Real Talk: Can Your Astrological Sign *Actually* Help You Make a Match?

Here's how the stars can help you navigate all your work, friendship and romantic relationships

(Image: Maegan Fidelino)
(Image: Maegan Fidelino)

Falling in love can be exciting and wonderful. But it can also be confusing and, sometimes, a complete disaster, which is why so many people look to astrology for help in determining the odds of being a match with someone. But understanding zodiac signs isn’t only useful when it comes to romance—you have relationships with all kinds of people, including colleagues, friends and roommates, and the same wisdom applies.

So if two signs are deemed compatible, then we’re guaranteed harmony, right?

If only relationships could be as easy as following the stars. The truth is a zodiac sign does not determine a person’s entire character, and astrology is not a guaranteed path to perfect pairings. But it can help us understand ourselves—and the people in our lives—a little better.

How to use astrology in your relationships 

Astrological signs are grouped according to four elements: fire, earth, air, water. Each element dictates typical preferences, needs and reactions for those signs, and understanding these energies—and how they connect with yours—can inform how you approach your relationships and help you appreciate where others are coming from.

Fire signs: Aries, Leo and Sagittarius 

Fire signs need to feel alive. They don’t like to waste time, and they get easily bored with tasks and plans that take away from the things they are most passionate about. They don’t like to do anything halfway, and giving them room to express themselves and take their interests to new levels is key to getting along with them. Because they’re often busy focusing on their own goals, fire signs have little time for drama. Neediness, mixed messages and dishonesty are some of their biggest turnoffs.

In love: Fire signs thrive on freedom and independence. If you’re dating one, respect their need for space—giving them room to breathe and make time for their many passion projects will go a long way in your relationship.

As friends: With broad interests and deep loyalty, fire signs can end up with wide circles of friends they collect over the years. Just don’t expect to see them all the time—they stay busy, and clinginess is not their style.

At work: Even in team settings, fire signs need a lot of leeway to make their own decisions. As colleagues, they can be your fiercest competitors if they see you as a threat to their success.

Best paired with: Air signs, whose open-mindedness and curiosity can fuel a fire sign’s inspiration.

Best signs to learn from: Earth and water signs. Earth energy can teach fire to slow down and think things through. Water can help fire signs express their vulnerability and build trust through intimacy.

Earth signs: Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn 

Earth signs thrive on structure, routine and stability. They have comfort zones and are OK with that. They don’t want to be rushed, if they can help it, and when they commit, it’s for the long haul—which means change isn’t always easy for them. Sometimes they avoid it to the point where they end up stuck in a rut. They will deliberate over decisions and like to be methodical in how they move forward, but once they’re ready to take the leap they will follow through.

In love: Earth signs want you to respect their routines, so be willing to work your life into theirs. Big romantic gestures are always appreciated, but simply cooking them a meal at home can go a long way too.

As friends: Dependable and grounded, these are the friends you can count on when everyone else flakes out.

At work: Earth signs do best in structured environments where they know what to expect day in and day out. They are the colleagues who are least likely to rock the boat.

Best paired with: Water signs, who will meet earth’s need for security and dependability but can also teach them to go with the flow sometimes.

Best sign to learn from: Fire, who can push earth out of a comfort zone—but only if earth is willing to let go of old, familiar territory and try something new.

Air signs: Gemini, Libra and Aquarius 

Air signs are curious and ideas-driven. As some of the more social signs of the zodiac, they make great conversationalists and rarely run out of things to say. They are quick thinkers and have no shortage of questions, opinions and answers. If you love to have deep, drawn-out conversations that go off in all directions, air signs are your people. But they can also be conflict-averse; working on understanding other people’s feelings can be a lifelong process for them.

In love: Air signs are turned on by ideas. This is a connection that will grow intellectually first, so don’t expect to get into deeply emotional territory right away.

As friends: These are the friends you can count on when you need to see something from a new angle or when you need someone to give an outside opinion you can trust.

At work: These are the communicators of the zodiac—they’re who you want helping with presentations, sales meetings and brainstorming sessions. They just have to be careful not to get caught up in workplace politics.

Best paired with: Fire, who will be able to appreciate air’s many interests.

Best sign to learn from: Water. Air will have to work hard to learn how to connect to water’s emotional depths.


Water signs: Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces 

Water signs crave emotional security. These sensitive peeps are easily hurt and are often cautious about who they get close to. Deeply compassionate, water signs are often perceptive about other people’s emotions. Because they can tune into others so easily, their energies often get drained by people around them. True to water’s nature, these signs can be wishy-washy and their moods can change quickly. They can take things too personally sometimes, even when an action wasn’t intended to hurt them at all.

In love: When you’re dating a water sign, be prepared to let them know you’re there for them. They want to know that you’re all in before they risk their heart.

As friends: These are your one-on-one pals, the friends you want to call on when you’re not in the mood for a group hang or a crowded place.

At work: Water signs communicate from the heart. They will tell you how they feel about something before saying what they think about it. Having room for open dialogue and being supported is key to a water sign feeling secure in the workplace.

Best paired with: Earth, which can provide the safety and dependability water craves.

Best sign to learn from: Fire or air. Both of these energies like to build momentum and can help water get out of its comfort zone—as long as they take the time to listen to and validate water’s feelings.

Remember: Relationships take work, and the best ones help you grow

Just because you’re an astrological match doesn’t mean the stars are going to do the work for you—you need to put in some effort too. Even the best-suited couples and friends have their ups and downs. Patience, respect and understanding are all important in any kind of relationship.

And don’t be too quick to dismiss someone based on their sign—you might be stunting your personal growth. It’s not uncommon for people who have incompatible signs to fall madly in love or blossom into life-long friends, and the differences that arise in a relationship can be motivating factors for two people to help each other change and grow.