How to Talk to Your Hot Gay Crush About Astrology When You Don’t Believe In It

If you, a gay person in 2019, do not already care about or believe in astrology, I am not here to convince you otherwise; that is not my journey. However, it is a truth universally acknowledged that if you’re dating in any way, shape or form right now, the topic is going to come up and people you probably want to have sex with might care about where the planets were on the day you were born. If you feel strongly about Scullying this situation and avoiding anyone who believes in made-up sky magic, that’s your prerogative, but you should know that you’re preemptively x’ing out a LOT of the queer population you might otherwise click with! Even Scully decided to devote her life to somebody who believes Elvis is still alive. Instead, consider: how to talk to hot people about astrology when you don’t know anything about it.

Don’t Be a Jerk About It

If you do nothing else, you can at least not roll your eyes, make fun or disparage someone’s interest in whether their moon is square your Venus, etc. You don’t have to care about it, and if you go to your grave thinking it’s a dumb made up hobby, that is fine and no one will stop you! But it’s hard to think of a faster way to turn someone off than to make a point of letting them know their interests are dumb. Even if you think you are doing this in a jokey, fun way, the truth is that kind of interaction really only works when you have a long-established relationship that involves ribbing each other, not when you’re just getting to know someone. When you feel the instinct to roll your eyes back in your head, maybe ask yourself if you could say politely “I’ve never really gotten into that! What do you like about it?” This is good advice for life in general! Even if you think something someone cares about is stupid, as long as it’s harmless you always have the option to be polite about it or at worst, ignore it.

Know Your Basic Info

At the minimum, you should know the city you were born, the date and the exact time. I know ‘exact time’ probably sounds unnecessarily dramatic, but for people who take astrology seriously this is truly the wing of a butterfly that causes a hurricane, and so forth. Take your fate into your own hands by texting your mom now to ask your birth time, or otherwise you will find yourself doing so sooner or later at a chic fermentation-themed gastropub while your date fiddles with her artisanal kimchi impatiently. This information will enable whatever cutie you’re talking to to whip out her phone at the bar and find your basic chart, which will hopefully contain information that makes you wildly attractive to them.

Alternatively, you can skip ahead to that step yourself, and put your basic info into a chart calculator yourself. It’s very easy! You can do it here for free (albeit with an unfortunately binary gender option). The main things you’ll want to know are your sun sign (what you already know as “your sign,” the main one), your moon sign, your rising/ascendant (although if you don’t know your time of birth, you won’t know this one), and ideally your mars and venus signs — what astrology enthusiasts will look at to know what you’re like ~in love~ or whatever.

If you get your chart from Cafe Astrology, this is an example of what it will look like, with the Sun, Moon, Venus, Mars and rising highlighted, so you know where to check. (For reference, this is the chart of one Emily Fields, whose birth time Heather Hogan was somehow able to verify within five minutes. If reading this post has made you anxious in any way about someone else’s assessment of your own chart please rest assured that yours is likely easier to deal with than Emily’s, although it does make her sound great in bed.)

If you’re curious about what those things mean to people who care about them, Jeanna wrote a great series on this! If you don’t care about looking that up at all, that’s okay, you are a great candidate for this next category:

Ask Them to Explain It to You!

Everyone loves feeling knowledgeable and like their knowledge about something is interesting to others! You can make your crush feel that way while also coasting on an easy conversation topic and learning more about each other by asking them to explain your chart to you. This is so stupid easy! “Oh, my moon is in Gemini? Wait, so what does that mean?” Then you listen attentively and with genuine interest to what they tell you, and before you know it you’re actually getting to know each other and talking about who you are as people. “Oh, Gemini moons are supposed to be chatty? That’s weird, I feel like I’m usually more shy. Is there something else in my chart that would explain that?” Look at you, friend, you’re OFF TO THE RACES.

Ask About Their Stuff, Too

Just as you would with any other topic, you should ask questions of them too! It’s a great way to learn about them, but also about how they think of themselves, different but equally important. “Your venus is in cancer? So does that mean you’re like a hopeless romantic?” Their answer will help you get to know them better and they feel flattered by your interest in them — everyone likes talking about themselves, and it feels good to feel like someone is invested in learning details about your personality. It’s an organic way to learn about each other’s inner lives without having to weirdly quiz someone about “so, how do you feel like you process emotion?”


If you’ve gotten this far and you haven’t scared her off by having some sort of end times nightmare chart — and hey, even if you do, it’s cute for you! Etc! — it’s not difficult to build off all that conversation to flirty teasing and inside jokes, and once you have inside jokes things start to feel really cute really fast. “Sorry I’m running late, I had to change my outfit! You know me, such a Libra!” Look at you, you’re a pro.

