Over the past two weeks my boyfriend and I have been reading The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida. Or, more accurately, he has been reading it and I have heard several chapters and a spattering of passages. The book definitely has a strong point of view and is intended for men. From my perspective, it seems to be a slightly humorous Maxim magazine translation of timeless wisdom.
Surprisingly, I have had a lot to think about based on the topics presented despite the focus on the male point of view.
You see, Deida talks a lot about the balance of masculine and feminine energy in relationships. Though these masculine and feminine energies can be found in all people, most people are an unbalanced mix of the two, which is a good thing. (A same sex couple, for example, could have one more masculine energy partner and one more feminine energy partner, he says.)
He claims that this complimentary contrast between the two energies in intimate relationships is very good and healthy. While the workplace has become more and more neutralized with these energies in both sexes, he insists that the polarity of the male and female energy at home keeps things balanced – and steamy.
Though I may not agree with 100% of what he lays out, I can say that I have found myself nodding in agreement many times.
And after an honest chat with my boyfriend, it became clear that though I do definitely have a more feminine energy as a whole, at times I also have a tendency to take the lead on things in our personal life, problem solve, and attempt to advise – all masculine attributes.
Though none of those things are really bad, when I am quick to do those things I take the opportunity away from him to do them himself.
Which is kind of stupid – I want him to do them for us, but sometimes I do it myself so quickly I don’t give him the chance.
As I reflected on why I might be doing these masculine aspects in our personal life despite the fact that it’s not what I truly want to be doing, I had a realization:
In order to run Jess LC, I need to make hundreds of masculine actions to make sure things run smoothly. It’s only me at the top of our very tiny company, and all customer service situations, contracts, purchases, finance, marketing, strategy, and design decisions fall to me. The buck stops with Jess. There is no one to look to besides my business coach whom I meet with once a month for counsel – and even then, I still need to make the decisions and actions myself.
What is even more interesting is that I often don’t like having to take all the really masculine initiatives, but I am forced to because I don’t have a company big enough to support another partner to take on those responsibilities.
So I am left alone to do all the masculine and feminine energy things in the small business. And surprisingly, as I have gotten better at some of the more analytical tasks, I have started to enjoy them.
But I think this approach to problem solving, directing, and leading has leaked a bit into my personal life by accident, out of habit.
I want to change this about myself.
I want to be able to contribute to our decision making, but in a more balanced way. And after thinking about it some more, I actually do personally want him to take the lead on most things. I want to be able to be my feminine self and not have to try to “fix” or “solve” any hiccups along the way. I want to be able to relax and not feel like I am in the drivers seat. So why do I tend to grab the wheel?
After making these connections, I am so thankful that I now have the awareness to evolve. I am now grateful that I have the chance to pursue my masculine side with Jess LC and grow the company with strategy, logic, and feminine intuition. And I am equally pleased that I don’t need to do the masculine aspects in my relationship.
I want to sit back and enjoy the ride at home as a contributing partner, but steer my business anywhere I please.
Though I will certainly won’t be a slouch as a girlfriend, I am way too intentional for that, it will be nice to relax a bit and trust him because I know he’ll do an amazing job.