Relationships and the Saturn Return

Charles W. Hawthorne – ‘Young Man and Woman’ 1914 {{PD}}

I’ve had a pair of comments/ questions from the lovely Nina; I’ll put the bodies of both messages below, then my own commentary.

Hi! My first Saturn return is coming up at the end of this year. I have this feeling that someone who I had a brief, but intense karmic relationship with ten years ago will be a part of my life again during this time. Our past encounter ultimately ended badly and I don’t feel like I’ve ever really had closure, nor has my attraction to this person ceased, despite being in a six year relationship with a different person (which recently ended).

My question is not “is this person my soul mate” or “will I end up with this person?” (I read the guidelines for submitting questions!) What I’m wondering is, what is your take on this? My intuition is telling me that we will date during this time and that it would bring us each closure and immense healing. I have a bit of astrology knowledge and I think we have some aspects that support this. But, I haven’t been able to find anything online about the idea of love or relationships specifically during a Saturn return. I am so curious for the take of an objective, experienced astrologer on this!

And then this:

Hi, it’s Nina, I submitted a question a few days ago involving love/relationship during a Saturn return.

As I have been thinking my question over, wondering if you’ll find the topic interesting, wondering if I explained myself well enough, I realized that I may have glossed over a relevant piece of information in pursuit of being concise.

So, I explained how I had a tumultuous “relationship” (we were never officially dating, but fought intensely and hooked up) with person A. This took place during our freshman year of college, specifically October 2007 through April 2008. It ended when he simultaneously stopped talking to me and started dating a close friend of mine the day after we had sex for the first time.

Fast forward about four years and I start my first real relationship with person B, who had become my best friend after meeting at the same college freshman year. He is also a best friend of person A. This is the relationship I was in for nearly six years. Person B had been secretly harboring feelings for me since the first time we met. our relationship was healthy for about a year and then turned sour for the remainder. We’ve recently given ourselves space and there is a significant part of me that hopes he will be the person I end up with, once we have each had time to grow as individuals. (That is to say, I hold out hope that we may start a new relationship after our Saturn return.)

We also make music together as our profession, so we are still very much a part of each others’ life. (In fact, we still live together! But, we are going to change this this summer or fall.)

So, the question I asked you in the first place was what are your thoughts on a relationship during a Saturn return. I want to date person A during my Saturn return, and then start a new and hopefully permanent relationship with Person B. It occurred to me that this love triangle was almost certainly important context for my question.

(It maybe be relevant to mention that I have no intent to hurt Person B by dating Person A. It was a mutual decision for Person B and I to break up, but it was he who was not sure if he was attracted to/loved me anymore. I don’t know if Person B would necessarily know about my potential relationship with Person A. But, I wanted to make sure to explicitly state that this is not any sort of revenge or malicious intent. I never got over Person A and I feel overwhelming drawn to him. (And, yes–I noticed out Black Moon Lilith/Venus conjunction!))

You seem to be something of an expert in dissecting relationships via astrology. And, I think love triangles might be something of an intriguing topic to people? I do apologize for submitting my question in such a fragmented way.

Hi Nina,

Since material presented on this blog is centered in analysis that can be useful to others, I’ll be addressing your first issue concerning the implications of dating during the Saturn Return, as that’s a good subject that I’ve never seen addressed myself. Then I’ll talk briefly about the more personal issues for you.

The Saturn Return, for those who are not aware of this, occurs at roughly (dependent on the retro-direct cycle at the time of birth) 29.5 years, when the planet returns to its position at birth. Leading up to the first Return we have three bursts of major, hard contact between transiting and natal Saturn, a square at approximately 7 years old (considered ‘The Age of Reason’, when the individual first sees their responsibility for their own behavior and becomes aware of potential consequences), an opposition at 14 (another turning point, one where the first big steps away from childhood are taken), and at 21 (a complete coming-of-age that leaves the individual solely responsible for her or his own life and actions). Each of these hard contacts of transiting to natal Saturn typically brings more responsibility, and in a certain way, more freedom, as the individual is asked to take on more, to follow the rules, and thereby gain autonomy and reach a new stage of maturity.

