Finding And Keeping “The One” – Commitment-Phobia Etc.

zodiac charm germanI drew conclusions around the idea that most of us have an “imprint” (Organic Attraction To A Physical Type) when it comes to finding a partner, accidentally.  I think people leave their relationships prematurely.  The going gets tough and they go.

I see this again and again in consulting. When I work with women who have ran through a lot of men and put up their charts up either in a single consultation or over time, I can see they are finding the same man over and over again, conscious or otherwise.

A very sobering thing about this is that in cases where the woman (or man) has repeated and repeated and repeated this cycle, the quality of the partner they attract drops over time. They find to their shock and horror that the man they are with currently is of lessor quality then the one they were with 5 or 10 or even 20 or more years prior and this is a very hard pill to swallow.

What happens when a person gets to this point is fodder for another day but to mash this with the concept of the “imprint” is simple: You dump the guy/gal… the 5’10”, dark hair, dark eyes that you are looking for and your next move is what? To go out and find one just like him.

I’m not saying people should not leave their bad relationships. What I am saying is if you leave them prematurely, going off half-cocked without learning anything you aren’t going to get very far. You’ll get into another relationship all right, but the same issues will constellate and typically your new circumstances will be worse than the one you fled. If you keep this up for 10 or 20 years… well you can just extrapolate out the results but here’s the trick or the quirk in the universe:

Time (Saturn) works both ways. In one instance it punishes but in another instance it promotes. Because here is another thing I have learned (the hard way).

If you give things time and stay in your relationships when the going gets tough, the problems often resolve themselves. People just get better at being together and it is a natural process.

For example my husband and I still FIGHT and we probably always will but we do it less often. Once every 3 weeks is now once every 3 months and stubborn as we are you know that neither one of us is doing all that much to have this effect, it’s just happening. What comes to mind is those dogs and owners who look alike. They may not start out that way but over time their differences resolve.

Many people never stay around long enough to find things can be worked through. I know because I was one of them. First sign of conflict, I was out of there and look where it got me. All the way back to the man I met when I was 17.

Would I have been better off had I worked it out with him – stuck it out back then? Well yeah. And this may not be true for all but it is true for many. You turn 40 and you realize your first husband wasn’t so bad after all. What would it have been like had you stuck it out?

I’ll put it this way: Once the blush is gone, I bet at least half the remarried people out there would be faring just as well if not better had they worked it out with their first spouse. Not a popular opinion but mine, nonetheless.

If you want to get serious about solving your problems with commitment, check out my Master Class – Finding Love With Astrology.

I devoted two sections to the topic:

SECTION 3: Tackling Commitment Phobia, Part 1: Sagittarius
SECTION 4: Tackling Commitment Phobia, Part 2: Aquarius And Virgo

Who has experience with this?

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Comments

Finding And Keeping “The One” – Commitment-Phobia Etc. — 50 Comments

  1. I’ve definitely wanted to split on my partner before. You know, screwwwwww yoooooooou. Part of what’s kept me committed was something akin to what you are saying. Pluto in Capricorn=saturn lessons. I remember when I was 20 my Dad told us he felt like leaving for the first 10 years of my parents’ marriage. He always says ‘nothing lasts forever’ which is something that def. helps me in bad times.

  2. Well, what if the men split on you?

    Of my exes, all of whom dumped me, I think only one of them really regrets it and will repeat. But on the other hand, the end came because he was refusing to shape up and decided he didn’t want to any more. I think he’ll be doing that his entire life no matter who he’s with, and I doubt his future partners will care too much that he’s a slacker if he sticks to dating other slackers.

    I do have to say here that his dad got dumped for not getting his life together by his fiancee, and when I heard that story I thought, “Yeah, someday that’s going to happen to (ex) too if he doesn’t.” And he didn’t. Family repetition. For the record, dad had it somewhat more together than the son- they had a rat-trap sort of life, but at least he eventually learned to stay employed and kind of figure out money. I highly doubt my ex will ever manage it.

    On the declining quality of men, though, that’s probably true. But that also comes with getting older and the good ones get married.

  3. “Well, what if the men split on you?”

