A while back, I was talking to a friend I adore about her latest round of love drama.
Another long-distance romance that was fun for six months, then fizzled. “Why can’t I have a good relationship?” she said. So of course, we decided to look at her chart. When I put in her birth info, I took in the most basic astrological picture of what she’s looking for in relationships (Venus in Sag, in the 3rd house, opposite Mars in the 9th). At a glance, that’s a description of someone who’s intensely passionate in short-term affairs (maybe a few at the same time) and then moves on. She also didn’t have a strong contact between Saturn and Venus or the moon (or Saturn in one of the love houses), which would have suggested a combined fear of and craving for deeper intimacy and connection. I was suddenly confused about why she considered that six month relationship such a failure.
“Wait,” I asked my friend, “What counts as ‘good’ relationship? Like, does it need to last for some amount of time to count as good? Are you looking for an LTR, like a life partner thing?”
My friend made a no-way face. “I just want it to last as long as we’re both having a good time.” She finally admitted that her recent relationship might have been good, but she wasn’t really sure. “I guess I’m just going through a long dry spell,” she said. “I really need to have sex.” I asked how long it had been. “Three weeks,” she said in the same tone most people use to say three hundred billion years.
Romantic FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) happens to the best of us, but shows up with a vengeance to people with hard Venus-Mars aspects, challenged Leo energy, and Aquarius and 11th house south nodes. (To keep it simple, I’m only going to talk about Venus-Mars aspects.)
When Venus and Mars form a square, opposition or even a conjunction in the natal chart, they are constantly coaxing (Venus) and jostling (Mars) each other, trying to get their very different needs met at the same time.
Venus wants to bond with another soul, but Mars wants it NOW and FAST. Mars wants to get laid, but Venus needs to be in love. Venus wants the connection to be easy, but Mars wants a challenge. With the opposition especially, there’s a powerful attraction to contrasts of masculinity and femininity, a la butch-femme relationships or Hollywood romances.
These aspects are the signature of love affairs, flings and love at first sight. Cheating (or being cheated on) is an obvious way for Mars-Venus to get their needs met, since it can turn any sweet little romance into a strategic, Martian challenge. Making art and fighting for justice (and feminism) are another manifestation. Telenovelas and my most despised film (don’t @ me), Love Actually, are all exaggerations of Martian-Venusian romance, ending in the grand finale of a glorious wedding.
Sidenote: There’s a good reason romances stop before the marriage starts. Marriage – and any long-term commitment – is Saturn’s domain. Saturn (aka commitment) does not inherently have anything to do with love, not unless your personal chart makes the connection between those two areas.
Venus-Mars people (almost always) need romantic passion. Three weeks without sex or sweet love-nothings feels like a death sentence to my friend, though other ‘friends’ (ahem, not me!) have gone years without either at various points and did not die, even if they might have wanted to occasionally. Still others go lifetimes without sex or romance and don’t miss it.
Needing romantic passion is one thing. Buying into the FOMO is another.
Mars-Venus people, like anyone, can create their own hell by believing there’s another relationship story they should be living.
Whether it’s a fantasy of marriage as a 30-year first date or a more nebulous sense that your friends are somehow happier in their relationships, it’s worth taking a closer look at what actually suits you. The on-again, off-again ups and downs of a typical Venus-Mars love life might be the mad heat that keeps you toasty.** The urge to measure yourself against others – to compete, Martian style, with your friends’ relationships – is the real torture.
**Venus-Mars people who want something more stable can make changes by finding new and stimulating challenges to work on with a partner, whether its running, couples’ counseling or kinky sex.
For more on Mars and Venus, check out Mars and Venus do drag: The astrology of gender roles and visit me at seagoatastrology.com!