But, by the time the Return arrives, we’ve been out in the world for awhile. We feel we’ve got something of a handle on things, that we understand how the world works, and that we’ve found at least some avenues of expression and ways of creating security. As Saturn nears its natal position, though, we begin to Self-assess, to consider what it is that we’ve actually built. This period of consideration occurs even in those who have non-material goals, or an outlook that isn’t trained on establishing authority, joining an established hierarchy, or meeting professional benchmarks. It’s about seeing how far you’ve come, and judging that progress by your own particular standards–and for some, especially those who see themselves as rootless, as craving the unconventional experience, it may be the revelation that they have goals at all, ones they’ve never admitted even to themselves.

If you’ve been telling yourself you want one thing out of life, but actually want another, you’ll realize it now. Stability may become more important to you, as may a sense of ‘moving up’ or ‘moving on’, especially if there are personal milestones you’ve always assumed you’d meet, such as getting married, having children, or attaining a particular professional status. We judge our own life accomplishments at the Return for what they may mean in a larger sense; what have we contributed to society, and what do we want to contribute in the future? What do we want our roles to be? How do we want to make our mark, be remembered, have an impact?

So, we can see that this is an appropriately Self-focused period, one where we are taking our own measure, assessing just how, where, and how well we fit into the social order–and that means that dating at this time won’t really be about the other person, but about fulfilling our own needs. That sounds harsh, and it’s not like we can’t fall in love at this time; it’s just that we are much more likely to spend our time seeking partners or others who will help us fulfill our own aims. The more conscious we are of those aims, of course, the more deliberate our decisions, and the more likely we are to fulfill our Saturnian needs for status, security, and order (and we all have these, know it or not).

Dating during this period can take on a certain quality of mission, of seriousness of purpose–and that almost always translates into establishing a more permanent situation either professionally or personally, through marriage or partnership of some kind, even if that commitment is to oneself, initiating a kind of marriage to an achievement or goal. Now, be aware, all this usually happens without excessive conscious intent; we don’t realize, necessarily, that we’re assessing our lives, judging our choices up to now (though we may become overwhelmingly aware of our own discontent), but we are, and that means that dating takes on an almost predatory tone: we are looking for a mate, or we are looking to meet certain life goals such as those involving reproduction and the parental experience–and if we’re not, we’re usually bent on throwing our energy into some other area of accomplishment–and so not dating at all.

I hope that sets the Saturn Return stage for dating–it’s not to be taken lightly, in fact, you can’t take it lightly, even when you believe you can, as there’s a part of you that will persistently wonder where it’s all leading. So now, Nina, you must be wondering what I’ll say about your situation?

Dear Nina, You may be very disappointed with what I have to say here, and I apologize for that. I want to offer you the same feedback I would offer any client who provided me with the details you’ve supplied–and please forgive me if I’ve misunderstood what you’ve conveyed, but you are speaking as if you have the ultimate say in having a relationship with either of these men–but you yourself say that each has broken things off, implying the break wasn’t in your hands.

I also want to ask you this: if you were Person B, how would you feel if your prospective partner wanted to date someone else (your best friend!) but then had plans to ‘settle down’ with you after? I know you have no intention of hurting either man–that’s absolutely not in question–but I do think you’re feeling a kind of Saturn pressure, and that it may be overpowering your respect for the feelings of these men, both of whom have created distance that they may or may not want to continue.

