Are you the type of person who filters dating-app matches by zodiac sign or routinely asks everyone you know for their time of birth so you can get the inside scoop on their natal chart? If so, then learning that your zodiac relationship compatibility seems to be lacking can be a huge disappointment. But the next time this happens, pause before casting away yet another could-be special person in your life. Because as it turns out, there are some huge myths about astrological compatibility that you should definitely know about.
Below, four astrologers weigh in on the most prevalent myths regarding zodiac relationship compatibility.
Myth 1: Incompatible sun signs are no-go
“You may exclaim to your friends, ‘ugh I’d never date a self-centered, stage-hogging Leo.’ But then you pull up your own chart and realize you’re an Aquarius rising, putting Leo in your 7th house, the house of relationships and marriage,” says astrologer Mackenzie Greer. “Maybe on top of that, you discover you have a Leo moon. Suddenly your disdain for Leos becomes much more interesting, because they’re actually a big part of your story. You’re being called to explore your relationship to the Leo archetype.”
A big takeaway here is that moon signs are super-important, and having compatible moon signs can register as feeling seen, heard, and validated on an emotionally profound level.
Myth 2: You should compare charts upon getting someone’s birth time
Before trying to determine whether or not there are celestial sparks between you and someone else, you’d be wise to introspect first. “It’s way more important, especially when you’re in the beginning stages of dating, to analyze your own chart first,” says astrologer Maria Sofia Marmanides.
So before you ask what someone’s birth time is, Marmanides suggests teasing out the following intel from your own chart: How do you give and receive love through your Venus sign? How do you emotionally process things with your moon? What does your 5th house of romance and love ask of you? And how does that work with your 7th house of commitments and partnerships, and their planetary rulers?
“It’s way more important, especially when you’re in the beginning stages of dating, to analyze your own chart first.” —astrologer Maria Sofia Marmanides
“Once you are centered on what you want, you’re better able to understand if this relationship can provide you with what you need in a way that respects your boundaries and needs without trying to become something for someone else,” Marmanides says.
Myth 3: Sun signs are the first thing to consider
When looking at your own chart, it’s crucially important to connect with your moon sign, which supports your inner, emotional world. As transformational astrologer Corina Crysler puts it, “the wisdom of the soul lives in the emotion.”
“Water moon signs need to emotionally connect; their love language is touch, so they need to feel loved and supported,” says Crysler. “Fire moon signs need passion and to be seen by their partners to connect—so their actions speak louder than words. Air moon signs need a partner with good communication skills in order to feel love. Earth moon signs need to feel secure and safe, and will connect to someone they can trust, to feel love.”
Myth 4: Hard aspects are terrible news
Greer is clear that seeing hard or challenging aspects between charts shouldn’t dissuade anyone from pursuing a love interest. Instead, she says, these features should intrigue you: “It’s a cosmic invitation toward growth, depth, and a better understanding of yourself and the art of relationship. Beginners tend to think of the hard aspects as unequivocally ‘bad,’ while the smoother aspects, trines, and sextiles, are unanimously ‘good,’” she says. “The hard aspects are undeniably indicators of stress, tension, and projection, yet that very stress is what’s required to trek deeper into the heart of love. Not to mention, hard aspects between certain planets—like Mars and Venus or Venus and Pluto—can make people act like magnets toward one another, as [the aspects] seriously increase sexual chemistry.”
“Tension gets things moving, while ease tends to maintain the status quo of your baseline self. Balance is key.” —astrologer Mackenzie Greer
Furthermore, if everything is all easygoing trines and sextiles, a relationship can skew passive and devoid of personal growth and progress. That said, constant tension and conflict is, of course, not the goal either. “My point is that tension gets things moving, while ease tends to maintain the status quo of your baseline self,” Greer says. “Balance is key.”
Myth 5: Opposite signs mean lack of compatibility
While we’ve already established that compatibility is more advanced than examining sun signs alone, it’s also worth noting that opposite zodiac signs (that is, signs that are on the opposite side of the wheel) can make for a perfect match.
“Look to the opposing sign in your birth chart to find your sun-sign match,” says Crysler. “Aries is Libra, Taurus is Scorpio, Gemini is Sagittarius, Cancer is Capricorn, Leo is Aquarius, Virgo is Pisces. The opposites in astrology complement each other and give the opposite characteristic to the other sign, making them stronger together.”
Myth 6: Planets and signs are all that matter for compatibility
As it turns out, elements—in addition to planets and signs—are important when it comes to zodiac relationship compatibility. “In keeping with the flow of opposites attract, the opposing elements are fire/air, and Earth/water,” says Crysler. “Fire rules action, passion, and creativity, whereas air rules intellect, flow, and freedom,” says Crysler. “Earth rules logic, resources, and grounding, whereas water rules emotions, intuition, and creativity. The opposite element will bring more balance into a relationship instead of blocking them out or too much of one element creating imbalance.”
Myth 7: “Bad” zodiac relationship compatibility exists
People are people, and charts are charts. And as many cosmic experts, like astrologer Bess Matassa, will tell you, compatibility is really reliant on the type of relationship you’re seeking. “I believe that we find each other in order to awaken energies we’re ready to encounter, and that there are no inherently ‘good’ or ‘bad’ matches,” says Matassa. “It’s all about the flavor of cosmic collision you’re seeking. Some people want more contrast and intensity in their relationships, and some prefer a smoother ride.”
But if you do want some specific advice to guide you when it comes to astrological compatibility? “In general, I’d say the moon sign gives us some keys to our secret diaries of emotional needs, so it can be juicy to start there,” Matassa says.