When my boyfriend and I first started dating, we spent one night eating pizza and asking questions about each other’s families. At one point, he mentioned his brother’s upcoming wedding would fall on the same weekend as his birthday, in late October. I nearly choked on a piece of pepperoni.
“Are you a Scorpio?” I asked. He continued chewing, blissfully unaware of the existential crisis I was currently enduring, and shook his head.
“Nah, I’m a Libra.”
I cannot describe the relief that washed over me in that moment. As a Leo — and an astrology enthusiast — I have nothing against Scorpios, but I have oft been warned (and warned others) against the endurance of a lion/scorpion pairing. It’s not that I would’ve ended the budding relationship right then had his answer been yes, but the diagnosis would’ve been enough to give me pause as we endured our first fight: Maybe we’re arguing because he’s a water sign and I’m a fire sign and our communicative styles are essentially antagonistic! Maybe we’ll never learn how to talk to each other properly!
Luckily for me, his birthday falls on the last day of Libra season, and we continue to eat pizza and discuss personal information to this day. A tale as old as time. But while Leo and Libra are highly compatible signs, many astrologists would argue that the pairing is not necessarily soulmate material.
There are multiple gauges by which to judge astrological compatibility. One dominant theory would say to go by your sign’s element. There are four elements in the zodiac — fire, earth, water and air — so there are three signs that belong to each. As a Leo, some might say I should exclusively date fellow fire signs (Aries and Sagittarius). Another measure of compatibility falls upon the “ruling planet” of each sign and whether your sign shares its planet with another (Leo is the only sign ruled by the sun, so no worries there).
Recently, one of the more popular guidelines for soulmate-hunting is to look to your “sister sign,” which is the sign directly opposite from yours on the zodiac wheel (meaning they’re six months apart). Sister signs often have many traits in conflict, but astrologists argue that they share a unique ability to balance and complement each other.
I looked carefully into each of these prevailing theories, judged them on a case-by-case basis and chose the ideal pair for each sign. In my opinion, this is the ultimate compatibility list. I’m not saying you should use astrology as your sole relationship barometer, but if you’re a Leo and fall in love with a Scorpio, just don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Aries and Scorpio
This is the embodiment of a power couple. Think Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, but exclusively that one time they coordinated those all-denim red carpet looks: unexpected, iconic and the type of thing that people model Halloween costumes after.
Aries, the ram, is famous for its passion and ambition. They’re the kids who always took gym class way too seriously. Scorpios are influential, natural leaders. They’re the kids who refused to even change into gym clothes and all the teachers just kind of like, accepted it. Both are ruled by Mars, the planet of conflict and action, so although they seem different on the surface, they share similar values and prefer the same sort of purposeful, individualistic lifestyle. They like to face challenges head-on, stick to their guns and get shit done on their own terms.
Put together, Aries and Scorpio will find an easy symbiosis. They’ll respect each others’ goals and feel motivated to achieve their own. They’re both eloquent and intelligent signs, but their knacks for manipulation won’t work here: Scorpios are excellent at understanding someone’s intentions and an Aries will always call someone on their bullshit.
Taurus and Libra
For those familiar with astrology, this one may seem a little far-fetched: Taurus is a famously private, stubborn, protective sign and Libra is the flirty love interest in every throw-away rom-com. Sounds like blending these together would make a the perfect jealousy smoothie, right? Not so!
Ultimately, the most important thing in a Taurus’ life is consistency; the most important thing in a Libra’s life is balance. These even-tempered, patient signs are perfectly suited for a relationship built on respect and understanding. Taurus will admire Libra’s ability to negotiate, while Libra will praise Taurus’ dependability. These signs both love things to be in order, and they love to be in love.
Both Taurus and Libra are ruled by Venus, the planet of love and beauty, causing them to share a vast capacity for affection. Although it’s true that Taurus is more inclined toward material pleasures while Libra places a higher value on intellectual stimulation, they share a romantic outlook on the world. This is the kind of couple you low-key hate because they engineer their entire wedding using Pinterest. They have lantern lights strung from the trees, mason jars instead of wine glasses, the most elaborate gift registry and flawlessly-written vows. Ultimately, though, you can’t help but tear up at the ceremony (and you’re definitely taking pictures for Instagram).
Gemini and Sagittarius
Gemini and Sagittarius are sister signs, and therefore invoke polar opposite sides of the zodiac. There is often an instant, magnetic attraction between sister signs, but they require a fair amount of attentiveness and hard work to overcome initial differences. The most difficult part of this relationship will be before it even begins. With their restless and sociable natures, it can be tough for others to tell when either a Gemini or Sagittarius is interested in getting to know someone (romantically or otherwise). They’re both super independent signs and hate to feel needy.