So I would counsel that you get clear both on what you actually want, and how much of creating that is actually within your power (sometimes, all you can do is know what you want, and offer yourself). As I’m sure you’re aware, your Saturn Return hasn’t actually kicked in yet–doesn’t even begin to enter orb until this November–so you may be anticipating something before you really know how it feels or will manifest. Your current focus on Saturn, though, may be a manifestation of your Solar Arc Sun within orb of conjoining your natal Saturn–in essence creating all the same considerations that the Saturn Return brings. Add to that the SA Sun is also conjoined natal Uranus, ruler of the Whole Sign 12th, and you may find the unconscious is at the steering wheel, no matter how much you try to be conscious of your choices. The effect may be you are driven, in any number of ways (some of which you will feel are Karmic or fated–such is the influence of the 12th), with the actual results only visible roughly two years down the road. With so much on your own plate, the astrology of interaction with either of these men is a moot point, at least until you sort out your own wants and intentions definitively, and taking into account the wants and wishes of these men, as well. And though you didn’t ask, with transiting Saturn in your 10th, it’s no wonder you’re focused on your status–but rather than in relationship, the place to put your effort might be the career, as this could be a high point period, if approached with maximum dedication.

Wishing you all the best,

jd

See more on personal dedication of energy, and relationships, here–

And more on relationship interaction is available here–

You might like this ebook on Saturn, too–(not by me, but by the lovely Wisestars)

 

 

 

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“Am I Wrong to be Jealous?”

Kirchner 1930 {{PD-Art}}

I am a 25 year-old male and I’ve been with my girlfriend for about a month. She asked me to be official on our second date and I said yes. She shows me lots of attention and meets me often but she loves talking to new people. She is always chatting with the pizza clerk or server, whether it’s a guy or girl. If it’s a guy she’s still smiling at him and talking to him in front of me. One time she gave the IHOP server a big tip and joked with him. She tells me we are allowed to have friends of the opposite sex. I told her that is fine as long as we had those friends already and we are platonic with them. She agreed but then she goes around talking to other guys.
She mentioned how when she goes by her friend Jenny’s house, her friend’s brother walks around in a tight speedo. She said he is a security guard. She was laughing and smiling.
We went to a gas station and the attendant was talking to both of us. I wasn’t getting a good vibe but my girlfriend loved to chat with him and kept smiling and talking to him. Then he told us “just drinks? buy more stuff! give me some business!” I just stood there but my girlfriend kept looking for other stuff. He said “take anything you want, honey” and she kept looking. She said, “you don’t have the gum I like”. I finally told the guy I was her boyfriend and she was with me. Later on I brought it up and she said I overreacted, that he was very nice, very friendly. She said he wasn’t flirting with her at all and she didn’t think anything of it. She said she doesn’t get flirted with often (and she sounded disappointed saying it).
She is so opposed to open relationships yet it seems like that is what she wants. Am I wrong to be jealous? Can you please explain her behavior?
Thanks in advance.

J

Hello J,

First, I want to commend you on the exceptionally mature approach you’re taking to the significance of your girlfriend’s behavior; not many guys, especially young guys, would lay out the situation in such an unbiased and thoughtful way.

I think the best way to address your question is to simply make a series of statements, my conclusions based on what you say. I’m immediately struck by how quickly your girlfriend wanted to be exclusive; sometimes this is a not-so-positive thing, as moving too fast can indicate someone who wants to pin you down, treating you more as a possession than an individual. But, you could just be a super-charming guy 🙂

Your assumption that people may only retain opposite sex friends that they knew before the relationship, however, is an unreasonable one. I’m sure that part of what attracted you to your girlfriend is her outgoing and open personality, and I understand that you may naturally worry that others will find this attractive, too–but to ask her to stop being who she is is to ask her to be other than the person you fell for–and that’s not right.

Now, to be fair, part of what she may like about you is the sense that all this bothers you; why else tell you about the friend’s brother and the tight Speedo? This suggests that there may be an element of sexual teasing in her nature that does not belong in a relationship; manipulating the feelings of one’s partner is not a kind or loving thing to do–that implies immaturity in the way she regards others, again treating you more like a plaything (to get a reaction from) than a person about whom she truly cares.

You seem like you are ready for a more committed relationship than this girl is capable of offering; you come across as a man who is looking to do the right thing by the person you’re involved with. And maybe that’s it: she sounds like a girl, playing with others’ emotions and creating sexual tension for a power-thrill, and what you need is a woman, who is ready to respect and care for you, a facet of which would be her willingness (within reason) to refrain from engaging in behavior that makes you uncomfortable.

