Cancerians will remain uncommitted because they sense the grueling experience a separation would entail. The disruption of the nest is a true trauma for Cancer, where a Sagittarian might happily pack one bag and go, or a Virgo wrap up the financial affairs tidily before exiting. No separation is easy for Cancer, even if he deeply longs for freedom. Once again, you must learn to read the signs. Gradual withdrawal emotionally, sexual coolness or impotence, are Cancer's way of saying, 'Get me out of here'. But Cancer will rarely be the one to make the decision to go. First of all, the emotional confrontation is too terrifying. Secondly, other people's opinions are too terrifying. Cancer would much rather become quietly, progressively, more unpleasant until you're the one to throw him out. Then he doesn't have to feel guilty.
It does take a lot, though. It takes trampling on his feelings, being insensitive or cold, shattering his dreams, bullying him, expecting him to be strong when his strength lies in camouflage and tenacity. Betrayal of trust goes deep with the water signs. Rationally they may excuse it. Emotionally, they never do.
The nest is naturally important to Cancer. It is a sign of habit. Even an unsettled Cancer, maintaining a casual affair, will usually collapse in the same chair in the living room, and indulge in the same rituals and drink. Permanent the liaison may not be; but that need for roots and security can give the feeling of continuity to even the briefest, most casual of Cancerian relationships.
It is very easy to love Cancer for his gentleness, his sensitivity, his imagination, his subtlety, his peculiar brand of courage when what he loves is threatened. It is more difficult to endure the moods, and the innate egocentricity of the child which is always present in this complex sign. Whether mother or child, whichever role the Cancer plays - or both - the constant need for affection and reassurance is always present. If you have one of those emotional natures which is coolly self-sufficient and resents giving affection - particularly when it might not be returned due to a mood - then it's best to stay away from Cancer. If you have a warm heart, and an understanding of what life is like from the inside of this alternatively fragile and tough dreamer, you may be surprised. Cancer's greatest offering in relationships is his profound, instinctual understanding of human nature and human pain. And that isn't often to be found in the marketplace these days.
The Cancer Man
'Never think,' wrote the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, 'that there is more in life than can be packed into childhood.' We might say, with more accuracy for Cancer, that there is not more in life than can't be packed into Mother. And here you have the greatest strength and also the greatest weakness of the Cancer man in love relationships. This man is tied, one way or another - in love or in hate, and often in both - to Mother.
It may sound simplistic to say that all Cancer men are mother-bound. But it would come close to the truth. Remember what we said about the myths connected with Cancer? And in particular the myth of the Great Mother? Well, there is a test that confronts every Cancer man, and he runs up against it sooner or later in life. Our world being what it is, with so little attention paid to people's inner lives and motivations, most Cancer men take the latter road.
If you think about it, you'll see it's natural. Cancer is a sign of feeling and of deep emotional needs and often dependency. It clings. It doesn't like to stand alone. In childhood, this need for attachment and warmth will naturally focus on the mother. The trouble is once adult, Cancer men are often still looking for that nurturing, protecting woman who will always forgive them, always understand them, care for them, shelter them. You might say, why not? But Cancer, which is a feminine sign, gels oddly with the