They Both Want the Spotlight: Can This Relationship Work?

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

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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.

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New Boyfriend Makes Her Laugh, but Will It Last?

Dear Vicki: I’m writing because I had the great misfortune to fall in love with a wonderfully funny and outgoing guy. We met on a blind date and he’s like no one I’ve ever been with before. I laughed more than I’d laughed for years that first evening, so naturally agreed to see him again. It’s been a whirlwind of activity, which is so not me. All of my well-ordered ways seem to have gone out the window since Tad’s been in my life. And while part of me finds this exciting, another part is afraid that I’m losing who I am. I’m new to the Five Elements, so am unsure of my primary elemental personality, but can tell you that I’m a software programmer, if that helps. Oh, and Tad is a salesman who is very active in our local theatre. Surely this relationship can’t last, so should I just stop seeing him now before it really hurts? Signed, Losing My Way

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Dear Losing My Way: Normally, if you are both adults and are both having fun, I would ask why would you want to end the relationship. However, I suspect that what might be going on for you is that time with Tad sometimes feels a little uncomfortable. While it is fun, it probably also comes off as a bit out of control, which makes you feel like you are losing who you are. So, let’s look at why that might be.

Your belief that you should probably end the relationship with Tad before things get too crazy for you, coupled with concern about losing control and your occupation as a software programmer, suggest to me that you are a primary Metal personality. Metal people care deeply about order and process. They do detail very well, too, so make excellent programmers. The top priority for most Metal personalities is the ability to maintain control at all times. And finally, in the Five Elements model, endings sit in the Metal element. There is little doubt in my mind that you are a primary Metal elemental personality.

Tad, on the other hand, sounds a lot like a Fire elemental personality. Fire people don’t value order or process. In fact, they usually find too much order rather boring and drab. Fire people appreciate spontaneity and fun, which as you have aptly noted, isn’t something Metal people usually experience on their own. The ability to jump quickly from one place/project/idea to another is a hallmark of the Fire personality. In fact, this spontaneity is one of the major reasons that Fire people are not only great at acting, but also selling. They can easily go wherever the part – or the sale – needs them to go. But, this means that the life of a Fire person is usually the exact opposite of the well-ordered and structured life of a Metal person. So, what does that mean for your relationship?

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Earth and Metal: Can Life Be a Garden?

Dear Vicki: My mother had been living on her own ever since my father passed away three years ago. She finally moved in with my family last year and at first, it seemed perfect. My husband and I both work full time at the small architectural firm we own, so the extra help around the house has been a gift. The kids love having her here, too. But a problem has developed that I’m not sure how to address. Mom is a real Earthy person and loves to cook, but she refuses to honor our desire for a healthy eating style. When she first moved in, she seemed willing to do so, but lately she’s constantly making the kids sugary treats even when I’ve asked her to avoid sugar. I understand it’s her way of showing love, but it goes against everything we’re trying to accomplish with our family’s health. How can I get her to understand that it’s our house and we set the rules? I’ve tried to lay down the law, but she finds ways to ignore me. Signed: Healthy in Harrisburg

Dear Healthy: This is a common and surprisingly difficult issue. You are correct: Earths love to show love through food. They also love to make people feel special and important which, in our Western culture, usually involves sugar. Think: Christmas cookies, a favorite dessert, the birthday cake. We’ve all been there. It means that you aren’t just fighting your mother, you’re fighting our whole culture. But the good news here is that you seem to be a Metal. Wanting your mother to honor your rules is very Metal, as is a profession as an architect. If any one of the Five Elements has the structure to buck a system, it’s Metal. And while we’re not going to take on our culture’s addiction to sugar here, we are going to help you work with your mother to keep peace in your home and honor your wishes.

First, remember that you and your mother relate on the Nurturing Cycle, her Earth feeds your Metal. That means you expect her to support you and are probably surprised when she doesn’t. It also means that the presence of her unchecked Earth in your house has possibly fed your Metal to the point where you might have an excess of Metal energy these days. And while too much Metal can lead to many problems for you, it also exacerbates the situation you’re having with your mother.

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