    Well, if they do it prematurely they are on this track…

    “On the declining quality of men, though, that’s probably true. But that also comes with getting older and the good ones get married.”

    Well if that is true for men, it is true for women as well, no?

  4. I hear this a lot from older ladies…”If I knew all men were like (x,y, and z) then I woulda just stayed with my ex-husband.”

    Well, my husband and I have been together for 9 years. We started dating when I was 18 so we’ve pretty much grown together. I know being with him from such a young age might be looked down upon, and I know there are some who think we’re doomed because of this. Growing together, we’ve both made mistakes here and there but we always work through it. Even if we are doomed, if worst comes to worst, I would never regret my time spent with him because I’ve learned so much and would be better for it no matter what circumstances may come. But yeah, couldn’t imagine what my life would be like if I broke it off all of the times I thought I wanted space in the begining, lol.

    This brings me to a debate a friend and I were having. She says no one should EVER try to make a marriage work for the kids. I say it’s the best reason to try.

  5. “This brings me to a debate a friend and I were having. She says no one should EVER try to make a marriage work for the kids. I say it’s the best reason to try.”

    Well, shell it is currently in vogue to think your needs come before your children’s. It is a selfish culture…

  6. I put a quote up some time ago from some gal circa 1900’s… I found her pic. She said something, like why bother to divorce your first husband when you can’t tell him apart from your second?

    Anyone remember that? I can’t pull it up / find it and it’s driving me crazy.

  7. well, going back a couple times taught me quite a bit about love, but neither one of those worked out well. provided a bit more closure…

    i seem to be doing better by aiming in a different direction….. looking for a different kind of emotional state in a relationship…

  8. I have this one co-worker who has helped a lot. I call her the preacher (she’s a sadge) and she is brimming with good advice about relationships. She’s also 14 yrs older than me and I get a honest-to-goodness reality check from her and her experiences.

    First thing is to forget my relationship’s being the exception. I am just like everybody else, and this has cleared away a lot of self-delusion, I can tell you.

    I think in the case of both husbands it was right to go. I needed that relationship at that time in my life. But being practical and conscious can go a long way in determining the viabilty of a realationship. That’s where my friend has helped me out, by pointing out where I’m shooting myself in the foot.

    She is the one who told me, when I was criticizing some minor flaws of my BF when I first met him, that they were superficial and that in time they’d become unique and endearing. She was right. When I was being kind of demanding early on, she advised me to slow down and realize that having gotten out of a marriage with a difficult woman, the last thing I should do was be difficult myself, and that I was expecting too much too soon. She also pointed out that men (specifically Italian men) do not like to be alone and that it was unlikely he would be unattached for long. She made a list of his attributes, and then looked me in the eye and said “Do you think he’d have trouble finding another woman?”. She’s been single for a very long time and would like to meet someone, but she says there’s no one left.

    He’s an absolutely great partner for me and I think that has come out over time; when I look back at some of the minor things that I thought were such deal breakers, I find that I was forced to talk about my wants and needs and our relationship (which I have always hated), and it’s made this the most equal partnership I’ve ever had. I can’t imagine fighting about some of the things now that we have before.

    Advice: if you are majorly compatible, count your blessings. Do not believe that if you’ve found it once there is an endless supply out there for you to pluck out of a crowd.

  9. Yes – first boyfriend who I met at 15 the best quality partner I have ever had. Now married with a child and me long term single! Second boyfriend also lovely but probably not good match. Ended just before my 25th birthday. Never felt about anyone the way I did about those two. Now 34 and I just don’t think it happens very often. I also think that I needed to learn that life is valuable alone though. Anyway Saturn is sitting on my venus so this stuff is pertinent!

  10. Pixiedust that was great, thank you.
    In the last year I’ve had some serious problems and realized just how much my partner loves me and has invested in my well-being. Sometimes I feel guilty about what an ingrate I could be but I have to overcome that (useless) guilt and instead focus on being the best partner I can be. I feel better about myself when I’m making a committed effort (Capricorn Moon trine Sun)

  11. “Well, shell it is currently in vogue to think your needs come before your children’s. It is a selfish culture…”

    While I agree we are living in a selfish culture, I have to disagree based on my own experience.

