I was a hardened astrology skeptic until my mother, a lover of all things woo-woo, booked me in for a chart reading with an eccentric septuagenarian astrologer named Fritz on my 18th birthday. In the 90-minute session, Fritz cracked a window onto my angsty teenage soul: Everything about me—from my nerdy obsession with Manga cartoons to my quirky fashion sense—seemed to be written in the stars.
A few years later when I first discovered Linda Goodman’s Love Signs, I learned that astrology could come in handy when it came to navigating my romantic life too. Heralded as “the first astrological blockbuster,” the book was essentially a self-help guide for lovelorn astrology geeks. Goodman takes each of the 12 sun signs and explores the romantic compatibility with each of the others in detail.
You don’t have to get too deep into the almost 1,000-page text to understand that Linda lived on her own kooky planet. In the foreword, she explains that she wrote Love Signs over the course of a decade while sequestered in a haunted suite at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, finally completing the book in 1978, a scenario that brings to mind Miss Havisham levels of insanity. (It’s worth noting that, fours decades on, the book’s conventional heteronomrative framework in no way stands the test of time.)
Still, it’s hard not to be just a little charmed by Love Signs. Like your favorite auntie, Goodman draws you in with her deliciously gossipy tone, casually dropping romantic advice in the form of cosmic cautionary tales. Sometimes it hits so hard the hairs on the back of your neck will stand up. Other times, you’re left thinking what the hell was this woman smoking. You don’t have to be a believer to enjoy the book—true believers will know it’s more about your chart anyway—but you do have to be a sucker for a good love story.
Revisiting Love Signs during these strange days, so many moons after I first picked it up as a guileless 20-something Taurean transplant from London, has been something of a revelation. About halfway through reading it again, it dawned on me: Could it be that I’ve dated every freaking sign of the Zodiac? (Yes, really!)
And so in the spirit of comparing notes—and of course, Valentine’s Day—I’ve catalogued my experiences as they relate to the 12 astrological love matches for my sun signs as described by Goodman.
The Jovial Taurus
A few years back, an astrologer (not Linda Goodman) told me I’d do well with a Taurus. The idea immediately struck me as a bit of a snooze. Who wants to date somebody with all the same irritating hang ups as them?
When I did finally met a Taurus man, it didn’t feel like I’d met my match exactly. In some ways we were similar: he liked plant pots, yoga, green juice, and sitting under trees maybe more than any other man I’ve met. But in all other things we were worlds apart.
Oddly my first date with this Taurus ranks as one of the best of all time. In truth, it didn’t start out as “a date” at all: I was interested in buying his ceramics, so he invited me over. One thing led to another and somehow we ended up goofing around playing target practice with broken pots and BB guns in the back of his studio. Then seemingly out of nowhere, he produced a tandem bike—wouldn’t it be fun to take a ride through Greenpoint at golden hour he said. Sitting on the back of this beautiful bike made for two, the wind blowing in my hair, was totally dreamy. We passed by his favorite antique store (or course he had perfect taste) and then made a pit stop for coffee. I thought to myself: Does this day really have to end?
What happened next contradicts everything you’ll read about Taureans: he actually turned out to be sort of a flake. Like most bulls though, he did have a sensational sense of humor. About a year after that magical date, he sent me a gift that still makes me smile to this day: a ceramic pot modeled after a man’s lower torso with the words “Property of Chioma Nnadi” painted across the butt.
The Handsome Libra
Besides being level-headed, mild mannered creatures, Libras have a reputation for being good looking. Goodman doesn’t hold back in her depiction of the attractive Libra. She gushes endlessly about their “satiny voices,” their “gorgeous laugh,” their “beautiful eyes” etcetera etcetera. “A Libra smile is a deadly weapon that should be outlawed,” she writes.
The Libra man I dated in my 20s was tall, dark, and yes, devastatingly handsome. When we met at a fashion party in the Meatpacking District, I remember thinking I’d seen him before—because who would forget a face like that? Then I realized I had actually seen his face plastered on a billboard for Abercrombie and Fitch overlooking 8th Avenue.
