Dear Vicki: I’m in my mid-twenties and have been dating Aaron for almost six months. We really click and our time together has been a blast. We’ve been to lots of amazing restaurants – I’m a real foodie – and also spent time in places he enjoys like museums and science lectures. Things were going really well and I assumed we were headed for a permanent relationship. So two weeks ago, I shared with him that I got pregnant at 18 and put the baby girl up for adoption. Letting her go (especially to a closed adoption) was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I knew she needed more than I could give her at that point in my life. Especially because my parents and the father wanted nothing to do with her. Since I told Aaron this, he hasn’t exactly dumped me, but he has definitely pulled back. I asked if what I shared bothered him, but he says it’s just really busy at the engineering firm where he works. What can I do to make things right? I really love him. Signed: Iced Out in Inglewood
Dear Iced Out: Your desire for honestly is commendable, and there was probably no perfect time to share that kind of information with Aaron. It is true that someone contemplating spending the rest of their life with you needs to know about your baby, but for a number of reasons, it appears Aaron wasn’t quite ready. Let’s take a quick look at the dynamics of your relationship and see what we can do to help you through this.
Putting someone else’s needs over your own as you did when you allowed a couple to adopt your baby says that you probably have a lot of Earth energy in your personality. Foodies usually have a lot of Earth, too. The fact that you perceived you and Aaron heading for a permanent relationship also supports the likelihood that you are an Earth personality because Earths see every relationship through the lens of possible permanence. Aaron, on the other hand, sounds like he could be a Metal personality. Metals love the past and exploring history in museums. They also love understanding how things work (hence the science lectures). The fact that he’s an engineer also supports the idea that Aaron is a Metal person. Engineering is all about developing the best possible way to do something, and Metals strive for perfection.
As an Earth and a Metal, you and Aaron relate on the Nurturing Cycle, with your Earth feeding his Metal, a very comfortable connection for you both. Earths want to do things for people and Metals are very comfortable having things done for them. Where I think you and Aaron hit problems is the fact that for Metals, there is a right way to do things and that is how things should be done. Period. In our culture, the norm is still thought to be a couple marrying first, then having children. You clearly didn’t do this, so he is probably wrestling with the fact that you, a woman he might be considering for his wife, are not perfect. Of course, none of us are perfect, but it can take Metals some time to acknowledge that and accept the blemish.
Another issue Aaron might be wrestling with is that you come with strings attached. There is no denying that the child you carried is a significant part of who you are. And even though it was a closed adoption, you will carry your little girl in your heart your whole life. This thought might trouble Aaron; he might be concerned that there isn’t room enough in your heart for her, him, and the children you two might have should you marry. Of course, this is illogical, the human heart has unlimited love to share, but Metals sometimes don’t see that. Metals sit at the end of the Five Elements Cycle and their view of the world is that of separation; what is kept and what is released to make room for the new of the next cycle. Aaron has been made aware that there was a significant relationship cycle before him, so he could be processing the possibility that he might not measure up. He could also be concerned that this child might come back into your life at some point and is unsure how he feels about that. Metals need to feel in control, and your news shook his orderly, controlled world. So what can you do?
First and foremost, you need to give Aaron time to process what you shared and the impact – both real and imagined – it has on his life. Metals don’t naturally look to the future, the past is their bailiwick, but I guarantee you that Aaron is considering his future with, and without, you. Be your sweet, loving self around him if you can, invite him places you know he will enjoy, and create opportunities for your Earth to feed him, as it naturally will, both literally and figuratively. You might even bring a little Fire energy into your connection to help keep his Metal from getting too rigid in a black vs. white way (which Metals can easily do). To bring Fire you can wear red clothing and the scent of lemon around him, share spicy foods, and even get out in the summer weather. Summer is Fire’s season.
Finally, as things relax between you, ask him if there might have been a better way or time to share the information with him. Metals are consummate analyzers and your question will force him to consider the situation from your perspective. From there he will either understand that there was probably never going to be good time, or believe that there could have been a better approach and share that with you. This will work for him because Metals love teaching and sharing their opinions.
If he loves you, he will process through this and come to the logical place that you did the best you could in a difficult situation. And if he can’t get there, if he breaks off the relationship, it shows him to be too rigid and set in his ways to understand you. Here’s hoping you have chosen a Metal heart that can be flexible. Blessings to you!