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying this relationship while it lasts, but I would not take it seriously; I would not let her see that any of her behavior bothers you, and I’m betting that, sooner rather than later, she will behave in such a way (outrageous flirting, letting you catch her with someone else, deliberately baiting you) that makes it obvious that what she wants from you is a jealous reaction, not a real relationship. At that point I hope you’ll see that she’s just too immature for you, and that you’ll move on to someone who treats you with more kindness. The world’s a big place with a lot going on in it; you’ll soon see that putting your energy into this type of interaction is a waste of your time.

Much good luck, J–

Julie

Sharing Power

You may stay lonely, unless you take a good look at yourself Rossetti 1868 {{PD-Art}}
Dear Julie,
Hi! I’ve been having a rough couple of three years. In the past few years, I’ve gone through a lot of pain surrounding my childhood and my fears pertaining to men and relationships have surfaced. I do not know how to control or manage my fears regarding men and sex. I can’t function properly on a daily basis as I am overwhelmed my fears, and afraid of my own thoughts.  If I were to read anything that remotely suggests sex, I begin to panic. I’m highly uncomfortable with people talking about sex, especially men. The ease with which women talk about sex escapes me. I’ve seen cases in which people disrespect their sex partners, and I use that as reason for me not to engage with anyone of the opposite sex. I’ve not had any serious relationships. Sometimes, I feel safe from hurt. Other times, I’m lonely but I remind myself nobody can hurt me this way. I have a push and pull dynamic in place when it comes to love matters. I want to experience love but the fear or abandonment and betrayal have me running. I have a deep-rooted fear someone using me, disrespecting me, and taking advantage of me.I have an unexplainable, and somewhat irrational fear of sex.
I would greatly appreciate it if you could help me figure things out or what exactly I am supposed to learn because I’m drawing a blank. I was born on dd/mm/yyyy at xxx in xxx. I understand if you are unable to do so, but thank you nonetheless for reading my email. Thank you very much.
S.
Hello S,
After studying your natal chart, I think I see a few possible explanations for your plight. First let me say that your straightforward and rational presentation of your case suggests to me that you are truly open to hearing about what may not be functioning at an optimal perceptual level for you–and that makes me more than willing to address your issues, and, hopefully, to help.
Since you use the word ‘fear’ repeatedly to describe your experience, I looked first at Saturn, our natural connection to reality and main signifier of both worldly ambitions and fears. Your Capricorn Saturn sits in the 7th House–right away we get hints that you may be projecting your own attitudes onto others–and is in a very interesting (and complex) aspect situation. Saturn’s companions in the 7th are Uranus, the Sun (ruler of childhood experiences 3rd), and Neptune, all, including Saturn, within a 10 degree spread, and so considered conjunct natally. But, there’s more! Saturn is also conjunct the Moon and Mercury (chart ruler) in Capricorn in the 8th, and Venus in Aquarius in the 8th (though Vesta in Aquarius sits just outside the max natal orb for a conjunction).
Just with this, we can see a few things: contained emotions (Saturn conjunct the Moon, Moon in Cap), a desire to approach relationship on an intellectual level (Venus in Aquarius), a weakness for delusion (Neptune), and a Ceres/ Jupiter conjunction in the 1st, just below the Ascendant, suggests a too-strong identification with the powerful goddess literally in charge of all nature (and I say “too-strong” as the exaggeration factor of Jupiter may point to a dominant Self-concept that leaves no room for a partner–Mother Nature has no spouse!)
Saturn also sextiles Juno and Pluto, opposes Earth and Chiron, quincunxes the South Node and trines Sedna–with this last aspect making it very difficult to see one’s own Saturn, and by extension, any of the ways Saturn interacts with the other energies (and at least potentially, Sedna will aspect some of the other players in the Saturn drama–this, plus Neptune’s involvement, is probably why you are “drawing a blank,” as you say in your letter, over the whole situation). All this active contact suggests that Saturn is a huge player in your life–yet may remain hidden (Sedna), not just from your consciousness, but from showing its importance via projection; in other words, all your Saturn issues, both positive and negative, may appear to originate, be caused by, or spring from others and/ or reality (another Saturn concept), thus it’s easy to convince yourself that there’s a good, solid reason why you react the way you do (even though you show keen Self-awareness as you state you know your fears are irrational).
This is such a complex chart (in terms of the contacts and interrelatedness of the various bodies) that I’m going to go straight for my interpretation, as outlining it would be an almost endless task. In general, I’d say there are two major components to your fear experience: one concerns repression of many many facets of your own Beingness, either from judging them to be ‘wrong’ in some fashion or from social rules, teachings, and traditions, and the other concerns your idea of personal power, and your extreme reluctance to open yourself to anything that might force you to compromise your own power position or to share your power with another.