However, once the initial stages of mutual attraction are allowed to develop into a genuine connection, the relationship becomes a true adventure. Gemini and Sagittarius couples need only realize that giving up being single does not mean giving up their passions — even better, it means pursuing those passions with renewed energy and a cheerleader by your side. This is a hike-together, travel-together, take-cooking-classes-together type of relationship.
Gemini and Sagittarius share a ton of foundational traits: They’re both outgoing, explorative, open, excitable, confident, and have a knack for communication. Any conflicts that arise later in this relationship can be discussed and solved with minimal effort. Due to their similarities, Gemini and Sagittarius couples are easily able to understand each other’s needs and desires. They’re happy to give one another space and encouragement to succeed as two whole and fulfilled human beings, rather than a couple from a dating show insisting that they’ve found their “better half.”
Cancer and Pisces
Cancer and Pisces are both water signs, which is the element known for its sensitivity. What we’re basically looking at here is an emotional crab dating a passive aggressive fish, which sounds nightmarish but is actually pretty great. They share many emotional tendencies: Both signs are idealistic, tolerant and sympathetic; vulnerable, yet always looking to heal other people; finely attuned to the needs of others. Together, this couple will create a highly nurturing environment, a space in which these guarded people can feel safe.
These signs are also highly imaginative. They both love to daydream and fantasize, often looking at the world through rose-colored glasses. For other signs, it can often be difficult to break into these little bubbles, but there is an inherent understanding between a Cancer and Pisces couple. They know when to pry and when to back off.
Both signs rely far more on their instincts than on logic to work their way through problems. This overlap will serve this couple well in disagreements. There’s nothing worse than trying to argue facts with someone who came to their conclusion through no visible conduit; this couple will never have that problem. When one person doesn’t know why they’re mad, they’re just mad, the other one won’t get flustered. Both Cancer and Pisces have profound emotional range but also an incredible maturity. They’re able to recognize problems that arise from insecurity and dissect harmful dialogue.
Leo and Aquarius
This is another sister sign pairing with similarities far less obvious than Gemini and Sagittarius, but no less charming. This is a “grow together” type of love. This is Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher’s entire unlikely love story, from That 70’s Show naiveté to co-parenting a daughter with a really cool name (quite literally, since Mila is a Leo and Ashton is an Aquarius).
The Leo sign is dominated by YouTube stars, Instagram influencers and people who look impossibly perfect from any Snapchat angle. But it is not to be taken lightly: these lions hold company with the likes of Coco Chanel and Barack Obama. In short, they are leaders with style. Aquarians are generally seen as outsiders — maybe a little nerdy, maybe a little artsy, maybe a little rebellious. Both signs respect uniqueness and aren’t afraid to stand out. When together, people take notice. Leo gravitates towards the spotlight and Aquarius knows when to let Leo have it. Conversely, Leo is more than happy to lend an ear whenever needed. As bold, opinionated people, they both love to talk, listen, debate and offer their own opinions.
Leos and Aquarians are generous, idealistic, creative and independent: They are humanitarians at heart. They value the thoughts and emotions of other people, prizing loyalty above nearly all else. This humanitarian nature applies inwardly as well, as these signs are especially adept with introspection. Together, they are committed to a process of side-by-side growth and personal development. The Aquarius’ natural intellect will inspire the Leo’s natural ambition, foster hard work and feed new ideas. The Leo’s resolute value system and warm compassion will stimulate the Aquarius’ progressivism. They both desire to be originals, and both demand respect. The relationship is a breeding ground for mutual admiration.
Virgo and Capricorn
Both of these earth signs naturally exude strength and conviction. Virgo and Capricorn are earth signs, renowned for their intelligence, rationality and put-togetherness. They know what they want and they know how they plan to get it. For reference: Beyoncé is a Virgo; Michelle Obama is a Capricorn. They may prefer privacy — known for sharing themselves with the public very selectively — but could run the world if they wanted to. It only makes sense for the two signs to join forces.
Both signs need a lot of time to warm up to people, but when they do, they rarely cool down. Virgos and Capricorns are uniquely capable of establishing this sort of connection as they share so many values: determination, pragmatism, maturity, resilience. These signs are some of the most committed in the zodiac. They are both more unshakable with their aspirations and mindsets, working methodically, appearing poised, constantly in control. As a couple, they will admire each other and likely inspire admiration in others.
Virgo will appreciate the Capricorn’s ability to lead and organize without being dramatic or overly controlling. Capricorn will fawn over the Virgo’s attention to detail, dedication to success and eloquence. Both signs are grounded skeptics who prefer practical facts to airy beliefs. While they may seem reserved — and even haughty — upon initial interaction, they are extremely caring people who are interested in connecting to others. Once this couple ventures beneath the surface, they thrive in sharing their rich, inner lives with one another.
Photos by Louisiana Mei Gelpi.