How to Tell if You’re Astrologically Compatible With Your Partner


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Compatibility by astrology"
Compatibility by astrology
Graphics by: Aryana Johnson
Graphics by: Aryana Johnson

Compatibility is a mysterious topic—what makes us vibe so well with some people and get the ick from others? Or why do we always seem to surround ourselves with the same type of friends? While I honestly don’t know the big why of everything (if only), I do know that astrology gives us insights into who we might be compatible with and also how to increase our compatibility with a partner by learning how to understand each other better. But how? The good news is that getting started is as simple as knowing a bit about a few different planets and filling in the blanks based on your and your partner’s own unique charts. Compatibility and love are a lot more complicated than simply saying two signs would not work well together (though that can be a good place to start). To really understand your connection to your partner, we need to go a little deeper. Have some time? This is the perfect at-home date night activity to bring you and your partner closer together. So set the mood and get ready to dive in.

Why knowing your compatibility is important

It highlights the types of challenges you might face with your partner

Sometimes, the vibe is right and the love is there, but a few things just aren’t clicking, and we can’t figure out why. Astrology can give us those answers by showing us which parts of ourselves are easily compatible with our partners and which might take more effort. In a past relationship, I, a Scorpio Sun, dated an Aries Sun. By looking at our charts, it was evident we’d face the challenge of him feeling smothered by my need for affection and me feeling rejected by his need for independence. With this in mind, we were able to find a solution that worked for us.

It can help you love each other in the way you need to be loved

Going off that last point, astrology is a really freaking awesome tool for understanding your partner’s needs, which is something that can often feel like a mystery in even the best relationships. Astrology is a roadmap right to making your partner feel valued and loved, and it can also show you exactly what you need from a partner. This information paired with healthy communication? Absolute magic.

It can help you fight better

Fights are inevitable, and the healthy kind of fighting that ends in a resolution can feel oh-so-good. With my Scorpio Mars, my partner knows that a fight isn’t over until I get to the bottom of what caused it and then some. With his Libra Mars, I know that he would prefer to avoid a fight altogether and that I can’t hold onto a grudge (even if I so badly want to sometimes) because things need to be back in balance before we can move on. Learning about how you fight together can create a healthier dynamic and keep things from getting out of hand.

It can help you celebrate your partner’s individuality

One of my favorite things about astrology is that it lets you throw comparison and perfectionism out the window. We all have our own strengths, challenges, and quirks—that’s exactly what makes us unique. Understanding your partner’s birth chart can help you change your frame of thinking from “Ugh! Why aren’t they just more communicative!?” to having empathy for the specific set of traits, challenges, and strengths they came into this life with. Seeing that sometimes people are just the way they are stops you from trying to change them and instead challenges you to see how those energies can work together.

How to determine your compatibility with your partner

1. Find your birth charts

While a full birth chart reading can provide you with a ton of valuable information, we really only need to look at five parts for compatibility: the Sun, Moon, Rising, Venus, and Mars signs. We’ll dive into these below, but to find out which zodiac sign rules each of these planets for you, you’ll need to look at your and your partner’s birth charts. To pull up your chart, head over to astro.com, enter your birth information, and generate the chart. Then, do the same for your partner. There’s a lot to go through here, so pour some wine, lay out a charcuterie board, and get ready for a night of learning more about each other and how to love each other.

2. Understand the elements

First, we’ll focus on the elements of the zodiac (Fire, Earth, Air, Water), which will give you a good feel for how the energies work together in each of these placements. Then, you can dive into your and your partner’s specific signs, which will give you even more detail.

Traits of each element:

  • Fire Signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius): Creative, ambitious, independent, passionate
  • Earth Signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn): Stable, practical, resourceful, security-focused
  • Air Signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius): Communicative, intellectual, social, witty
  • Water Signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces): Emotional, deep, nurturing, intuitive

How the elements pair together:

  • Opposite (but Complementary) Element Pairs: Water/Earth, Air/Fire
  • Challenging Element Pairs: Earth/Air, Fire/Water
  • Other Pairs: Earth/Fire, Water/Air

3. Look at your Sun, Moon, and Rising signs

In astrology, the Sun, Moon, and Rising signs are considered the “Big Three” because they play a huge role in our personality and how we show up in the world. If you and your partner have any elements or signs in common in your Big Three, it’s a solid indicator that there’s compatibility in the relationship. This could mean that both partners have an Aquarius Sun or both have a Scorpio Moon. It could also mean that one partner has a Cancer Sun and the other has a Cancer Rising, for example.