Now I know many people do not really accept that they have any power at all; they point to modest life circumstances, to a subordinate social or work position, or to their own lack of interest at exerting their Will on others, and claim that power is not a relationship they have–but au contraire, this is a relationship each of us has, each and every hour of every day. To have no personal power is to be dead; if we are alive at all, we are still involved with expressing our Will, and exerting our influence, no matter how subdued this appears to be.
When we look at both the repression factor and the power factor simultaneously, what we see is someone who is holding very tightly to her own autonomy, who is, in fact, in a power struggle with a potential partner long before that partner arrives. You appear to associate relationships and all related aspects (such as sex) as presenting you with a totally unacceptable loss of power–but if one sees the sharing of power within relationship as something not allowable (and there is no way to be in a relationship without in some way letting another person share in your life energy, in your power) it’s a natural ‘next step’ to label this as ‘fear’–and indeed, it is a form of fear, the kind that arises when one is threatened by any suggestion that another could have an effect on your situation.
The repression aspect of things seems largely to be about rejecting certain parts of normal human nature because you so strongly judge these to be inferior inclinations, or ‘bad.’ This is likely from making strict internal judgments that view one as superior if one is not involved in passionate relationships, perhaps seeing others in these circumstances as weak or silly–and there may be some idea of marriage and sex as highly destructive forces–and so staying away from them may convey in the unconscious a strong feeling of superiority (this is suggested by several components of the chart, though the Juno/ Pluto conjunction in the 5th is alone enough to draw this conclusion) .
You do see the potential for positive man/ woman relationships, but this contrasts with some of your most serious and deeply held beliefs that marriage (or the idea of dedicating oneself to another) and sex (or the idea of union with, and therefore vulnerability to, another), are negative, which suggests two things: that you are not only resistant to being vulnerable to another (which is perfectly understandable–no woman should feel at the mercy of anyone else), but also that you are determined to keep all power for yourself, as there seems to be a deeply seated distrust of others, along with a deep desire to hold all the power cards–so it’s not just fear of vulnerability, but an actual desire to be powerful yourself (and I believe this isn’t an ego thing at all, but a holdover from past life experience, where you were a very powerful, and possibly ruthless, man–hence you project your own previous attitudes on partners and onto the entire idea of man/ woman interaction).
The chart implies you see it as your duty to accept a man and to marry (and this could be a big part of the problem, not wanting to surrender any power over yourself to societal expectations, much less an individual husband), but it also says you have an exaggerated need to feel you are already complete in the sense of not needing an external animus component in your life. When one couches one’s feelings in terms of uncontrollable fear, one is then, essentially, granting the Self permission to avoid all feared contact–for if this is an emotional reaction, rampant and undefined, what can anyone do?
This is not to discount truly legitimate wounds and fears that you carry, S, as these are apparent in the chart, too; it’s just that these are no more prominent than for anyone else. The important point is that you are allowing beliefs and behavior to be fueled by an unreasonable desire to command what is really a co-operative arrangement (and by that I mean, the natural ebb and flow of human interaction). The fears are exaggerated because in making them so large, and thus including the pretense that sex is such an alien and disturbing concept, you create the perfect scenario for excusing the need to ever allow another to share power (love) in your life.
There is hope for you, in that, if you can approach relationship from an autonomous, willing, and loving viewpoint, where you do not feel in any way coerced, pressured, obligated, and do not feel that a man’s sexual attention is an attention that takes your power from you, then you can engage quite happily in a relationship (and you’d be surprised, that many women feel quite vulnerable when a man shows sexual interest or attention, as it has a quality that can be truly frightening, a consuming quality that can certainly be felt as one that robs the female of something essential–and I think this is what you’re fixing on and responding to). Instead realize that this is simply an energy of sharing. Your biggest problem may be that, in trying to keep anyone from taking anything away from you, you’ve closed off your ability to receive something from another, as well–which is precisely the situation of the sex act, and any dynamic relationship.
You seem like a truly lovely person, intelligent and kind–I don’t think it’s that far a leap for you to exorcise the idea that you must call all the shots and hold all the power, and to invite a relationship of equals, a loving, gentle, and fulfilling interaction, into your life.
Best wishes, S,
jd