Again, you don’t have to take any of this seriously! And if other people taking it super seriously is a real dealbreaker for you, that’s good to know that about yourself and your dating life, but if you feel like you can be a little flexible about it, you too can enjoy an easy topic of conversation that isn’t your most recent breakup!

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Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. “I know ‘exact time’ probably sounds unnecessarily dramatic, but for people who take astrology seriously this is truly the wing of a butterfly that causes a hurricane, and so forth.”

    And for those who don’t understand astrology, this interest in exact time is what distinguishes you from every other person born in the same 2–3 day period.

    Exact time tells astrologers your ascendant (a.k.a. rising sign), which traditionally is actually the most important sign of any chart (birth or otherwise), NOT the sun sign. To the extent that signs are important at all and not just a modern reinterpretation of looking to the planetary ruler of the sign. Aaaaanyway, in ancient Greek the ascendant is actually called the “horoskopos”, if that signals in any way its importance.


    Pretentious astrology hobbyist who really couldn’t care less what sign you supposedly “are”.

    • As a twin, with a very different sibling, the exact time thing makes me feel a whole lot more chill about the situation.

  2. I was going to try that auto chart thing, but I could not get it to bring up Nashville, TN, only Nashville, AR. I gave up. Maybe this is why am bad at dating?

  3. Counterpoint: Maybe people could also stop assuming that all queer women are into astrology? 😬

    I mean, I do very much try to be respectful people’s religions and beliefs in general, because I try to be a decent human and all. But it does wear ya down sometimes, especially when people distill down your complex life down to “lol Scorpios” or “Pisces, amirite?”

    Also a support group for those of us who don’t believe would honestly be really nice sometimes, because I feel like the only one, though I know that’s not true.

    • Honestly I’m like… the majority of queer folks I know are either:

      * not into any kind of supernatural anything and are pretty heavily pro-evidence-based-beliefs, but who generally have a live and let live approach to other people’s beliefs as long as they’re not actively encouraging bigotry


      * old-school pagans (and I’m from a part of the world where that has a legit, non-appropriative meaning) who vary from having Literal Beliefs In Many Deities to seeing the whole thing as a metaphorical tool for getting inside our brains and culture, and everywhere in between.

      I’m wondering if the whole astrology as queer culture thing is a USian (or North American) thing? Cause while I know a couple of queermos who do that, it’s.. not particularly common here, I don’t think.

      I mean I’m hazarding a Completely Wild Guess that maybe in the US, there’s a niche for spiritual beliefs that aren’t from The Local Overwhelmingly Patriarchal/Queerphobic Religion That Many People Have Very Bad Experiences With, and also aren’t appropriating either native beliefs or other groups’ cultures.

      So maybe astrology kinda fits in as a way to do spirituality that isn’t appropriative (since I would hope that we as a group are learning that that’s Not Good To Do) and also doesn’t have really bad memories/associations for a lot of queer/trans folks?

      Either way I am very much here for respecting a lack of belief as much as belief, tbh. Cause my lack of belief in any of it is as legitimate as someone else’s belief in it.

    • I nominate Erin for a comment award. I also nominate this hypothetical support group for becoming a real thing, because I would totally join it.

  4. Hey friends, if you’re here then you probably feel pretty eye rolly about horoscopes. Me too pal. But what really helped me to understand (and honestly be less of a dick about) horoscopes was when someone portrayed it as being analogous to your Hogwarts house. Do I think when and where you were born affects the sort of person you are and will be specifically? Not at all. But if you tell me your friend is a Hufflepuff, then that is vital information for me to know about them!
    Realising that I feel so strongly about a concept of being arbitrarily sorted in a fake school into houses made up by a woman in Scotland in the late 90s helped me relate. Yes it’s silly, but that doesn’t mean it’s not real and very fun!!

    • I guess (as an eye-roller), I feel like a big difference there is: we pick our Hogwarts houses (or which Good Place character we are, etcetcetc) ourselves based on what we feel aligns with who we are as a person.

      So if I say “Aspirational Hufflepuff with embarrassingly Griffindorish tendencies and a tiny little Slytherin on my shoulder that I rarely let out to play”, that translates as “I really wanna be laid back and kind to people, but sometimes I can’t stop myself from charging in headfirst towards disaster, and I try really hard to damp down any tendencies towards being sneaky”. And that’s cause I had a think about who I am and I decided those things.

      Whereas astrology says that it’s all decided for me based on when I was born. And I don’t get to have a say in that.

