For some singles 'What's your sign?' is no joke
(Bill Hogan/Tribune file photo)
"They tend to be highly critical and judgmental, they're perfectionists and very hard to please," said Floro, an indie film actress. "My Libra nature is very flighty and can be all over the place while the Virgos are trying to rein me in."
Floro, laughing at how silly she must sound, never imagined she'd make romantic decisions based on astrological signs, but experience has made her a believer. Though she won't decline dinner with a Virgo, and she doesn't join dating sites actively seeking an Aquarius (she jibes well with their energetic, social personalities), Floro wants to know a date's birthday so she knows what to expect.
"If I'm dating an Aries, for example, I'll be mindful of the fact that he needs more alone time," Floro said.
For the 25 percent of Americans who believe in astrology, according to a 2009 Pew Research survey, consulting the stars can provide order — or at least diversion — in the messy, mystifying quest for love.
At the free (for now) matchmaking site AstrologyDating.com, users are matched according to their full astral charts, determined not just by birthday but also time and place of birth. The idea is that the position of the sun, moon and planets in the sky immediately above you the moment you take your first independent breath establishes a blueprint for your life and accounts for the inexplicable energy between people.
Astrologers warn against pop astrology that dooms chatty Gemini and hardworking Capricorn or decrees that dependable Taurus and sensitive Pisces are an ideal match. A person's sun sign (the sign you check for your horoscope) is a small fraction of what determines cosmic compatibility, and it's important to take into account the rising sign, the moon and the planetary angles to capture the full spectrum of a person's being, said Hilary Young, a California hair salon owner who founded AstrologyDating.com.
Young, a Cancer happily dating a Sagittarius (signs not considered simpatico, but with her moon in Scorpio, and his Jupiter in Scorpio, they get the celestial thumbs up), has yet to hear of any marriages among her site's 15,000 users. She hopes the site, rather than dictating who should and shouldn't date, can help people understand where their partner is coming from. He may be vain but, hey, he's a Leo.
Carol Allen, a Vedic astrologer and relationship coach, said the reason people seek her advice is not to find out the who of love, but the when. The Hindu Vedic system is more predictive than Western astrology, viewing a person's chart like a train schedule, Allen said. Depending on a person's Saturn cycle, they could be in a season of love or a season of loneliness, when a relationship won't work no matter how badly they want it.
Allen cautions that the cosmos, while critical, is just one factor in mate selection. Earthly considerations such as character, similar interests, maturity and good relationship skills play equally important parts. Despite their celestial DNA, people can exercise free will and shouldn't take an astrologer's word as gospel if they don't feel it's right, Allen said.
"Ninety-nine percent of the time, I'm telling people what they already know," said Allen, who charges $125 for a half-hour consultation (soulmatestars.com). "I give them permission to believe themselves, to trust themselves."
For now, Floro is content being wary of Virgos. She's reluctant to get her full chart done, worried that knowing the nitty-gritty will make her put more stock in the stars than she should.
"On one hand, I just think it's fun and frivolous," Flores said, "and on the other hand I take it totally seriously."
Cyberspace is rife with dating sites using unconventional metrics. Three examples:
Findyourfacemate.com uses face recognition software to make lovers of those with similar facial features.
Typetango.com bases matches on users' Myers-Briggs personality type.
Datecraft.com makes matches according to "World of Warcraft" realm.