Telling It Like It Is

'The Bride' Brown 1869 {{PD-Art}}

In my experience, this article encapsulates the reasons 99 percent of people who want to be married aren’t–with the sole problem typically being not a lack of awareness but a lack of willingness–to see oneself clearly, to be open to change, to be flexible in what one requires. Thanks to Rae Indigo for sharing this on facebook.

Your Relationship Power Balance

A lot of us don’t think about our relationships in terms of power; we like to believe it’s all about romantic attraction, that exciting and mysterious energy that envelopes two people and has what feels like a magnetic quality. That’s the romance part, I think, that it seems we aren’t doing anything to make this electrical charge that creates a field around ourselves and our partner, a field that leaps to life just at the awareness that our special someone is near–so it’s easy to see why we approach partnership as if it’s almost magical (with the more serious-minded among us giving it the scientific-y sounding designation ‘chemistry’). But what underlies this almost supernatural-seeming connection is a real relationship between two individuals–and that means that all that electricity generated by the romance of sexual attraction is involved in a ‘power negotiation’ of major proportions.

So when the amps on the relationship go down, and you start to settle into a real engagement with the partner, blending the time and choices of your individual lives into one, where do you find the power chips falling? Whether you realize it or not, the entire time, from the first ‘hello,’ the two of you have been working out the power parameters of your interaction; who is allowed to do what, express what, show what, be what, have all been worked out. It’s almost like waking up in a fully-formed situation that you only begin to discover as the sheen of romance gives way to the microscopic clarity of every day life. Often, it feels like someone else came up with the arrangement–you find yourself wondering how it was decided that he can do whatever he wants, disappearing for hours (or days) at a time, while you must let him know every detail of your schedule, or you can’t figure out how she moved in, rent free, but still expects you to take her out on a date every night and pay all the bills–and she doesn’t see the need to pitch in with the chores at all, declaring that since it’s your house, you should do it all! These situations can develop almost without our realizing, and the details can come as quite a shock when we see just how things shaped up.

In the natal chart, the location, placement, and interaction with the mate’s natal chart of the asteroid Juno can be extremely telling of the power balance that will exist within a relationship. For the female, Juno is the symbol of her own Self-empowerment–but it’s a long journey from Juno’s initial attempts to gain influence through relationships, exercise of authority, and status to the point of transpersonal expression, wherein Juno is motivated by her own internal strength and need to express. For a man, Juno tells us about who he wants to partner with, both personally and professionally, and its aspects can tell us a great deal about how he feels concerning women in general, and those with power specifically.

