A Relationship of Structured, Rusty Mud?

Dear Five Faces: I enjoy your blog because I love the Five Elements. I’m pretty sure I’m a Water with a secondary Earth. I’ve been divorced for several years (it was his choice and a very difficult time for me), and have recently started dating a nice fellow I’ll call Tom. However, I’m having trouble figuring him out. Sometimes he’s sensitive and caring, and sometimes he’s aloof and distant. When he’s in his caring place, we get along great. But when he’s off on his own, it just makes me want to go off on my own, which I don’t think speaks well for a future together. Do you think we have a chance of making it? If it helps, I’m a music therapist and he’s an attorney. Signed, Drifting Away

Dear Drifting Away: First, let me say that any relationship can always “make it” if you both understand the dynamics of the connection. There will be ups and downs, all of which can be predicted based on your elements. Knowing what your personal tendencies are in a relationship will always help build on the ups and smooth over the downs.

It sounds to me like Tom is either a Metal/Earth or an Earth/Metal. His profession would suggest a Metal/Earth, but in patriarchal cultures it isn’t uncommon for men who are actually one of the “softer” elements (Water or Earth) to lead with a more structured secondary so as to succeed in our structured world. However, the fact that he can be sensitive and caring, as well as distant, says that he manifests both elements with you, so we’ll take it from there. Bottom line: In your relationship with Tom: he brings Metal and Earth, and you bring Water and Earth.

This can be a great relationship! On the Flow Cycle, his Metal will feed your Water and your Earth will feed his Metal. This means that both of you could feel very supported in your relationship. And interestingly, while his Earth will control your Water, it will also feel comforting to your Earth. This suggests that staying in your Earth energies with each other will make the relating easier. But don’t do it all the time. There are two major risks with trying to be just Earthy together.

First, it will be impossible to do, especially if Earth is only a secondary for each of you. If you have too much Earth time, both your Water and his Metal will speak up and need alone time. For this to work, you will probably need to plan that alone time up front so both of you expect it. If one of you is in an Earth place and the other decides they want alone time, the Earth could react and move into its “alone” element (Water for you and Metal for Tom), but with hurt feelings. Too many hurt feelings too often could drive a wedge between you.

rust mudThe second major risk with all Earth all the time is that Tom’s Metal is the only real focused structure the two of you have, and some structure is a good thing. Ideally, you can communicate often and honestly enough to identify those times when structure will help your relationship (and your lives). If the structure is agreed on ahead of time, it will feel like a gift to you rather than an imposed prison. Communication is key. And if can do this with awareness and some guidelines, your relationship will be great. If not, you could end up with structured rusty mud. Good luck!

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