      Which feels profoundly disempowering to me- as well as actually saying sweet feck-all about who I am. Like, it’s not traits that I actually do or don’t identify with? It’s just.. traits more or less picked out of a hat? To keep with the Sorting Hat analogy- even Harry got to pick what house he really wanted to be in, right?

      • This! Hogwarts houses allow to you to self-identify what you think your personality is like. Astrology seems like other people telling you what your personality is like based on stuff that you had no control over.

        • I find the devotion to Hogwarts houses just as annoying. Also, Myers-Briggs mega fans. I guess I just don’t get it.

    • I agree with AifeO. Also if someone couldn’t tell me what their Hogwarts house is I wouldn’t expect them to watch/read Harry Potter and to give them the history of the houses, I’d just be like “I’d say you were a Gryfindor with a touch of Hufflepuff” and leave it at that.

        • Hi so. Because I am a bit anal, I didn’t actually pick my Hogwarts house and was initially very angry I got Hufflepuff and not Slytherin. But that’s by the bye.

          I think the difference is I can still be really supportive of something my friend is really into, whilst also asking them not to do it about me. Because I totally understand the idea of it feeling disempowering if someone is using a system you don’t understand to ‘work you out’.

          But yes, I also hate Myers Briggs. I just meant that if there is something slightly nonsensical that you are into, it can help you to understand where your friend is coming from.

  5. Rachel, doing the good work YET AGAIN to make all of our dating lives easier, kinder, and generally less prone to despair. Bless you!!

  6. This was possibly the only perk of being born at such an ungodly hour of the morning that my mother told everyone the exact time whenever it came up, the ability to give that exact time later to cutes and such

  7. I’m an astrophysicist. I can talk about stars (at length, if you like), but come at me with astrology and yes you will get an eye roll.

  8. I am all for letting people enjoy what they enjoy even if it’s not “real” — after all, I get emotionally invested in fictional characters, who aren’t real either! — but to be honest this article feels a liiiiitle condescending. (Especially given the data from the stereotypes survey that says queer women aren’t really that much more into astrology than the general population.) It feels like it was written more for people who are into astrology than for people who aren’t.

    • I also just don’t see myself really clicking with anyone who was super into it. Casually, sure, but that’s about it.

  9. I‘m from Germany and an Olderstraddler and can‘t remember a dating situation where astrolgy was even mentioned. I only read about it here and am fascinated and delighted from afar. As a libra with a rising libra and a venus in libra I am, of course, very balanced about it.

  10. At a stretch I could maybe date someone who was into astrology if other than that they were amazing, but I definitely wouldn’t date someone who expected me to to get into astrology.

    I stopped pretending to be interested in things I wasn’t interested in when I stopped trying to date boys.

  11. haha thank you, rachel! these are SUCH good tips for responding to ANYTHING your date is into that you’re not.

    and also, like, it goes both ways! maybe if you meet someone who isn’t into astrology, try to refrain from calling them a “typical capricorn” (I’VE ONLY HEARD IT LIKE SIXTEEN TIMES OKAY) :-D :-D

    anyway i love you all and all of your interests and i am definitely a hufflepuff!

  12. I kind of want to date someone who is really into astrology just so I can figure out what everyone on instagram is talking about. I’m mildly curious about it. Curious enough to look at Aries memes on instagram and say to myself something along the lines of, “Haha yes, so true!” or “What? No.” But not curious enough to read about any of the other signs because I have no idea what the signs of anyone I know in real life are so I have nothing to relate it to.

    So, astrology babes, please seduce me so I can figure out what people on the internet are talking about without having to do any of my own research.

    (I am 100% sure that this entire comment can somehow be explained by my signs)

  13. Thank u for this! I’m someone who at one point in their life thought astrology was just goofy but then I started to care for people who astrology meant a lot to. Now it’s something i know enough about it that I can join in on the conversations my pals are having. I honestly & genuine love listening to my pals and the people I care about talk about something they’re passionate about-I don’t have to be negative or shut them down to appreciate their love for something

    • archie i love you so much like every single day i think “could i love arch more?!” and then it’s like yeah, yeah i could 😭😭😭

    • Yeah, it’s a kind invitation to be curious about your counterpart, even if they’re not talking about your hobbyhorse! It’s an opportunity!

  14. I’m FAR more likely to eye-roll at astrology believers than at religious people ( and I’m a hearty atheist)

    • Ok but why? If you’re atheist and believe all of it is made up anyway why would you consider one belief system more worthy of being dismissed then another?

      And I say this as an atheist who is also annoyed by people trying to narrow down my personality based on when and where I was born.