    I stayed in an unhappy marriage for 18 years mainly because of my kids. I was afraid I could not support them on my own, and my now ex had no problem just poofing on his oldest daughter when he left her mother.

    Since my own dad did the same thing to me, I didn’t want to subject my children to the same abandonment issues that have dogged me my whole life.

    When I reached the breaking point last summer, my son opted to stay with his father. Why? Because he knew he would be able to do whatever the hell he wants to do and no one would be keeping track of whether his school work was done, if he was even going to school at all, or anything else. (He skipped school 18 days in November…once I found out about it and told his dad that was not gonna work, it stopped.) He knew if he came with me, he would have to step up. He’d rather be like his dad because at 16 years old, it’s easier not to have a parent that keeps up with what you are doing. I remember that much of being 16 clearly!

    My daughter is a completely different person now. She came with me. She is lighter, less whiny and burdened.

    This will forever be the biggest regret of my life: I stayed too long. The result is that my son is damaged and becoming the person his father is. Irresponsible, and it’s *always* someone else’s fault when he screws up.

    While my daughter is healthier and happier than before, she too will carry the scars of the miserable life we lived the first ten years of her life. Until we left, she had never known her mother emotionally healthy.

    Staying caused my children a lot of pain. Leaving seems to have made both of them happier, altho I can’t say my leaving so late did my son any favors.

  12. Seems to be something, though, Terre, to people trying to, via facebook, classmates, etc.; I mean, I believe, it’s something of a happening phenomenon.

  13. I don’t think this is me. I worked for over ten years on a relationship with a man who was the worst lover evah. So no, I don’t walk away when the going gets rough. I wish I had. Frankly.

  14. It’s funny that this should be topic of conversation here too. I’ve had this conversation with a few of my female friends lately. So it must be in the air.

    Like Shell, I’ve been with Mrs Herby since I was 18 and we have our 12th anniversary coming up this month. I can’t imagine life without her. I never really dated much before Mrs Herby (not even during high school) and I knew she was ‘the One’ right away.

    It is considered a bit odd amongst my contemporaries to have been with someone since 18, but having said that – many are now struggling to find their own ‘One’ having hit their 30s. They are suddenly realising that there aren’t as many good single blokes out there as there were when they were 18 – 25.

    I don’t think any relationship is perfect. Everyone I know who is still together after many years still fights. They just accept that it’s part of relationships. I know I accept it. And am terribly happy that the whole Mercury Retrograde thing will pass us by 😉

    Though I qualify this by saying that there’s the odd fight and there’s abuse or relationships in which the parties are unhappy more than 50% of the time. Or relationships where fights are the norm and the only happy ‘spark’ is the make-up sex. I’m not saying people should stay together in these cases merely to prove they are willing to stick it out.

  15. Hmmm. I am actually on the other side of the fence about this. But it is for personal reasons. I look back at the six men I have dated since 2005-06 and only one of them was worth my commitment.

    Certainly I learned lessons from these people. But while the relationships ended quickly, the learning did not. I would prefer to end relationships quickly and do the “homework” rather than continue to be in a situation that was disrespectful to me (which is why I feel that those men were not worth my being with them; I am very honorable in partnership and in general).

    Perhaps, though, it is because the lesson I in particular had to learn about relationships is about maintaining my identity and not compromising my self-respect. For other people, commitment to a relationship would require sticking around longer.

  16. I am with Shaina. My lessons have been through staying too long in a relationship, losing my identity and compromising my self-respect too much.
    I have found that the more I keep myself intact, loving detach, the better quality of men I attracting.
    I raise the bar on myself and it is like attract like. Still get the lessons, better communication skills, more understanding and patience(ugh!), though I do see the value of valuing myself first and having enough self respect to walk away when it isn’t working or he doesn’t want to work on it. It does take two to tango.

