious ways.
There is an unspoken expectation that a man will always be showing up in his masculine, for example.
That he will be giving directions, that he will turn up and be there for his woman every time she has a flat tire, an emotional storm, or it’s the end of the world.
Women keep saying that they want men to “show up”.
In turn, women are expected to show up in their feminine, be soft, receptive, surrender to the man’s direction and raise the children without complaining.
Men keep saying that they want women to soften.
There’s no problem with any of that as long as it doesn’t turn into something that we expect or even demand from our partner.
And experience proves that expectations creep in very easily.
Experience also proves that expectations kill polarity and a healthy atmosphere in the relationship.
So here’s something for you to ponder on:
Imagine that you had both a man and a woman inside of you. We can also refer to this as the alpha and omega sides of you.
And that regardless of their gender, your partner also had both a man and a woman inside of them.
Now imagine that both of them were equally important parts of you and your beloved. And feel into how your relationship would change if you started relating to both: the man and the woman in your partner.
So in a way instead of one relationship, you and your partner would have two relationships going on: between you as a woman and your partner as a man, and another between your partner as a woman and you as a man.
For example, if your man is complaining or feeling insecure, worried or overwhelmed – it is his inner woman feeling very sensitive and challenged by life. He is in the omega state. And as a woman you can show up in your masculine/ in your alpha and hold space for them.
If as a man you are aware that your woman is taking the lead – she is stepping into her masculine or alpha role. Instead of competing with her and trying to take the lead back, you can soften and relax in your feminine, and trust me, if you do so consciously it’s not going to make you any less of a man.
Yes, men have a delicate, tender, emotional, sweet and flowy part to them.
Yes, women have a direct, clear and sharp part to them that can be anchored in their energetic balls and deeply present with their partner’s needs.
Can you see and accept that in your partner?
My partner is a very masculine man. I admire his fearless, focused presence, his penetrative power is so intense – it leaves me disarmed. He loves to take the lead and initiate things. And I love opening to him, receiving him and following his guidance. The intensity of his focused masculine energy overwhelms me at times, but I find that the only way I can handle it is through surrender. And the deeper I open and surrender, the bigger my heart becomes. I love when he does things for me and gives his love to me in all his ways.
This perhaps fits into a classical description of what a woman wants from a man. She feels incredibly lucky, yet… it wouldn’t feel totally real without another piece…
My inner man is totally crazy about my partner’s inner woman. When I notice her in him, I get really turned on. I love her delicate, sensitive, refined and gracious ways. I feel so stimulated by her, I want to give her anything she could ever want. How she receives my love is incredible: she smiles at me very gently, she doesn’t ask for much, but she receives all that I have to give. In response to my showers of love she opens and welcomes me into the secret gardens of her heart. And that is all I could ever ask for.
This type of awareness makes things a lot more rich, fun and, most importantly – healthy and balanced.
Of course this extended relational dynamic will also show up in your sex life. Why would it not – it’s so much fun!
This gives a woman an opportunity to explore her ability to be in her masculine power in bed, her ability to penetrate, which women are usually not familiar with. And it gives the man an opportunity to explore the feminine side of his sexuality, his ability to receive and be entered.
It might trigger homophobic thoughts. But we all know that homophobia is nothing but a latent homosexuality. (oh c’mon, don’t tell me you didn’t know this).
Owning both sides makes us whole and integrated beings.
In day to day life the woman no longer expects the man to always show up in his masculine, she is well aware that sometimes she is actually talking to and relating with his inner woman, not him in his usual role as a man. And sometimes he will be emotional and that will be the woman’s turn to show up in her calm presence for him.
And vice versa.
The magic lies in the capacity for energetic agility. How quickly you can recognise the quality of energy that is present in your relationship moment by moment and how seamlessly you can shift between polarities is what keeps the relationship very fresh and alive.
Basically it requires your full presence.
And presence is the start to all great things.
Photo by @ehscapist