Dear Vicki: I’m wondering if you can help me with my new boyfriend. I’ve been dating Skip ever since we met at a friend’s party about six months ago and it’s been a blast! He’s funny, outgoing, and really exciting to be with. His hobby is stand-up comedy and he focuses on performing for charity events. He’s got a big heart, too. The problem is that I’m also funny and outgoing, so there are many times when we seem to be competing for the spotlight. We aren’t seeing other people anymore, but do we have a chance of staying together? Signed, Funny in Fresno
Dear Funny: Do you and Skip have a chance of staying together? Absolutely! Any relationship can work if we take the time to understand each other and our relationship tendencies. And that’s where the Five Elements model comes in – it’s a wonderful tool for understanding our personalities and how they relate to each other. In your case, it’s pretty easy to determine what elemental personalities you and Skip have. As outgoing, funny people who enjoy the spotlight, it’s a good bet that you and Skip are both primary Fire personalities.
A big priority for Fire personalities is connecting with other people, and parties are a great place to do that. The challenge is that Fire people also love to keep moving, so not many of their quick meetings from parties turn into long-lasting relationships. The fact that you and Skip are still together six months later speaks well of your chances. That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is that there are very specific challenges that come with a Fire/Fire relationship. Knowing them upfront will help a great deal.
First, congratulations for making it six months! As I said, Fire people usually emphasize quick connections, not long-term relationships. That you and Skip are still dating, and dating each other exclusively, says that one or both of you likely has Earth as a secondary elementary personality. Skip’s big heart is part of his Fire personality, but it also speaks of the Earth personality. The fact that he chooses to perform at charity events also suggests that he has a secondary Earth personality. That’s great news because Earth people need long-term relationships and are willing to do what it takes to keep them. That you are concerned about the longevity of your relationship with Skip suggests that you probably have Earth as a secondary elemental personality, as well.
As you have discovered, with two primary Fires personalities, the struggle to be the center of attention is going to happen again and again, in private and public places. Often, you might be able to make it a team act, but there are going to be times when that won’t work for one or both of you. If and when that happens, you’ll have to take turns being the star, and the sooner you work out a way to handle this, the better. Perhaps whoever set up the event you’re attending can claim the majority of spotlight time that evening. Ideally, you just take turns. But however you decide to address the need for the spotlight, discussing how each of you are feeling ahead of time will save countless problems, blowups, and misunderstandings.
There’s no doubt that a Fire/Fire relationship will be fun and exciting. There will probably be constant repartee between you, much like a stand-up routine. Your life will also be a social whirl, too, since Fire people need to stay busy. Again, it’s good that you will both want this; your life together will never be boring! But it could be exhausting. When a Fire personality is in a relationship with any other elemental personality, it’s usually the non-Fire partner (or parent, friend, associate, etc.) who reminds the Fire person that even they need down time. With two Fires personalities, no one will be doing this, so you will need to help regulate each other. This probably won’t be too big an issue for either of you when functioning from your secondary Earth personalities. Earths love to help take care of people.
Perhaps the biggest issue is going to be the fact that at six months, the newness of the relationship is wearing off and with it goes the rush of excitement that is a real high for Fire personalities. Oftentimes, Fire people will unconsciously “turn up the volume” on their lives in search of that excitement. Inevitably, this leads to stress. Going forward, watch for signs of stress in yourself or Skip. You will know if one or both of you is stressed because you’ll start acting like a dysfunctional version of your normal selves. Under stress, the Fire personality’s primary need to connect with someone distorts and usually manifests either as a panicked attempt to push a connection or an ineffective, scattered attempt at being with people. If either of you start looking pushy or scattered, you’ll need to work on the stress.
Here are a few quick fixes for Fire people under stress:
- Meditation: The silence and solitude of meditation helps calm and center Fires. Breathe Awareness meditations are especially calming for Fires.
- Temperature Change: Fire people tend to run hot, so cool water often helps them. Splash cold water on your neck and face, or have Skip literally jump in a lake.
- Use Holding Points: Each elemental personality has specific points on the head known to balance their emotional state. Using them not only calms the person, but also reprograms their energies to hold the balance longer. To access the points for the Fire personality, simply place the palm of one hand across the back of the skull directly behind the eyes and the other palm across the front of the forehead. Hold this position gently for 2 to 5 minutes, breathing comfortably.
The really good news for your relationship with Skip is that, in the Five Elements model, Fire energy feeds Earth energy via the Nurturing Cycle. This means that the Fiery versions of you and Skip will feed the Earth parts of your own – and each other’s – personalities. As I mentioned before, if you can stay in your secondary Earth personalities as much as possible around each other – caring for and about each other – you and Skip should be able to create an obviously fun, but also deep and lasting, relationship where you have each other’s backs. Blessings to you both!