      That said personally I still love horoscopes especially the ones shared on Autostraddle! I use them as mindfulness exercises, inviting me to focus on one thing a month and reflect on it.

      • because of the hypocrisy, i’m guessing? it makes sense to me… huge percentages of people are religious because their parents were religious because their grandparents were religious because their community is religious and so on back thousands of years, and they’ve never actively thought about it and aren’t particularly married to it but haven’t really thought about it enough to ditch it or change their daily routine, either. queer people being into astrology the way they are in western culture carries an added element of “you consciously chose to be enthusiastic about this thing when you were consciously rejecting your cultural norm.” also, a lot of people are religious-in-name-only and only remain so to stay in an active community atmosphere, which isn’t the case with astrology devotees, because astrology isn’t a primary cultural foundation the way religion is.

  15. I casually enjoy astrology and seem to share this amusement with other queer friends, especially when we can use it as a shorthand to refer to some of our personality traits or find commonalities with other people.

    I would never assume or enforce it with a prospective date, but looking up my sign compatibilities with my exes was actually quite reassuring and cathartic. It was a reminder that sometimes certain people don’t click or have fundamental differences that make things irreconcilable. This helped in accepting that the relationships didn’t fail because I didn’t try hard enough; we’re just wired differently in ways that were never discernible or communicated during the relationship.

    (Says the Scorpio who will never again date an Aquarius, and will soon marry a Cancer)

  16. All it took was one episode of Explained on Netflix debunking astrology for my very tenuous belief to be obliterated, but I can also hang in conversations with people are into it. It can be fun/interesting to talk about, but I think it crosses the line into intolerable when someone tries to explain your every move based on your ________ sign. I.e., haha what about both, said the bisexual Libra. :)

  17. Ironically, my very straight friend is the one who got me interested in Astrology and idk I just really love how it can explain some of my character traits. Like, it’s kind of reassuring to know that my introverted nature isn’t necessarily a character flaw or evidence that I’m not trying hard enough; that it might just be how I’m wired.
    Not as much of a fan in terms of relationship compatability but always open to interpretations, and if it can help explain something, I don’t see the harm provided we take it with a grain of salt.

  18. I still can’t help but to feel a bit (just a bit!) like I’m being punked with this whole astrology thing.

    But if I’m not, then, uh, I guess this is good to know?

    If I AM being punked, you all still have time to get me super involved with someone who is into astrology before the big reveal on April 1, just saying. Putting that out there.

  19. So here’s what I really don’t get about astrology apparently being such a huge part of lesbian culture: it seems to be based on defining people by the circumstances of their birth, rather than by the choices they make, and to me that seems fundamentally opposed to… a large part of what I thought queerness was supposed to be about?

    Cis, straight culture tells me that biology is destiny, that being assigned female at birth means I’ll grow up to dress and act a certain way, date men, and identify as female. Queer culture frees me from those assumptions. But this insistence on astrology seems like it’s just switching one system of telling-people-who-they-should-be for another. You’ve replaced “biology” with “the stars”, and “assigned female” with “assigned triple Leo”, but it’s still the same inescapable-destiny shit, and I’d rather be with someone who believes my identity is *mine* to define.

    • THIS!

      It’s also really strange to me how we’re all supposed to be into Western astrology regardless of cultural backgrounds.

      • both of you took the words out of my mouth… can we also not pretend that astrology and all the other associated new age stuff white counterculture folks like isn’t culturally appropriative af?

    • SAME!! I don’t want to be defined by the circumstances of my birth, whether in terms of gender or of whatever supposed personality traits I “should” have.

  20. Heather, please share Emily’s birthday, time, and location.

    Asking for a friend…Who relies on apps to tell her everything about her potential compatibility…With fictional people she’s in love with

    The friend is me I need to know thanks you are the best

  21. hey, wow, can we not pretend that the existence of science is some kind of oppressive patriarchal force? astrology has been soundly debunked as pseudoscience (like… if it were real we wouldn’t be here to debate about it, because the gravitational forces would’ve destroyed the planet billions of years ago) and it seems awfully hypocritical when we do things as social justice types like call out anti-vaxxers (obviously not recommending we give that up!!) but then turn around and pretend like astrology is a core component of queer culture and respond to everything anyone does that vaguely fits a stereotype if you squint with “ugh, GEMINIS with PISCES ASCENDANTS, amirite?”

    other people have said better than me here, but whoa whoa WHOA 100% agreed that i thought we were all here to escape biological determinism, not rebrand it in a supposedly less mainstream sheepskin.