When he asked for my number at the end of the night, I legitimately thought he was joking. My coworker, a plain-spoken Gemini who later ran into us on a date at a now shuttered bowling alley in Union Square, was eager to share her personal thoughts about this too. “Chioma, that guy is too good looking for you,” she said wagging her finger.
Believe it or not, the handsome Libra man didn’t turn out to be such a bad boyfriend, even if long-term romance was never on the cards for us two. (Libra is the cardinal of the three air signs, which is bad news for an earth-bound bull like me.) Truthfully, the pretty boy thing did end up being tiresome. Men and women would flirt with him shamelessly, then slip their number into his pockets when they thought I wasn’t looking—it didn’t seem to matter that I was standing right there, holding his hand. One time we walked into a Macdonald’s in the village, and the entire joint erupted in a chorus of wolf whistles. Still, true to his well-adjusted Libran nature, he never did let it go to his head.
The Neat Freak Virgo
Known for their inscrutable perfectionism, Virgo might be the most anally retentive sign of the zodiac—as someone whose rising sign is Virgo, I say this with love. I once dated a Virgo who organized his closet so meticulously it looked like the inside of a Ralph Lauren store; nubby cardigans hung on wooden hooks just so, rows of perfectly worn-in brogues lined the shelves; stacks of polo shirts were neatly folded, then colored coded. Even in the throes of passion, he’d pause to tidy away the clothes I’d tossed on the floor of his well-appointed Brooklyn loft. God forbid I borrow one of his Purple Label shirts!
As Goodman tells it, it’s impossible to seduce a Virgo man for various reasons, partly because, as Virgins, they’re literally absorbed with themselves. Even still, she posits that for the Virgo and Taurus, “there’s a lot going for the relationship from the start.” This, in my humble opinion, is highly debatable.
I will say that the first man to float the idea of marriage was a Virgo. Six years after we broke up, in which time he’d moved to Virginia, found god, and been ordained as a pastor, this Virgo man called me out of the blue. “What if we made a proper go of it?” he said with a perfunctory tone, as if he was proposing driving lessons not marriage. “There’s a fashion college in the next town, you could teach there when you move here.” I didn’t have to consult my copy of Love Signs to know the answer was no.
The Spicy Aries
Aries are known to be fiery, outgoing types. In my experience, they’re also great dancers. My salsa teacher was supremely talented in that respect, brimming with Big Aries Energy despite his compact frame; even in his chunky, 3-inch platform sneakers, he was barely 5ft 7” tall.
As Goodman tells it, Aries need “a dash of magic to make life interesting.” Sparks did indeed fly on our first date. Thanks to his experts skills—he was actually the Cuban Salsa Champion of the World—dancing together felt like walking on air.
And yet what goes up… must come down. Goodman’s advice on the matter is sobering. “You can see right away that these people are not Bobbset Twins,” she writes. As predicted, the spell was swiftly broken. Before I’d even graduated from beginner to intermediate, he’d found a new dance partner—petite, feisty, and a Sagittarius—in the advanced class.
The “Twinning” Gemini
This chapter should probably come with a trigger warning, given the number of people I know who’ve had their heart broken by a Gemini. I remember ribbing my Gemini ex boyfriend about this when he first slid into my DMs. “You know, you and I are the astrological match from hell. We’re doomed!! HAHAHAH” I wrote with a flurry of crystal ball emojis.
Geminis might have a reputation for being badly behaved and inconsistent, but really I think they’re deeply misunderstood. As Goodman points out, you are essentially dealing with two personalities. On a good day, they’re excellent conversationalists, quick witted and exceptionally sharp. On a bad day, well, let’s just not even go there.
The trick to making it work with a Gemini is to avoid their evil twin at all costs. My ex boyfriend’s evil twin had an annoying habit of rearing his ugly head at the most inopportune times, when we were rushing to catch a flight (evil Gemini twin can’t bear to be late!), or waiting on line for a table at a restaurant (evil Gemini twin needs food!); there was nowhere to run or hide. For this unfortunate situation, Goodman has plenty of sympathy. “Pity the poor Taureans who are faced with these two fast-moving people!” Just like I said, doomed from the start.
