What is a retrograde relationship? [+ How to know if you are in one]

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Lately, things have been a little weird in your relationship.

And as if by chance, you’ve stumbled upon the concept of a retrograde relationship.

Could this explain what you’ve been experiencing? How can you know if you’re in one?

Read on to find all the answers you need. 

What is a retrograde relationship?

A retrograde relationship is a relationship that is affected by the Mercury retrograde, or even facilitated by it. 

If you’re not familiar with Mercury retrograde, here’s what it means in a nutshell.

Normally, the planet Mercury moves through the sky quite quickly. But a few times per year, it appears to slow down and start moving backwards. This lasts for about three weeks at a time. 

Of course, it doesn’t literally start physically orbiting in reverse. It just looks like it does because of its relative position to Earth and how both planets move around the sun. 

However, this phenomenon still has a huge energetic impact and can throw everyone and everything into chaos. 

What happens to couples during retrograde?

Mercury rules over communication, information, logic, and transportation. So when it goes into retrograde, it seriously affects our mood and communication with others. 

This might be manifested as more frequent conflict, misunderstandings, or even experiencing a communication blockage.

Additionally, retrogrades are closely associated with the past. So don’t be surprised if people from your past suddenly pop back into your life during the Mercury retrograde. 

As you can see, retrograde isn’t a particularly fun period, and many things tend to go wrong.

However, if you understand the workings of your sign and what your partner wants from you, you can turn things around and actually use the energetic shift to your advantage.

Ladies, want to be one of the few to help your relationship flourish during this chaotic time? 

Take this amazing new quiz to dive into what your man really wants from you. When you’re armed with this knowledge, navigating a retrograde relationship becomes much, much simpler.

How does Mercury retrograde affect your relationship?

Above, we saw some overall effects of Mercury when it goes into retrograde. 

Really though, a retrograde relationship can look very different based on your sign. Here are the specific ways it can impact your relationship: 

Aries retrograde relationship

Aries are known as the queens and kings of communication from all the zodiac signs. So you might feel the effects of Mercury retrograde more strongly than others.

It might seem like a ton of problems start to crop up, but stay calm and be patient. This is a temporary period, and freaking out and starting more conflict will only make the problems worse. 

Leo retrograde relationship

Leos tend to know what they want, and they also have difficulty admitting when they are wrong.

Both these things are thrown a little off kilter during retrograde. You might find yourself being unusually indecisive, and resisting taking on any blame for things as you feel it’s unfair. 

If you realize you’re doing this, try to be mindful of these effects so that you don’t unintentionally hurt your partner.

And if you’re dating a Leo, try to be extra patient during this period. Nobody does these things on purpose, but they can’t help feeling the shifts in the universe. 

Sagittarius retrograde relationship

Sagittarius often experience the need to solve any unfinished business during Mercury retrograde.

This can be a good thing, as it helps to clear up blockages that might be holding you back either in your relationship or in your personal life.

But it also has drawbacks — you might rush too quickly into sensitive conversations without enough preparation.

Remember to give yourself enough time to think things through before you tackle any relationship issue, and to prepare yourself with a mindset of kindness and empathy. 

Taurus retrograde relationship

Taurus tend to feel the Mercury retrograde as a disturbance of peace. 

You might feel particularly triggered during this time, leading you to lash out at others around you even though you don’t mean to.

You might find it difficult to stick to your usual routine, causing frustration or delays in working towards your goals. 

While this is an uncomfortable period, remember that it is all temporary. Practicing mindfulness and gratitude will help ground you. 

Virgo retrograde relationship

Though Virgos are usually extremely loyal, during Mercury retrograde they might start to doubt the strength of their bonds.

You might take little issues more seriously than they need to be, or simply start to feel insecure about yourself and how others perceive you.

It helps if your partner is able to give you extra reassurance during this period. It may also be a good idea to reflect by journaling.

You can identify areas to work on during this period, but remember not to take everything too seriously as little things can be blown out of proportion.

Capricorn retrograde relationship

In retrograde, Capricorns should be extra careful to make sure they give their relationships the proper care.

The energetic shifts can make you easily distracted, turning your focus more towards professional or personal goals rather than your relationship.

As a result, your partner and others close to you might begin to feel neglected.

It’s important for these people to speak up and communicate their needs to you, but you can also be attentive to help prevent these issues from coming up.

Gemini retrograde relationship

Geminis feel the effects of Mercury retrograde as restlessness, which may cause others in your life to also feel restless too.

You love being around other people, but during retrograde this could turn into feelings of overwhelm.

You may feel like your relationships become a little unstable or chaotic, and you’re not able to interact with others as confidently and smoothly as you normally do. 

Be prepared to identify and overcome some negative or limiting beliefs, and be ready with positive affirmations to help transform them into more helpful thoughts. 

