Whether you compulsively check your horoscope every day (no judgment!) or take all things astrology-related with a big grain of salt, there are few people who can say they’re 100 percent set on the relationship front. You want to be in one, you want to get out of one, or you want advice for dealing with whatever roadblocks you’re facing with your current partner(s).
And if you’re like me and most of my friends, when it comes to dating and relationship challenges, it pays to be open-minded about all kinds of advice, since you never know which tidbit could be the one that works.
As with everything zodiac-related, advice for each sign is never all-encompassing. So some of your sun sign’s tenets might apply to you, but if you really want to do this right, it pays to get your complete natal chart done, and then read up on the zodiac tendencies for each major planet in your chart. For instance, I’m a Gemini with a Taurus rising, a moon in Scorpio, and a Venus in Taurus. So rather than just taking Gemini love advice at face value, I’d also be smart to look into Scorpio sign tendencies (since your moon sign dictates your emotional M.O.) and Taurus tendencies (since your Venus sign influences how you are in relationships).
“It’s important to take into account the moon sign, Venus, and Mars positions,” says astrologer Diana Brownstone. “A full natal chart is most helpful, since generalizing just by sun sign really waters down the power of astrology to give you accurate information.” She adds that it can be helpful to take note of what type of sign your partner is. “Water and earth signs are generally compatible, whereas fire and air signs tend to go well together.” But again, this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, since so much depends on where other planets in your chart are.
“In general, other signs of the same modality—fire, earth, water, air—are compatible,” says Stephanie Shea, an astrologist who trained with the renowned astrology writer and researcher Jan Spiller, author of Cosmic Love. “If someone shares your Sun sign, I feel it can go either way. Sometimes there is great understanding of each other and sometimes it’s too much of one energy. There are also some signs that share certain basic motivations such as a sense of security, the need for excitement, or intellectual stimulation.”
From Shea and Brownstone, I gleaned a ton of insights about how each sign (and the locations of its major planets) function in dating and relationships. Knowing your—and your partner’s, if you want to be thorough—natural strengths, weaknesses, needs, and insecurities can help make us all a little less blind in the search for love.
Originally posted September 2016. Updated August 2017.
Aries (Fire Sign)
Compatible with: Leo, Sagittarius, Libra, and some Aries
Incompatible with: Capricorn, Cancer, some Aries, some Pisces
Strengths: "Aries are passionate and good at physically expressing their love. They're natural motivators and can help encourage their partners to take action towards their goals," says Shea.
Weaknesses: "Aries often like to go it alone and do it their way, so compromise and coordinating with others can take practice."
Advice for Dating One: "When dating an Aries, don’t plan a sedentary date," says Shea. "If you’re going to dinner, walk somewhere or go dancing. Compliment them and ask questions about their life. Don’t be afraid to challenge them with something like a game of darts or pool. Take them somewhere they’ve never been or to do an activity they’ve never done. Surprise them—but find out their interests first, so that you have a sense it's something they might like."
Taurus (Earth Sign)
Compatible with: Virgo, Capricorn, Cancer, Scorpio, and some Tauri
Incompatible with: Leo, Aquarius, some Tauri, some Aries
Strengths: "Tauri are generally reliable and faithful," says Shea. "They're excellent planners and can help keep their partners grounded and on track. Their sensuality makes them good lovers, and often, good cooks."
Weaknesses: "Tauri aren't the best at being flexible and establishing emotional intimacy," says Shea. "They aren’t always able to roll with it if their partner deviates from the plan. Additionally, they're learning to open up emotionally and not always make decisions from a practical standpoint, but from their heart."
Advice for Dating One: "Spoil them. You don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of money, but it should appear as if you thoughtfully planned things. Sensory pleasures such as flowers, a special bottle of wine, or a spectacular view will be very appreciated. If you do a group thing, smaller groups are better. Don’t surprise them too much. Tauri will feel more comfortable with low-key, traditional dating activities. You can still make it fun and add some spontaneity, but don’t push them to try something they’re hesitant about doing—that’s not likely to go over well."
