In love, everyone needs to be “masculine” & “feminine”…

I had always been extremely extroverted, an overachiever, a triple A+ personality type, extraordinarily (materially) successful (even in my early twenties), blah, blah, blah… I was very “yang”. However, my marriage to my childhood sweetheart was an absolute mess! My husband was uncomfortable with my increasing success… No matter how much I tried to save our marriage, sadly our marriage was lost…

As time went on, my personality seemed to only attract alpha (yang) males. However, once in a committed relationship, they did everything in their (mighty) power to snuff out my light, always wanting the limelight for themselves & expecting me to take a backseat to their lives. After a while I thought I must have been doing something wrong.

I thought that I simply needed to work harder at practicing unconditional love. I had been researching psychology, philosophies, physiology, eastern philosophy, religion…. And, as we often do when we are trying something new, I made a mistake – a BIG mistake. I mistook the idea of the “feminine principle” (yin) as all I (a woman) should try to emulate in the hopes of creating harmony in myself and in my relations with others (especially my partner).

The semantically complex compound word “yinyang” simply put means “opposites”. Exact translations of “yin” & “yang” separately are: “shady side of the hill” & “sunny side of the hill”. Yin (the “shadow” side) represents the passive female principle in nature (defined by Chinese philosophy as: soft, wet, flowing, dark, mysterious… submissive); yang, the assertive male principle in nature (defined by Chinese philosophy as: rigid, dry, solid, visible, evident… dominant).

I had found the Chinese Taoist yin principle: “be like water” very helpful in handling rigid business colleagues. The principle believes that water is stronger than stone (simply look at the grand canyon). When dealing with a “rock”, one must learn how to go around the rock, to wear it down, to reach one’s final destination/goal… It actually works very well. Not wanting another failed marriage… I thought maybe there is more to the power of the innate “feminine” principle & that it was certainly worth a try.


Since I had an extremely dominant male, I thought all I have to do to make our home harmonic is practice the yin principles. For the sake of peace, for the sake of my children, I’ll simply be the yin to his yang… I thought, “No one is perfect, so I should continue to try to love unconditionally – this time using the yin principles…” Surprisingly, ta dah! I actually found the Chinese Taoist yin principles to be very helpful guidelines in learning to love unconditionally. I was actually able to master unconditional love… I must say it gave me an inner peace and an ability to be happy like I’ve never known. My inner (mental & spiritual) life was now bliss. However, in time, it took a great toll on my physical & material well-being (my yang so-to-speak).

What was I doing wrong? “Such a great theory!” I thought, “Why isn’t it working?” I had a beloved Zen master (who sadly moved back to Japan), who told me for years, “Why are you trying to be a saint? You are not a saint. Stop trying to be one!” Zen masters always speak in riddles… so I never quite understood exactly what he was trying (repeatedly) to make me see. I would think, “I like being a good/loving person. What’s wrong with that?” Plus, I loved Zen meditation (a yin/feminine principle) – it was great for maintaining my mental well-being.

Later, I studied with a Sufi master (who is sadly back in Turkey), he would say (also repeatedly), “You have to be a warrior! You must learn to fight! Even Jesus was a warrior!!!” I never understood why a Sufi master would be referencing Jesus, but o.k. Whatever works I thought! But it didn’t work on me; I wanted to be as “loving” as I could be. Plus, I had never been happier, I loved being connected to my spiritual (yin/feminine) side – nothing bothered my inner peace.

Then at a New Year’s party. The hostess had hired a psychic as entertainment for the entire event. Everyone was letting her read their palms, cards or something… Anyway, late in the evening I finally acquiesced. I sat down and the woman looked at me and said, “You are a very loving person.” I can still feel myself swelling with pride, surrounded by a number of guests watching the “show”. Then, in front of all those people the psychic said, “No. No. Wait. You could be a very loving person, but you don’t love yourself. Until you love yourself, you’ll never be a truly loving person.” I was mortified! What a slap in the face. My swelled ego burst. I got the message this time – loud and clear!

How stupid I had been! The harmonic yinyang principle was never about separating yin & yang (the opposites). It was never about being a compliment to someone else… It was about being the compliment to my self – being everything (passive & aggressive, soft & hard, flowing & solid, shadowy & clearly visible, mysterious & evident, submissive & dominant…) all in one. Every person has to be a lover and a fighter. The key is to train oneself to know when (and how much of) each principle is required. The mastery is being able to do that well enough to use all of the principles in only a constructive way (that is what the dots in the symbol represent — when one aspect becomes so powerful that it is about to take away from/become destructive to the other — it is time to change focus/strategy) .

At first I was too assertive (yang without enough yin). Physically and materially at my peak, but my inner self was a mess. Then I became too passive (yin with not enough yang). My psychological and spiritual life blossomed –  while my finances and body were devoured by my spouse. Now, I am able to know exactly when to be assertive and when to be passive, which is needed when & how to utilize just the right amount of both. Am I happy? You bet I am! Am I at peace? You know it. Do I know how to get my needs met without bulldozing others? Un-huh. Do I love myself? Yes, I do. Am I a loving person? I think so (but I might want to get the number of that psychic)!

An Interesting Side Note:
The earliest recorded English usage of Chinese Taoist/Daoist “yin and yang”, is cited in the Oxford English Dictionary as: 1671 – yet we are just now starting to understand their true meaning. Talk about being lost in translation!

