Figuring Out the Right Amount of Bend

In a classic form of the “opposites attract” relationship, we have the passive versus dominant dynamic. Very often attracted to each other, the passive person appreciates the dominant person’s ability to make decisions, and it often quite happy to defer. The dominant person likes the alpha position as it gives them the feeling of control; most often sought as a means of feeling safe and secure. 

When a couple is aware of this dynamic and work together to best appreciate each other’s differences, both parties are quite content to work as a team and the longevity of the relationship isn’t compromised. It is when a couple is not aware of the dynamic that, over time, issues may arise.  The control element of the dominant person plays a role in creating what I like to refer to as the “bend principle.” Control likes to see another person bend 100% of the time, as that is where it feels safest; that is also where the biggest trouble lies, as you will eventually reach a point where the passive person begins to feel oppressed. 

This is where the right amount of bend comes into play, and it is an agreed upon measure by the couple. It is often based on a percentage; some people are quite happy with the 95 – 5% ratio, others will want it closer to 70-30%. In any case, it is about saying “I am happy to bend 80% of the time, but the other 20%, I want to contribute and have a say.”

Having this agreement works. It allows the dominant partner to feel safe in their alpha position while giving the passive person permission to have a voice when they feel strongly about something; working together to provide a sense of unity and teamwork. 

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