How to Love a Cancer.


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I feel“A thousand half-loves must be forsaken to take one whole heart home.” ~ Rumi

I couldn’t find an article on how to love me, so I figured it probably best to write one. Here goes nothing (which hopefully explains everything).

To love a Cancer—truly, madly, deeply—takes the vulnerability to discover what it means to be loved whole-heartedly.

In her desire to nurture and give all that she has to improve the world she lives in, she will exhaust herself in the quest to leave things a little better than she found them. Love to a Cancer is the most powerful force in the universe—and she, at her best, is the most skillful wielder of that magical force you will ever find.

Long criticized for their “moodiness,” the important thing to know when loving a Cancer is that she feels everything.

Communication is key if you hope to avoid the misunderstandings that could lead to romantic fallout. A sweet word or thoughtful gesture will have her orbiting the stars, while a thoughtless jab or slighted action threatens to send her spiraling into the “what-did-I-do-to-deserve-this” darkness of doubt.

Because she feels everything, a Cancer often craves alone time, either to be with her thoughts or to rejuvenate her soul from the constant taking in of all that surrounds her.

At times you may be confused by her ability to be equally shy and bold, especially in the bedroom. (Side Note: there is nothing sexier than when she is able to get out of her head and express her unencumbered sexuality.)

Unbeknownst to most is that it takes an incredible amount of work for a true Cancer to break free of the hardened shell that protects her raw emotions. Many a Cancer keeps lovers timidly at bay and only ventures into uncharted waters when it is “safe” to do so because she doesn’t know how to love halfway.

Although she loves being spontaneous, a Cancer abhors a one-night stand because the gift of herself is one she treasures. To feel discarded after a solo encounter (no matter how passionate) can leave her feeling unwanted and unworthy.

As a result of taking everything in, it is vitally important for her to let things out, and as such, a Cancer is often creative and always expressive. Sometimes in words, other times in actions—the fluidity of this water sign lets things pour through her and flow back out again in various forms.

Thoughtfulness characterizes her relationship style, as once in her heart, you are always on her mind. She will give everything she has to you, and in return it takes very little to make her happy. To feel valued, appreciated and secure are among her greatest desires from the one she loves.

Sensitivity to her journey is something Cancer seeks in her lover.

You are not her first, you would be lucky to be her last, and along the way it is important to know that many have hurt her (mainly because she has let them). This is not your fault, but it may come into play from time to time. She is not looking for you to fix her cracks or make her whole again…she just needs to know that she can trust you with her broken parts, as she pieces herself together in an effort to give you all she has.

A Cancer’s past is riddled with unworthy lovers, only because she had not yet learned how incredibly special she is. Once known, rest assured, she will refuse to settle for less, as she has endured many a heartache to get to the place where she now confidently stands.

A Cancer’s greatest gift is her heart—she is loving to a fault, holding on long after others would let go because of that tiny ray of sunshine that promises her there is light beyond the darkness.

What she seeks is stability, though she lives for adventure!

She wants to play and explore and delve into the unknown with someone she is confident will be her safety net—should she come crashing down. Over the years she has taken care of so many. For her future happiness in love, she wants one who is comfortable in their own skin and who doesn’t need her, but to whom she is a joyfully desired addition. She seeks a love with whom she can grow with, not one more person to pick up or pull along.

A well-loved Cancer will give you everything you could possibly want in a relationship, as she has always believed that the fairytale is real. A Princess who often plays the Prince: galloping in to rescue those in distress, falling hard and fast while always believing in the possibility of a happily ever after.

She is a magic mirror of sorts as many find themselves because of the way she sees them. And though she doesn’t view herself as the fairest of them all, rest assured that a Cancer’s love is pure and real and 100 percent genuine. (Sadly, not many people have experienced a love like hers, so most don’t know what to do with it…thus they push away, or worse, take her for granted.)

For the brave soul that is willing to let themselves be loved by big-hearted Cancer, may you see a miracle invisible to others. And may the two of you bask in the euphoric glow that radiates from those who know the uniqueness of writing their own fairytale.


Relephant Reads:

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Photos: mackenzie jean/Flickr



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Betsy Butterick

Betsy Butterick is the founder and lead executive coach at Studio B while also serving as an Assistant Coach for the Women’s Basketball program at the University of California, San Diego. People are her passion and she joyfully invests her time co-creating lives lived to their fullest authentic expression. When she’s not coaching clients or her players she is an active life enthusiast, purveyor of perspective, urban adventurer, fitness lover, gratitude guru, sunset chaser, and receptive vessel for lattes and really good wine. She lives in La Jolla, CA, has remarkable parking karma, and firmly believes that a sense of humor and an open mind are an exceptional recipe for happiness.



129 Responses to “How to Love a Cancer.”

  1. Viv Silva says:

    From the bottom of my heart. Thank you, quite beautifully written!

