Friday, April 2, 2010

The Birthday Book

I am not a huge follower of my horoscope. At least not on a daily basis. But I do believe that each of us possesses a core set of traits based on when we were born. And those key traits are a force that can influence the course of our lives.

I have a book called The Secret Language of Relationships, which supports my theory. My sister and I bought this book when we were single and in our 20's, living together at her house. It is a giant hardcover book that describes your personality traits based on the week you were born, not just the month like standard horoscopes. It starts with a nice two page description of each birth week. And then the real fun begins.

The book goes on to take each and every combination of birth weeks and presents a two to three paragraph summary of how those two birth weeks relate to each other. And it assesses the potential of each relationship in the context of Love, Marriage, Friendship, Family and Work. Note the separation of Love and Marriage as two different kinds of relationships. That distinction is one of the reasons why I appreciate this book.

Over time, my sister and I started referring to it as the Birthday Book and it just sort of stuck. Anyway, the Birthday Book has become my relationship bible. Every time I start dating a new guy, I find out his birthday and look him up in the book. With just a few short paragraphs, I can get an honest and objective assessment of whether the relationship will work out. You may think all of this sounds a little bit crazy, but I swear that the Birthday Book has never steered me wrong.

My favorite part of each description is the catchy little title. Here are just a few excerpts from some of my more significant relationships:

My Mr. Big (January 23-30)
Heavy Karma: "This match up is extremely close, and in some cases the pair are inseparable. One gets the impression that the relationship has a heavy karma - that it was fated or meant to be." From the beginning, that is how I felt about the relationship with my Mr. Big. Although it took us awhile to actually start dating, every step along the way felt completely natural. Beyond that, it almost felt at times like I had no choice in the matter. I was drawn to him inexplicably.

The Teacher (August 26 - September 2)
An Inherent Transparency: "This combination has a certain inherent transparency. It tends to reveal its partners, both to themselves and to other people, for what they really are." That pretty much explains why whenever I was around the Teacher I kept telling him exactly what I thought and felt. And he pretty much did the same with me. Well, except for sharing with me that little detail about him being married. But I guess it did reveal itself eventually.

The Boy (September 11-18)
An Effective Working Combination: "The strengths of this relationship are organizational and structural. In love affairs, both partners will usually be extremely guarded emotionally. Their sexual interactions can be quite thrilling, but there is no guarantee that the couple will ever reach any deep level of feeling." Yep, that's pretty much true. The Boy and I are dating for the second time around. Our physical relationship is off the charts, but getting him to open up is like pulling teeth. That's probably why we drink so much wine together.

The Canadian (November 25 - December 2)
Cultivating Patience: "Both of these personalities have a rebellious side that comes out in response to being told what to do by those in authority. Passions often run high in this relationship, but natural affection and love will usually overcome other difficulties in the long run." Definitely true. The Canadian and I are both very strong willed and independent. Political debates were frequent in our relationship. When we were together and even in the 15 years we were apart, there was a deep bond of affection and loyalty that could not be broken. Unfortunately, we just couldn't seem to figure things out.

In addition to the little descriptions, the Birthday Book also presents a summary page for each birth week. That page lists your most compatible partners for Love, Marriage, Friendship, Family and Work. Sort of a relationship Cliffs Notes to guide you as you make your life's choices.

I started to wonder if I'd been making this dating thing way too complicated all of these years. Instead of meeting a guy, finding out his birthday and looking him up in the book, maybe I should proactively read the book to find a birth week that is a good combination with mine, and then go out and look for a guy who matches up with that birth week.

So, I looked at the Cliffs Notes page for my birth week and I noticed something very interesting. There are only five other weeks that are compatible with my birth week for Marriage. Whereas, if you look at my options for Love, there are eleven other birth weeks that are compatible with mine. Luckily I am not looking to get married, because according to the stars my chances are pretty slim.

My life could have been much easier if I were born a Cancer II (July 3 - 10) or a Virgo I (August 26 - September 2). Both of those birth weeks have thirteen possible matches for Marriage, the highest of any birth weeks in the book. They could practically marry anyone. And as you may have noticed, Virgo I is the Teacher's birth week. No wonder he was already married by the time I met him.

Out of curiosity, I read the five birth weeks that I am compatible with for Marriage. Most of the written descriptions did not even sound that enticing, with the exception of one:

Mr. Right (September 19 - 24)
Far From the Madding Crowd: "This combination introduces both partners to a world of deep feeling. Perhaps because they relate so well socially, they can feel relaxed enough with each other to begin exploring this private world, far from the madding crowd." Sounds perfect to me. Actually, I am already very familiar with this combination. It happens to be birth week of my best friend. And it exactly describes the relationship that he and I have had with one another since college.

Before you start envisioning a "When Harry Met Sally" moment, I should tell you that my best friend is already married to wonderful woman. And I could not be happier about it. I will admit that there were many times in college and in the years afterwords that he and I wondered if we were meant to be more than friends. But there was always something missing. We never could quite figure out what it was.

It's nice to think that the perfect relationship is out there for each of us. And if the Birthday Book is right, then all we need to do is wait for the sun and the moon and the stars to align and show us the way. If only things were that simple.

Last night at dinner I was telling the Boy about the Birthday Book and the theory behind my latest blog. He had only one thing to say. "It doesn't matter when you were born. There are good people and there are assholes in every sign." And he's probably right.

That said, if anyone out there knows a single guy in his late 30's whose birthday falls between September 19-24, please send him my way. I am not sure if our love is written in the stars, but I am willing to give it a try and find out.

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