When first entering a relationship, we’re often on our best behavior. Inspired by the future (and enchanted by the sex), we want to make sure our new partners receive the best versions of ourselves. Soon enough, though, we may we find ourselves falling into old, destructive relationships patterns. Our lovers may have nothing in common with our exes, but somehow, we end up having similar frustrations, with even our arguments sounding the same. What gives?
Of course, cosmic warrior, the common thread running through all your bonds is you. Although your mates may vary, the way that you operate within a relationship is a part of your character — and just as our sun signs can give us clues about our romantic compatibilities, they can give us insight into our relationship pitfalls.
Some signs set impossible standards for their partners (Virgo, Capricorn), and others have a difficult time taking off their rose-colored glasses and getting real (Sagittarius, Pisces). Some are overly combative (Aries, Scorpio), and some are impossibly complacent (Cancer, Libra). And while some signs demand constant attention from their lovers (Taurus, Leo), still others need lots of distance and independence (Gemini, Aquarius).
Ahead, discover what the stars say about your bad relationship habits based on your sign. I know it’s not easy to confront your biggest interpersonal challenges, but hey, if you’re brave enough to confront these now, you can avoid undesired breakups later.
Aries (March 21 – April 19)
Love it or hate it, the first sign of the zodiac is direct, straightforward, and honest, often to a fault. Aries have a nearly toddler-style approach to life: They’re fueled by their passion, and while their fiery dispositions support their signature bravery — governed by Mars, they’re natural warriors — they’re also known to throw horrendous temper tantrums.
In the heat of the moment, these volatile rams may end up saying things they’ll regret moments later. But once Aries cools down, they’re totally over whatever situation enraged them before: They’ve blown off their steam, and they’re ready to move on. Unfortunately, however, not every partner is willing or able to accept Aries’s quick-tempered nature. Coupled rams need to curb their explosive tendencies or risk destroying their relationships altogether.
Taurus (April 20 – May 20)
It’s worth noting that obstinance is often a byproduct of a steadfast commitment to a cause, but Taureans’ stubbornness often gets these earth signs into trouble. Taurus, symbolized by the celestial bull, is a fixed sign: Taurus season occurs in the middle of the spring instead of starting or ending a season, and accordingly, Taureans are terrific at maintaining systems. They pride themselves on loyalty and consistency, so when they make a decision, they stick to it, no matter what.
While loyalty is commendable, Taureans must remember that life isn’t always black and white. Information reveals nuance, situations change, and in any healthy relationship, a certain amount of flexibility helps partners stay present. Taureans should keep in mind that while they don’t have to sacrifice their admirable fidelity, rigidity can do a number on any relationship.
Gemini (May 21 – June 20)
Gemini are curious creatures who love to keep their minds nimble. Symbolized by the twins, Gemini always explore things in multiples. In fact, you can often find these air signs juggling several hobbies, bouncing between friend groups, and even maintaining multiple jobs simultaneously. Gemini are actually happiest when they’re spread thin, and they somehow manage to maintain their frenetic schedules. Simply put, Gemini prefer a busy lifestyle.
But although Gemini have figured out incredible personal systems that satisfy all their passions and interests, these jacks-of-all-trades simply aren’t able to focus too much energy on any singular area. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily bode well when a serious partner comes into the fold. Long-term relationships require commitment, hard work, and lots of attention, which aren’t always easy for Gemini to provide. When coupled, these celestial twins need to make sure they’re prioritizing their bonds: Partnerships put on the back burner are unlikely to flourish.
Cancer (June 21 – July 22)
Symbolized by the crab, Cancers have a special role in the zodiac. The first water sign, these celestial crustaceans are governed by the moon, and they’re known for their nurturing, compassionate, and sensitive dispositions. But just as the moon’s appearance is constantly transforming, Cancers also have a fickle nature and tendency toward moodiness.
Crabs protect their soft interiors with hard outer shells, so when these water signs feel threatened, they’re quick to retreat into their armor. But their defensive habits can also have an antagonistic side: Like crabs, Cancers have claws and can pinch like hell. When coupled, Cancers must remember that misunderstanding and miscommunications are commonplace, and a simple disagreement does not make your lover your enemy. They must actively work on staying present in their bonds. Otherwise, the next time they emerge from their shells, their partners may no longer be there.
Leo (July 23 – August 22)
Represented by the lion, these fire signs love to shine (after all, they’re governed by the sun). On a good day, Leos are warm, generous, and compassionate lovers who radiate their positive energy toward their partners.
If these celestial lions feel that their spotlight is being threatened, though, their dispositions change drastically. Leos are known to have a bit of an ego, and if they believe they are being eclipsed, they can quickly become jealous, possessive, and even controlling. Leos must remember that relationships are about reciprocity and that their lovers also deserve to glow. Medieval astrologers referred to a planet as “combust” if the sun’s rays hid it from view; if Leo isn’t careful to share the stage, they may obscure their partners’ lights in the same manner and damage their relationships.