  2. Pamela says:

    Completely me! Haha I was floored reading it, and I'm very sceptic when it comes to horoscopes!

  3. Jen says:

    Oh my god how did you do that?! 😀 Like you were in my brain… EXACTLY me 🙂 Love it!

    ~Love to a Cancer is the most powerful force in the universe~

  4. Vanessa says:

    I have been in love with and dating a cancer man for almost 3 years he was secretive and never could tell me if you was in love with me or not, he just recently broke up with me through a text this is the second time I have had my heart broken by this man and I have done everything I can to love them unconditionally but he hides everything and I find the secret to watch the bear. I want him back I wanted to be a hole cuz its 90 percent good but that 10% of the secretive is very destructive to our relationship. Any advice as to what I should do as far as trying to rekindle our relationship

    • Betsy says:

      Hi Vanessa, you may not like what I have to say but please understand that I say this only because I've found it to be true. 1) Secretive has no place in a healthy relationship – independence yes, but secretive, no. 2) Anyone who breaks up with you via text is not mature enough to be in a relationship with anyone and communicate effectively 3) The BEST thing you can do for you – and possibly for the future of your relationship with him, or whomever is next – is to let go. Seriously. I know its difficult, and there is fear in it, but trust me… there is freedom in release, and the stronger you become through loving yourself and enjoying yourself separate from any other, the better you will be in relationship with another. Best wishes to you on your journey and please do take care of your heart

  5. Kim says:

    Yup. Amazing. I feel completely understood…and you’ve helped me understand a few things! Thank you!

  6. nae says:

    The cancer i know is nothing like this…

  7. Leanne Grant says:

    This says everything I wish people knew about me . Thanks so much ,makes me feel like I am not crazy

  8. Rich says:

    You just described my Cancer to a “T”. I actually teared up reading this as I realized I haven’t been as perfect to her as I could…NO SHOULD…always be. She teared up as well as I was reading it aloud. Thank you for reminding me how truly lucky I am to have found her.

  9. micky says:

    I am in long distance relationship with a cancer right now.. And the mood swings just make me go crazy .. I guess maybe I have some part to play in that but I think she just know extremes.. Its tricky sometimes

  10. Melissa Renee says:

    That was such an amazing piece. Very well done and spot on for me personally. Thank you so much!

  11. Katie says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.
    Perfect description.

  12. Brad says:

    I’m a guy and every word of this rings true for me.

  13. NAD says:

    I found this article to be interesting. I have many Cancers in my life & I do see many of the characteristics you’ve described in the Cancers I know. Cancers do love deeply, they are very passionate & caring people but aren’t really expressive about their feeling. Cancers never want to express the depth of their feelings unless there’s a great need requiring that they share.

    • Nadia says:

      Speaking as a cancer myself I think the reason most cancers have a problem expressing themselves has a lot to do with a cancers fear of being vulnerable and the fear of rejection as well as being misunderstood. I feel as a cancer I have a desire to feel validated and taken care of which I believe also conflicts with the cancers desire to also be the one to take care of you. If we are feeling down or upset I think it can be hard to communicate that because we would rather not place our sorrows on you, because we also desperately seek to take care of others. We are the nurturers of the Zodiac signs, therefore it is hard for us to give our all to you if we are not in some way strong. How can we be strong if we are constantly leaning on someone else. We must take care of others it is a cancers deepest desire, so when a cancer is upset or not feeling well a cancer feels the need to pick up the pieces themselves. It is better to leave them be for a while, but in time a cancer will come back to you to comfort and support as their mission was set out to do.

  14. Basem says:

    It’s like you spent years studying me. Flip genders and this is exactly me. Most of my life I felt like there’s something wrong with me but recently I’ve just come to accept who I am (which you captured so precisely). Right down to the ‘one night stand’ thing that always baffled other guys around me. It’s impossible to explain that they haven’t earned the right to touch me so I’ll just wait. You nailed it. It’s good to know that there’s more people like us. And thank you, this is another voice reminding me that I’m fine the way I am and that’s a beautiful thing.

  15. Rebecca says:

    I cannot believe the accuracy of this.

  16. Christine says:

    My girlfriend is a cancer and everything you’ve said stands true. After reading your article I feel like I understand her better as a person and as a partner and will be able to love and appreciate her that much more now. Thanks.

  17. Zoe says:

    Wow! Everything (and more) I’ve always wanted to share and just can’t seem to. You’ve captured it so perfectly and beautifully that I teared up with the feeling of ‘she gets me’. Thank you so much, for a deeper understanding of myself.

  18. Kimberly says:

    This is fantasic! It’s me PERFECTLY! I cried all while reading this article that someone knows how this feels. I also have a simian line on both hands. Which increases some of these traits. I know better now how to deal with my feelings and others. Thank you so much for putting into words what I never could. It feels good to know my Cancer sisters and brothers understands.

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