Gemini (Air Sign)
Compatible with: Libra, Aquarius, Sagittarius, Aries, and some Gemini
Incompatible with: Virgo, Pisces, some Gemini, some Tauri
Strengths: "Geminis keep things interesting and their flexibility makes it easy to go with the flow when life brings unexpected challenges," says Shea. "They can help their partner move forward when they get stuck, and their ability to analyze things from all angles make them excellent problem-solvers."
Weaknesses: "Geminis may have trouble enjoying the moment because they overthink things or get antsy and start anticipating future hypothetical scenarios. They can forget to appreciate something great happening in the present and their partners could feel slighted."
Advice for Dating One: "Make it interesting. Geminis hate to be bored, so plan multiple activities to keep the date moving along. Ask lots of questions and get them to share their opinions and ideas," suggests Shea. "Don’t let the conversation lag. Tell stories, discuss books, movies, or whatever it takes to hold their interest. Don’t get angry if they disagree with you. Don’t avoid a debate. Go with it and turn a difference of opinion into a lively, flirtatious exchange."
Cancer (Water Sign)
Compatible with: Pisces, Scorpio, Taurus, Capricorn, and some other Cancers
Incompatible with: Aries, Libra, some Gemini, some Cancers
Strengths: "Cancers are loving, affectionate partners who will do just about anything for someone they love," says Shea. "They will be a champion, confidant and safe haven for their partner. Cancers are excellent at letting their partner know how much they value them by helping them to identify, share, and express emotion."
Weaknesses: "Cancers are emotionally fine-tuned, which means they have the ability to acknowledge all of their feelings all the time. This can translate to moodiness, and also cause them to expect their partners to be able to communicate their feelings just as well and easily. Cancers are learning to realize that other people are not as intuitive and emotionally sensitive. When they remember this, they can give their partners the benefit of the doubt."
Advice for Dating One: "Tune into their mood," suggests Shea. "A date with a Cancer won’t be as much about what you do but how you do it—with feeling. Make a general plan, but watch their body language and ask lots of questions to make sure they're having a good time. Share childhood memories. I’d avoid hanging in a group for first dates, but if you do, a small group like a double date is ideal. Don’t try to impress them with grand gestures. A limo or a helicopter ride won’t thrill them as much as just looking into their eyes and giving them your undivided attention. Don’t be afraid to let your guard down and be genuine."
Leo (Fire Sign)
Compatible with: Aries, Sagittarius, Aquarius, and some other Leos
Incompatible with: Scorpio, Taurus, some Cancers, some Leos
Strengths: "Leos are all heart," says Shea. "They will love their partners unabashedly and can be extremely generous with their time, resources, and affection. They know how to keep things fun and can help their partners get more joy out of life."
Weaknesses: "It can be hard for Leos to remember the needs of their partners, as they're often working towards personal goals. They may accidentally take their partners for granted and expect to be treated like queens or kings without having to reciprocate."
Advice for Dating One: "Make it playful and fun! Think of activities that will generate laughter, smiles, and carefree goofiness," says Shea. "Leos enjoy hamming it up, so consider finding a photo booth. Dress boldly and confidently. Encourage them to express themselves. Leos love parties, since they enjoy large groups. Beware of talking about yourself too much. No one likes this, but Leos in particular hate it. Put the focus on them and ask about their work, passions, and dreams. Don’t plan a quiet evening, at least for the first few dates. Avoid atmospheres that feel overly formal or stifling in any way."
Virgo (Earth Sign)
Compatible with: Capricorn, Taurus, Pisces, Scorpio, and some other Virgos
Incompatible with: Gemini, Sagittarius, some Leos and some Virgos
Strengths: "Virgos will do everything they can to please and take care of their partner," says Shea. "They have a knack for tuning in their partner’s needs and making them feel special. They’re generally reliable people and sensible decision makers."
Weaknesses: Virgos can be perfectionistic and may have unrealistic expectations of themselves and other. Virgos are learning to pick their battles and let the little stuff go. They may have trouble sharing responsibilities with someone else, as they like to be in control."