For instance, a man’s Juno conjunct a woman’s Venus gives us this: from his viewpoint, partnering with her would be like partnering with love, while from her viewpoint he would seem to have an ideal attitude toward interdependent relationships. Does this indicate she’s his ideal woman? No, his ideal woman is shown by his Venus sign and placement–but, if the Juno/ Venus conjunction is in Virgo, and his Venus is in Capricorn, they might be compatible, as both are in Earth, showing a strong affinity, or if his Sun and/ or Mars are positively aspected to her Venus, this might also show harmony. His expectations for a mate coincide precisely with her values and aesthetics–he would see her as quite appealing, at least in those areas, and she might be financially appealing, as well, perhaps bringing her own means of earning into the relationship, or promising to be low or high maintenance, which meshes with the way he believes a woman should behave. For her, he presents with the conjunction as a very promising candidate for ‘mate’ status–but we’d also have to look at the rest of the chart interaction to see how well she and her empowerment needs would be supported. For example, if his Juno (and of course her Venus) was square her Moon, this suggests that he might not find her emotional needs appropriate for a mate–and she might not, either, since there is disparity in her natal Moon/ Venus square–and that means she may be prone to disregard her own emotional needs in order to make the relationship work. So, in some of these scenarios he would have a definite ‘power advantage,’ while in others she would fare much better–in the end it all depends on the totality of the relationship interaction.

Relationships are complicated things, not easily dissected, and certainly not adequately summed up in a few astrological measurements. Find out more here on Juno, empowerment, and the impact on relationships http://dogandsunflower.wordpress.com/ or about relationships in all their glory here http://dogandsunflower.wordpress.com/ scroll down to the second blurb

Are You An Annie or a Jane? The Full Quiz

Annie, ready for action {{PD}}

Annie Oakley and Jane Canary were two women of the American Wild West who made an unforgettable mark on the cultural landscape, each in her own unique style. As carriers of the Archetype of Venus (as all women carry this Archetype) they met relationships, especially romantic ones, with radically divergent approaches. One inspired abiding loyalty and admiration from the partner, but may have sacrificed spontaneity of expression, and may have avoided sampling a variety of life experiences as well as a variety of relationships–she may have settled for ‘good enough,’ for the nice guy who loved her, rather than sought out the partner that epitomized her ideal; the other repeatedly acted spontaneously, acting out with little care for the impression her choices left or the consequences they created, following her primal inclinations and yet allowing her image to be so wild (and anti-attractive by societal standards) that she may have blocked some relationships she longed for. In one case control of the Self and the image brought fame, stability, loyalty, high regard–but did it compromise the desire nature, or the romantic one? In the other case behavior rooted in the impulses and wants of the Self created an adversarial relationship with society that at once excluded and awarded a special, peripheral place–but that place was largely unable to fulfill intimate relationship needs and desires, so much did it contradict what was held up as appealing, and this makes us ask, Did the desire nature truly suffer, or did the outsider position allow a stance of unrequited love that, in a sense, allowed her to ‘have her cake and eat it too’?

Jane, also ready for action {{PD}}

Now the question becomes, Which prairie dame are you most like, in terms of love life? Do you sabotage what you want, do you ‘settle,’ do you act out, do you remain rigidly in control? Let’s see . . .

A. When you meet a new potential paramour, you are most likely to . . .

  1. buy him or her many stiff drinks (or other intoxicant of choice), and at some point in the evening, either literally or figuratively, punch him or her in the face
  2. directly compete, and persist until she or he rolls over and submits
  3. be too shy to even make eye contact; you simply hover and hope they notice
  4. behave in a very lady-like (or modest-manly) fashion, following all the formalities
  5. introduce yourself, act like an adult, and avoid games all together
  6. flirt shamelessly, pushing all the while for an ‘instant relationship’

B. Courtship for you typically consists of . . .

  1. rough stuff
  2. going about your business
  3. losing your boundaries, inhibitions, and/ or mind on a regular basis, and telling the object of your affection exactly how you feel
  4. allowing him or her to worship you, possibly only from afar
  5. assessing how good a match you are, and proceeding at a reasonable rate to date, initiate physical intimacy, become engaged, and marry
  6. flirting shamelessly, and pushing for more and more commitment

C. Which do you find most attractive? (Use real life as a guide)

  1. Someone unavailable
  2. Someone steadfast
  3. Someone who keeps your relationship a secret–it makes it more exciting
  4. Someone who’s more in love with you than you are with them
  5. Someone your equal in social station, education, religious belief, and with a similar life agenda
  6. The guy who gets you pregnant/ the girl who gets pregnant, or the one you quit your job and moved for

