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Crazy Little Thing: Why Love and Sex Drive Us Mad

What do we see in some people and not in others? More importantly, why can’t everyone see how great we are and fall for us right this minute?

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This way, she can be the dominant one at home and at work and she never has to develop a balance. “This is where we get terms like ball-buster and pussy-whipped,” she says.

“These sensitive New Age guys have developed their complementary yin energy. They’re really good listeners and nurturers, but they don’t have that yang fire and they never get laid and they don’t know why. Everybody wants to be their friend but nobody wants to fuck ’em! What do we say to them? We say, ‘You’re too nice!’ And they say, ‘But wanted nice! Don’t you want nice?’ Yes, we want nice but we still want strength, we want fire.

"So there’s a lot of unhappy people out there because they don’t understand their own wiring: where they’re strong, where they’re weak, what they need to work on. So we get attracted to someone whose dysfunction works with our dysfunction. If I have a really weak, wimpy partner, I don’t need to work on my yin—I don’t need to learn how to put my yang down, I can just keep being a ball-busting bitch at work and at home. And then I get pissed off at my husband because he’s a wimp and he won’t stand up to me. This is what I mean by compensation—we get attracted to people who can compensate for those areas where we’re not healthy and developed. The more developed and balanced we are, the more we are going to be attracted to other healthy, well-balanced, well-developed people.”

So is this the truth behind the old saw “opposites attract”?

“It’s superficially true,” Winston says, but it doesn’t go very deep, which is why the yin/yang model is so good. “By having this more complex understanding it helps us see where we want to go, where we need to go, and where we can go.”

What happens if we don’t look at it and work on it? “We’re going to keep being attracted to the same dynamic and we won’t even think it’s the same,” she says. “We’ll think, oh, this one is so much better than the last one! And then six months or a year later, we’ll realize that fundamentally, underneath, the dynamic is the same.” When you keep ending up in the same dysfunctional pattern, “you know you’ve got some work to do.”

I tell Winston about my own ricochet pattern: I go from sweet, stable guys who make me feel claustrophobic to less-sweet-and-stable guys with whom I feel free but eventually empty.

“And that’s a common thing,” she says, “where we ricochet between two extremes: somebody who feels really safe, who feels like a sibling, and somebody we have a lot more polarity with but later realize there’s too much and it’s not good.

“We struggle with autonomy versus intimacy—this is part of the game, too. Right? I want to but I don’t want to. I want to be free but I want to be loved. I want fire and spark—but not too much.”

She laughs that Sheri Winston laugh. See how good it is to talk to a therapist?

Liz Langley is a freelance writer in Orlando, FL.

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