  17. I think people have come to have such unrealistic expectations of their relationships that they break things off with perfectly wonderful people when the first flaw shows up. People are wanting to retain the glamour and romance of their dating days while also having a “lasting soulmate connection.” Please! Part of the “soulmate connection” is mutual knowledge of the dark side as well as the lovely parts. And remember, the other person is getting your dark side, too. I think many people are unwilling to forgive the other’s flaws because they are so afraid of acknowledging their own ability to be fooled. (The “how could I have been so blind” syndrome.) Well . . . we’re all that blind. Give up the ego, realize that now and then someone is going to get the better of you, and nourish the good qualities of the realtionship. People have become so unforgiving. I’m not talking about out-and-out abusive situations, but I find people dumping people because of the stupidest “dealbreakers.” We’ve all seen “Bridget Jones” too many times and want someone who will “love me, just as I am,” but we offer up a whole list of qualifications for that person to meet. I can’t tell you how many of my friends have their “lists” and “won’t settle” for less. Again – Please! Did it ever occur to you that the other party is doing a little settling of his own with you?

  18. Thanks, Elsa. Thanks for your terrific blog. I guess I should add a little pesonal experience to back up my huffing and puffing. I am currently in a 12-year relationship which has had its share of rough spots. I left after 10 years, and after 2 years of getting myself somewhat together, I decided that things were pretty good, and the only way to “fix” the bad parts were to live with them. The relationship simply wouldn’t die, no matter how hard I tried to kill it. Sometimes the only way out of hell is to walk through it, you know? And if this is hell, at least Satan is bringing me tea in bed every morning, something not to be taken lightly.

  19. wildrose: I kept moving away from someone, because of the way they were acting with me, and I was afraid (and pissed off by the thought) that they were settling for me. Keeping in touch with me, until they met someone ‘better’.

    I have done everything to push him away – I literally went crazy on him, to the point where he called me names – and then I find an email from him wanting to talk to me, a few weeks later??? I don’t get it. (other than his knowing that he lost someone good – again – thanks to his own behaviour, and my stupidly responding to him whenever he contacted me, only to act like a bigger douchebag.) I would be the one settling here – especially since he inferred that I’ll never find someone who will want only me (like Elsa and her husband). He flip flops: letting me know that I’m a wonderful person, that he didn’t mean to say this or that, and then calls me needy because I’m looking for something like Elsa has with her husband, like my parents have, like several happy couples that I know.

    Okay, I was calm because I’m avoiding him, and now I want to scream. ;D I need to go.

  20. Great article… i like the idea of getting through the issue… thats how i managed my 7 year relation before i definitively end it… the 2 last yearsin it, was about trying to get a new sparkle at the other end.

    Aquarius Moon, we can take lot more shit than many could. Probably why we take long to accept new ppl in our intimate life’s.

  21. I have a Gemini Moon/Venus, and it took a while for me to let him in.. because I’m not flighty, and take my relationships seriously. I find it hard to cut contact with someone, once they’ve been a part of my life.

    I can see us being friends at some point, and we are talking at times – or we were, but I end up miserable most of the time. He takes almost no responsibility for his side of things.

    Anyway, my internet keeps going out. I meant to add above that your post didn’t make me want to scream – the feeling came upon me as I was writing. 😉

  22. I think the happy couples build it over time. I don’t know about your situation; I just learned after some time away that I really didn’t like anyone else as much as I like my guy. And I looked around, believe me! Better the devil you know, as they say. (More hell allusions.)
    Wishing you happiness!

  23. Yeah this is true also w/ the flip side of the coin where partners stay longer even though its long dead, sometimes for a longer time then the relationship was alive.

    Its (I’ve) accepted that there are going to be some repeat pattern no matter what, basically it boils down to choosing, is this one or that one pattern bothering me or not, is it worth it, what am I getting out of it… and then pass or no go.

  24. I think there’s a trap of faulty logic that we can fall into in regret. there’s the idea that a person did one thing, like stay in a bad relationship, and it turned out badly… therefore if they’d done the other thing, like leave, it would have turned out better. there’s also the possibility that if could have been worse. sometimes there aren’t perfect choices that lead to happiness. there are bound to be hard times no matter what choices one makes. just as there are bound to be good ones too.

  25. I agree with Satori, it’s all about choices and no one choice is always going to be the best or happiest (even for one person).