  22. Another astrology nay-sayer here; I thought this was a nice article! (Exception – I’m not going to figure out and remember my 5 signs or actually get into it myself. Sorry.) I definitely have a few people in my life who’re into astrology and I appreciate the perspective and tips on how to engage with them when they bring it up. Though I can’t say the topic has ever come up on a date.

    Thanks, Rachel. I also see & appreciate you flattering us by comparing us to Scully. :)

  23. There’s a difference between not being interested in your crush’s favorite topic and that topic being incompatible with your worldview/beliefs/values. Being polite and a good sport about somebody’s boring-to-you but inoffensive passions is part of good dating etiquette. The advice in this article is fine if astrology’s just something you’re not knowledgeable about but don’t have any thoughtful critiques of either.

    But for a lot of people, Western astrology isn’t inoffensive. It’s not that we “don’t know anything about it.” It’s that we have valid and important reasons for rejecting this way of conceptualizing ourselves and others. It’s fair to ask a date why astrology (or anything else you object to) is important to them and maybe then say, “I don’t believe in that and I can tell you why if you’re interested.” You aren’t a jerk if you do this calmly and listen to their answer. You’ll have probably a more fruitful conversation than you would pretending you respect their ideas when you actually think these ideas are dumb. Let people know enough about the real you so they can decide if they want to date you or not! That includes your opinions about natal charts.

    I don’t like this implication that if you’re honest about not being into astrology that you’re going to miss out on people you’d click with. I’m currently dating (in the Bay Area no less) and yes, tons of people want to talk about star charts. I’m pretty direct about not believing in it and this has not been a barrier to me finding people I enjoy dating. If anything, it helps weed out people who typically aren’t good matches for me in other ways. The people who insist that I tell them my moon/rising/Venus after I say my chart isn’t a good way to get to know me are people who aren’t valuing my boundaries or opinions, which is an even bigger deal breaker for me than the astrology itself.

    Also, that date fiddling with her kimchi impatiently in the example is being rude! Just as you should refrain from mocking your date, she should accept with grace and good humor that not every human is obligated to show up to dinner fully fluent in her personal favorite subjects. You aren’t required to look up your chart if you aren’t interested in it! This is not a thing anyone needs to do. You can cutely ask your crush to do your chart before your next date if you want to and then look up your birth time as pre-date homework.

    Or if you don’t believe in astrology, you can say that and lots of people will still date you, make out with you, love you, etc. Don’t roll your eyes at anyone, but life is much too short and too difficult for any of us to try to make ourselves squeeze into a stereotype in order to date. Plenty of queer people do not care about your star chart. Plenty of queer people will not bug you about it if you say it’s just not for you or that you have other beliefs or that you’d rather talk about something else. Plenty of queer people will like you, regardless of your opinions about astrology, if you keep trying to be a kind and thoughtful date, keep trying to connect with people, and keep being honest.

  24. So, I know this isn’t totally relevant, or really even fair, but this article/comments are bringing up a bunch of feelings I have about tech/science focused content on Autostraddle.

    With the two tech focused columns discontinued or abandoned (Queer Your Tech and Notes From A Queer Engineer), the mood of Autostraddle feels a bit “othering” to me, as a person whose career and worldview are tech focused. The “Not into astrology? Fake it to fit in” tone of this article reaaaaly doesn’t help that.

  25. Rachel: Here is a lighthearted guide to being nice to people with perfectly harmless interests that are different from yours.


    • I don’t think astrology is “perfectly harmless”. But then, it’s only ever made things incredibly inconvenient for me and the people around me – I can almost never make it to my cousins’ weddings in India because US holidays are consistently an inauspicious time of year for weddings, various ceremonies always end up needing to be at 3am, I’ve seen potential life partners for my cousins be rejected/argued against/etc. on the basis of stars even if literally everything else about them is a good match in a way that is very similar to how life partners are rejected on the basis of caste (also something you are born into and can’t change). And on the whole, astrology pretends to be a science without actually having any scientific basis, which devalues real science and makes people think they can pick and choose which parts of real science to believe.

      And I know what I’m talking about is more about Hindu astrology than the Western version, but for people who truly subscribe to it as a belief, I think this is still relevant, because I reject the idea that you can say anything about who I am based on the time of my birth, beyond the tiny possibility that birth times could be affected by socioeconomic circumstances (e.g., perhaps women with better access to hospitals are more likely to have induced labor which is dependent on when doctors are available).

      I think, like tarot, it can be useful as a tool for introspection, but it is not something that is going to be objectively true for every person born at a given time. If you use it to reflect on your own personal characteristics and improve yourself, that’s great! I would love to hear what insights you’ve gleaned about yourself and how you’ve set about to become who you want to be! But don’t try to stereotype me because of the time of my birth.

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