As a really driven person, I’ve always managed to achieve the goals I set to myself: trying a new job, living in a new country, getting new friends. But I realized that I wasn’t as skilled when it comes to romantic relationships. I had a lot of short-lived relationships as I was battling with trust issues and low self-esteem. I had to learn to let go of control, but most importantly I learned to accept the people I dated for who they were.
Since I started this journey, I feel so much more comfortable in my own skin. I know how to affirm my boundaries in a more assertive way (and I’m still learning). I am still in the process of learning to take care of the “sensitive me.” I feel ready to get to know someone and let this person get to know me. But weirdly, I feel like I do not have any interest in anyone, no excitement, no will to pursue anyone. I am not sure if this a consequence of being by myself for a long time (a few years) or anything else.
Long story short, how do I bring back some kind of balance in this area and take better care of my romantic needs?
– Ready for Romance
The best way to take care of your needs, romantic or otherwise, is to trust your gut and make space in your life for what it says you want. It sounds to me like you want to meet someone, but you’re not attracted to anyone specific at the moment. So why not cast a wider net? Make a dating profile, ask some friends if they know anyone they could set you up with, go out to parties and events with the intention of meeting new people. However you are comfortable putting yourself out there, let it be known that you’re interested now. Sometimes just setting the intention marks the shift in your life, from happily single to open to romance. You don’t have to pursue anyone you don’t want to pursue. If there is no spark of excitement on the first date, you can turn down the offer of a second. But since you have been by yourself for years, dating will feel like a risk; you’ll need to expand your comfort zone.
Let’s talk about the risk. You say you had trust issues, low self-esteem, the desire to control your past partners, and reluctance to accept them for who they were. You’ve practiced setting boundaries and taking care of your inner, sensitive self. That’s all wonderful inner work. You should be proud of how you’ve grown. Of course, it’s one thing to do healing work alone, and quite another to practice being your new, more evolved self with another human being. It’s time to get messy. Take a part in the sloppy, imperfect, totally imbalanced play of dating, loving, requiting, unrequiting, sex, friendship, hateship, and courtship that’s happening right outside of your door. Love isn’t a goal with defined action points. Romance is even less of a skill. There will be no neat to-do lists with boxes next to them to check off: Moved to new country – check! Got the job – check! Made a new friend – check! There will only be the labyrinth of hope, despair, elation, lust, anger, sadness, joy, gratitude, love, and maybe even romance that all of us would-be lovers wander through without any guarantees. Achievement has nothing to do with it. Your needs are only part of it. You will probably make the same mistakes again; with any luck, you’ll make them better this time. In a real, messy, two-person relationship you may be blessed enough to meet your true self and your lover’s true self, and they will be both hideous and transcendent.
I didn’t have to read your chart to answer your letter, but this can be uncomfortable for someone with three planets in mountain-climbing Capricorn, in the tenth house of Goals and Achievements. No structure, no summit, no promotions or awards in love? What kind of a system is that? It’s not a system, it’s an amusing game of wit and charm, says your Gemini sun. It’s a form of play; let’s take a gamble! say your progressed Moon, Mars, and Venus in Leo, in your fifth house of romance. Ah, and you never know, it could be the Big One, says Jupiter transiting through lovely Libra in your house of partnership. Your dreamy Moon and Venus in Cancer will never loosen their grip on their sentimental hopes for romantic love, and that’s a good thing. Carry that hope with you to parties and dinner dates. Be sensitive as you open yourself to the possibility of letting someone know you. Forget about being driven, about your record of achievement, about who pursues whom or how your past relationships compare in length. Forget about balance. You’re just going to have to pick yourself up from wherever you stopped to rest in the labyrinth, and continue navigating this crazy maze.
Best of luck,
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