Using astrology to assess romantic compatibility is bullshit. Or is it? Eugenia Loli

Astrology is bullshit. People should stop being so gullible and delusional.

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No! Astrology can be useful in discerning personality traits, providing helpful romantic tips, and offering insights into people's idiosyncrasies.

Listen: It's possible to concur with both views. After a brief obsession with astrology in the 1990s, I gained just enough knowledge about the zodiac to bluff my way through party conversations and to believe that this pseudoscience is neither piffle nor panacea... I think!

Being an Aries-Taurus cusp motherfucker with Virgo rising and moon in Scorpio, I possess the natural ability to see benefits to multiple sides of nearly every issue—and, bonus, the predisposition to copyedit your suicide note. I have so many conflicting forces swirling inside of me, it's a miracle I can finish this goddamn sentence.

Such zodiacal traits often hinder my success in romance. Take my dating history with Cancer women. It just so happens that I've had serious relationships with four of them. Seventy-five percent of those went awry; I assume 50 percent of the responsibility for these failures. In the words of your least favorite politicians, mistakes were made. Certainly, I have flaws (any dilettante knows Taureans are stubborn, secretive, and prone to workaholism). But at least I don't snore.

Conventional astrological wisdom says Taurus-Cancer matches make for a solid love connection. Dig: My late Taurus mother and Cancer father were married for 48 years. Popular author Joanna Martine Woolfolk wrote in The Only Astrology Book You'll Ever Need: "Both are home-lovers, sentimentalists, and highly sexed."

That's not necessarily true. And anyway, for two decades, my experience has been that this supposed compatibility between Taurus men and Cancer women is folly.

The first Cancer woman was a massage therapist whom I met when I was living in Cleveland. On our initial date, Toni (all names have been changed) and I went to a beachfront park near beautiful Lake Erie. There, she explained that any potential suitor needed to understand that she was worthy of being treated like a goddess if he had any hope of getting within sniffing distance of her yoni. My eyes rolled internally, but nevertheless, I persisted.

While I'm loath to ascribe our differences to astrology, the truth is we just didn't jell. Toni's frequent, abrupt mood swings made me anxious. I dislike drama/conflict, and the emotional whiplashing exhausted me. Our togetherness ended after a few months when one day an argument whose gist now escapes me made my brain somersault until it vomited. I literally ran out of her house. About a week later, she appeared unannounced at my building at 3 a.m. She wanted "closure." I wanted to sleep.

The worst thing about this? I never even got a massage!

The second Cancer woman, Rose—a record-store clerk, zine writer, and music fanatic—had been my friend for years. After three-quarters of my music collection was stolen, she'd given me a care package of several CD-Rs of albums she thought I'd want—and threw in an Angela Carter novel. I was touched.

We seemed destined for eternal platonic nerd symbiosis, until one day she decided she wanted to take this thing to the next level. I was surprised, but down for whatever.

While everything was okay with Rose, I felt no spark. "Whatever" became my dominant feeling whenever she wanted to meet. I sensed an encroaching neediness that I couldn't reciprocate. I'd hate to blame the stars for the mismatch. I think it was a classic case of good friends becoming lovers and then—POOF—the friendship dies when the infatuation fades.

The third woman, Pam, flaunted musical tastes that synched up with mine almost exactly. I felt like I'd met my female doppelgänger. We started to DJ together at various venues around Seattle and had some amazing successes. Trouble was, the only places we had any real chemistry were behind turntables and in record stores.

The relationship lasted more than four years, but it probably should have been terminated after four months. Red flags arose early. In the first month, with no remorse, she admitted she'd cheated on a previous boyfriend. She never called me by name, or any term of endearment. She grilled me after I "liked" a Facebook photo of another woman. She'd get testy if I wanted to see a show by an attractive woman musician—which insulted me and the artist. It upset her when, in her presence, I googled a female musician. According to astrology.com, "Cancers tend to be extremely loving and passionate towards their lovers." Pam must have been the exception.

DJing represented our strongest bond. As do parents who stay married for their children's benefit, we did it primarily for musical reasons. Eventually one realizes that not even the most harmonious interests can sustain a happy relationship. Shared musical tastes can bring intense camaraderie, but one can't base a healthy union strictly on that. Six months after our split, when I had the audacity to date another woman, things really got ugly.

Following this last negative experience, I decided I had to eradicate Cancers from my romantic life. The three-strikes rule, right?

Wrong.

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As if in a plot twist out of a middling rom-com flick, I met yet another Cancer woman last year, a health-care administrator whom I'm not even going to give a fake name, because we're still dating. We clicked instantly and profoundly. We've been dating eight conflict-free months. All the problems that had bedeviled previous Cancer relationships—moodiness, neediness, jealousy—haven't surfaced in this one. The curse seemingly is broken.

Maybe astrology truly is bullshit. But as an Aries-Taurus cusp motherfucker with Virgo rising and moon in Scorpio, I'm inclined to remain extremely ambivalent about it.