The Oddball Aquarius
“There are exceptions, but the average Taurean girl who is unhappily involved with an Aquarian male is more vulnerable to being devastated by it than he is,” writes Goodman. By the time I came to read these fateful words, it was already too late: l was hopelessly in love with an Aquarius. Wonderfully gregarious, deeply humanitarian, and truly impossible to pin down, my ex boyfriend fit the sign’s oddball profile to a T. Goodman’s description of his eccentricities is especially uncanny, down to his weird aversion to kissing and back rubs (though his obsession with Hello Kitty ephemera is clearly unique to him.)
Did we find common ground? Very rarely. Where I was content with dinner-and-a-movie dates, his idea of a cute night out usually involved value meals at White Castle or breaking into abandoned buildings with his skateboard. What class! Somehow though, every moment we shared was giddy and enchanting. Even my Aries mom fell for his charms, though she had his number long before I did. “You know he’s sort of like a glass of champagne,” she said shortly after being introduced, “fun for the night, but you’ll have a hangover in the morning.”
The Hybebeast Leo
Leos are usually big, warm-hearted creatures who like to be the center of attention. I’ve personally always had a soft for them. For all my enthusiasm though, Goodman doesn’t seem to see much fertile ground between us. The one thing she does see is a shared sense of loyalty. Fun fact: I dated a Leo who literally had the word loyalty tattooed across his chest.
Me and this hypebeast Leo also shared a love of fashion. In fact he would often remind me that Coco Chanel was a Leo (and yes, Barack Obama too). I used to joke that he loved sneakers the way Carrie Bradshaw loved Manolos: you literally couldn’t move in his apartment for Nike boxes. Ultimately, trying to imagine how we could ever share a closet—let alone the rest of my lives together—was virtually impossible.
The Wishy-Washy Pisces
In nature as in astrology, earth and water elements are technically very compatible. In the best case scenario for a Taurus and a Pisces, they are “magically pulled together in order to carry out the karmic balance of action and reaction.” Goodman cites the poets Robert Browning (a Taurus) and Elizabeth Barrett (a Pisces) as the perfect example of this pairing. As the story goes, their courtship was conducted in secret; Barrett’s father strongly disapproved of the union. Barrett literally snuck out of the house to marry her boo.
Sounds all very romantic doesn’t it? But don’t be fooled: there is a B-side to the Taurus-Pisces dynamic that plays out quite differently. “The wrong blending of these two can create mud or quicksand,” writes Goodman. Let’s just say things can get messy.
Pisces are elusive and mysterious creatures, which makes them very intriguing for the simple Taurus. True to form, my Pisces man suggested we meet at the Russian bath house in the East Village. At first I couldn’t decide whether this was intriguing or maybe just an odd choice for a first date. Once I’d got past the standard issue swimwear situation, and the fact that I was practically naked with a man I barely knew, things improved considerably.
Little did I know that steam rooms and cold baths were basically this man’s raison d’etre. He’d fill his weekends with excursions to bathhouses in far-flung corners of the Tri-state. “There are these great Korean spas that are open all night in Jersey,” he’d tell me excitedly. Naturally his curious obsession made it impossible for our relationship to take root; soon all prospects of hanging out dried up. Weirdly enough, I wasn’t that bummed really; plenty more fish in the sea.
The Emotionally Unavailable Cancer
Admittedly, the research I have on Cancer men is pretty thin. I will say that I’m blessed to have a sweet and loving Cancer man for a father. Cancers are known to be sensitive types and tend to have a high emotional IQ. As Goodman points out, they’re also ruled by the moon and prone to mood swings. They feel things deeply, so when they are wounded in love it can take them a while to get over it.
Such was the case with the Cancer man I encountered when I first moved to New York. He had kind, dark eyes, and a warm smile, and yet you could practically see the sad little rain clouds gathering over his head. Despite the obvious red flags, I persisted. Maybe my Taurean charms could help turn his frown upside down? “Love at first sight is not quite what happens when an Earth sign like Taurus meets a Water sign like Cancer, it takes time,” writes Goodman.
