As young adults, we spend a lot of our time falling in love or cursing the loves we can't seem to fall out of. The ghosts of relationships past haunt us to different degrees, according to astrology. Why you can't get over your ex depends on your zodiac sign, because while we might all struggle with letting go, the cosmos built you to hold on for different reasons and some of those reasons are actually totally justified. Some signs struggle to move on because they have a tendency to leave things open-ended, so closure is really what they're after, not the person. Other signs have trouble letting go because they love so deeply and give so much of themselves to relationships, that they miss the parts of themselves that they gave away.
The way you are as an individual informs the way you are as a partner, and with each sign holding such vast and varied personality traits, it's no surprise we all have different approaches to moving past a relationship, or carrying it with us. Bustle talked to astrologer Kyle Thomas about how each sign relates to relationships that are no longer active, and he was able to give not only keen insight into the reasons why, but also provide suggestions for how each sign can move forward, with their natural, totally human predisposition to hold on to parts of our past.
Aries (Mar. 21 – Apr. 19)
Aries loves hard, but they don't get stuck on their exes for the same reasons that other signs do. It's not about getting back together, it's about missing what you had. "As a zodiac sign prone to moving on quickly and diving into new things, you are actually most pulled to nostalgia because Venus is tied to your sector of marriage. While Venus only goes retrograde every other year, it does show that you invest deeply in your committed partnerships when you fully find a soulmate connection," says. Aries will have to hold onto this nostalgia and move on at the same time, as it's not in their nature to diminish great moments from past relationships, just to seek new ones.
Taurus (Apr. 20 – May 20)
"You’re also extremely resistant to change and can be terribly stubborn to shift your point of view," Thomas tells Bustle. "When you find someone who you truly love, you can spend an immense amount of time putting everything you have in. But then if for some reason the situation doesn’t work out, it is difficult for you to release that and let it go." According to Thomas, you can thank Mercury, planet of the mind, who rules your solar house of love, for going into many retrogrades, pulling you back into your post-relationship frustrations. So you have to remind yourself that a relationship takes two, and that if you were not on the same page, it's not a situation where you can have your way.
Gemini (May 21 – Jun. 20)
When you find someone who truly makes love feel like an adventure, you're hooked to your twin flame. "This lights you up and fills your mind with so many excited thoughts and plans. Yet, if the connection doesn’t last, you’re sent for a loop," Thomas says. Cosmically speaking, there are so many "clear patterns showing that when you find the one who got away, you truly miss them forever," Thomas says, but try to store that somewhere in your pocket, rather than letting it take over your field of view. You can hold a special place for a great relationship that didn't go where you wanted it to, and still move on and accept new love.
Cancer (Jun. 21 – Jul. 22)
Cancers are serious lovers, and though they don't always show it, they get very connected to people they date, spiritually. They might have remorse for not being as open as they'd like to be, or have other lingering feelings about what was and what was not said. According to Thomas, "Saturn, planet of longevity, rules your marriage sector and shows this serious attitude toward love. This planet also spends several months a year spinning backwards, meaning that sometimes you feel like your heart is tied to the past, as well." If there's something you need to say to your ex, it might give you the closure you're searching for, so consider reaching out.
Leo (Jul. 23 – Aug. 22)
Leo is a ferocious and intense lover and a total romantic. They get very attached to the people they share their hearts with long-term, and according to Thomas, it doesn't help that Uranus and Jupiter, your cosmo romance rulers, go into retrograde frequently, dragging you back to your past loves and making you forget why you left them in the first place. Allow yourself to think about it, but don't lean too dramatically into these desires, it's important to remember the cosmos are at play here more than your heart.
Virgo (Aug. 23 – Sep. 22)
"The practical and reliable Virgo is slow to trust and open up to the vulnerable sides of their heart and are the least likely of any zodiac sign to just rush in passionately because you intellectualize your emotions and need to logically know it’s going to work out," Thomas says. So while they might have trouble moving on because they don't understand why it didn't work out, given all of the intense vetting, they also find themselves overthinking why they can't stop thinking about the person. "It is hard for you to move on when you find that steady love you’d hoped would work out," Thomas says, but eventually you will find the lesson that helps you fully understand why it didn't work, and move on in a permanent way.
Libra (Sep. 23 – Oct. 22)
Libra dates for the hope of finding a life partner. They're always thinking of the future, so when it doesn't work out, you're left with a lot to think about. According to Thomas, the cosmos are involved too in that "Venus is your planetary ruler and every time it goes retrograde you are hit very intensely and likely cross paths with old flames." Thomas goes on to say that though it's a slow process for Libra to release old loves, they always find their way in their own time.
Scorpio (Oct. 23 – Nov. 21)
Scorpio is one of the most passionate signs; you love hard and completely, so according to Thomas, "you sometimes feel like it’s hard to move forward because you’re still unpacking relationships and karmic lessons from them." You give so much of yourself to the people you date, your time with them is very rich, and looking back there's even more still to learn from it. So lean in and learn your lessons, and then pack it up.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22 – Dec. 21)
"Mars, ruling your romance sector, goes retrograde every other year and turns your mind to exes," Thomas says. With the cosmos dragging your mind the past regularly, it's hard to really move on in a meaningful way. "You do like your ability to soar independently, but when you find someone who truly understands you, this is a connection you’ll long pine after for," Thomas explains, reminding Sags that it's important to trust that you'll find equal but different connections in the future as soon as you do let go and trust the cosmos.
Capricorn (Dec. 22 – Jan. 19)
Caps are strategic; they don't get into a relationship unless they are sure they will want to stay in it. According to Thomas, once they find someone who fits the bill, they don't ever want to let go. That said, "the moon rules your solar sector of marriage and her phases ebb and flow, showing that you, too, seek a partnership that evolves." So you might go through phases of being connected to an ex, and then knowing you've grown out of them, only to miss them again. "You want a partner who is more emotional than you, yet someone who you can rely on, and if your ex fits that bill, you’re likely to always wonder if you’ll have just one more chance," Thomas adds. Ultimately, Caps always know in their gut what is best for them, even if the idea of someone from the past might tantalize them from time to time.
Aquarius (Jan. 20 – Feb. 18)
"Aquarius desires romance that is exciting and exhilarating, but also one where they can guide the path of the love story," Thomas says. They like to be in control of how things go, and they're stubborn to boot. So when a relationship ends, they don't have the natural closure they need, especially if it's out of their control. "With Mercury, planet of the mind and ruler of your solar romantic sector, taking more retrogrades than any other throughout the year, this pulls Aquarius powerfully to exes," Thomas says, explaining that it's both your nature and also the influence of the cosmos that make your ex relevant longer than they should be.
Pisces (Feb. 19 – Mar. 20)
Pisces are one of the most romantic zodiac signs of all. They're natural dreamers and dream up futures with the people they date. According to Thomas, "if they find someone who truly matches their heart’s vibration, this magical nostalgia will keep them pining for this person long after it has passed." It also doesn't help that "Mercury, planet of the mind, rules your solar house of marriage, so you often see yourself crossing paths with people from the past several times a year," Thomas adds, making it clear that it's not just about your actions, but also the energy that your sign produces that create these portals to the past.
We might all have a natural inclination to hold onto the people who we shared our hearts with, but letting go is always possible. Remember to consider it a process, and not an action. Give yourself time to detach, and don't be too hard on yourself if it takes longer than you'd like. There's always a lesson to learn.