If all the zodiac signs sat in a room and discussed what it takes to create and maintain the perfect relationships, they’d probably end up arguing, throwing chairs and their hands up in defeat, and vowing to never speak to each other again. But of course, in astrology, there is always a shadow side and a bright side. I’d like to think that if they took the time to *breaaaaathe* – *grouuunnnd* – and – *listeennnnn* – they’d collectively come up with some pretty good relationship advice.
ARIES: What Do You Want?
So many of us are not allowed to want what we want. The cis-het-white-capitalist-abelist-patriarchy impacts both how we are/aren’t desired, and our ability to desire on our own terms. So often we end up chasing, or being chased by so much shit that we don’t want. Aries says, reclaim yourself. Aries says, “Fuck everyone and everything, I AM CAT!” In the words of Roxette, listen to your heart. Prioritize your desires and be unapologetic about it. What makes your heart flutter, what gets your engine going? If you want dates/partners/friends who are truly compatible with you, you can’t do that without knowing who you are and what you’re looking for.
VIRGO: Practice Discernment
There are some things we can only know with time. A Virgo I know and love talks about the “Oops! I’m-in-a-Relationship!” syndrome: ie finding yourself having fallen into commitments or relationship dynamics without really knowing who that person is, if you’re really compatible, or if you actually want what you’ve agreed to. It’s normal (and it’s nice!) to get caught up with lusty swoon honeymoon feelings; with our hopes, expectations, projections and dreams when in love. Virgo just reminds us to come back down to earth and schedule your regular reality check-up appointments. What is the other person bringing to the table? How do you feel when you’re with them? What is your body telling you? Do they bring out a version of yourself that you like, if not, why? Does your vibe truly line up with what you want? What has changed over time? Discernment is a skill and practice we can hone when we’re dating, when with friends, and with our beloved LTRs. Consider what is real in the moment and be intentional about your choices.
SCORPIO: For Fuck’s Sakes, Look in the Damn Mirror!
This is another way of saying, be mindful of projection. Scorpios are projection magnets – that shit ain’t easy. Scorpio is the deepest sign, they run way below the surface, and they have a way of bringing up all that lays hidden in other people. In relationships someone can fall in love with us because we inspire their hidden creativity, or they can fall-in-hate with us because we remind them of unprocessed trauma with their Mom. Projection isn’t inherently bad – in fact we need this kind of intimacy to help us discover parts of ourselves we wouldn’t have otherwise come to be aware of, or have the opportunity to heal. Just remember to look in the damn mirror. Own your projections. Make space for your own healing. Cuz your date doesn’t have the power to magically heal your childhood trauma – you do. And if you break-up or they leave, it doesn’t mean that your creativity (or whatever amazing things they inspired in you) are gone – you get to keep yourself for good.
AQUARIUS: Maintain a Larger Perspective and Network of Support
This goes a long way to help with the aforementioned issue of projection. There’s so much brain work we need to sort out when we’re in love: okay, this is shit with my ex, this is my family stuff, this is what I need, how do I ask, what do they feel, what can I give, what am I open or closed to receiving or taking, etc, etc, etc. Aquarius is the sign of collective support. Like, it actually takes a whole village to make an individual relationship work. Aquarius remembers, we can’t get all our needs met by one person or thing. We need different avenues and outlets to figure out our shit, validate and express different parts of ourselves, follow our dreams and purpose. There’s a good reason that Aquarians get stir-crazy when things get too clingy. Pursuing connection to many different kinds of relationships and environments helps us not take things so personally in any one relationship. It helps us manage jealousy, insecurity and competition with our loved ones because we feel well supported outside of the relationship. And ultimately it helps us create a wider perspective on ourselves and each other. We feel more at peace with ourselves and we have a bigger capacity to hold space for the freedom, fullness, and expansiveness of our loves, too.
SAGITTARIUS: Assume the Best
Remember that song by Sloan from the 90s, “Ooooh you see the good in everyone!” Sag anthem. There’s a principle I try to live by, and that is to assume the best in people. Assume that people are telling the truth. Assume that people are acting with integrity. Assume that everyone knows what’s best for themselves and are making their decisions accordingly. Controversial advice in life and times where most of us have been hurt and burned hard in intimacy. But honestly, in any loving relationship I don’t have the time or energy to worry about whether or not my person is lying to me. I can’t try to read their mind, anticipate their moves, or cater all my actions and decisions around how I think they might hurt me. Nobody should have to feel like they have to do this in relationships. This also means you challenge yourself to assume your best self. Act with good intentions, care and integrity. Be honest with yourself and others. Be straightforward about what you want and how you feel. If at any point you notice yourself intentionally hurting your loved one, or vice versa, you have some serious questions to ask of yourself and your relationship. But knowing that even in the most healthy relationships, we will hurt each other, misunderstand, make assumptions and cross lines, it’s so important to strive to be on each other’s side, especially in difficult circumstances. Move away from blaming as the be-all-end-all approach to problem solving, and instead learn how to build bridges of compassion and understanding that can deepen intimacy through all sorts of weather.
