Modern romance is literally written in the stars

Astrology won’t change dating forever, but it might change for now

It’s difficult to get around as a 20-something without learning a little bit of astrology. As astrology takes hold of conventional spiritual outlets, conversations turn from earthly to ethereal, specifically with talks of birth charts, a map of the solar system’s placement on someone’s birth date. These charts are commonly used to compare your compatibility with someone else, and many young people use them prior to even crushing on a potential partner.

Skeptics immediately raise the question: Can we really leave our fate up to the stars? To those who swear by the astrological forces, these astral bodies don’t just police our bodies. They can also give us insight into our past, present and future relationships.

In different cultures such as India, marriages are arranged specifically to astrological compatibility, and this has been “working” for thousands of years—“working” meaning that arranged marriages in India have a divorce rate of 4 percent, compared to chosen marriages in the U.S. at 55 percent, according to a study done by Statistic Brain. While this could be attributed to regional circumstance and cultural norms, it is hard to argue with astral forces when they’re combined with concrete numbers.

“Birth chart compatibility doesn’t necessarily mean that the spouses will get along great or that they will fall in love,” said Shanthi Ayyadurai, whose family used astrology to arrange her marriage. “However, using birth charts greatly decreases the risk for disasters such as divorce, early death of one’s spouse and the possibility of not having children.”

A simple birth chart has created millions of marriages to our East, yet in the States, they get a bit of a bad reputation. The process of creating a birth chart presents a goldmine to meme-makers—there are countless of memes floating the internet, telling stories of people sleuthing to find their crush’s birth time and place. It’s an arduous task, but with interest in religious spirituality dwindling, the creation of a simple birth chart bring solace to many young people.

“It gives you more base in who that person is,” said Brooke Lord, a 21-year-old student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. “How am I supposed to know if they’re a crazy person or not if I don’t do their birth chart?”

Lord continues by stating that the biggest thing with birth charts is the reliability. The immense specificity of them requires our attention because it is so correct.

“My most recent debacle of a relationship gives the perfect argument for birth charts,” they said. “Our charts were completely not compatible, but I went along with it anyway. This has been the universe punishing me since.”

Lord’s situation could have been avoided entirely if they had listened to the stars. Yet Lord still doesn’t regret anything, no matter the dangers the chart may have forewarned.

“It’s still an experience, and I wouldn’t take that back” they said. “You realize the things you don’t like in a person, and sometimes those are things the stars can miss.

Missing the cliche is impossible—romance in 2018 is written in the stars. But most budding astrologers take their birth charts with a grain of salt. The pure allure of fulfilling a relationship with which the stars disagree remains one of the biggest reasons to use them with caution and not as a complete pledge.

“Since astrology has become so popular in the past two years, a lot of people do use it as a means of making excuses for themselves or other people,” said Bri Robb, a 20-year-old Chicagoan who frequently makes birth charts. “If I can surreptitiously get their birth chart information, then I will make one, but honestly it is mostly just to gossip about it with my astrology friends and chat about placements we like and don’t like.”

Ignoring the relevance of birth charts in 2018 is potentially pseudo-sacrilegious. Lunar tides guide our Earth’s days from one to the next. Who is to say that these same lunar tides don’t judge our own days? Though the science is missing to completely validate the influence of birth charts, the same goes for karma or conventional religion. The fact is that astrology and the cunning believability of birth charts are changing the way young people interact in relationships, romantic or otherwise, even if some don’t take it as seriously.

“The important thing to remember is that any underdeveloped sign can be just as unbearable as the next,” said Robb. “So not pursuing someone because of their sign or a placement they have is still just silly.”