Love Match: The Effect Of Astrology On Our Dating Lives

Astrology is my low-key guilty pleasure. I’m a Scorpio to my core – I’m intense, secretive, and competitive, with a sharp temper. As much as I like to deny it, I carry some baggage in the form of trust issues. I am fiercely independent and love my space. I’m loyal, and expect the same loyalty from others. I check my horoscope daily, and my team at work (made up of a Pisces, Taurus, and Leo) often chats about the effects of a New Moon or dreaded Mercury Retrograde on our careers, dating lives, or daily routines.

While many believe that the way of the stars is not always true or accurate, I think it can be a great way to learn about another person. Going beyond your sun sign, and learning about the position of the planets in your chart by sign and degree, can be even more eye-opening, and give you some deeper insight to traits you might possess or patterns you might associate with (or your fashion sense, according to this Lala article).

Plus, there is something to be said for the compatibility factor of astrology. Is it true that we are predisposed to work well with some signs, and clash with others? I’ve gone out with a Taurus who loved to party, but wasn’t very open to expressing his emotions. I dated a Cancer who had an incredible work ethic and kind heart, but loved to be at home and could be moody. Both are great people, with various admirable qualities (and other qualities not so redeeming), but neither one were perfectly compatible with me.

We all have certain signs that fall under the category of our “love match,” based on the distance between the signs on the horoscope wheel. The distance you share with a partner on the wheel can create “a unique energy pattern that’s either harmonious or challenging.” As a Scorpio, I would theoretically be most compatible with a Virgo, Capricorn, or Pisces.

I took on the big compatibility challenge when it came to dating someone who shared the same sun sign as me. Astrologers generally discourage dating someone with whom you share a sign, as it can be “too much of a good thing.” 

I walked into my a Women’s History class on the first day of my senior year, and spied a tall, handsome boy lounging at a desk in the back row. He was older, finishing up a few credits, with a slightly disheveled look that I loved, and a politeness with the professor that was balanced by his need to challenge her. Chatting during class led to studying together for tests, and soon we were grabbing lunch and meeting up whenever we had a free moment.

I was interested to learn that his birthday was a mere few days before mine, right around the corner. By then, we were inseparable; I was smitten by the way he talked about his passions, the love he had for his dog and mom, and the sweet words he always seemed to be throwing my way. Our sexual chemistry was undeniable, and I was happy to report that I’d met a truly great guy.

I was so set on his many positive qualities that I was happily ignoring behavior that I normally would not tolerate, like a comment about my outfit for a night out, or insecurities about my childhood guy friends. I would make any excuse I could to tell myself he was the sweet guy I had originally fallen for. He was jealous and possessive because he cared about me. I should have expected him to be controlling; I knew what I was getting into dating a fellow Scorpio, people loved to remind me.

I found myself in an intense and emotionally charged relationship that I did not bargain for. Our fights became nasty and vindictive, and I was resentful. Both of us had bad tempers, throwing hurtful words at each other and completely lashing out over small things. My past serious relationship had been with a mellow Cancer; we had small arguments, but never anything this volatile.

In an effort for any sort of guidance to make this relationship work, I turned to astrology, checking “our horoscope” to see how that day’s state of the stars would affect our moods. “Moon shifts into Mercury today around 2pm, some issues around trust should be surfacing, just an FYI,” is a real text I shared with him at one point. In hindsight, this is embarrassing. And sad. I was this desperate to convince myself that things were bad because of something greater than us, completely out of our control.

As you can probably guess, this relationship did not last. There were only so many, “How to Date a Scorpio Male” articles I could read before deciding to follow my gut, and getting out of something toxic.

Were we clashing because we shared the same sign? In general, are we more likely to stay in a relationship because our signs are compatible, or do we make excuses for shit behavior because of someone’s sign?

The coveted Astro Twins believe that we can find love with any zodiac sign, no matter our predisposed compatibilities. The many positions we share along the horoscope wheel just make for “unique energies” between the signs. Plus, consider the many personal factors. While we may be characterized as having a certain general nature based on the zodiac, each person leans into certain traits differently (not to mention the complexities of a moon sign and rising sign). We are highly individualized human beings!

A 2007 study done by the University of Manchester, “Ten million marriages: A test of astrological ’love signs,’” came to the conclusion that our astrological sign has no impact on our probability of marrying another person, or the success of the marriage. The researcher’s opinion is very blunt: “Lonely hearts who worry about the zodiac are wasting their time.” Ouch.

However, another study, “The Effects Of Horoscopes on Women’s Relationships,” proves that astrology is widely followed by many, and could therefore be a major influence in a relationship. This was my personal case. This research found that 90% of people have looked up the sun sign of someone they were interested in (guilty) and 15% would alter their behavior based on their horoscope. This was done in 2001, before astrology was that #trendy. I imagine the numbers would be even greater today.

Moving forward, will I continue to rely so strongly on astrology in my relationships? Probably not. This relationship taught me to follow my gut instead of looking to the stars for explanation and validation to certain behaviors.

I’ve also learned a lot about taking accountability for my actions, and holding others to the same standard. While the research overwhelmingly points to the idea of a “love match” as nonsense, I do think there’s some magic in the compatibility between signs, and will continue to keep an eye out for the “nice Pisces boy” my mom keeps encouraging.

Featured image by @itsdemib

Author: Carrie Raeburn

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