How to Know If Your New Relationship Will Work, Astrologically

Written by: Jennifer Freed, PhD


Published on: October 6, 2022


Art courtesy of @scalpel.collage

Talk to a novice astrologer about your dating life and they might warn you that compatibility is written in the stars. (“A water sign like Cancer could never work with an air sign like Aquarius.”) But the pros will tell you that’s just not true.

Psychological astrologer Jennifer Freed, PhD, says that comparing your astrology chart with your lover’s is less about determining your fate and more about understanding your dynamic as a couple. Maybe the sexual chemistry is off the charts but you’re prone to tiffs. Or perhaps you tend make each other big, beautiful promises that are difficult to keep.

  1. Freed created a cheat sheet for identifying how the astrological elements of fire, earth, air, and water show up in our romantic relationships. And her new book, A Map to Your Soul, is a complete guide to harnessing the elements to live a full, purposeful life. On October 11, Freed and Gwyneth will be sitting down to chat about the elements, self-inquiry, and all things psychological astrology—grab your ticket now and tune in Tuesday.

  2.  A Map to Your Soul
    Jennifer Freed, PhD A Map to Your Soul goop, $26

The Elements of Dating

If you’re out to find a suitable and compatible partner, here is a short tutorial on cosmic chemistry to assist you in your quest.

Within every person’s astrology chart there are four elements: fire, earth, air, and water.

Fire (Aries, Leo, Saggitarius) focuses on dynamic, intense, bold, creative energy. Earth (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) focuses on body sensations, sensuality, solidity, and slow, steady movement. Air (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) focuses on the mind—the sharing of ideas and perspectives. Air likes openness and space. Water (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) focuses on feelings, tenderness, sensitivity, and compassion.

We typically have all these elements in our overall makeup. However, we tend to lean into one or two of them when we are in mating or seduction mode.

In astrology, there are no definitively good or bad combinations. With any combination of elements, a couple may experience both aspirational chemistry and certain challenges.

An example: My friend C is quite the idealist and conversationalist. She expresses air. C started dating R, who is a passionate, bold adventurer. He expresses fire. All went well at first: R romanced C with bold gestures, and C imagined a fairy-tale life with this gorgeous prince. But once they started getting physical, R was way too fiery for C: Despite C’s protestations, he persistently expressed his desire through biting. Once C grew weary of saying that biting was not her thing, it ended.

Recognizing the way her air and his fire did not work well together helped C see that this was not a love for the ages. I’m confident that charming R will find a match, and C is still convinced she will find her fairy-tale mate.

When you’re dating someone new, it can be helpful to notice how things are going on the elemental level. And it’s great to discuss this with your date: Ask each other to share which element you identify most with and which element is your least developed.

Approach the elemental chemistry you have with a prospective partner from a space of curiosity. This conversation is about increasing self-awareness and attunement to your partner. Both are keys to fully realized intimacy.

Sometimes, as in the case of C and R, it becomes obvious quite quickly that the combination is not workable. This is fabulous: It allows both suitors to put their energy into finding more-appropriate mates.

But if you like each other enough to keep seeing each other, look at the pros and cons of each elemental blend. See if you notice these patterns coming up and name them.

Elements in Relationship Cheat Sheet



Fire + Fire

Sizzle sizzle!

Arguing feels like foreplay

Lots of hot quickies

Great creative collaboration

Explosive and mean

Fire scorches and ends quickly

Too much sarcasm

Fire + Earth

Warmth and reliability

Contained passion

Inspiring practicality

Snuff out fire with smothering

Scorched earth

Impatient, pushy conflict

Fire + Air

Thrilling, motivating, expansive dynamism

Exaggerated promises

Reckless, destructive enthusiasm

Fire + Water

Chemistry brews slow and builds

A simmering and steaming heat

Boiling and unmanageable emotion

Dousing out exuberance with a wet blanket

Earth + Earth

Slow, reliable, and highly touch-oriented

Stuck in the mud

No variety

Earth + Air

Anchored imagination

Planned frivolity and romance

Bursting the balloons of fun with overly critical comments


Unrealistic expectations

Earth + Water

Luscious emotional connection and understanding

Unclear, confusing communication

Slippery boundaries and undependable words

Air + Air

Flying high with positivity and possibility

Space cadets multiplied

Logic blocks the heart connection

Too much distance

Air + Water

Highly sensitive and nurturing conversations

Objectivity about difficult situations or disagreements

Remote and arrogant about sensitive topics

Emotionality drowns out reason

Water + Water

Bathing in emotional resonance and going with the flow

Meltdowns at every turn

Overwhelming feelings create paralysis of action

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