These two summer retrogrades are coming for your love life

Venus and Mercury are backspinning, and it’s not going to be pretty

As summer temperatures continue to rise, our summer love dramas may be hitting their boiling points too, because Venus retrograde kicked off on July 22 and Mercury retrograde starts on August 23. Thanks to these cosmically chaotic backspins, you might want to brace yourself for some relationship hiccups, communication breakdowns, and perhaps a ghostly ex or two coming back to haunt your DMs. Both retrogrades will rage on through September, so this planetary action will most definitely shape your summer love story.

When astrologers say a planet is retrograding, it means that it’s temporarily moving backward through the zodiac and subsequently mixing up and slowing down all the things it symbolically rules in our lives. Not all retrogrades will directly impact our love and sex lives, but this summer is an exception. That’s because Venus is the planet of romance and relationships, while Mercury rules all things logistical—like having conversations, texting, and making plans. With these two major planets backspinning back-to-back from now until September, it’s likely that all zodiac signs will feel some of the retrograde snags and shenanigans when it comes to love, sex, and dating. Buckle up and get your birth control locked and loaded!

Here’s what to know about these big summer retrogrades and how they’ll affect your love life.

Venus retrograde is rocking our relationships

Have you been reevaluating your dating preferences? Redefining your values in relationships? Suddenly craving closure (or pleasure) from a long-lost ex? If so, blame Venus retrograde. From July 22 through September 3, love planet Venus is moonwalking through the flashy and fiery sign of Leo. When Venus retrogrades every year and a half, it prompts us to reflect on where we are in our love lives and to reassess what’s truly important to us in our partnerships. Your tastes may be changing now, so follow your heart and be willing to explore and experiment with whatever feels good. It’s a good time to reconnect with things that make you feel loved, seen, and valued.

Venus retrograde is also notorious for bringing about blasts from the romantic past. For example, you might find yourself rekindling the spark of an old flame, or wake up to a jump scare “thinking of you” text from an ex. Or perhaps you’ll circle back to an old dating-app match with whom the timing never quite aligned. If you’re partnered up, repressed relationship issues could resurface, or changes of heart could make you rethink what you want. Either way, it’s time to face whatever’s been pushed aside and find clarity or closure.

Mercury retrograde will be mixing our signals too

Venus retrograde isn’t the only cosmic reversal that’s causing a little ruckus in our love lives this summer. Mercury retrograde is getting ready to rev its engine, kicking off on August 23 and wrapping up September 15 in the attentive and detail-oriented sign of Virgo. Mercury is the planet that rules thinking, timing, and technology, so unlike Venus, its astrological jurisdiction doesn’t relate directly to sex or romance. However, the mental and logistical chaos it can stir up can certainly have an impact on relationships. Mercury’s backspins are notorious for mixing signals when it comes to planning things, so you may have a harder time aligning your schedule with a lover’s, or you could easily find yourself running late for a very important (read: hot) date.

Mercury is also the planet of communication, so you’ll want to be extra conscious when it comes to corresponding with partners, whether virtually or IRL. Be sure to choose your words carefully, re-read your texts, and double-check those sexts before sending to ensure you’re hitting up the right person. It’s all too easy to put your foot in your mouth, send the wrong pic (oops), or generally misinterpret what someone is trying to say during these mentally foggy transits. Take your time when it comes to communicating and give your partners extra grace if their words don’t come out right, either.

How to make the retrogrades work for you

Just because Venus and Mercury retrograde might be cramping our style through the rest of the summer doesn’t mean any chance at love is being thrown out the window! These backspins are simply a signal to slow down and review your current situations before charging ahead into the future. No need to freak out or put your love life on pause—just take this as an opportunity to clear some skeletons out of your romantic closet and get in touch with your needs. Stay open to revelations, changes of plans, or shifts in your desires. Retrogrades can take us on a rollercoaster, but they can also help us get back on the right track.

Keep in mind that making pivotal decisions in relationships may not be the best idea now, so try to avoid any major milestones, if possible. Flings that begin or breakups that go down during this time may not have much lasting power, so you may find yourself rethinking things once the retrogrades wrap up. (Cue the classic post-retrograde makeup sex!) That said, you don’t have to put romantic unions or departures on hold. Follow your heart, just take things slow and avoid finalizing any decisions in the heat of the moment. You never know what might unfold over the coming weeks.

Good luck out there, y'all!

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