Virgo (August 23 – September 22)
Virgos are highly intellectual and incredibly observant, and these earth signs love creating systems that are organized and logical. (They make incredible editors since they can identify even the slightest cracks and errors.) But while their attributes are extremely valuable, they can also cause difficulties within a relationship.
Even the happiest couples have disagreements, and it’s normal to expect the occasional interpersonal conflict. Virgos, however, often have a tough time accepting this reality: They want things to be perfect, and when they’re not, Virgos can become obsessed with “fixing things.” When coupled, these earth signs must remember that it’s actually counterproductive to constantly scrutinize relationship dynamics. After all, when it’s held at the wrong angle, a magnifying glass can actually cause serious damage.
Libra (September 23 – October 22)
Libras love to be in relationships. Represented by the scales, they’re always seeking balance: the salt to their pepper, the yin to their yang, the Boris to their Natasha. Obsessed with harmony, these air signs avoid conflict like the plague, and while their diplomatic dispositions may at first seem ideal, they’re ultimately Libras’ greatest partnership pitfall.
Though excessive fighting may be a sign of incompatibility, relationships actually benefit from a bit of active discord: A bond is strengthened as each partner discovers their mate’s wants and needs. And since it’s virtually impossible for a committed couple to never disagree, Libras may become increasingly passive-aggressive and bitter while attempting to steer clear of conflict. Coupled Libras must remember that it’s always better to confront issues directly; otherwise, tension may mount until a breakup is the only solution.
Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)
These intense, shadow-dwelling water signs value their emotional privacy, and it’s not easy for a Scorpio to let someone into their heart. When a Scorpio finally forms a soul connection, though, their lover is locked in, possibly for life. Governed by Pluto, the mysterious planet named after the Roman lord of the underworld, Scorpios can become fixated on maintaining power and control.
If they fear their partner isn’t equally invested in the relationship, they can become paranoid and possessive. Scorpios may even create conflict to test their lover’s devotion, toxic behavior that often backfires. Scorpios must remember that even in serious relationships, people are entitled to their individuality and emotional autonomy. If they’re not careful, their iron grip may be their relationship’s death knell.
Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)
Sagittarius energy captures the spirit of a wildfire: Symbolized by the archer, Sagittarians satiate their curious souls through travel, philosophy, and thrill-seeking. These adrenaline junkies are known to be fiercely independent, but when Sags do decide to couple…well, nothing really changes.
Sagittarians do not compromise when it comes to their wanderlust, so they expect their lovers to be their willing copilots. But while cruising down the Amazon River with your mate is totally fabulous, most of us don’t want to maintain an Indiana Jones lifestyle all the time; serious relationships are also about tackling daily realities together, even when they’re mundane. Coupled Sagittarians must remember that shared routines and stability don’t mean a partnership is boring. If Sagittarians always prioritize chasing excitement over commitment, their adventures are likely to be solo ones.
Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)
Capricorns are the serious, focused bosses of the zodiac. Governed by Saturn, the stoic planet that rules both time and karma, these earth signs are primarily interested in building long-term partnerships that support their goals.
Capricorns are known for their ambition — they’re frequently described as workaholics, in fact — and when they’re in a relationship, they expect their lover’s drive to either match or exceed their own. While the “power couple” thing can be fun, when one partner pushes the other into it, resentment and discontent arise. Capricorns must keep in mind that each person moves at their own pace and also has their own definition of success. When a Capricorn begins to treat their lover like their assistant, the relationship is sure to fold.
Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)
All air signs enjoy connecting with people, but as the final air sign of the zodiac, Aquarians are often more interested in society at large than in their interpersonal relationships. Fervent humanitarians, they are passionate about equality, justice, and egalitarianism. The drawback is that many Aquarians end up channeling all of their energy into making the world a better place, neglecting their partnerships along the way.
Aquarians should remember that while attending to their partners’ wants and needs may not save the world, it’s crucial to the health of their relationships. They must exercise compassion, treating their lovers with kindness and respect. Aquarians will be surprised if a fed-up paramour walks out the door, but that’s what will happen if these water bearers fail to show their appreciation.
Pisces (February 19 – March 20)
Represented by two fish swimming in opposite directions, Pisces is the very last sign of the zodiac. These ethereal water signs are known for their romantic creativity and otherworldly sensibilities. Casually dating a Pisces feels like journeying into another dimension: It’s mystifying, exciting, and enchanting. In a committed relationship, however, the tides are not as easy to navigate.
Pisces operate in their own reality, and these dreamy water signs can accordingly be a bit flaky and unreliable. At the same time, it’s nearly impossible to confront a Pisces with frustrations about their behavior: Since they lack emotional armor, their first move is to swim away. In a relationship, Pisces must remember that their partner’s perceptions of reality are as worthy of contemplation as their own and that feedback is not tantamount to censure. Communication is the key to making sure Pisces and their lovers don’t drift irrevocably apart.