Turns out this Cancer was more than a little lovesick—but not about me. He spent most of our date at a tapas bar in Nolita bemoaning a recent breakup. “She just radiated beauty,” he said, reaching for his fourth gin and tonic. “It was like a halo glowed around her head.” I stuck around long enough for the patatas bravas I’d ordered to arrive and listened to the story of his ex girlfriend, a free-spirited Aries who had dumped him for a wealthy Sagittarius hotelier and moved to Costa Rica, then made my excuses and left. There was nothing more to be done. The only thing that might heal his broken Cancerian heart, was time.
The Couch-Surfer Sagittarius
When it comes to my romantic life, I think it’s best not to recycle the past. In my experience, things rarely work out any better second time around. The Sagittarius man has been the exception to that rule. He was just an awkward teenager when I first sidled up to him at a hip hop party in soho. I was 22 years old, three years his senior so practically a cougar.
Predictably the love connection was short-lived. (Maybe three weeks at best?) He disappeared and then resurfaced a few years later, a little older and maybe wiser too, but still restless in his soul. As I had learned from Love Signs, Sagittarius are dreamers. They’re always flying off in search of adventure. Holding down a conventional job was never going to be his thing. Even when a fancy advertising firm chased him down with the promise of a six-figure salary, he had no trouble turning them down even if it meant sleeping on his mom’s couch.
The Sagittarius man “needs a woman who will believe all his dreams and not one who constantly pops his balloons with needles of doubt.” And it’s true that maybe too often I rained on his parade. When he suggested we try for a baby, I wondered aloud how we’d find room for a crib in my tiny apartment. I mean, I already had two roommates!
Even still, our shared love of simple pleasures always brought us back together. On the mornings that he’d walk me to work, holding my hand for the hour-long trek to Manhattan, I was reminded that the sweetest things in life are free.
The Gentlemanly Capricorn
Of all the signs in the zodiac, Capricorn might be the one that got away, at least for me. According to Goodman, Taurus and Capricorn are practically soul mates. “When these two animal meet at the zoo, the ground shakes with the vibrations of destiny,” she says. “Who knows what success lies ahead when a bull and a goat get into harness together.”
Sadly it took my Capricorn suitor a couple of attempts to even get my attention in the first place. The poor guy sent flowers to my office twice—first pink roses, then orchids. (In all fairness, he forgot to sign his name on the first bunch.)
Capricorns are modest and reserved. And as Earth signs, they’re also pretty dependable. So don’t expect any curveballs here. This Capricorn man was also very generous. Each time we’d meet, he’d bring me a small gift. So when I mentioned on date two that my friend, a gentle Virgo, had just had a baby boy, he showed up on date three with a big box from Bloomingdale’s for the little guy. “Oh my god you should marry this man!” my friend said gleefully unwrapping the onesies. Was it me, or was this Capricorn trying too hard?
Regrettably he didn’t really get the chance to prove himself either way. Just as I was warming to him, the couch-surfer Sagittarius came back around yet again; poor mister Capricorn was dropped like a hot potato! If Linda Goodman would call this a cruel twist of fate, my therapist would say it was self-sabotage.
The Seductive Scorpio
Picture the scene in Jungle Book when Mowgli is hypnotized and damn near suffocated by Kaa, the cunning boa constrictor, and you’re halfway to comprehending the complex Taurus-Scorpio dynamic. Goodman sums up the ominous nature of this union like this: “The more quickly this horror is disposed of, the better.”
Scorpions are sexy and secretive, the kind of people who lurk on Instagram but rarely post. My Scorpio crush was for sure far too cool to be on social media. He also suffered from Batophobia, the fear of being in or close to tall buildings. Instead of picking me up at my office, a medium-sized skyscraper in midtown, we’d meet at a park nearby. It was weird, but I liked him anyway. Plus he’d always come wearing some ridiculously stylish outfit—maybe a powder blue suit and a matching headwrap to keep his dreadlocks in place—then off we’d go for vegan lunch.
Perhaps sensing my hesitation, he never pushed the friendship any further. Which is probably for the best—because oh the horror! And yet part of me still thinks, what if?
Article Source – Vogue.com