Are Cancer & Leo Compatible In A Relationship?

Prepare for a bumpy ride.

by Kristine Fellizar
Originally Published: 
Happy romantic couple of female tourists walking the streets of Barcelona together. Cancer and leo c...
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Cancer and Leo zodiac signs are like day and night. The Moon-ruled crab is deeply emotional, sensitive, and introverted, while the Sun-ruled lion is passionate, fierce, and extroverted. Cancers are happiest spending quiet nights at home with their family, while the sociable Leo loves being surrounded by their large group of friends. Their personalities are so different, you might not expect for these two to last — but they’re both true romantics at heart, loyal to the core, and value lasting love. While a crab-lion pairing may not be the most smooth-sailing, Cancer and Leo’s zodiac compatibility suggests it still can be a relationship that’s worth a shot.

“A relationship between Cancer and Leo can be a sexy, steamy, and tumultuous rollercoaster of a ride,” astrologer Mitzye Ramos Ribas tells Bustle.

Cancer-Leo is a unique pairing because those zodiac signs are ruled by the “luminaries”, which are two of the most important “planets” in astrology: the Sun and the Moon. According to Ribas, the light and energy between Cancer and Leo is mirrored by each other. “This can be wonderful, but blinding,” she says.

Related: Aquarius Zodiac Signs: Personality Traits, Love Compatibility & More Astrology

Cancer is also a cardinal water sign, while Leo is a fixed fire sign. Cardinal signs are the initiators and visionaries of the zodiac. They’re full of ideas and easily embrace new beginnings and change. Fixed signs, on the other hand, are very focused. They’re notoriously stubborn, but once they set their mind on something, they will see it through.

“This is a meeting of shape-shifting water and fire,” Ribas says. “It can work if the water is akin to a river that runs next to a campfire, or it can fail if it's a roaring wildfire that gets put out by gallons of water. Either way, a Cancer-Leo couple will always remember each other.”

Cancer & Leo’s Sexual Compatibility

Both zodiac signs are romantics — they’ll set the mood by dimming the lights and turning on their special playlist. And both are generous lovers in their own ways. According to Ribas, Leo will bring passion and excitement to the bedroom, encouraging their partner to come out of their shell. Leos love feeling adored, and attentive Cancers will make them feel desired.

But it’s possible that their libidos may be mismatched. According to astrologer Kristina Semos, astrologer and owner of AstroOils, Cancer’s sex drive tends to come in waves. This can be an issue for the fiery Leo who is often more in the mood and energetic consistently, Semos says.

Another issue is a lack of emotional connection. For Leo, sex can be both fun and a way to connect with their partner. But for Cancer, an emotional connection is key. If Cancer doesn’t feel that bond with their partner, they’ll be left feeling unsatisfied.

Sexually, Leo can open Cancer up and help them explore their bodies more. But sex can also feel one-sided if Cancer doesn't feel emotionally in tune with their Leo partner. According to Ribas, Cancer is eager to please. But if they don't think their feelings are reciprocated, resentments can build between the sheets.

Cancer & Leo’s Emotional Compatibility

Emotionally, Cancer and Leo have a lot of similarities. They aren’t afraid to share their feelings. Both signs value family, commitment, loyalty, trust, and emotional safety. They’re also sensitive to harsh criticism and can get a bit clingy at times.

Despite their basic differences, they do typically want many of the same things in life and have the same emotional needs, Semos says, but their approaches are different. “Leo is more bold and showy about it, while Cancer tends to be on the shy side, so there could be some missteps in getting to the point where they sync up and realize how similar they really are.”

Cancer & Leo’s Dating Compatibility

In general, neighboring zodiac signs like Cancer and Leo don’t typically make a good match. But when it comes to dating, Cancer and Leo’s compatibility seems to be a lot better than Cancer and Gemini or Leo and Virgo, for example.

According to Stina Garbis, professional astrologer and psychic, Cancer and Leo have a lot in common in terms of how they approach love and what they want from a relationship. “Both have big hearts and are willing to love and be loved,” Garbis says. “As a couple they are very warm and open towards each other and will share deep feelings. They both love and crave attention and will give it too. The generous Leo will always make sure that their Cancer has everything they need and Cancer will make sure their beloved Leo is adored and taken care of.”

Once the honeymoon phase passes, they may run into some problems navigating their personality differences. Leo is very bright, optimistic and open, while Cancer tends to be a little more closed off and moody. If they can learn how to fully accept each other for who they are, they can balance each other out nicely.

Cancer & Leo’s Friendship Compatibility

If Cancer and Leo were in a room together with a small group of people, they wouldn’t be drawn towards each other: Cancer is on the shy side, while Leo is much more outgoing. However, if they were alone in a room together or had to partner up for a project, Garbis says they would come out of it being fast friends.

“As friends, Leo is the speaker and Cancer is the heart,” Garbis says. “Leo is great at executing the best of Cancer’s creative plans. This isn’t a very jealous match up, as Cancer tends to be more of a wallflower to Leo, who likes to take center stage. They can be a fantastic duo where Cancer is the wind and inspiration beneath Leo’s wings.”

Cancer & Leo’s Communication

It’s no surprise that Leo will be the partner who leads a lot of their conversations. According to Garbis, Leos love to talk about themselves, while Cancers are some of the best listeners in the zodiac. However, Cancers are very sensitive and need to talk out their feelings, which can sometimes come off as whiny.

“Leo may not stick around for self-deprecating chatter,” Gabis says. “Communication may be a little one-sided where Cancer doesn’t always get to speak their mind, especially when they’re in the middle of a mental breakdown. Leo is always there for them in a supportive way, but will be unwilling to allow their Cancer friend or partner to belittle themselves.”

If Cancer and Leo get into arguments, Cancer is the type to shut down, while fiery Leo would prefer to think positively and tackle issues head on. Even if they don’t feel like they’re in the wrong, Leo may have to take one for the team and extend the olive brand first since Cancers tend to be very passive-aggressive.

Potential Problems In A Cancer & Leo Relationship

Although Cancer and Leo are relationship-oriented signs who want the dreamy fairytale romance, they show their love in very different ways. According to Ribas, Leo also has a tendency to be melodramatic. They love big gestures, and will shower their partner with gifts and adoration. Cancers, on the other hand, show their love through acts of service. To them, it’s the little everyday things that matter most. Although Cancer will be fine with Leo’s way of showing love, they will eventually want their partner to be more honest and sincere with their feelings.

Cancer and Leo also have very different personalities, which may lead to challenges as time goes on. Cancer is a lot more reserved and prefers staying at home, while Leo is very expressive and loves putting themselves out there. Both signs also have a tendency to be very sensitive and dramatic. If Cancer decides they don’t want to go to Friday night karaoke with Leo and their friends for the fifth time in a row, Leo may lash out by saying Cancer is unsupportive, while Cancer may retreat into their shell and shut their partner out until they apologize for being dramatic.

“The lesson for both of them is to not project onto each other,” Ribas says. If they can accept each other as they are, their relationship can be harmonious.

Are Cancer & Leo A Good Match?

Overall, a Cancer-Leo relationship isn’t the most compatible zodiac match for either sign, but it isn’t the worst. Ribas says it’s not an easy relationship to navigate, but as two people who are loyal, loving, and commitment-oriented they do have lasting potential. If they can establish healthy boundaries and learn how to deal with each other’s way of expressing emotions, this relationship can work.


Mitzye Ramos Ribas, astrologer and owner of Tarot del Corazón

Kristina Semos, astrologer and owner of AstroOils

Stina Garbis, professional astrologer and psychic

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