Advice for Dating One: "Be well groomed—look and smell your best," says Shea. "Plan specific, thoughtful details that let them know you were thinking about them. For example, play a CD from a band they mentioned liking or seek their favorite food. Small group activities could be fun, especially if your Virgo date chooses the company. Don’t be late. Don’t be too loud or make a move too fast. It’s not that Virgos don’t want to have a good time, but being too blunt can be off-putting to them. They much prefer someone who can slowly build intensity over time."
Libra (Air Sign)
Compatible with: Aquarius, Gemini, Aries, and some other Libras
Incompatible with: Cancer, Capricorn, some Virgos, some Libras
Strengths: "Libra is the sign of partnership," says Shea. "They’re wired for cooperation, collaboration, and teamwork. They're masters at the art of negotiation and compromise. They can teach their partner a lot about how to establish fairness in a relationship. They're often generous lovers."
Weaknesses: "Libras sometimes keep their feelings hidden so they won’t rock the boat. When this happens, their partner misses the opportunity to address what might be bothering them and hidden resentments can build over time. Libras are learning to speak up for themselves and let go of passive aggressive tendencies so they can enjoy more fulfilling relationships."
Advice for Dating One: "Be polite. Manners are important to Libras. Look stylish and plan something social," says Shea. "Going to a party or engaging in a group activity will light them up. Go somewhere with an aesthetically pleasing environment and pay them compliments. Don’t try to flirt by starting a disagreement. Creating tension might work great with other signs like Aries, Gemini or Scorpio, but Libras like harmony. You don’t have to agree with everything they say, however, you may want to politely agree to disagree and move on to more pleasant topics like art, music, travel and what you find beautiful in life. If the relationship continues, then you can practice the art of negotiation."
Scorpio (Water Sign)
Compatible with: Cancer, Pisces, Virgo, Taurus, and some other Scorpios
Incompatible with: Leo, Aquarius, some Libras, some Scorpios
Strengths: "Scorpios are known as the sexy sign," says Shea. "They will likely be great lovers and make their partners feel desirable. They want to create a deep, emotional bond with their partner and are willing to work on changing the dynamics when relationship issues occur."
Weaknesses: "While Scorpios are masters at extracting emotional information from others, they can be a closed book when it comes to sharing their feelings. It will be important for a Scorpio’s partner to take the time to talk with them and find out what’s going on beneath the surface."
Advice for Dating One: "Be real. Of course, put effort into your appearance, but make sure you look authentic, so don’t wear something you’d never normally wear," says Shea. "Don’t make small talk. It will bore a Scorpio and make them suspicious about your motivations. Dive in with poignant questions that show you really want to get to know them. But first, share an intimate detail about your life. Just one detail—take care to also be a little bit mysterious to keep a Scorpio intrigued. Scorpios enjoy playing detective, so find a way to give them enough information to keep asking questions. Don’t cross your arms or exhibit other closed body language. Make a lot of eye contact."
Sagittarius (Fire Sign)
Compatible with: Aries, Leo, Aquarius, Gemini, and some other Sagittarians
Incompatible with: Virgo, Pisces, some Scorpios, some Sagittarians
Strengths: "Sagittarians keep things exciting and help their partner expand their horizons," says Shea. "They often have the ability to quickly adapt and do well in international romances. They easily express their physical and emotional passion."
Weaknesses: "Sagittarians are known for their sense of adventure and can have a flirtatious nature. It doesn’t mean they’ll be unfaithful, but their carefree attitude could make some partners uneasy. Sagittarians are learning to realize that their partners may not be as independent as they are and could use some reassurance. Their partners may need to learn to give them space and respect their need for freedom."
Advice for Dating One: "Plan something exciting or out of the ordinary. Physical activities like a sport, dancing or hiking are great for Sagittarians," says Shea. "Do something that might be a new experience for them, or expose them to a different culture. Get plenty of rest before the date so you can keep up! Large group activities can be fun. Don’t overlook a Sagittarian's area of expertise. They love to teach and explain. Avoid cutting them off if they're excitedly telling you about something they’re passionate about. And don’t beat around the bush—be direct."
