What makes two people compatible, astrologically speaking? *Sinks back in chair* How much time do you have?
The truth is, any two zodiac signs can make a long-term relationship work if you’re each willing to learn what makes the other tick. Of course, that’s easier said than done when you’ve been burned by your third consecutive Scorpio or let another Aries flip from worshipping you to treating you like their unpaid intern.
We’re not singling any signs out here. They all have their shining traits and red flags. (Read on for this.) The question is, should you tap out or stay in the game? A helpful compatibility tool is comparing your elements. The zodiac has four of them—fire, earth, water, and air—and each of the 12 signs falls into one of these categories.
Fire Signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
Earth Signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
Air Signs: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Water Signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
Fire signs are hot, passionate, exciting, and creative, but they can burn through things quickly (see: money, romantic partners, hobbies).
Earth signs are grounded, steady, and process-driven, but in their desire to plant deep roots, they can also get stuck in place.
Air signs are breezy, social, and move around quickly, yet in their eagerness to chase the latest shiny thing, they can be unstable and hard to pin down.
Water signs are fluid, emotional, and deep, which is all good until they get in a mood and go icy, or vaporize like a ghost and drop out of communication for days.
If you’re newer to astrology, start by comparing your Sun signs, a.k.a. your main zodiac sign. For example, “I’m a Cancer (water), they’re a Capricorn (earth)…what’s the deal with that?”
As you learn more about astrology, you can take the plunge and compare your entire birth charts. Does one of you have a ton of planets in earth signs while the other is mostly fire? That’s another layer of helpful information. Without further ado, read on for what signs go especially well together, and vice versa.
A Guide to Horoscope Compatibility
Fire + Fire
There’s copious heat when a pair of passionate fire signs come together. Since you’re both adventure junkies who crave novelty, this combo guarantees some legendary moments. (RV trip to Coachella on the second date? Why not?) You’ll inspire each other to take chances and go after your loftiest goals. Traveling together is epic! But with your fast-paced lifestyles and ever-changing interests, when can you make time for each other? Burnout is a real issue with your twin ambitions. Fire signs thrive on attention, but neither of you will be able to deliver that on demand. When temperatures blaze, things can get ugly fast.
Fire + Earth
Passionate fire signs and steady, pragmatic earth signs are a productive pair who might even connect through work. (Cue Virgo Bey and Sagittarius Jay meeting at the studio to record “Crazy in Love.”) Encouraging earth signs provide the fuel for fire to burn brighter. Fire heats up reluctant earth and helps get them out of their stubborn ruts. But here’s where conflict arises: fire signs love the thrill of novelty, while earth signs prefer the familiarity of tradition. Figuring out when to have dinner, much less kids, can be an endless tug of war. Fire’s nonstop need for discovery can exhaust earth. In turn, earth’s rootedness can make a nomadic fire sign feel trapped.
Fire + Air
BFFs with benefits? Sounds like an ideal relationship model for fire and air signs, the most free-spirited elements in the zodiac. Cheeky air signs adore fire’s big personalities, while fire appreciates air’s cultivated wit. Together, you’re the life of any party, not to mention quite the smokeshow with your combined style and charisma. When air fans fire’s flames, everything gets brighter and hotter fast! This can be a double-edged sword, however. The blazes must be contained (or at least directed), so these elements can channel their co-created magic into something worthwhile, like, say, creating an actual relationship. Fire’s need for “more, more, more” can suck all the oxygen out of the relationship. When air blows like the wind, fire can feel neglected and abandoned. Ouch!
Fire + Water
There’s no telling what will happen when action-oriented fire signs unite with emotionally driven water signs. There’s certainly a mood of “opposites attract” in these pairings, but if you can find your respective lanes—and support each other through your wildly divergent processes—this combination can be downright steamy. Playfully optimistic fire draws water out of their gloomy spells. When fire starts spreading in too many directions, nurturing, intuitive water can tamp down the excess blazes. Feelings, however, can run the gamut from spicy to icy. Fire signs have hot tempers and water signs are temperamental, thus you may constantly misinterpret each other’s motives. Watch out for guilt trips, disappearing acts, and passive-aggressive head games.
Earth + Earth
Welcome to Stability Central. It’s not hard for two traditional earth signs to find common ground. And when your core values align, pure magic erupts. Earth rules the material realm, so things like family and financial flow are priorities for you both. As natural providers, you both relish being emotional rocks for your people. But if your relationship gets weighed down by responsibility, romance can fade. Lean into your scheduling superpowers and plan regular date nights. A five-course tasting menu with wine pairings, nature hikes, and outdoor concerts are sure-fire resets. Earthy sensuality is big here. A few light touches may be all it takes to get you both in the mood, but why stop there?
Earth + Air
Dust in the wind? Centered earth signs and mercurial air signs can throw each other off balance at first—which is probably why you’re so obsessed with each other. Air signs are fun-loving and witty, which can snap earth out of their stick-in-the-mud ruts. Meanwhile, sensual earth signs can get air to stop and smell the roses, bringing them into their bodies and out of their heads. The main issue is that these signs live in two different “time zones.” Earth signs are disciplined and routine-driven, preferring time-tested traditions from the past. Curious, variety-loving air signs are obsessed with the future, constantly updating and upgrading. The trick is to meet each other in the present moment and cultivate this fascinating relationship one day at a time.
Earth + Water
Like seafoam lapping on the sandy shore, there’s a natural ebb and flow between these two elements. Sensible, secure earth signs create a safe container that allow water signs to flow freely. With their emotional sensitivity, shapeshifting water signs lure status-conscious earth signs into deeper terrain, expanding their creativity and spirituality. Home life can be so blissful for earth and water that you wind up isolating in your insular world. While family and mutual friends take top billing, cultivate at least a few separate interests and friendships so your dependable relationship doesn’t skew codependent.
Air + Air
The air-on-air combo kicks off like a gentle breeze, but hang on to your hat. Your relationship might spin into a hurricane at warp speed. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing! Sometimes life needs a shake-up. You two absolutely get each other in motion, which is a preferred state for free-flowing air signs. Before you know it, you’re signing up for snowboarding lessons, then Airbnb-ing your apartments while you travel as digital nomads for a year. Conversation is the aphrodisiac for sapiosexual air signs, but remember that touching can be as pleasurable as talking and texting. As inherently social creatures, troubles may arise if you don’t find an overlap in your extracurricular interests and friend groups.
Air + Water
Although you’re as different as they come, cerebral air signs and empathic water signs can definitely make some waves. When water is drowning in a mood, breezy air signs are a breath of fresh air. Meanwhile, soulful water reminds air to come down from the clouds and actually feel. Regulating the need for attention and affection can be challenging in these matchups. Water signs may feel ignored (or legit abandoned) while air signs endlessly text their 1,001 friends or show up late for a family dinner because they were having “the most amazing conversation” with a relative stranger. Solution-driven air signs struggle to understand water’s mood cycles, which span the range from placid to icy to stormy and back again…and again.
Water + Water
There’s no shortage of nurturing when two soulful, sensitive water signs sync up. At last, you’ve found someone who understands your big feelings and fluctuating moods. But this pairing isn’t necessarily a placid one. Your emotional current changes so frequently that you can flood each other with feelings, ice each other out, or even vaporize when the temperature gets too hot to handle. There’s no denying that water sign relationships run deep. As such, it’s easy to screen out the rest of the world. But don’t! When the going gets tough, you’ll both benefit from the support of outside friends, family, and yes, therapists who can help you cool down instead of impulsively reacting.