The Bingo Theory: A revolutionary guide to love, life, and relationships - Mimi Ikonn (2016)
Part IV. The Bingo Relationship
"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it."
Chapter 11. OPPOSITES ATTRACT
MOST RELATIONSHIPS are based on fear—fear of losing the other person, fear that you’re not good enough, fear that they are not good enough. This fear makes us crazy. This fear makes us feel powerless and desperate. It makes us do things we shouldn’t do and accept behavior we shouldn’t accept.
Why the fear?
Well, for years we’ve looked to others to complete us. Masculine Strength People have looked to Feminine Strength People to provide them with love, nurturing and wisdom.
Feminine Strength People have looked to Masculine Strength People to protect them, and take control.
In some ways this might sound like it makes sense - after all, it’s why people often refer to their partners as their “other half.” And it might even work—for some time.
You meet someone and there’s chemistry. “This is it!” you think. I feel complete! He or she meets all my needs!
Then, before too long, fear starts to creep in. You start to worry that this person may leave you— the person who fulfills all your needs—may leave you. You panic. You become jealous and controlling. You behave in ways you hope will make them stay. You tolerate bad behavior because you’re afraid of being on your own again.
Then as time goes by something else happens. You start to feel dissatisfied. You realize that even though you’re clinging to this relationship, you still don’t feel complete. They’re not doing enough. They’re not behaving the right way. They’re not good enough. You get angry and frustrated with them. You nag and manipulate them. You try to control them.
The relationship continues with an under current of bitterness and resentment - or it ends and you look for someone new. You then repeat the pattern. You always look to other people to make you feel whole and wonder why it never works out.
This kind of relationship - the kind that many of us are in - is not love. It’s an arrangement with a contract that says, “If you behave this way, then I’ll love you and if I behave that way, then you’ll love me.” But this never works out. Why? Because nobody can make us feel whole - or make us feel love - except ourselves.
When you balance yourself—when you become a Bingo—you attract a different kind of relationship. When you’re a Bingo you don’t need anyone to complete you. You’re already complete. You don’t need anyone to make you happy. You’re already happy. And you don’t need anyone to love you. You already love yourself and everyone around you.
Instead, you love for the sake of loving. You love unconditionally, expecting nothing in return.
The Magical Kitchen
There’s a beautiful story that explains unconditional love in one of my favorite books, The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz.
It asks you to imagine that you have a magical kitchen in your house that provides you with all the food you need, all the time.
Because you have so much, you are happy to share it with others - not because you want anything in return, but just because it feels good to share.
Then one day somebody knocks on the door with a pizza. They offer to give you a slice, as long as you are nice to them and do exactly what they say.
How do you react? You already have all the food you need—including pizza—so you tell them you don’t need their food, but they’re welcome to come in and eat whatever they like. And they don’t need to do anything for the food, because you just like to share.
Now imagine a different situation. Here you have no magical kitchen. In fact weeks have gone by and you have not eaten. You’re starving. The same person comes offering pizza under the same terms. When you smell it, your tummy rumbles.
You agree to do anything for just one slice. You eat it and it tastes good. You’re offered more tomorrow so long as you keep doing what they ask you to do. Again, you agree to anything. You get so used to having the food that you start to worry it will be taken away. What if my partner gives it to someone else?
In this story, the food represents love.
Your heart is like the magical kitchen. When it is full of love, you don't need anyone else’s love. There’s no need to go begging for love. You already have all the love you need. You share your love without condition because you have so much of it.
On the other hand, what happens if you’re starving for love? Then you’ll agree to anything. You’ll desperately cling to the person who offers you love, and you’ll be terrified of losing it. You’ll even accept all kinds of bad behavior—and do some bad behaving of your own—just to keep the love.
Giving Rather Than Taking
When you are a Bingo, you won’t sign up for the kind of love that will not make you happy. Why would you?
You’ve learned how to develop and express both energies within yourself, and you don’t need someone else to make you feel whole. You’re already whole.
If you’re a Feminine Strength Bingo, you don’t need to find a Masculine Strength Person to provide for you financially, or protect you, or make your plans. You can do that yourself by using the masculine energy that exists inside of you.
And if you’re a Masculine Strength Bingo, you don’t need someone else to love and care for you because you know how to love and care for yourself. You simply draw on the feminine energy that dwells inside of you.
There are no holes to fill. You’re complete. You have the Magic Kitchen and will never be hungry.
When you’re a Bingo you won’t enter relationships out of fear and neediness; you go into them to give rather than to take. You have all the love you could ever need inside of you. And you have all the power and strength as well. Now you want to share that energy with the world—with no conditions.
Interdependence Versus Co-dependence
So does that mean that you don’t need anybody? That you don’t need a relationship?
No, far from it. Human beings are here to love each other and to connect. We are interdependent social creatures.
And interdependence is very different from dependence.
When we are interdependent, we are whole and balanced within ourselves. We are able to live on our own and provide for ourselves, but we choose to share our life and love with others because it makes us feel happy and helps us grow.
When we are dependent or co-dependent we go into relationships because we need other people to provide us with something we don’t have.
But as we’ve learned, we have everything within us—we just need to find it. This is why it’s so important that we improve on our relationship with ourselves before we concern ourselves with a relationship with someone else.
It is only when you realize that you are complete in yourself that you can really love unconditionally; wanting nothing in return. Then your love comes from abundance not fear. You love because you want to share.
DEPENDENCE - INTERDEPENDENCE DIAGRAM
In the diagram, you see illustrated three entities - Identity of Person A (Him), Identity of Person B (Her) and the resulting relationship.