Capricorn (Earth Sign)
Compatible with: Taurus, Virgo, Cancer, and some other Capricorns
Incompatible with: Aries, Libra, some Sagittarius, some Capricorns
Strengths: "Capricorns are reliable, loyal and focused on long-term commitment," says Shea. "It can take them a while to turn over their heart to another, but once they do, they love intensely. Capricorns usually work hard and have a plan for the future. They like to be the best at everything they do and this includes skills in the bedroom!"
Weaknesses: "Capricorns can be very focused on their goals, which could feel isolating to their partner. They're one of the hardest working signs in the zodiac, and their partner will need to remind them that they need spend quality time together. They can be inflexible and unwilling to share responsibilities with others because they don’t like to relinquish control."
Advice for Dating One: "Be punctual and have a plan. Consider asking your Capricorn date exactly what they’d like to do in advance and let them be in charge," says Shea. "Go for quality over quantity—go somewhere that’s known for being the best at what they do, whether it’s food, music, or a guided tour. Avoid groups on a first date. Don’t surprise them. Capricorns like to take charge and they’re good at it, so let them. Don’t expect them to be too open right away. You have to earn a Capricorn’s trust. They do feel intensely, but may not enjoy a conversation-opener about feelings."
Aquarius (Air Sign)
Compatible with: Libra, Gemini, Aries, Leo, and some other Aquarians
Incompatible with: Taurus, Scorpio, some Capricorns, some Aquarians
Strengths: "Aquarians are loyal, fair, and interesting," says Shea. "They're excellent problem-solvers who will also gladly do whatever it takes to please their partner. They have great social skills. Not only are they a good friend to their partner, but they can also help their partner find and enjoy a diverse circle of friends."
Weaknesses: "Aquarians are known for being detached," says Shea. "This doesn’t mean they don’t care—far from it! But they tend to analyze things logically and avoid emotional conversations. They're learning to acknowledge and verbalize their emotions in order to better connect with their partners."
Advice for Dating One: "Be innovative. Surprises are great, as are non-traditional dates," says Shea. "Wear something unique and point out the unconventional things you enjoy about your Aquarian date. Bring up obscure topics and trivia that fascinates you. Ask about their taste in music, movies and books—you’re likely to learn something new. Group activities—small or large—are great for Aquarians. Don’t make assumptions about them, since Aquarians pride themselves on being unconventional. Don’t be rigid about your plans or you’ll risk coming off as uptight to them. Also, don’t try to get too personal too fast. Aquarians need space, so connect with their intellect first."
Pisces (Water Sign)
Compatible with: Cancer, Scorpio, Leo, Virgo, and some other Pisces
Incompatible with: Gemini, Sagittarius, some Aquarius, some Pisces
Strengths: "Pisces are loving, intuitive, and capable of making a spiritual connection through partnership," says Shea. "Pisces love is pure and often without strings attached. They simply want to love and be loved. They can help create peaceful partnerships and teach their partners to let go and trust in the universe."
Weaknesses: "Pisceans are filled with love and sweetness comes naturally to them. But that doesn’t mean they always take action on their ideas. Their partners can get frustrated because they don’t feel appreciated or as if they're part of their partner's long-term vision. Pisceans are learning to act on their good intentions and demonstrate their love and commitment to their partners by following through with their shared plans."
Advice for Dating One: "Be creative. Pisces are usually creative types who enjoy the arts," says Shea. "Include music in your plans, whether it’s listening to it at home, going out to see a band or playing together. Getting out in nature can also be a great way to see Pisces glow with happiness. Avoid groups on the first date and don’t feel you have to structure the whole date. Pisceans tend to go with the flow and will likely enjoy some flexibility. Don’t get annoyed if they aren’t exactly on time. Don’t be vague about how you are feeling. If you’re having fun, let them know it so they don’t start to second-guess things."