When there are both complementary and challenging elements, look at the overall elemental makeup. For instance, if I have two Water signs and one Air sign in my Big Three, and my partner has two Water signs and one Earth sign in his Big Three, it’s harmonious overall because it’s mostly Water, but we should be aware that we might face some Air-Earth challenges, too.

Here’s what your Sun, Moon, and Rising signs can tell you about your relationships:

  • The Sun: In relationships, the Sun has a lot to do with your value systems, and if two people value different things in life, it can get tough. The other planets carry a bit more weight when it comes to compatibility, but the Sun provides the big picture of how well your values work together and whether you’re moving in the same direction in life.
  • The Moon: The Moon is our emotional side and shows us our comfort zone, what makes us feel loved, and our emotional needs. In a relationship, this can help you make your partner feel loved and safe while also giving you the power to know what you need emotionally (which isn’t always as easy as we’d like to think).
  • The Rising Sign: When you and your partner have similar Rising Signs, it’s almost like your filter on the world is the same. With this placement specifically, opposites can be a good thing and help you both bring different views and perspectives to the relationship.

When you have elements in common:

  • Strengths: People who have elements in common in their Big Three often feel an immediate connection, because some aspects of their personality are similar. You likely have a natural understanding of each other, which can be great for compatibility.
  • Challenges: While you’ll likely face fewer challenges than a pair with no elements in common in their Big Three, there can be too much similarity for comfort.

When you have complementary elements:

  • Strengths: With complementary elements, your differences are your strengths. For example, an Earth Sun is typically serious and hard-working, while a Water Sun is emotional and intuitive. Even though these are opposite traits, the Earth partner has the power to create a space for the Water partner to safely feel their emotions, while the Water partner can help the Earth partner let their guard down and slow down.
  • Challenges: When you don’t take the time to understand how your partner’s differences can help you, it can feel like you’re not compatible. Instead of trying to change them to be more like you, value them for who they are and help each other find balance.

When you have challenging elements:

  • Strengths: When each partner feels secure in the relationship and has the freedom to be themselves, these pairs can learn a lot from each other. They’re so different that it almost forces each person into a process of personal growth.
  • Challenges: These relationships aren’t impossible, but they can be challenging. Fire signs want to be independent and creative, while Water signs need emotional depth. Earth signs are hard-working and stable, while Air signs are changing and flighty.

Other pairings:

Earth/Fire and Water/Air pairings just sort of are what they are. There can be some tension because of the differences, for sure, but there’s also the potential for things to be harmonious. Similar to the challenging elements, get a feel for what your differences might be and work together to find a relationship style that works for both of you.

4. Consider your Venus and Mars for a deeper insight

Venus and Mars are like two peas in a pod. Venus is the softer side of love, like the bond you form with your partner over shared interests or the general happiness you share spending a weekend at home binge-watching Love is Blind. Mars, on the other hand, is the passion, the sex, and the primal attraction. Relationships need a healthy dose of both to thrive.

What your Venus sign can tell you about compatibility

Venus can help us get into the nitty gritty of compatibility in two ways. First, it shows you what you find beautiful in life, which can help you see if you and your partner have interests in common, like a love for the outdoors or an obsession with philosophy. It can also help you understand your attraction to your partner (the beautiful and handsome kind of attraction rather than the hot and sexy kind). Obviously, you don’t need the stars to tell you if you’re attracted to someone (and if you do then you’re probably not, TBH), but if you just feel like there’s something missing, Venus can help you understand why.

What it means when you have Venus signs in common

  • Strengths: Love comes easily and you likely both have similar interests. For example, two Fire Venuses can both love and find beauty in creativity and the arts. Same with attraction—Fire Venuses tend to be drawn toward flashy, creative, and bold looks.
  • Challenges: The real challenges here are that there can be a lack of balance and that the couple can get too comfortable and not expand their view of what’s beautiful in the world because they lack a different perspective.

What it means when you have complementary Venus elements

  • Strengths: Venus is all about balance, and opposite/complementary signs balance each other in the best way. This is an excellent placement for long-term relationships because it’s harmonious while also allowing both partners to teach each other.
  • Challenges: It can take a bit of trial-and-error and time for these pairs to understand each other fully, and there can be some hiccups as they figure each other out. It’s important to recognize the strength that each partner brings to the relationship.

What it means when you have challenging or other Venus element pairs

  • Strengths: With the willingness to learn and a bit of empathy, this pairing can thrive by helping each other learn to love on a deeper level and see beauty in new places.
  • Challenges: At first, it might seem like you’re clashing and have completely different love languages, interests, and styles, so it’s important to come into this relationship with an open mind and a willingness to learn.