The essence of the idea here is that both people come into a relationship feeling whole, complete and filled with self-love. They-don't need each other, they just love each other. They are able to nurture and sustain themselves; the dynamic between them is one of deep respect, admiration and care. This is the Interdependent Dynamic which can feel like magic. This is what is often meant when people say their relationship feels natural and effortless.
The flip side of the Interdependent dynamic is the Dependent Dynamic. The underlying assumption there is that both people need each other to be complete. For example - Rachel might think Josh doesn't love her because he doesn't come jogging with her because that's really important to her. She feels that he is responsible for making her feel loved. Making the other person responsible for how you feel is the core of what is behind the dependent dynamic. This leads to unhealthy behavior such as blame and escalating arguments, due to lack of both people taking responsibility for their feelings.
As you see, a significant difference between both diagrams is that the identity of Person A (him) and Person B (her) are clearly defined in Interdependence while they are more loosely defined in Dependence. A core function of independence is taking responsibility for one's thoughts and emotions and subsequent self regulation (being able to calm oneself down in an argument, being able to de-stress without letting it spill onto the other person, etc. This makes the relationship simpler, more loving and ultimately wonderful for both sides.
When you get to that wonderful place, who will you want to share your love with?
You know how they say opposites attract? That’s very true. However, it’s not opposite personalities that attract. If one person loves travelling the world but the other is a home bird, that will eventually put a strain on the relationship. You won’t have enough in common to make it last long term.
When we say opposites attract, what we mean is opposite energies.
Have you ever felt that chemistry with someone? That incredible, electric feeling? That’s what happens when the masculine and feminine energies connect with each other.
In science, the attraction of opposites is called polarity; it’s what’s behind magnetism.
In the same way that opposite poles of a magnet are attracted to each other, in romantic relationships opposite energies are attracted to each other.
It doesn’t matter whether the feminine energy is the strength of the man or the woman in the relationship. Just as it doesn’t matter whether the masculine energy is the strength of the woman or the man in the relationship. There just needs to be a polarity. Both energies need to be present. That’s when there’s passion, excitement, energy—and great sex.
The feminine energy flirts, plays and seduces. The masculine energy brings strength, power and action. The feminine energy receives; the masculine energy gives. The masculine energy takes control, and the feminine energy follows, lovingly.
This is about more than just physical attraction.
We’re all attracted to our opposite energies because it helps us see what we’re missing. Relationships act like mirrors. They reflect back what we need to learn. You know the phrase monkey see, monkey do? That’s how we are in relationships. We see something and we start to mimic it.
If you’re a Masculine Strength Person and you spend a lot of time with the feminine energy, it will rub off on you. You’ll observe your partner’s love, openness and spontaneity and learn from it.
Likewise, if you’re a Feminine Strength Person you will see your Masculine Strength partner’s drive, energy and focus, and you will want to be more like that.
When we spend time with someone who’s the opposite energy to us, it helps to bring out that energy in us. On the other hand, if we see more of what we already are it doesn’t help us. We amplify our dominant energy instead of balancing it.
In many cases we’re drawn to people who have the same strength energy. This is natural because, after all, we have so much in common. But these relationships rarely help us to grow.
Whether it's with your partner or with your friends or family, the purpose of relationships is to help us evolve as humans. The relationships that help us grow the most are the ones with our opposites. Together you learn from each other and grow.
Take a moment to look at your relationships with your friends. In most cases your best friend is an opposite energy to you. As a Masculine Strength Female, most of my friends are Feminine Strength Females. It’s not something I consciously set out to do—it’s just something that’s happened because I like the way I feel around the feminine energy.
These friends challenge me and teach me a lot about life, self-love and acceptance. They’re fun to be around, and they teach me how to take it easy, take care of myself, and enjoy the finer things in life. They teach me how to have fun and just BE—rather than always DO.
And it works both ways. My friends tell me that I make them feel more confident and clear about what they need to do. They feel energized by being with me. We learn from each other.
If you look at your friendships and see that they are all the same strength energy as you, then it’s time to broaden your circle and make new friends.
We Still Need to Balance
Even though opposites attract and help each other balance out we must always continue to work on balancing ourselves while we’re in the relationship. If we don’t learn to embrace the weaker energy within us, we will find it very hard accept that energy in our partner.
For example, if you’re a Feminine Strength Female and you haven’t learned to use your masculine energy you might be scared by the energy of the Masculine Strength Male. You might worry that it’s overpowering, aggressive or cold. It’s only by getting in touch with your own masculine power—by learning how to be assertive and strong—that you can accept it in others.
Likewise, if you’re a Masculine Strength Female and you haven't learned to accept your emotional, creative, softer feminine energy, you may act like a bully to your partner when he expresses his feminine energy.
Being balanced does not mean that you become androgynous
You might worry that if you both balance your energies you will lose the polarity, but it doesn’t work like that.
Your natural strength will always be your natural strength, no matter how well you develop your opposite energy. I’m pretty well balanced after years of working on myself, but my masculine energy is still my strength and it always will be. My husband, Alex’s natural strength, on the other hand, will always be his feminine energy—which is why our relationship works so well.
Does this mean I can’t love someone with the same energy?
It’s easy to love someone with the same energy as you but attraction is a different matter. Opposites always have and always will attract in a way that the same energy will not. So does that mean that if you are already in a relationship with the same energy that it’s doomed to fail? Not at all. I’ll show you how such relationships can evolve into a beautiful and balanced companionship in the following chapters.
Are you ready to find your Bingo relationship?
In the next chapters I will tell you how to start looking for a balanced relationship if you’re single. It’s Bingo dating! If you’re in a partnership, you can skip ahead to the Bingo Relationship chapters where you’ll learn how to balance your existing relationships.