masculine feminine narcissist

A girlfriend just lent me one of those dating / relationship books she called “life changing.” I’d tell you the title and author if I weren’t too lazy to get up from my sofa, where I’m snuggled cozily under a soft blanket. So far, here’s the gist:

A relationship needs masculine and feminine energy. Men typically provide the masculine; women typically provide the feminine. Roles can certainly be reversed, as we’ve all seen, but it rarely works for a couple to switch back and forth between roles. Even those of us with a healthy balance of masculine and feminine energy tend to have one that feels more natural more of the time. (And, by the way, all of us are masculine all the time in our professional roles…well, I mean, those of us with office jobs.)

The feminine role is to respect and admire the masculine; the masculine role is to cherish the feminine.

In case you were wondering, there’s even a 15-question quiz you can do to determine whether you prefer to provide the masculine or feminine energy. I took it. When I looked at the answer key, I had to laugh. Most answers were categorized as masculine, feminine or narcissist. True confession:  of my answers, 11 were feminine, two were masculine and two were narcissist.

What I ultimately realized from this is YES! I prefer to be the girl in any relationship, which explains why my healthiest long-term relationships have been with very masculine men. And also that my ex (husband) wanted to be both respected and cherished, which would put him in the narcissist category.

I contend that I have a balance of masculine and feminine energy and that I am most drawn to men who also have some balance. I also prefer to be in a relationship with a man who expresses his masculinity by taking charge (as my more recent lover does in the bedroom).

Still, this book is super old school, and I can’t help but think that we’ve evolved in the two or three decades since this book was written. Certainly texting and social media have at least changed the ways in which we communicate…haven’t they?

What do you think?

More on this later…

my, how I’ve grown!

If you look back to when I first began writing this blog, there was a lot of purging and a lot of stuff about the failure of my relationship. It must have been cathartic, because it’s rare that the anger, resentment or blame flares up anymore. In fact, while I’ll confess to anyone that I still care for my ex (he is, after all, the father of my children), I’m detached about it. I would never go back to our relationship or him. When I dropped off the children the other day, he hugged me and told me that he loves me very, very much…and the only thought that came to mind was “have you been drinking?”

Amidst the un-flings and failed attempts to get laid or find romance these past months, I’ve largely healed my heart and re-set my standards. Perhaps it sounds odd that I even needed to re-set my standards…and, yet, I clearly once accepted so little for myself that they were due a bit of re-calibration. And to do so, my self-esteem needed an overhaul. Leaving a stressful job, spending lots of quality time with family and friends, yoga, meditation and a healthy diet have worked wonders. In many ways, I’m restored with a much more solid sense of self. And, while I’m feeling great, I plan to keep up positive momentum on that front.

I’m also getting better at catching myself when I fall into old patterns of behavior. I’ve noticed and curbed impulses to use behaviors associated with masculine energy in relationships with men — if he’s not providing it, I’m not interested. And I’ve dialed back my need to mother people who are (technically) no longer children. I’m grateful to have been able to take the time to glean the lessons of my failed relationship and grow from them. While dysfunctional behaviors that I’m not yet aware of are likely to reveal themselves as I explore new relationships, I’m going to be gentle with myself and my “other,” and I’m going to be a lot better at forgiving myself when I make mistakes. These are joyful discoveries for me — they bring me closer to realization of the woman I want to be.

Perhaps best of all are the great qualities I feel expanding — courage, patience, deservingness, trust, allowance and good humor seem to be blossoming within me. My “vibe” is more consistently positive than ever before.

These are good days. I am enjoying among the best times ever with my children (our recent vacation was amazing — they’ve just reached an entirely new level of fun, interest and expression), and I’m putting into practice so many of the relationship tools I’ve learned in the past several months — even some of those tips that involve relating with men. While I’m not about to report anything, I couldn’t be more thrilled with the way things are going!