Healthy Relationships – A Yin-Yang Perspective

The Taiji symbol (the circular symbol in the article image) is the representation of yin and yang. Observed closely, it can be seen that both factors are clearly in balance however each also contains an element of itself within the other (a dot of yin can be seen in the area of yang and vice versa). This article will express how a healthy relationship should be represented by this balanced idea.

Please note relationships in this article mean both romantic and friendship.

To make for easier reading I will divide the theory of yin-yang into the four major aspects and elaborate upon them in a relationship sense.

  • Opposition

Yin and Yang are opposite to each other. Both elements are required as nothing can be purely yin or purely yang and most importantly is that they are in opposition as equals.

This reflects on a relationship as a situation can require either a gentle approach or a hard one. That is not to say that either one is right or wrong but rather that in a state of free flow there should be the option to select one or the other.

Partners may clash in opinion however this is necessary to propel conversation and growth. Do not see these types of clashes as incompatibility but rather as a chance to observe a different opinion. A partnership should allow you to express your thoughts and opinions calmly and have them acknowledged and respected even if they are not selected for action.

  • Interdependence

Yin and Yang cannot exist without each other. As mentioned above, both elements must be present as being purely yin or yang would essentially mean death (or the end of a relationship).

As day must lead into night, a relationship must see a similar cycle. There can be no activity without rest and so it is important for two people in any partnership to be able to suggest rest periods or to provide periods of encouragement.

Every relationship you have should make you feel more fulfilled however do not seek one out if you are feeling empty. To form a friendship or romantic union with someone is to already be fulfilled (as every person has aspects of yin and yang within them) so getting into any new relationship should be an exercise in receiving positive reinforcement and providing it. This becomes evidently important in the next aspect of yin-yang.

  • Mutual Consumption

Yin and Yang feed off each other in order to expand, contract and essentially balance.

A partnership should see two individuals feeding into the relationship equally. Do not take advantage of your partner and do not give too much of yourself out. You must take back as much as you give otherwise you will become hollow; avoid those that only want to use you. Such a state will first drain you physically and eventually lead to your mental health being affected.

  • Intertransformation

Yin and Yang transform into each other.

This reflects in relationships when one person may harbour negative habits and by being around them you may pick up these habits as well. For those that are able to resist negative habits, they make the sacrifice of putting up with it which will eventually lead to mental and emotional trauma.

It is possible to care for someone deeply but resent a part of their lifestyle and habit. This small annoyance can easily grow into bitter resentment over time.

Having stated the above, it is also entirely possible to pick up positive habits from a partner. Referring back to the first point, yin and yang are in opposition and as such we can often find a feature of a partner very attractive and this draws us to them because a part of us may feel lacking in that feature. Think of this as how we can be drawn to a mentor in a field because they have an expertise that we strive for.


In summary, all relationships can be seen from the yin-yang perspective. There will be opposition; you should experience interdependence with mutual consumption and there is always a factor of intertransformation. Find relationships, both with friends or romantically that will fulfil you and propel you towards the goals you want to accomplish. If you find great resistance and a lack of consideration towards your opinions, a lack of growth or an unbalanced contribution to your goals and a development of poor habits or resentment towards poor habits then it is advisable to reconsider whether the relationship you are in is truly worth the impact on your health.

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