    Do I regret leaving my first marriage? No. Do I think I’d have been better off to stay in it? No. Do I miss his mars trine my venus and the physicalness of the relationship? Yes. Do I miss his vertex conjunct my descendant & north node and the affinity it brought us for one another? Yes. Do I miss saturn square the moon and having no emotional relationship? No. Do I miss the lack of mercury contacts and no communication? No. Do I miss feeling alone in a marriage? Definitely not. I stayed with him for over 7rs (only the last two were married). The decision to leave was a very long time in coming and took all I had. From what I’ve been told, he is happily remarried with a kid now and I’m very happy for him. Do I wish we could still be friends, yes, but he never will (his loss).

    My second husband & relationship does not resemble the first in any way save one the communication issues are still there. Only now there is communication, but it’s full of lies and hot air, as he does not care to keep his word. Even knowing all of this, to answer the question (would I have been better served or better off to stay in my first marriage?) to me the answer is clearly a no.

    And now I’ve been totally distracted by the little ones and forgot where I was going with this, so if it comes back to me, I’ll finish later :o) Angie

  26. Thanks for this Elsa. Very timely for me, as I enter a new phase in my relationship. I’ve always been a bit of a bolter, and am recognising the signs and don’t want to give in to my compulsions this time. I’ve never pined for any of my past relationships, once I was over the initial pain of separation. But this one? Well, I think it is time I found out if I have what it takes. (Me? Cap sun, Cap mars, Cap venus, Cancer moon, Pisces asc. and lots of Aqua)

  27. Oh Elsa – this post is coming at just the right time for me. My wife and I separated about 6 weeks ago (about the time you posted about relationships being hot topic for a week).

    We both bolted because we were both too scared to talk about our feelings and needs. Stupid after 13 wonderful years.

    Within 2 weeks we were starting to date again. I miss her so much and she misses me too.

    We are hoping to move back in together in January (if I can wait that long before begging her to come back). We are having sleep over dates again now and just can’t keep our hands off each other like when we first met.

    I’ve always run away from relationships and friendships when the going got tough … But this is a HUGE wake up call for me!

    Me: Strong Virgo / Pisces opposition – becoming more stereotypically Piscean these days after years as a stereotypical Virgo.

  28. Sorry – point I was trying to make was that I agree – it’s so worth working on relationships because the weather beaten ones can be so beautiful

  29. Crazy Virgo, if you are 80% happy with her, stay where you are as it is unreasonable to expect better (search 80/20 on this blog).

    Very easy to trade 80% happy for 80% unhappy and with a risk like that, it makes more sense to try to go from 80 to 82 or 84%… 🙂

  30. I so agree with you Elsa. 80% happy is pretty good isn’t it. 🙂 I’ve so learned my lesson and am definitely committed to making our marriage work. We just got lost in the morass (sp) of day-to-day life, shift work and parenting. We forgot to be ‘us’ sometimes.

    Good thing to come out of this is that we are making lots of new memories of ‘us’ just now. And are recognising that we need to remember how to communicate (both through words, dates and intimacy).

    I’ll go look at that post.

  31. I’m not one to leave when things get tough and of my major relationships I have stuck it out until the end when we just knew it wasn’t going to work (and I have gotten over that type of guy) except for one. He dumped me before I had the chance to really know and feel what it would be like to hate him- I don’t have closure and instead of perusing people like him, I’ve just been off and on with him and no matter what he does to me, I keep coming back because there hasn’t been any conflict significant enough for me to give up and move on.

    I’m in my 20s and well aware that I don’t have that much experience in relationships, but this is my observation and self-psycho-analyzation so far. I’m trying to learn, but it’s difficult.

  32. Relationships are so much like a J-O-B. You leave one job for another only to realize the grass is not greener on the other side so you leave that one to find another then another till you reach a point where no one will hire and all you can get is a job bagging groceries or get on the dole then you look back and say damn that job wasn’t so bad, and it paid pretty good too. What was I thinking..

  33. Oh boy… thank U Elsa … even when the truth hurts. I’ve been a bolter since I was in high school lol! I’m a Libra who fell in love with a Sag. When the going got tough… I got going … and he asked me not to do this.

