Back when I was on dating apps in my twenties, I made sure to never post my zodiac sign in my profile. As a Virgo, I was worried people would use my astrological sign — which has a reputation for being bossy — against me.
Many of the profiles I viewed didn’t include this kind of information either. But astrology has boomed in the past few years, especially among millennials. It’s not uncommon to see people post their signs –- sun, moon, and rising — in their online dating profiles. Bumble, a popular dating app, even allows users to search for matches based on their astrological sign.
And while posting your zodiac sign in your profile carries risks (not everyone, for example, wants to date “steamy” Scorpios), astrologers like Christopher Renstrom, author of the upcoming book Astrology: Here and Now, believe that posting your sign in your profile could be a very good thing –- both for people who believe in astrology and even more casual fans.
If nothing else, astrology gives you something to talk about.
Astrology is the ultimate conversation starter
Few things in life are more exhausting than trying to strike up a conversation with a total stranger on Tinder, Bumble, or OkCupid. I can’t tell you the number of chats I had that started and ended with the word “Hi.” Even though I consider myself an extrovert, I was often at a loss. What do you say to someone who mentions they’re looking for a generic “partner in crime” and includes no other information about themselves at all?
Regardless of how you feel about astrology, asking about someone’s zodiac sign is at least mildly more interesting than asking them some useless question about their hobbies.
Christopher Renstrom told Mashable he strongly believes you should include your zodiac sign in your profile:
“First of all I think it’s less incendiary than posting your political party because of the current political time we’re in. … Astrology is really conversational. People are already posting the music they like and their favorite songs. It makes sense to post your astrological sign too.”
Think of it this way. Would you rather start a conversation with a stranger over Tinder about who they’re voting for in the Democratic primary and risk a meltdown or exchange some charming pitter-patter about your sun sign?
The latter has to be preferable, even if you don’t believe in astrology.
It’s better to get it out there
People tend to have strong beliefs about astrology. Either they love it, find it fun but question its value, or really hate it. Renstrom also wants astrology fans to post their signs in their profiles as a way to screen out potential dates who think the practice is a joke.
He says, “You’re showing that you’re interested in astrology. It shows that you’re educated and literate about it. If a [potential date] has a problem with that, then you know [it’s probably not a match] … This will get rid of the ‘rational person’ who’s going to laugh at you for believing in this … But if they can respond in a way that shows they’re familiar with the lexicon, that’s great.”
Renstrom encourages people who post their signs in their profile to include more than their sun sign, ideally their moon and rising as well. Not only are the three signs more descriptive of a person’s personality, they show fluency in astrology, which may be appealing to folks who are deeply invested in the process.
“It’s like — ‘Here are my three signs,'” Renstrom says. “‘If you know about any of this, that’s going to be a plus about my responding to you. I shouldn’t have to feel like I have to defend or explain myself.'”
Whether you’re a strong believer in the practice or a profound hater, it’s always wise to be honest.
For believers, astrology is the best kind of guide to the soul
If you don’t care about astrology, seeing someone’s sun, moon, and rising signs in their profile probably means very little to you -– just that they care more about astrology far more than you do. If you’re a believer, however, astrological data is key.
Perhaps you’re an Aries who has historically clashed with other Aries. Maybe you’re a Taurus who’s had a hard time dating Geminis. There’s a chance you’re a Virgo who’s done really well with Pisces.
When you’re an astrology believer, and you’re on a dating app, this kind of information can be crucial to know upfront.
“Listen you’re not dumping your whole chart in a profile,” Renstrom says. “You’re saying, ‘Here’s my brand. I’m like these three things.’ It’s certainly more interesting than listing your interests. In an era of needing to caption, it captures interest and really becomes quite fascinating.”
Renstrom cautions that someone’s sign isn’t their full birth chart, and you can’t tell everything from the profile. Though people who are willing to post their zodiac sign in their profile sometimes, incidentally, reveal additional information about themselves.
“If you’re into astrology chances are you’re into other alternative beliefs and alternative medicines,” Renstrom says. “In queer culture, your astrological profile is often a huge signifier … Astrology gives people a way to talk about themselves without talking about themselves too directly. It allows people to open up about themselves without getting too personal.”
In the dating world, it’s easier to say you’re a Virgo, Leo rising than admit that you have intimacy issues. For believers, you go deeper when you admit you’re a Gemini with a Scorpio moon than when you reveal you’re a “foodie.”
For some astrology-lovers, nothing is more revealing than people’s posted zodiac signs.
Everyone just needs to be careful about how they choose to use them.
Astrology is a guide to someone’s behavior, not the full answer
While no sign is technically better or worse than any other, some signs carry more cultural stigma than others. Scorpios, for example, are known for being hyper-sexual. Posting a sign like that on your dating profile could carry some risk, especially in a world where zodiac-shaming, or the practice of judging someone negatively because of their astrological sign, isn’t uncommon.
That’s why Renstrom encourages users to see people’s astrological signs as important signifiers, not relational dead ends. Just because someone is a Capricorn doesn’t mean they can’t become an “evolved Capricorn” — someone who is fully aware of their sign’s tendencies and insightful about their own behavior. “Evolved Capricorns” are different creatures from Capricorns who haven’t processed their own cosmic configurations. People who believe in astrology shouldn’t necessarily turn someone down unilaterally because of their sign, Renstrom argues.
Psyches are far too complex for that. For believers, astrology is just a lens to understand behavior.
“If you go on a date with a Gemini and all they do is talk about other people all night, you know that’s typical Gemini behavior and the Gemini way of talking about themselves,” Renstrom says. “If you go out with a Capricorn and all they do is talk about their workday, instead of feeling like ‘This person doesn’t like me,’ you understand their behavior [is a product of their sign] and doesn’t mean they’re rejecting you.”
Astrology is a tool for understanding. If you love astrology and feel like putting your zodiac sign in your profile, go for it. And if you hate astrology, that’s worth mentioning too.
The universe isn’t here to judge.