When I have crushes on people that I’m friends with or starting to be friends with, how to tell them, or otherwise open/invite possibility of shift from pal to crush? I mean, I have obviously done this with more or less success in my life but am mystified by it currently. Can I get some astro help?
–Crushed-Out Cancer wants to Know
In some corner of the world lives a person who has never struggled to work up their flirt-nerve. Maybe that corner of the world is the upstairs bathroom of a frat house and that person is a 19-year old boy, still drunk from last night, flossing his perfect teeth in a mirror so spattered with toothpaste and shaving cream and Renu Multipurpose Contact Lens Solution that he can’t really see his face, but he doesn’t care because he has that much confidence.
Just for fun, let’s name our happy-go-lucky, pre-alcoholic college freshman, Bailey.
Bailey, always confident, will snag one babe after another, each a girl of movie-star hair and lipstick-ad lips. Sometimes, he will fall in love brutally hard with those lips, that golden hair, the way she runs the tip of her tongue over her teeth just before cracking a joke. He’ll feel high—or almost—because she’ll always seem to be just out of reach. Other times, he’ll think the girls fall for him too easily, he’ll receive their attention but forget to return it. Only when they get bored and distant will Bailey think to himself, “She is kind of cute.” But it’s too late. The girl has a new boyfriend, one who pays more attention to her and Bailey is left longing and alone.
Why am I making up this story instead of just answering your question? Sleep deprivation may have something to do with it, but also, also, I think Bailey and you may need the same medicine.
Bailey is a romance-addict who loves to get in chaser-chasee relationships. At best, this is like doing amazing drugs, but at its worst, love makes Bailey feel like a Pomeranian leashed to the rear bumper of a speeding Toyota 4Runner. Sad, confused, scared, powerless.
A very small part of you, COCK, has certain romantic behaviors—and wounds—in common with Bailey. Like Bailey, your 5th House/Pisces South Node (past life shizznit) believes in perfect, exalted romance but often ends up with stress and confusion instead. Even if you get shy, it looks like you do know how to get your mack on. I wonder if your current mystification is actually an intuitive need for a new approach. You know how to make friends, but do you know how to really be friends with a partner? How to balance passion with a grounded, egalitarian bond? Are you willing to see your crushes as full, complicated people or do you get stuck on their shiny surfaces (movie star, gorgeous train wreck, the glamorous wounded)?
Instead of figuring out how to move things to the next level, I’d recommend slowing down and really building that friendship first.
Your soul path** in Virgo/11th house benefits from becoming more objective and clear-headed—turning down the crush heat so you can really see if this person is who you want—and so they can feel you seeing them. You’re great in groups, so bring this crush-friend into your group spaces (or join theirs). Dinner parties, political events, art making—anything so long as there are other people and projects to help diffuse the intensity. That’s good because it keeps your romantic energy from overwhelming you or anyone else, let’s you find out other friends’ objective opinions of the crush and keeps things at a speed that’s better for your slow-moving love nature.
And enjoy getting to know your crushy friend. Show your genuine curiosity about their life and their interests, especially beyond those qualities that attracted you. Feeling seen and accepted for one’s real self is a huge turn-on. You also have the gift of recognizing others’ talents and helping them figure out how to use those gifts. Again, feeling someone else’s investment in you is sexy. It’s attention-getting in the best possible way.
Also, relax and be your weird, funny, smart, sweet, sometimes-vulnerable self, so you too can experience the pleasure of being fully seen.
If your exchanges leave you energized and clear-headed, that’s a green flag. If you feel drained or stressed, notice the triggers. Are you people-pleasing? Forgetting to assert your boundaries? Fantasizing instead of staying grounded in the present? Check your behavior and try again. Is your body saying ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘maybe’? Listen, pay attention and keep experimenting with what kind of engagement feels good.
If it’s feeling good, stay on that slow pace. Venus and Mars are the sexy planets, and yours are in Virgo which needs to work toward things gradually, building a framework as it goes and paying attention to nuances. Equality can be a struggle for Virgo planets. In love, you want so badly to be helpful (and are gifted at it), that you can lose sight of who or what you’re helping. Before you get involved with your crush, have conversations about what you’re both looking for, what their past relationships were like, how they define things like honesty, trust, intimacy, partnership, dating. Do you have the same goals? Again, take it slow and really listen, especially to the parts that you may not want to hear.
Does this sound boring? Bailey might think so, but you, my dear COCK, are no Bailey. At bottom, you’re a grounded realist*** who wants deep, sustainable intimacy****. A relationship you can trust that spans love and sexiness. I wouldn’t worry so much about flirting. When the chemistry is there, flirtation arises naturally—at its own pace. Slowing down may mean you lose some of the drugged-out high of new love, but without the tragic lows, you might find you don’t miss it. Passion can be quiet too, and feels just as good when you let it come over you, bit by bit.
*someone with a different nodal axis that is
***Cap Moon, Venus and Mars in Virgo