What your Mars sign can tell you about compatibility

Keeping the passion alive is critical when it comes to a healthy and happy relationship. Understanding your Mars sign can help you level up your sex life by helping you both get on the same wavelength and communicate your needs effectively. Mars is also important for knowing our fighting style. Some people love to fight, and it’s healthy for them to do so as long as it’s productive, while others would prefer to just talk it out.

What it means when you have Mars signs in common

  • Strengths: Your life in the bedroom is likely easy and fulfilling and you meet each other on the same level as far as passion goes. You also have similar fighting styles, which helps prevent misunderstandings.
  • Challenges: Depending on the elements, two individuals with the same Mars sign can either be overly hot-headed and passionate or lack passion and drive. You can balance the relationship out by developing strategies to de-escalate when things get too intense, or seeking out activities that you both love to bring in more passion.

What it means when you have complementary Mars elements

  • Strengths: This is the optimal pairing as far as Mars goes—with one partner being more focused and stubborn and the other being more flexible and easy-going. With these couples, one partner is usually the peacekeeper while the other keeps things interesting.
  • Challenges: To ensure that both partners understand each other and that the relationship is balanced, open communication is key. Otherwise, the peacekeeping partner can feel overshadowed or the focused one can feel unappreciated.

What it means when you have challenging or other Mars element pairs

  • Strengths: If both partners are willing to work toward it, this pair can lead to sexual exploration and be a lesson in building trust and navigating conflict. This can help both partners grow, mature, and learn from each other.
  • Challenges: One partner can easily become the dominant one in the relationship, so it’s important that both partners make an effort to understand the other and that both have an equal say in the relationship. Again, communication is the secret sauce to making this work.

5. Apply what you’ve learned

Learning about your relationship’s strengths and challenges is just the beginning—the real magic comes when you work together to address those challenges and make your relationship even stronger. Luckily, this isn’t as tricky as it seems. While the best solution is the one that works for you and your partner, here are a few ideas for how to put your new knowledge into action:

  • Have an open conversation. Being in a relationship means not having to figure out everything on your own. Sit down and discuss the potential challenges you might face with your partner and work together to find workarounds. For example, if you need a lot of affection and your partner needs independence, work together to set aside time each week to address both needs, such as one date night a week and one solo night a week.
  • Focus on your strengths. It’s important to plan activities based on your relationship’s strengths to remember why you want to be together in the first place. If you’re both social and communicative Air signs, join a group hike or spend time with friends. If you have different elemental makeups, do something that appeals to both of you. As an example, Water-Earth combos could dive into some home improvement projects, which would appeal to the Water sign’s emotional side while making the Earth sign feel useful.
  • Be honest with yourself. No matter how much we want it, sometimes we’re simply not compatible with another person, or they’re not ready to stand up and meet us as equal partners. Make sure to take the time to reflect and ask yourself: “Is this person making my life better? Can we come together to work on our challenges?” If not, don’t be afraid to give yourself the chance to find the love you deserve.

Resources for an even deeper look at your compatibility



Alice Bell
Trust Your Timing

Vogue astrologer Alice Bell provides a 101 approach to astrological compatibility, from understanding your birth chart to figuring out when you’re most likely to meet “the one.” Trust Your Timing is super thorough and perfect for anyone getting started on their astrology journey. Read our full review of the book here.

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Linda Goodman
Love Signs

If you want a complete rundown of whether your sign is compatible with each of the eleven other signs, look no further than Linda Goodman’s Love Signs. This book dives into the compatibility of all twelve zodiac signs, plus details about each sign that you might not have known before. It’s perfect for comparing notes with your current partner to determine if you’re compatible.

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Steven Forrest
The Inner Sky

Steven Forrest is an extremely well-known astrology writer, and The Inner Sky is possibly his most highly praised work. In this book, Forrest explores astrology as it relates to choice and free will, integrating traditional ideas about the stars with humanistic psychology and ancient metaphysics.

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Annabel Gat
The Astrology of Love & Sex

Annabel Gat’s The Astrology of Love and Sex was written with the complexities of the modern dating landscape in mind. It features twelve detailed chapters that explore how compatibility works, what signs are most compatible romantically and sexually, and more. This is for the beginner zodiac enthusiast who is curious about all things related to love.

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Steven Forrest & Jodie Forrest

In this book, Steven Forrest teams up with with his wife Jodie Forrest to explain what we can learn about our love and sex lives through evolutionary astrology. They emphasize freedom of choice, honest communication, and mutual psychological understanding as the keys to satisfying, lasting intimacy.

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