D. Your ideal date would be . . .

  1. a wild night painting the town red, most of which you won’t remember
  2. a quiet dinner, maybe with celebrities, and early to bed
  3. a night around the campfire, getting to know each other, then sharing a bedroll under the stars
  4. early dinner, target practice, then half the night spent traveling to the next town, or your modern-day equivalent–you never stop working

E. What do you really want?

  1. Love
  2. Success
  3. Whatever you can’t have
  4. Security

F. Do your love relationships tend to be . . .

  1. an aggressive mis-match?
  2. a situation where you are admired and adored, and your feelings are just a little cooler than your partner’s?
  3. unrequited?
  4. guarded, and carefully controlled?

The quiz, of course, isn’t in any way scientific, nor does it necessarily make sense! Your answers will, however, say a little something about how you approach things–so, take both questions and answers with a sense of humor and a figurative tongue-in-cheek, and know that though not everything in each answer will be right about you, some part of it will apply. For A, B, and C, 1. is 6 points, 2. is 5 points, 3. is 4 points and so on; for D, E, and F, 1. is 4 points, 2. is 3 points, and so on. And the conclusions are . . .

27-32 points: Though you’re trying hard to get what you want, more often than not relationships end in shambles, with every encounter almost certainly topped off by screaming, crying, vomiting, and/ or a general level of Self-sabotage that would astonish someone sober. It’s not your fault that your emotions are so compelling; the problem comes when you try to disguise or ignore them and they leak out anyway. Lack of acceptance of both yourself and your desires is the root of this extreme behavior, even if your extremism is manifesting in the opposite, a too-controlled affect. Try to cultivate healthy emotional expression and good manners, as there’s certainly a deficit of one, the other, or both.

22-26 points: You may get along very well socially, but closer inspection of your habits would show that you either pathologically don’t care or that you are afraid: of crazy actin’ in relationship, of emotional disorder, of what you see as the untidiness of love, and you particularly don’t want it to derail your career or life plans. A little loosening up in the activities department, plus a reminder that others have feelings, too, and you could be stepping on them inadvertently, will go a long way toward upping your social stock.

17-21 points: You are too cool by half; what you see as prudent may actually keep you from the warm interactions we all crave. Being a little more open, and a little more demonstrative, won’t hurt (though the fear of it doing so may be behind your regimentation and insistence on control). Try to relax and enjoy yourself–people like you!

13-16 points: behavior that is ghost-like may be the hallmark of your social presence; you may be overly sensitive and anticipate hurt, where others barely notice your modest input. Don’t be so shy, and realize that no one will reject you if you pretend to be invisible, but they can’t love you, either.

 9-12 points: You are all business–literally, relationships may be more like transactions for you. Let your heart out of its sad cage–I’m sure you have a wonderful smile, if you’d only dust it off and put it out for show.

6-8 points: You’re still waiting to grow up–meanwhile, stop dating and work on maturing your sense of obligation and responsibility. Learn a skill, make yourself attractive by pursuing your own interests.

FYI, I scored 22–and I do need to loosen up!  🙂

There’s another way to look at the quiz. Mostly #1 answers says you incline toward the Self-destructive behaviors of Jane; her drinking and her outsider acting out were just ways of dealing with overwhelming feelings of vulnerability and emotions that didn’t know where to go, while mostly #2 says traits are more along the line of the extremely disciplined Annie, with emotions channeled to the ostensibly positive and socially acceptable, though maybe too buttoned-down and possibly denying the wilder and more adventurous urges. #3 in majority implies the sadder, shyer side of Jane may be dominant; this is the persona that finds it painful to interact, and may take on the guise of wallflower, just to get by. A preponderance of #4 says that there may be far too much control, taking the Annie coolness and guardedness to a new high.

The first three questions have two more choices each; #5 hints that you may be taking following social convention too far, and #6 speaks of the need to extricate the Self from adolescent drama involving others.