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New York University MA · Aesthetics (study of the mind and emotions in relation to the sense of beauty/harmony) Colloquium Title: “The Meta- and Physical Epistemology of Aesthetics: how the human body, mind & spirit are effected by beauty/harmony & love” New York University BA · Double Major: Psychology/Art History · Double Minor: Writing/Photography Former Columnist New York Post · New York, NY

40 thoughts on “In love, everyone needs to be “masculine” & “feminine”…”

    1. I love your search for love. We a do. Your revelations seem to show that love will find us Whether society defines us as Type A personality., shy , outgoing inner peace and love happens. You not only learned to learn the studies but be separate from them. We are not the defined times we learn. We are a part of a whole whether one understand the terms or not. The a a hah moment occurs. You are finding it. And while sharing your experience and profound knowledge you are helping others to do so to. Continue on your journey: while helping others. It just might be your greatest gift and calling.

      Liked by 3 people

  1. Thanks for sharing this.

    My favorite quote from the Taoists is something like “do what is done without doing.” The corollary is “have what is had without having,” (I am not quoting correctly, that I think that I have the spirit). Yin and yang, hot and cold, masculine and feminine, success and failure, all diminish in importance in light of this advice.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am , was mostly yang in my dreams. With people i’m Yin. Not merely due to shyness. but also because I’m a listener. It seems I’m becoming more yang gradually. I want to smash some people face in. Not very constructive. I want to smash there face because they violate my sense of right. Makes me feel like a facist. ugly that.

    I’m yang when it comes to adventure.

    I asked if your still married because i wonder if you clashed.

    got to close . library is closing

    maybe may you empty space be full.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved the Taoist of yin yang so much I got it tattooed on my ankle. For the last three years of my thirties I’ve been fighting against the two. Searching for balance, harmony, not able to truly find it yet though. I feel one always has to dominate with me because that’s how I protect myself. As far as loving yourself and self love, if you’re interested look at my latest post where I talk about the book, the mastery of love. If you haven’t read it, it’s a good read about relationships and self love. I hope you’ve found your harmony, self love, and companionship. I’m still searching for mine. Much love-single girl

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  4. Thank you for this great post and for sharing your experience! Your post help to clearify many things and ununswered questions about Yin and Yan I always been fascinated by that theory. I personally believe that yes, we need to love ourself deeply to be able to love others unconditionally. When we are in difficoult situations we have only ourself to count on and deal with what life bring. Personally I experienced 7 years of fighting in a custody battle, I had to turn myself in a fighter while my personality bring me from the opposite side. I am a balanced person, I love peace I always been positive and creative. I’ve only been able to manage the darkest side of that situation and survive it counting only on myself and never loose the love for myself. That was the key to keep me healty, sane and strong and give the protection to my child. While I was all alone (I am from another country in US only from 12 years, my family is far away they were sad to not be able to help me like they would’ve) I had to “be like water” to be able to manage every day life, during that time. Today that time is past I won my battle twice I got full custody…but because I have been like water, I have been able to turn a distructive situation in a great friendship with my ex…there is peace now!…The love for yourself and ” “be like water” is something that we all have to learn to be…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m sorry for your ordeal… though I am happy you persevered (for your sake & your child’s). You hit on another important point, turning a destructive relationship into a great friendship… if you mastered that, you’ve likely mastered the principles of yin&yang. May we all be friends in the end. Thank you for sharing! A truly inspiring story!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! I am honored about your reply! Yes I guess I mastered the principle of yin&yang…Thank you your posts are always so inspiring I enjoy read them daily wish you all the best in your life!

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Love this yin to the yang principle and trying to balance it. Ha ha the Jesus reference is hilarious. I feel like love should somewhat come effortlessly though. As if you can be yourself and that person will embrace you. But I understand how two dominant personalities can also both be stubborn and power seeking. Very interesting read thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If two people both have harmonic love models in childhood… It should be somewhat effortless. Sadly, the majority of children are not being raised in harmonic loving homes… It is truly blessing to those that have! I wish you both every happiness life & love has to offer. Thanks for sharing!


  6. I appreciate this. I have also noticed how we can hog certain aspects in our relationships, e.g., I’ll be the emotional carer, you hold the structure. I’ll deal with the cat sick, you deal with the remote control and so on LOL. It is so easy to get stuck long term in these patterns, like into a groove and then it can feel clumsy, clunky even as we experiment with new patterns, but breaking out of dynamics and opening to our fuller potential means there is more to offer and receive in all of our relationships. This really helps me make more sense of recent relational changes for me – thanks.


  7. The key is 2 train oneself 2 know when & how much of each principle is required & ain’t that exactly the tricky part ? How can one know when 2 be yang &/or when 2 be yin ? How can one know what the required & appropriate action is when one can rely only 4 answers on one’s own individual & personal Self or on another personal opinion of someone else ? Who can wait quietly & remain still & without stress until the moment of action ? Who is able 2 determine the right moment of action & the appropriate attitude ? Can one dominate over one’s urges, thinking & ego & do nothing when required ? Up & until when ? How does one know when is the appropriate time 4 action (yang) or 4 letting go (yin) ? When do nothing & accept (yin) or end the domination & suppression (yang) ? The harmonic yin & yang principle is surely not ab’ separating yin & yang or the opposites, but all ab’ overcoming them ! At first one has 2 acknowledge, recognize & realize their powers & influences & then one has 2 transcend the oppositions ! A wise person accepts dualism but in mind, thinking & in actions rejects dualism !

    Liked by 1 person

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