Being human is a group experience, which is why relationships are such an important subject. It takes two parents to make us and a community to supply the food, water, and shelter we need to survive. There's no such thing as a self-made man or woman, and it's impossible to pull yourself up by your bootstraps without having someone to make the boots. It is true that some people are solitary types who have a high degree of emotional self-sufficiency, but the vast majority of us want partners to share life's journey.
Relationships, though, are complex ... very complex ... because there are human beings involved. Every one of us is a diverse blend of mind and emotion, desire, repulsion, ambition and sloth. Put any two of us together and the combinations of mixed motivations and contrasting drives multiplies. We need all the tools we can find to reinforce the healthy connections within ourselves and to share them happily with others.
Attraction and action
The Sun of will and consciousness and the Moon of emotion and habit are the central figures of personality in an Astrology chart. They are the essence of what defines us and what lies at the heart of desire, but they are not the means to fulfilling it. Venus and Mars are the arms of love, the agents of personal connection, and the planets of attraction and action. They are not the heart and soul of relationships, but these cannot be reached by other means.
Venus is what we like and Mars is how we get it. The first defines self-worth and attraction and the second is how we put it into action. When they are compatible in a birth chart, the social dance is more graceful. Someone with Venus in impetuous Aries and Mars in audacious Leo may seamlessly navigate between attraction and action. Such a person likes and wants to be liked for being spunky and ready for new experiences and can act with playful creativity that can fulfill those desires.
When Venus and Mars are in opposite signs, we see the challenge of bringing two very different styles to relationships. Happily, it isn't insurmountable and, in fact, it's perfect for the person born with this in her or his chart. Learning how to gracefully move from one approach to the other according to the situation are the critical steps required to smooth the road of relationships.
The future is yours to make
The benefits and challenges indicated in a birth chart, though, do not tell the whole story. There are romantically fulfilled individuals with Venus-Mars tension in their charts and unfulfilled ones with them harmoniously aligned. In the end, it's not the equipment we have that's most important but the way that we use it. Astrology does a brilliant job of describing where we're coming from, but it's up to us to determine where we go.