Love, Lindsay

With Mars In Retrograde, I Asked People If Astrology Influences Their Dating Life

Is love really written in the stars or is it just gibberish?

ICYMI, Mars went into retrograde on June 26, joining Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and Pluto. Astrology buffs say that when a planet goes into retrograde, things can go a little haywire as each planet's energy is turning inward or slowing down. But that's what can also make these periods of retrograde a useful time for introspection and reassessment. 

So if you're someone who checks their horoscope every day, you may notice references to your past resurfacing. (That doesn't give you license to rekindle an old romance, but it can give you the opportunity to reexamine what you learned from an ex-relationship.) 

If you're someone who thinks horoscopes are just a load of hooey,  you can still take part in recognizing the astronomical phenomenon. When we see a planet going "into retrograde," it only appears to slow down and then reverse course through the sky. It's not actually moving backward; it simply looks that way from Earth because the two planets are moving on different paths at different speeds. 

With all things mystical and mathematical in mind, I went into retrograde, I mean, New York City, to ask people whether or not astrology influences their dating life.

Aviva, a Capicorn, didn't think astrological compatibility affected her love life. "It's just one of those things I was never drawn to, and it never rang true to me. Although I am dating a Capricorn, so it's come up at least once... but neither of us really knows what that means," she said. "... We're both headstrong, so then we'll get in arguments, but we're not like, 'Ugh, classic Capricorn!' It's just like, 'You're being annoying.' " 

On the other hand – and other side of the astrological birth chart — was Louis, a Leo with Taurus rising and self-described "firm believer of the stars." He always asks potential romantic partners for their birthdays so he can do a deep dive into their astrological sign.

 "I usually like to look at their chart and see what's up, and if there are some things we can work out. Like, say, if we're both fire signs [Leo, Scorpio, Aries] because fire signs like to be the boss; they like to have the spotlight usually ... I get along with Scorpio, but I don't get along with Aries," he explained. "... Most of the Aries that I've ever met, they were sexually compatible, but everything else wasn't ... it never worked out." 

Two Libra men, Raphael and Johnathan, had both been rejected by potential partners purely because of their astrological sign. (They couldn't believe it either.) "Someone refused to date me because I was a Libra because they had a bad experience with a past Libra," Raphael said. "So the furthest we ever went was friends." 

"One day, somebody on a gay [dating] app, he told me, 'No, I don't date Libra guys.'" Johnathan recalled. "I said, 'Oh my god, what's that even mean? At the end of the day, I'm human.' " 

Perhaps, unsurprisingly, their experiences have made them both wary of dating someone who's super into astrology. "That's one of the first questions that come up when you're dating online or even in person: 'So, what's your sign?' I just ... that's a turn-off for me," Raphael added. "If they keep bringing it up then ... no, sorry." 

So maybe the key to combining astrology and romance is to think about the stars after you're over the moon for someone special.   That's what worked for Cassandra, an Aquarius. "I've been with my partner for a long time, and I only recently became interested in astrology, but he's always interested in what I'm interested in, too, so he's gotten really into it," she explained. "He's a Taurus, and he's like a textbook Taurus. So it hasn't affected my dating life so much as it affects our arguments with each other." 

Unlike Aviva and her boyfriend, Cassandra does use astrological symbols to explain her partner's actions. "Like when he's being really stubborn, I'm like, 'Ah, you're being such a f***ing Taurus right now!'" she joked. "... It kind of weirdly affects how we communicate with each other." 

Whether or not you believe love is written in the stars, it can be fun way to explore how astrological compatibility works with different personality traits. You may not want to take it too seriously though because, after all, Libras deserve love, too. 

Lindsay here, A Plus's resident relationship guru/columnist. While I may not know everything, I do know a lil something about love and our seemingly endless pursuit of it. Having written dozens of A Plus articles about dating, relationships, and sex, I'm ready and willing to investigate all of your romantically-inclined questions (submit here!) — because I've asked them myself. What I hope to bring to A Plus's readers is a sex-positive, body-positive, and most importantly, you-positive perspective on modern love. Consider Love, Lindsay your digital Cupid.

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