If you’re a skeptic when it comes to astrology, you probably use your friends, social media, and intuition to judge romantic compatibility when it comes to potential partners. However, you might not know that your astrological (AKA zodiac) sign can actually tell you a lot about your personality traits, needs, and desires. Much like a Myers-Briggs type, your zodiac sign can help you better understand yourself, and the more you know about yourself, the greater chance of success in relationships. Rachel Lang, a professional astrologer, can help you understand what your astrological sign means and how you can use it in your relationships.

A happy couple poses for a selfie

Lang shares that astrology has been studied for thousands of years and has long been part of what she calls “our collective subconscious here on Earth.” While there is plenty of research surrounding the subject, Lang says that astrology is, at its simplest, the relationship between heavenly bodies and events on the planet.

In our everyday lives, astrology plays a role in our zodiac sign. This sign, also referred to as a sun sign or astrological sign, is derived from the position the sun was in at the time of your birth. While there are other significant factors in your astrological chart, your sun sign is arguably the most important. “Your sun sign is your juice,” Lang reveals. “It gives the basis for your personality, but we aren’t just our sun signs.”

Since your sign can say so much about you, it makes sense that it can help you understand yourself and your romantic relationships. While this concept might seem nebulous, Lang explains that it can be boiled down to elements and qualities. That is, each sign has an element — air, fire, earth, or water — and qualities that can be fixed, cardinal, or mutable. The ins and outs of these elements and qualities can be pretty complex, but they can help you understand potential compatibility with a partner.

A couple plays with their dog

The way this works is through compatibility of the elements; that is, if your sign’s element works well with your partner’s sign’s element, you have great potential compatibility. Certain qualities can help predict potential compatibility as well. There’s an important distinction to be made here, though: While your sun sign can point to signs of compatibility, Lang cautions that it’s not the one and only way to predict the success of a relationship. “Your sign shows who you relate with, feel at home with, and get along with,” Lang says. “But there’s astrology — then there’s upbringing, life factors, and beliefs that help determine compatibility.”

This means great news for couples whose signs are “incompatible” on paper. In fact, Lang admits that incompatible signs in some cases might be a good thing. “We all seek relationships with tension,” Lang reminds us. “That’s why you can have a relationship with someone of any sign: We all have strengths and weaknesses and things that make us different. We grow through challenge and conflict.”

What role does astrology play in your relationship? Let us know @BritandCo!

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