CAPRICORN: Know Your Bottom Lines
Alright, for everyone having an anxiety attack from the Sagittarius advice, here is your Capricorn fail-safe. Everyone has bottom lines. Non-negotiables in terms of what is and isn’t okay with you. What you need to be respected and safe. What you will and won’t put up with. Bottom lines do – and should – change as we grow and evolve ourselves. For some of us it’s like, it doesn’t matter how much they love you, if they physically assault you once, you’re out. You don’t owe them anything, not an explanation, a conversation, an accountability process, a hand to hold while they figure out their shit. The thing is, we can draw these lines for ourselves wherever and whenever the fuck we want, regardless of if anyone else thinks our lines are reasonable. You decide what to say yes or no to. You decide when you have the space or desire to work on a relationship and when you don’t. You’re allowed to take your time. You’re allowed to put up boundaries. You’re allowed to make shifts or breaks in any relationship when they are necessary. You’re allowed to cease playing games or dancing destructive patterns at the exact moment you figure out how to do it. You don’t owe anyone your time, love, intimacy, money, energy, care, body, support, unless you 100% enthusiastically want to offer it. If not, don’t give out what you’re not resourced to give. Capricorn knows how short and precious life is. Choose where you put your energy, how and who you spend your time with, wisely.
LEO: Prioritize Play
Ooohh after all that hard real talk, Leo’s like, you know love should feel good right!? I mean that’s the point of why we come together in the first place (right!?). To enjoy each other’s company. To laugh together. To celebrate the good times. To express passion and adoration. To create. To feel silly and goofy and giggly. To get all starry-eyed and high on love. To feel youthful and free. If you’ve gotten to the point in any relationship where it’s no play, just all hard work all the time, that’s probably a sign that something is wrong. Especially in long term relationships (romantic or platonic), it’s not going to feel all honeymoon-y all the time and it shouldn’t, that’s just not how life works. But remember to take breaks from the daily grind and do fun things together. Be spontaneous every once in a while. Take a trip or a vacation together. Do something daring or adventurous, even if that’s just fantasizing or talking about your fantasies. When you need to have a difficult conversation, or go through some kind of trying circumstance together, figure out if there are ways you can make that hard work fun. Pull out your inner kid and make a game out of the boring stuff, the mundane stuff. Cultivate joy and comfort within yourself and your relationships. Leo knows, why else are we here?
TAURUS: Cuddle Lots
Mmm, sometimes love just isn’t expressed through words. It’s shared through cuddles and chuggles and schmuddles. Don’t underestimate the power of a good hug. Isn’t there some study that says if you stare into someone’s eyes uninterrupted for a significant amount of time, you’ll probably fall in love with them? Or if you’re dealing with a difficult or vulnerable situation in a relationship, staring into each other’s eyes without saying anything for 60 seconds can do wonders to open up trust? I believe it. Physical pleasure and connection is a huge source of how we build intimacy, compassion and love with one another. Our bodies speak to each other. Taurus is all about indulging and maximizing physical goodness as much as possible. Sleep next to each other, take baths or showers together, do relaxing sensual things together, whatever that means to you. This is not relegated to the realm of romantic/sexual relationships either. Some of my best times with friends are the days we go to the naked beach together in the summer, bathe in the glorious sun and water, and then end the day with a juicy, fat, delicious meal.
CANCER: Put Your Person First
The brilliant Ava DuVernay once said, “Put people you love ahead of yourself, prioritize them, not in a way that diminishes you, but in a way that enlarges you.” This is Cancer at its best. That’s why Cancer is associated with the archetype “mother.” It is the capacity we have to care for another human being at their most vulnerable. Putting someone else’s needs ahead of our own. Opening our hearts enough to understand what has happened to our loved one in their past, what they are struggling with, what has and still is painful to them, and say, I will be a shield for you. I got you. You’re safe with me. It’s hard to approach and navigate relationships with this kind of vulnerability because, well, it’s so damn vulnerable. Many of us have given exactly this and received something not even close in return. We have been hurt by people all too often at our most vulnerable. Still, to mutually give and receive in this way, that’s the good-good love. That’s the big-big love. When someone extends themselves outside of their own experience to help us out, just because we need it. When they hold their naked heart in their palms and say, this is mine but I want to share it with you. The only thing that feels like a bigger blessing than receiving this kind of love, is when we find what it takes within ourselves to freely give and share that gift in return.
