He who hesitates ...

A Boar from Dumbville is aching to know why his hot, hot thing is taking place in the booty-free zone.

By Lucie Chevalier

Published March 1, 2002 8:00PM (EST)

Ideally, once a couple is married, flirtation (with others) becomes an end, not a means. But what gives when a man and a woman who are not married to each other, or to anyone else, flirt with each other for weeks or months, but never pounce? What holds them back? Could it be fear of rejection ... or might it be fear of acceptance?

This week, Clive, a Virgo Boar who calls himself "Dumbfounded in Dumbville," writes to vent his perplexity at his sustained, booty-free campaign against Ida, a hard-to-get Leo-Virgo cusp Rabbit. "Both of us are never married, and she is what I would call a shy Leo, maybe a bit conservative by Leo standards. I am a bit more open than your average Virgo. The question is: Why am I so incredibly attracted, and why is it that she, who also seems attracted, runs away often and has emotional walls higher and more impenetrable even than mine? Her silences and flight confound and madden, while they intrigue also."

What coy stars are toying with this couple, pushing them into perpetual orbit without letting them collide?

Clive: Sept. 10, 1959, 2:37 p.m. Virgo Earth Boar, hour of the Sheep

Ida: Aug. 21, 1963, Leo-Virgo cusp Water Rabbit

Clive's and Ida's birth years -- Boar and Rabbit -- are ideally matched; Boar, Rabbit and Sheep have a built-in strong affinity for each other, and Clive's Sheep birth hour means that on the Lunar Calendar, Clive and Ida have all the bases covered. However, the criss-crossing of their Lunar and Solar calendars creates motivational conflicts, which will explain why this couple hasn't got to first base.

Ida is a "shy Leo" according to Clive, but since such a combination is essentially unimaginable, I'm going to go out on a limb and call Ida a Virgo-Leo cusp, leaning to Virgo, since she demonstrates few Leonine tendencies, was born on the verge of Virgo, Aug. 21 (most calendars start Virgo on the 22nd), and has never married. If we knew her birth hour, that could help pin her down further, but she has the makings of a classic Virgo Rabbit, so let's stop there. A Virgo Rabbit will be highly intelligent, hardworking, observant, friendly, verbal, gentle, loving, idealistic, ultra-sensitive to others' emotions, graceful, gracious and (often) quite beautiful. She is also self-critical, indecisive, idealistic, sentimental, set in her ways and easily upset.

Virgo Rabbits remember past grievances a long time. They often don't get along with their parents, but they enjoy being spouses and parents themselves. They can be squeamish and highly spookable, and generally avoid unsubtle people and messy situations. For some Rabbits, "messy" includes sex. Rabbits tend to fall to one extreme or another sexually; they are usually either highly sexed (in which case they settle down early, build families and channel their sensuality into safe outlets, so they can work well and support their families), or they are unusually aphysical.

Reticent Rabbits still seek intimacy, emotional connectedness and love with another person, but they frequently lack much libido and would secretly rather not mess with the embarrassing affair of sex at all. They will give sex to get love and children, though; and if you reassure them of their specialness to you, and make the whole business as affectionate and secure as possible, you can coax them to play. It is tricky to woo a reticent Rabbit, but their love is deep and lasting once won; they are loyal as can be, and sunny when humored. But a Rabbit doesn't like to be dislodged from its security; to win one, you must convince her that she'll feel more secure with you than on her own.

Clive is lucky that, as an Earth Boar, he is predisposed to strive valiantly, good-humoredly, and unstintingly toward his goal. Like all Boars, he will care about his creature comforts, so at the age of 42, he probably has achieved a comfortable lifestyle by now -- which has removed some of the urgency of finding a mate. Boars are usually quite sensual, and physically expressive, but as a Virgo, Clive may well display reticent Rabbit qualities, making him less randy than some Boars, more thoughtful, more critical of himself and others, fussier and more averse to change. This gentle part of his disposition draws him to Ida, whose quietness and subtlety heighten her allure for him, and reassure his masculinity. Both Boar and Rabbit have strong instincts for privacy (they both can be selfish or exclusive toward those outside their inner circle) and a strong nesting ability; they are good together; but the problem is, both signs are also very good at creating a home whether or not they have a partner. Because Ida seems to be governed by an over-cautious constellation, whether this flirtation remains an end or evolves into a means -- that is, a real relationship -- will probably depend on Clive.

Clive's Boar Moon sign gives him the extra burst of physicality needed to push matters forward; to woo his cautious Virgo Rabbit, he will need to make his interest plain, in non-aggressive terms; show Ida that with him, she would live more happily than she lives alone, and convince her both that he admires her romantically, and that mere physicality is not all that matters to him. A full-on pounce is not advised; but a courtshippy outing leading to a kiss would be a good start. After such a date, a present would impress her. But this again depends on Clive; what are his intentions?

His Sheep hour birth makes him especially kindhearted and tolerant of others' calling the shots, but is Ida really calling the shots here? Or is Clive actually dawdling, because he's not sure he wants to give up his comfortable Boar bachelor life? In his letter, Clive stressed his and Ida's unmarriedness; so it sounds as if he's thinking of Ida as his potential future wife, which is probably why he's dawdling; it's a big change, and he's a happy Earth Boar whose life is already OK. Once he's made up his mind, he'll have no problem drawing his lovely coy rabbit out of her hole. It's his neurotic Virgo impulse (and hers) holding them up.

Both of them need to quit dwelling on their separate pasts, and fretting about their possibly combined future, and succumb to the present. Let the Rabbit-Boar attraction pull them into the moment, and see what it brings.

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Lucie Chevalier

Lucie Chevalier is a writer in New York.

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