It's annoying, but not uncommon, to really fall for someone and then realize it might just be lust. Physical compatibility can blur the signs of emotional toxicity for a while, but once it becomes apparent, it's almost impossible to ignore. Luckily,
zodiac sign compatibility can be used to understand and make sense of these complicated, fiery relationships. Opposites attract, yes, but you don't need this unhealthy dynamic in your life.
"In the zodiac, there are three main 'modalities,' or ways in which characteristics are experienced, expressed, or approached. Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn) are ones that like to take initiative. Fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius) like to keep the status quo, and mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces) tend to be very adaptable,"
astrologer Cindy Mckean tells Bustle. "Within these modalities, the signs that are on opposite sides of the zodiac to each other will find themselves both attracted and repelled at the same time. This is because of polarity; opposites attract but their likeness repels each other." So when things are hot and heavy, but after a few months you can't quite handle the sound of their voice, it might be the zodiac at play.
These modalities mean that if you're inexplicably attracted to someone whose personality just doesn't fit with yours, polarity could be at work. "Eventually ... these polar opposites tend to knock heads or become emotionally incompatible to
the point of being toxic, even if they physically are compatible," Mckean says. And you deserve better than an emotionally incompatible relationship, even if it's just a casual fling.
Here are the six zodiac pairings that are physically compatible but may be emotionally toxic.
1 Aries (March 21 - April 19) and Libra (September 23 - October 22): You Might Struggle With Decision-Making
Aries and Libra, you two definitely have got it going on — physically, at least. Libra can bring the spice and variety an Aries needs in a partner, and Libra is so excited by the Aries' adventure-seeking qualities. But that initial spark can't cover everything in a relationship.
Toxic disagreement might ensue between these two signs. "Aries might feel annoyed by the Libra indecisiveness," Mckean says. "The Libra would feel like the Aries is impulsive. Neither likes to be pushed to do something they don't like. Though neither sign is inclined to stay around long enough for things to go from bad to worse, things can get toxic if they ... stay together." Although this may not always be the case for a Libra-Aries pairing, if you sense things getting really rocky between you and your partner, then, it may be time to take a step back. Relationships are supposed to be happy, after all. 2 Taurus (April 20 - May 20) and Scorpio (October 23 - November 21): It Could End With Irritation
The Taurus and Scorpio are, physically at least, deeply in sync. "Both of them are quietly intense and can match each other's depth," Mckean says. But this strong match might eventually be mitigated by a slow-burn in the emotional part of the relationship.
"Emotionally, things start off well, but eventually they both become irritated by the other," Mckean says. "Very slowly, but ubiquitously, the emotional dissatisfaction starts to accumulate. Eventually they start to show their dissatisfaction in small ways and the potential for toxicity becomes quite high." A Taurus-Scorpio couple can work through this by
dismantling past grudges and making sure to schedule some time apart. A truly toxic relationship isn't worth the effort, but a rocky start might be. 3 Gemini (May 21 - June 20) and Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21): You May Be Drawn Apart
Ironically, the potential for toxicity between these two signs stems from just how similar they are. Both the physical and emotional chemistry between Geminis and Sagittarius is based on the signs' openness and curiosity about the world. This same openness can be great in bed, and on dates. But it often might not be long until
the relationship loses priority.
"The problems could start when one starts becoming less available for the other. In circumstances where social norms or financial circumstances force them to stay together, their hurt feelings don't have an escape and naturally accumulate. This is when things can become toxic between them," Mckean says. Luckily, both signs aren't natural grudge-holders. And if you find yourself pulling away from a partner, but still thinking they're really important in the long-run, you can put in some work to put your relationship first.
4 Cancer (June 21 - July 22) and Capricorn (December 22 - January 19): Your Mixed Feelings Might Get Messy
Cancer and Capricorn can live for a while as a happy, traditional paring. The Capricorn, Mckean says, enjoys providing security, and the Cancer will find peace in giving their Capricorn parter the comfort they need. This can create fantastic physical intimacy, with each partner knowing what they want, and the other being able to provide it. But the polarity that brings them together might also drive them far apart after a while.
"The Cancer is sensitive and the Capricorn is practical," Mckean says. "The Capricorn might write off something dear to a Cancer that will react by feeling hurt. Capricorns don't deal with emotions well. Over time, if they don't communicate enough, they can grow resentful of each other." The two signs can stay a good pair if they learn to
communicate well. But if you find yourself stuck with an emotionally unavailable partner, steer clear. You can find the sweet spot of emotional and physical intimacy elsewhere. 5 Leo (July 23 - August 22) and Aquarius (January 20 - February 18): Your Levels Of Commitment Tend To Differ
The Leo and Aquarius tend to hit it off fast. And things can get going at a pretty exciting pace. "When a Leo meets an Aquarius, they will at first be taken by them ... Physically it's quite a whirlwind between the two and both of them will be awed and impressed," Mckean says. But once you've landed on your feet, the emotional relationship may not be as strong.
"Unfortunately this [relationship] might be a little emotionally overbearing for the Aquarius that is normally detached. Leos demand attention and when they don't get it from the number one person in their life, they end up feeling miserable. The Aquarius doesn't want to deal with the Leo's dramatic reaction, so they'll simply leave," McKean says. And no one wants to get left in the dust. So talk to your partner if you're feeling really lonely in the relationship, or find someone else — someone who values your time the way you want it to be valued.
6 Virgo (August 23 - September 22) and Pisces (February 19 - March 20): Nitpicking Can Ruin The Fun
The Pisces and Virgo find each other quite alluring. The Pisces can feel fun, exciting, and different for a Virgo. And the Virgo is refreshing to the normally-wild Pisces. But things often disintegrate from there.
"The problems could start when the Pisces feels that the Virgo is being overly critical," Mckean says. "Virgos have a tendency to be particular. Pisces likes to roll with the flow which drives the Virgo nuts." And while this can develop into a really toxic back-and-forth over time, Mckean notes that both signs are relatively emotionally aware, and probably knew what they were getting into. This relationship self-awareness can increase the chances of things working out. But if you're constantly bumping up against your partner on every front, it might be time to let them go.
No matter what your sign, there's a chance you'll meet at least one person in your life who you're drawn to, but can't last long with. There are all sorts of facets that create a healthy, dynamic relationship that's built to last. And if even one of those pieces is missing, things can fall apart. The zodiac can be a helpful tool for exploring your relationship and its potential weak spots. You just have to decide what relationships are worth investing in.