couple red flag

Romantic Incompatibility: Red Flags in Synastry

Certain Astrology aspects can indicate a bad romance

By Maria DeSimone

Have you ever met someone you’re completely -- even uncontrollably -- drawn to? Someone who causes your mind to scream "RUN!" while your heart and body attempt to convince you otherwise? Well, then, it looks like you’ve been caught in a bad romance.

Most of us have been there at one point or another, and the branch of relationship Astrology called "synastry" can offer incredible insight about the energy potential between you and your love. You can see what attracts you to one another and whether you’re compatible physically, spiritually, and intellectually.

But did you know that relationship Astrology also offers vital clues -- even warnings -- about links between your birth chart and your sweetheart’s chart that may indicate a rough road together? Even more fascinating is that there are certain "red flag" indicators between charts that can almost guarantee disaster, especially when mutually shared in each chart.

Fortunately, relationship Astrology is a careful analysis of every single piece of the puzzle, so one or two tricky aspects should not scare you away from following your heart. In fact, we tend to learn our most valuable life lessons from relationships and partners who test us. This makes perfect sense when you consider that the 7th house in Astrology rules not only your committed partner, but also open enemies!

If, however, your higher self is screaming at you to run for the hills, then perhaps you have several major red flag aspects between you and your partner.

Here’s a lowdown of the top indicators of potential relationship catastrophe between charts. If you and your mate share several of them, you might want to consider relationship rehab. If you’re not in a relationship yet and are considering hooking up with someone you share several of these links with, you might want to think twice.

*Note: The square and opposition are primarily considered the adverse aspects. If you have a sextile or trine aspect between planets, their energies work beautifully. If you have a conjunction, it’s an intensification of energies, so you'll want to carefully consider the other aspects between you before you judge whether the conjunction is beneficial or stressful.

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Any Saturn inter-aspect you share with someone suggests a certain karmic lesson the two of you contracted to work out in this lifetime. If, however, you share nothing but tense Saturn links, you may want to ask yourself if the burden is worth its weight in karmic gold.

When you and your partner share a tense Sun-Saturn link, there’s an overwhelming weight put on the Sun person. It’s as if his or her light is snuffed out due to a perceived criticism or disapproval from Saturn.

Or, the Saturn person may project this onto the Sun person and the Sun person might feel like he or she can never have fun around Saturn because there’s just too much work and responsibility associated with the relationship.


Even the best love match may suffer when there is a difficult Mercury-Neptune aspect. This is because Neptune acts as a bewildering force of nature when it stressfully connects to another planet.

In the case of Mercury, this means extra trouble. Communication deteriorates. The Mercury person may feel he or she can’t convey what they want to say with clarity. The Neptune person might feel that the Mercury person simply does not understand him or her.

There’s so much mutual confusion possible that eventually communication simply evaporates. At its worst, this is an indicator of outright lies or illusory communication which can erode trust.


While incredible transcendent love is possible under the influence of a positive Venus-Pluto link, when stressed this connection can lead to an extremely obsessive and unhealthy attachment. Ultimately, power, sex and money issues that revolve around control can destroy what would otherwise be an intense bond.

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Mars is the planet that rules our ambition and drive. Saturn, when in a tense aspect to Mars, can squelch it. This is the relationship where one partner is constantly tearing down the ambitions of the other.

Ultimately, a link such as this can lead to resentment and anger. The Mars person wants to "go" and the Saturn person wants caution. Timing always seems to be off for this couple, and it may also express itself in the bedroom because Mars rules our libido.


This exchange can lead to explosive, sudden arguments or even violence -- particularly if there is a two-way exchange where person A’s Mars touches person B’s Uranus, while person A’s Uranus makes a difficult link to person B’s Mars. An unfortunate but fitting example of such a couple is Rihanna and Chris Brown.


Sexual passion can easily lead to rough sex or even worse, such as sexually motivated abuse if these links are present in the charts of a couple. Again, it will be more likely if both members of the couple share the exchange, but even if it’s only one-way, remain cautious.

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Remember, if you and your love share one of these inter-aspects, it doesn’t have to be a relationship deal-breaker. The key is awareness and a willingness to work through any difficulty together. If, however, your synastry is overwhelmed with several difficult links, the personal cost of remaining together might not be worth it. Love, after all, isn’t supposed to hurt.

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