What Mercury Retrograde Means For Your Love Life

When your flight gets delayed, delayed, delayed one more time and then cancelled, your rent increases and becomes unaffordable, and then the love of your life breaks your heart all in the same week, there's usually one explanation for all the disaster in your life: mercury is in retrograde. It's one of the few times of the year that Mercury rotates slower and appears as if it's moving backward. This is also known as prime time for sh*t hitting the fan.

I pretty much hold my breath for three weeks when I find out Mercury is in retrograde. And guess what? It's that lovely time of year again! Mercury retrograde began on May 18 and will be ending on Jun. 11. Maybe you've seen people posting/ranting about it on Facebook or perhaps your mom warned you not to make any major purchases or travel for the next few weeks, but what does Mercury in retrograde really mean for you and your love life? Mercury is the ruler of communication, so how will that shake up your relationship? Singlehood? Are you completely doomed until it's over? I spoke to a few experts from Align, the dating app, that uses astrology to help users find their perfect match to figure out what's really going on.

"Retrograde can provide an opportunity for people to examine how well they’re communicating their thoughts and desires. Mercury is just like us — it can’t just keep thinking, talking and moving forward without a break to pause and reflect. The retrograde gives Mercury a chance to rethink and redo commitments, making this a great time to get in touch with past lovers and crushes, or allowing us to reconnect with our current lovers and check in with our feelings. Breakups that occur during Mercury retrograde usually don’t last long," says Annabel Gat, the advising astrologer for Align.

Here's what else you need to know about maintaining a healthy love life during Merc Rx, as they say.

1. Dirty Talk Is Fair Game

What should you be doing as your rethink your relationship? Talk dirty, obviously."Mercury likes to chat, so experimentations in dirty talk could be fun. If something in bed hasn’t worked out the way you planned before and you still want to give it another shot, Merc Rx is the perfect time to give it a go," says Gat.

2. But You'll Also Be Reading Between The Lines More

Interpreting text messages is the worst, and it looks like you could be doing more of that during this time. "Mercury retrograde, while inescapable, is certainly not insurmountable, and with the right attitude can be kind of fun. During this time, we’re prone to not just miscommunication, but also an endless game of trying to read between the lines while normal communication feels like it’s broken down," says Helen Grossman, Align co-founder.

3. Some Signs Will Be More Sensitive To It

Are any signs extra-sensitive to this retrograde? "Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo, making them particularly sensitive to Mercury’s motions. This retrograde is in Gemini, so the mutable signs — Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces — will find this retrograde particularly tense, illuminating, and stimulating. That being said, we all have Gemini, Virgo, and the rest of the signs somewhere in our birth chart, so none of us are exempt from Mercury retrograde!" says Gat.

4. Single? Get Ready From Your Ex To Pop Up

Solo? Here's to hoping you like surprises ... from your PAST. "Singles should be prepared for lots of surprises during Mercury Rx. People from the past — exes, old crushes, numbers you deleted — may very well pop up, which might be yaaasss or might be no bueno depending on the dynamic... so be careful! Alternatively, if there has been a sour relationship looming over your choices, this is a great time to cut the cord and move on, says Aliza Kelly Faragher, Align co-founder.

5. In A Relationship? Time To Think About Commitment

What does it mean if you're taken? "Reconsider what commitment means for your relationship. Are your goals still the same? How have they changed? This is a great time to check in with each other," says Gat.

6. Married? Make #ThrowbackThursday Every Day

If you're married, now's the time to get nostalgic. "Reminisce! Break out the old photo albums! Get your electronics repaired and make sure you pay your bills on time. Repairs and delays are other themes related to Mercury retrograde that we must be wary of," says Gat.

7. Be Blunt

The best way to maintain a healthy love life during this time? Do you, girl. "The best way to maintain a healthy love life during mercury retrograde is to be more blunt than usual about what you want and what you’re thinking. Want to know why your guy isn’t texting you back right away? Tell him that’s something that matters to you. Try not to obsess too much about the future during this time. Be open, be present, and be willing to ask for what you want," says Grossman.

8. Go Retro On Date Night

"This particular Mercury retrograde is occurring in Gemini. Gemini is all about self expression and communication (think famous Gemini Kanye West, Tupac, Iggy Azalea, Johnny Depp), and as we are inclined to reminisce and reflect, it could be fun to listen to old songs or watch shows/movies that have meant something to you and your partner. Switch it up this month on your dates: go to a retro dance night – I’m a big fan of soul night or 90s R&B night at my local dive – or a film screening of an old classic," says Grossman.

OK, so this isn't as bad as I feared. Aside from the exes popping up (*turns phone off*), Mercury's not so bad after all.

"Mercury is logical… our hearts? Not so much. Be patient with yourself and others. You might feel worried or confused about the pace of your love life, but remember: Mercury is taking time off, and when he goes direct on June 11 things will begin feeling a little clearer," says Gat.

Images: Franca Gimenez/Flickr; Tumblr