Libra retrograde relationship

During the retrograde period, Libras might find themselves feeling insecure.

Uncertainties that you might not usually give much thought to will come to mind a bit more often. 

These can be about anything from your relationship to finances, and anything in between.

Remember to always compare your feelings against the facts. You might be feeling insecure about something when in reality things are going pretty well.

And if you do notice things to improve in an area, take the time to discuss them calmly with your partner. 

Aquarius retrograde relationship

An Aquarius will benefit from putting extra effort during Mercury retrograde to gain and maintain stability.

You might find yourself getting off track of good habits that you had good momentum on. Or perhaps things will start feeling a little off with your partner for no apparent reason.

Make sure to set aside regular quality time to spend with your partner so you can keep your bond strong, and show them that you believe in your relationship through concrete investments. 

Cancer retrograde relationship

Cancers will definitely feel the chaotic effects of Mercury retrograde all around them, and this may lead them to become a bit withdrawn. 

It may feel too much for you to handle, as everyone feels issues more acutely and more problems come up than usual. 

This is totally understandable, and you should take the time for yourself that you need. 

Just remember to communicate to your partner that this extra time you’re taking for yourself isn’t anything negative against them, and that they can support you and your relationship together by allowing you this space.

Scorpio retrograde relationship

Similarly to Cancer, Scorpios may feel they need to retreat a little more into their shell during Mercury retrograde.

This is a good period to spend time getting to know yourself a little more, and reflecting on your values, priorities, and where your life and relationship is going. 

But again, remember to communicate your needs to your partner, so they understand that this period of a bit more distance between you is not a bad sign for you as a couple.

Pisces retrograde relationship

Pisces will find their communication skills really put to the test during Mercury retrograde. 

You pride yourself on being highly intuitive, but during retrograde this talent may not work as well as it normally does.

Don’t panic — your gifts are still there! But something as massive as the energetic shifts of retrograde are bound to have an impact. 

It’s a good idea to be extra mindful to be clear about what you are feeling and sharing that with your partner, so that you don’t get too stuck in your own head. 

Are you in a retrograde relationship?

1) You belong to one of the signs particularly affected by retrograde

As we have seen above, retrograde can and likely will affect any relationship, no matter your sign. 

However, certain signs will feel this much more strongly than others — in particular, Virgo and Gemini, which are ruled by the planet Mercury

The signs that are known to be emotional will also be more affected: namely, Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio, and Libra. 

If you’re feeling like your emotions are out of control or things just seem off during retrograde, it’s pretty clear that you’re feeling the energetic shift in the universe.

2) You and your partner feel rather weird in general

Let’s face it — Mercury retrograde is not a fun time. 

As you can see, none of the signs have particularly smooth sailing in their relationship during these three weeks.

However, when you have a solid grasp of you and your partner’s signs and what they say about you, you can prepare for what is to come and even use this period to become much stronger as a couple while everyone else hits a bumpy road.

For the ladies, I can even give you a great head start. Just take this amazing free quiz by renowned astrologer Anna Kovach. 

You’ll unlock what your man really wants from you and make your relationship flourish, even during retrograde.

3) You notice a pattern of steady ups and downs in your relationship

Every relationship has its ups and downs. But if they happen during a steady pattern, and last for about three weeks at a time, then take a second look at the calendar.

Issues can crop up unexpectedly, but they usually aren’t that regular. If you find they are, then there’s a good chance that the problem isn’t actually you or your partner, but rather the shift you’re both feeling in the universe. 

4) Things slow down or get delayed

You may notice this both within your relationship, but also outside it. 

Do work projects stretch on and on, deadlines get pushed back, and people seem to take forever to get back to you?

This is one of the most common signs you’re experiencing Mercury retrograde.

In your relationship, this can mean it takes you longer to plan things together, or you’re much slower to come to a decision about important things in the relationship.

Remember to give yourself grace and patience, as it can be particularly challenging to try to make big leaps forward during this time.

5) You have more frequent misunderstandings

Be extra careful while texting your partner during retrograde, as misunderstandings happen extremely easily during this time. 

You or your partner might find yourselves leaping to conclusions, making false assumptions, or having difficulty getting your message across. 

Naturally, this isn’t very helpful for your relationship. Remember that tone of voice and body language makes up most of communication, so be mindful during this time that your communication aligns well with what you want to say. 

Final thoughts

Now you hopefully have a better understanding of a retrograde relationship, and notice the signs if you’re in one.

Nobody can ever really prepare for this chaotic period, as we never know what to expect in the first place.

But ladies, when you understand what your man really wants from you, you know how to satisfy his needs and make your relationship stronger than ever, even while the universe seems to throw challenges at you left and right.

Want to be that power couple?

It all starts with taking this amazing quiz

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Click here to take the free quiz.

Can a relationship coach help you too?

If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.

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