Polarity in Relationships: Masculine & Feminine Aren’t Myths, but Biology

Polarity in Relationships: Masculine & Feminine Aren’t Myths, but Biology

How Men and Women’s Brains Are Programmed Differently for Conflict, Mistakes and Resolution

“Let’s talk about sex, baby. Let’s talk about you and me…” It’s become quite the debate in the Battle of the Sexes dialogue — are men and women equal and the same. Equal and equally capable — absolutely; the same — far from it.

Recent research suggests that men’s and women’s brains may be wired differently. The male brain is wired front to back, with few connections between hemispheres. Women tend to have more left-right wiring, allowing more interconnection between hemispheres.

"Some researchers argue that the brains of men and women are wired differently. The male brain is wired from front to back, with few connections across the two hemispheres. Women, on the other hand, have more wiring from left to right, so the two hemispheres are more inter-connected." — Psychology Today

First, let’s explore masculine and feminine energies. Then we’ll discuss how men and women handle stress, conflict, and mistakes in relationships. Understanding these dynamics is key for healthy polarity and passion.

Polarity: Masculine & Feminine Energies Explained

We all embody a unique balance of masculine and feminine traits. In heterosexual relationships, men often lean masculine while women lean feminine.

Masculine traits include independence, analytical thinking, and competitiveness. Feminine traits include interdependence, emotional intelligence, intuition, nurturing and cooperation.

When partners disconnect from their native energies, relationships suffer — lack of intimacy, fighting, and frustration. Specifically, the outcome could look like anger, depression, frustration and emasculation on the man’s side. For the woman — overwhelm, feeling abandoned with a lack of support, safety, clarity and direction from her partner.

Our bodies and their hormone needs and expression vary based on our sex. This is not to say that we need to adhere to age-old gender roles but denying our differences is just as toxic as suppressing or over-expressing stereotypical gender roles. -- Jocelyn Johnson, Happy Partners Project founder

Coping With Stress & Conflict

Men often retreat inward to problem-solve alone when stressed. Women vocalize issues and seek empathetic support.

Likewise with mistakes — men take action to fix them while women express regret and atonement.

Different biological needs drive these behaviors. Testosterone equips men to address conflict actively and independently, retreating inward to reach a solution. Estrogen makes women wired for communication and collaboration, extending herself into her community to “work it out”. This is also at play in their problem-solving strategies.

Appreciating these distinctions fosters understanding. A woman shouldn’t resent a man’s tendency to retreat and deliberate privately. A man shouldn’t assume his partner’s communal coping means ganging up on him.

And there is science that validates how our bodies need different hormones to manage stress, based on sex. For those born sex male, testosterone is their stress hormone whereas those born sex female need greater estrogen to manage stress. And activities that fall into the previously mentioned categories (competition vs collaboration for example) generate different hormonal outputs — in our example competition creates testosterone, and collaboration creates estrogen.

For an interesting take on Testosterone and Estrogen, watch this episode of Huberman Lab with Stanford-based professor of neurobiology Dr. Andrew Huberman:

When couples align with their native energies, passion and harmony thrive. Out-of-balance polarity kills intimacy.

Perhaps this breakdown of the biological tendancies of masculine and feminine will actually bring more empathy and understanding into your relationship. Biologically, the sexes simply operate differently when fully expressed in their native core energies.

A woman fully expressed in her feminine can identify when her man is activated in his masculine core, that he’s actually finding ways to show up for her when he displays his action-oriented and solution-driven approach to managing her stress and emotions.

A man fully expressed in his masculine core can understand that when his lady goes to her tribe for consultation, that she’s actually activated in her feminine and that’s her effort to be in service to the relationship. That is what it is to be in aligned polar states, and once that polarity is activated and appreciated, then divided couples will actually get back to a place of passion, connection, love, understanding, and mutual movement.

Reflect on your own patterns using our Relationship Check-In Method.

Rediscover aligned polarity and bliss.

The masculine will often retreat to solve problems rather than going into connection with others to find solutions.

Have you seen this at play in your own relationship? Tell us your thoughts and follow along on social media @happypartnersproject.

Guys — Have you noticed that your woman will reach out to all of her friends, her mom, her sisters, her family, to discuss when you guys are in conflict and get an understanding of what’s going on and refer to her tribe? And have you noticed that you go into your own private space to formulate an action plan, to find a solution, to figure out how to rectify your mistake with action versus rectify your mistake with understanding?

Women — Have you noticed when your man retreats into his own space? Have you taken that as a symbol of him not wanting to be in connection with you, as him not being interested in really finding a solution and empathy and working together on coming up with a creative outcome to your discomfort or your conflict?

Happy Partners Project’s Relationship Check-In (TM) cards implement non-violent communication techniques. Grab your deck here.
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