Dear Vicki: I appreciate the Five Elements model and regularly read your blog even though I’m not good at relationships. I long for a deep connection with another human being, but most of my relationships end up disasters. As a Water, I sometimes find that the person I am dating completely overwhelms me. I feel like I am drowning in them, which scares me, and I have to leave. Other times, I think I am in love, but then become fearful that they will leave me. You have said here that Water people are loners, and I do need alone time, but what if I don’t want to be alone all the time anymore? Can I find love without losing myself? Signed Lonely in Lancaster
Dear Lonely: It is absolutely possible for Waters to have deep and lasting relationships without losing themselves. But a relationship for a Water will look different than a relationship for an Earth, Fire, Wood, or Metal. What’s most important is that you understand your own needs when in relationship. Then, when you’re considering a relationship with someone, make a good guess regarding their element and be sure you understand what they’re going to need, too. You’ve done a great job articulating some of what Waters face when in relationship. You do want profound connections and you do need time alone. If you are out of balance, you will become fearful. Without boundaries, in nature water will flow everywhere, which can feel like being lost. But there is every reason to believe that you, as a Water, can find love and happiness in a relationship. Let’s consider how.
Oftentimes, a balanced Water will do well in a relationship with another balanced Water because they have the same general priorities and can understand each other’s needs. A relationship between two Waters will feel very “flowy” and certainly profound. There will be deep discussions, time together quietly reading, long walks together under starry skies, and yes, plenty of time alone. The challenge with a Water/Water relationship will be the lack of movement often found in a relationship on the Nurturing or Controlling Cycle. And with so much “go with the flow” energy, it might be difficult getting things done.
Waters also do well in relationship with Earths because both seek deep connections, although what “deep connection” means to Water and Earth is often different. Earths usually want deep connections with the people in their lives. Waters usually want connections with deep truths and a sense of their inner self. Also, Waters will usually want more alone time than Earths. That said, Water and Earth relate on the Controlling Cycle, which means that a balanced Earth can be the best element at helping Waters create boundaries. The natural container for water is the earth of a riverbank or lakebed. It’s the gentlest expression of control found on the Controlling Cycle, too: Earth directs Water, it does not decrease it. However, an out of balance Earth may need too much time together and become clingy, which will make it harder for you to obtain the alone time you need as a Water.
A relationship with either a Wood or Metal will certainly provide structure for you since these are the two most structured elements in the model. They are also elements that value alone time, which will be a great fit for your Water. You will find a nice sense of nurturing in a connection with either Metal or Wood, too, because they both relate to you via the Nurturing Cycle. However, since Water flows to feed Wood, you might find a relationship with Wood to be more demanding that a relationship with Metal, which flows to feed Water. And of course, your secondary element will impact how well you connect with either Wood or Metal, especially if your secondary is Earth. A Wood might not only feel demanding to your Water, but also controlling to your secondary Earth (Wood controls Earth).
Finally, a connection with Fire will provide you a glimpse of the excitement and passion personified by Fire. As a Water, you know the cool depth of winter. A Fire can show you the warming heat of summer, something you will rarely see on your own. However, Water is the control for Fire and it might become a bit exhausting for you to keep a Fire in check if they are unbalanced. Another concern might be that neither Water nor Fire have great boundaries, which could feel messy to you. But again, with the right balanced Fire, your personality style and theirs could be the perfect blending of yin and yang.
In truth, any element can create a great relationship with any other element. That’s the whole point of the Five Elements model. But you must be open to connecting. Make sure you keep your Water energy vibrant and balanced. Then, when you find yourself attracted to someone, ponder their primary element and what it will mean for you to relate intimately to them. Whether it’s another Water, or an Earth, Fire, Metal, or Wood, each connection will have strengths and challenges for you, but that same is true for all of us. If you stay balanced yourself, I think you’ll find that like all of the elements, Waters absolutely can go deep – without drowning – and enjoy lasting, loving connections. Blessings to you!