Dear Vicki: I want to be married and in love, but I’ve been divorced three times. Even though I was so sure I’d found true love with each guy, the relationships didn’t last. My first husband and I married young – we were only 19 – but we were in love and wanted the same thing: a home and family. Or so I thought. He left me for his flashy young secretary who was a better fit as he climbed the corporate ladder. Husband #2, a college professor, left to accept a fellowship to study primitive tribes in Africa. And Husband #3 is an artist who found his muse in the woman who runs a local gallery. They live together in a loft now. I honestly thought each of these men was my true love, a person I could grow old with. But now, at 37, I’m wondering how to pick the right guy. I’m new at the Five Elements, but am pretty sure I’m an Earth. Is there a certain element I should pick? I want a home and a family. Signed: Unmarried in Marengo
Dear Unmarried: It sounds like you’ve had quite an experience relating to different elements. I think you are correct – you are most likely an Earth. Home and family are very high on their list of priorities. The resiliency you’ve shown and hope you continue to hold out for a lasting marriage suggests that you might have Water as a secondary. Bless you on staying positive. But be mindful for yourself that you keep your energies balanced. Too much Earth (desire for a relationship) and Water (trust that everything will be perfect) can create a lot of mud for you. Mud usually lacks clarity and focus, which are important to have when entering into a relationship. Information about the person and their personality tendencies is important, too, but selecting a life partner isn’t as simple as finding a “positive” elemental match. The Five Elements model shows us that all of the elements can get along well with the others.
Honestly, you could “pick” whomever you fall in love with, but then make sure you take the time to determine their primary element so you can understand what their priorities will be in life and relationship. I also suggest that you help them understand what your priorities are as an Earth. Too often we tend to trust “love” as being all we need. And while it’s extremely important, I also believe that we need understanding and acceptance if any relationship is to go the distance. So in the name of that understanding, let’s take a look at what might have unfolded at an elemental level in each of your previous marriages.
You don’t mention what elements your husbands were, but I think we can make a few guesses. It appears that you have been married to a Wood, a Metal, and a Water, in that order. Technically, your first marriage had every chance of working. Even though Earth and Wood relate on the Controlling Cycle, an Earth wife and Wood husband recreate what was considered the “perfect” marriage in the 1950s. The Wood’s desire for success and accomplishment provided the financial means to support the Earth’s desire for a home and family. There’s no way to know exactly why your first marriage failed, but perhaps your husband’s secondary got in the way. He clearly didn’t have Earth as a secondary or the two of you would probably still be together. Instead, his desire to climb the corporate ladder and have someone a bit flashier at his side suggests that Fire might have been his secondary. Your secondary Water might have been problematic for his secondary Fire (Water controls Fire). But Earths value loyalty and he clearly was not able to give you that, so the bottom line is that it wasn’t a good match.
Your second husband was probably a Metal given his desire to move halfway across the planet alone to study a chosen topic. Metals tend to be loners. And even though you two related on the Nurturing Cycle (Earth feeds Metal), it was your energy feeding him. I wonder if there were times you felt he drained you. That can sometimes happen with an Earth/Metal relationship since Earth wants to give and Metal often feels it deserves Earth’s attention. It’s unlikely that Husband #2 had Earth as a secondary either since it wasn’t difficult for him to leave the relationship. Instead, I suspect he had Water as a secondary, another loner element. But more importantly, Earth and Water relate on the Controlling Cycle. So even though Earth’s version of control is very gentle, it can still feel “containing” to Water, which wants to go with the flow no matter where the flow goes.
Interestingly, your third husband was also probably a Water. Most artists usually have a lot of Water. Your Earth could have felt supportive and stabilizing to him, but it could also have felt slightly controlling, especially if your Earth was out of balance. It’s likely you desperately wanted this third marriage to work, so could have sunk more Earth energy into the marriage than was necessary, or wise. Too much Earth would definitely have felt restrictive to his Water. Also, artists often find their “muse” in someone radically different from them. In this case, I suspect his muse was a Fire, the yang to his yin, the light to his dark. This opposing energy could hold them together, or they might tire of the differences and separate. But if this happens, please don’t go back with him; he has clearly proven he is not the right person for you.
Instead, try to hang around people with significant Earth or Fire. Another Earth is likely to value home and family as much as you do. The downside of two Earths together is the lack of energy the relationship will have without a Nurturing or Controlling Cycle dynamic to create movement between you. Also, if two Earths together aren’t careful to stay in balance, they risk falling into a co-dependent connection that is very hard to break without assistance. However, should you fall in love with an Earth, if you both work to stay balanced and present with each other, you will probably feel like you have found heaven.
Fire is another element that could attract you. Fire likes connections just like Earth, and it also feeds Earth on the Nurturing Cycle. You will feel seen and appreciated in an Earth/Fire connection. You will also have a great deal of fun. That said, most Fires don’t value long term connections they way Earths do, nor do they like to stay home as much as Earths tend to. But if you are up for having parties at home and going out a lot, you could find a relationship with a Fire to be enjoyable and satisfying. Especially if that Fire has Earth as a secondary.
The truth is that you will probably be happiest in a relationship with someone who has Earth as a primary or a strong secondary. To meet Earths, get out and do the things you enjoy because other Earths will enjoy them, too. You might try a series of cooking classes or perhaps a course on home decorating. If you aren’t doing this already, I encourage you to volunteer for causes that matter to you. Many of the people there will also be Earths. And let your friends know you’re interested in dating teachers, people in the healthcare field, and social workers. These are all areas often filled by Earths. Most importantly, be yourself and give it time. Your Earth will attract someone who values Earth, I promise. I wish you all the best and may cupid find you soon!