LIBRA: Don’t Do It Alone
This is an obvious one, but a relationship takes two people. No really, it seems obvious but so often we forget. When we first meet someone, we do all that we can to try and figure out who they are before we get to know them. We ask mutual friends about all their likes and dislikes, we stalk their social media, we analyze their astrology birth chart… (I mean, this is a cute phase, and not inherently destructive, just proceed with caution 😉 ) In other ways, when we’re struggling in a relationship we often try to fix the problem ourselves. We don’t talk to our partner/friend. We want certain changes, but we don’t know how to ask. We’re scared to tell someone when they’ve hurt us. But your person doesn’t know what you need and want unless you tell them or show them, and vice versa. And you can’t help your person out unless you know what page they’re on (and vice versa). Libra says, think of your relationship as a separate entity in and of itself, that you both are responsible for. You know, in astrology you can create a completely new birth chart based on the time that you met your significant other. In that birth chart you can see everything that you can see in an individual person: what the relationship struggles with, what it needs, what it does best. So remember, you can’t care for this thing alone, and neither can they. If you want to cultivate and nurture growth, you have to do it together. Remember you’re on the same team. You’re in love, not at war.
PISCES: Don’t Do It Alone, But Do Spend Some Time Alone
Pisces is like, the most lonely sign and the most slutty sign. Pisces wants to give everything they have to everyone they love, but actually needs to just peace out and be alone so that they can remember themselves. For those of us who are supes romantic, we can feel like we want to spend every waking moment with our beloved. We want to go out, paint the town red, talk/fuck all night, cuddle/eat/netflix binge all day and then do it all over again with no breaks. But especially for watery types, taking a good amount of space for yourself is paramount. Even in situations of high duress, conflict, crisis, we feel like if we don’t give 2500% of ourselves to our relationship, everything will fall apart and they’ll die then we’ll die. For a lot of folks who crave relationships and intimacy, alone time is something we don’t often want, but definitely need. The Pisces truth is there are pieces of ourselves that we couldn’t possibly figure out how to access, until and unless we are alone. There are realms of our spiritual, energetic and emotional truth that come to us when no other body is around to confuse the message. The best relationships are the ones that open a secret door for us to fall in love with ourselves, again and again. Give that much to yourself, to sometimes be alone with the love you are, just as you are. Let it fill you, hold you, move you. The more you have for yourself, the more you have to give to the world.
GEMINI: Be Curious About Everything
We fall in love, we break-up, we move on. We get dumped, we do the dumping. We are the cold-hearted bitch who cut someone off. We are the one relentlessly texting our very own cold-hearted bitch demanding to know why they left us so unjustly. We don’t understand why someone can’t get over us because we don’t feel anything for them anymore. We can’t get someone’s energy out of our body, even if we haven’t seen them for years. We don’t know how to move on long after they have left our building. Something inside of us dies, and then suddenly one day we’re free. We try to stay friends with our exes and it blows up in our faces (and our mutual friends’ faces, and the community’s face…) We try to stay friends with our exes and it is surprisingly, beautifully, easy. We don’t know how to break-up with friends because nobody ever told us we were allowed to do that. We don’t know how to handle being dumped by a friend because there is no word to even describe that kind of pain. When we fall in love with family and community, it is bigger than revolutionary, it is as if all the horrible reasons we need a revolution in the 1st place fade into nothing and violence has no capacity to hurt us. When we are betrayed by the same family or community, what can we do but feel destroyed. We fall in love, we break-up, we get back together. We stay together for decades. We stay together through all sorts of storms, crises, milestones, rough patches, celebrations, tenderness, adventures, and growth. We make lifetime commitments. We share the strongest act of love: witnessing someone leave their body, saying goodbye before we take our last breath.
There are an infinite number of experiences we have with relationships of all kinds. Gemini says, be curious about everything. Take it all in as a learning experience. If we know and remember there is something important we have to learn, that we are in the process of learning, in every situation we’re in – then nothing we do or don’t do is a failure. Nothing can make us powerless. We always have choices. We are never actually destroyed, we are always just in transition. Everything carries an important lesson, that if we wield our curiosity wisely and bravely, brings us closer to the best love the universe has to offer.