    I’ve been following you articles on our souls having an imprint of our soulmate. I totally agree. I had no choice in the matter on this one… I fell hard and there was nothing I could do about it… believe me, I tried. We are apart … ugh … a lesson learned. My bolting days are officially done. If I ever find love like that again, I’m in it for the long haul …. because after you feel that kind of bond and love with someone, no one can even come close to him… and he was a good man too…

  34. Jung said “that in love the key to success is the ability to endure the tension of the opposites without abandoning the process. Only then can we grow” (I shared this quote with my mother and giggled as I told her “so see..it is all about who can put up with the most crap the longest”

    In my instance, the first hubby would have never worked. But I certainly see how you could be right in many cases. AND I can definitely see how if you walk away from something before it resolved it has to come back to you in some form or another! Everything happens for a reason right? If you don’t stick around for that reason or that lesson it doesn’t mean class is over. I may be projecting here, because I am a morphing conflict avoiding Libra..not to mention terribly passive agressive with the whole mars in libra thing, but do you think as a society we learn more conflict avoidance than we do conflict resolution?

    Just wondering

  35. This will come off as sounding terribly immature,and I’m quite sure it is.I really love and admire my husband.Only I think we are so different in many ways,I sometimes want to bail.The one thing that would keep me with him is my not wanting him to sleep with another woman.Yes,sadly,I’m that insecure.I really think he’d be happier with someone else.I’ve told him this,and he has said”can’t I just be in love with who i want to?”meaning me.Which is quite sweet.We don’t have children together.So thanfully that wouldn’t be a concern.I’m going to ride it out.I can’t even imagine wanting to get into another relationship this late in the game.I guess it’s make it work or be alone.

  36. @ Melody, actually I think its quite mature that you recognize this and are still hanging in. Right now, I’m struggling so much trying not to bolt..that is my typical pattern. Each time my fiance and I have a problem it crosses my mind about how much easier life would be if I just turned tail and ran. Sooo easy to flip that switch to say..screw it, i aint working on this anymore I’m OUT! The harder option is answering that question within yourself that says “is the bad worth the good?”

    so..i’m with you..hangin in to see if it will work. The integral security in that is knowing that you CAN survive if it doesn’t.

    With the case of not being able to stand thinking of him with someone else..sorry..if it is immature and means u are insecure then hang that sign around my neck too sister cuz it makes perfect sense

  37. Melody 1971:- This is what happened between my wife and me. She told me that we were too different and that I would be better off with someone else.

    The thing is: I don’t want anyone else. It’s not an act of love to want to let a partner go if they don’t want to go. It’s an act of mutual sabotage. Seriously – don’t push your man away! It’s so painful and it’s so difficult to repair the broken trust (on both sides of the relationship).

    I am not trying to pretend I know your particular circumstances, but I can see the similarity with mine and don’t want anyone to go through the hurt I’ve been going through the past few months.

    Talk – talk – talk with your husband. Find out what he needs. Tell him what you need. For goodness sake – fight with and for him. Saying ‘We are too different you would be better off with someone else’ is like saying ‘Your feelings for me aren’t real and if you can’t prove they are then I don’t want you’.

    *huge hugs because I totally get where you are right now and just don’t want you to hurt you both*

  38. @crazy virgo.Wow thaks alot.You’ve certainly given me something to think about.I think it’s my sag moon squared by Uraus.I’m just so conficted in my life.A part of me is very loyal,not wanting to let go.Then there’s the other telling me to cutt and run.Sorry for the predicament in which You find youself.I hope you will feel whole again soon.

  39. In the fight or flight dept, my supersensitive Cancer husband chooses to flee at the first sign of a raised voice — right back to his elderly mother. As time has gone on, the time he spends there has gotten shorter and shorter, but he does like to be wooed back. Aside from that, there is very little else to complain about and no one I’d rather be with.

  40. Thing is, it takes two, to make a relationship work. If one of the duo goes into fakeland… the whole dynamic is skewed. (Important to know: this does not necessarily mean “doomed”.)
    Ah phooey. I’m disenhearted at this moment. Shucks.

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