"Hey Babe, what's your sign?"
I couldn't help myself--every time I met someone new I just had to go online and check our astrological compatibility. If asked, I'd be the first to say I didn't believe in any of it--but I had the overwhelming compulsion to take a peek anyway. I'd spend hours reading over our profiles, pinpointing the items that sounded "just like us!" and glossing over those that didn't really fit.
I'm not alone. Many people--even those who swear they don't believe in astrology will check out compatibility or just read their horoscopes daily. So why the fascination with the stars? I asked Aimee Hartstein. LCSW, a Manhattan based psychotherapist who also dabbles in astrology, why this might be the case.
She says while for many checking a horoscope is nothing more than a fun indulgence, for others, the enduing interest in astrology may go a tad deeper.
"Human beings have a strong drive to find meaning in the world," she says. "Astrology suggests that life isn't entirely random - that there are forces outside of us greater than ourselves. I think that can be comforting."
So why are we so desperate to know our futures? Aimee says it's all about gaining a sense of control. "Life can be scary. We don't know what is going to happen in the future and on some level I think that the astrology column can be reassuring. I also think it gives people hope. Someone desperate for a job or a relationship, is reassured when the astrology column promises that something good is right around the corner."
Same with checking out your new crush's sign, which Aimee says is more common than you might think. "At the early stage of a crush, the sun sign is pretty much all that's available to you," she says. "You don't really know the person, but you can read about their sign and feel like you are getting to know them."
Of course, she adds, if the sun signs aren't giving you enough info, there's always Facebook these days. "Today you can become Facebook friends with a potential crush and glean all sorts of solid information about them, but previously - their sun sign was pretty much all you had to go on!"
Speaking of Facebook--we asked our Facebook friends what they thought.
Janeen says she's always had an interest in astrology when it comes to choosing a mate. "Your sign is an indication of certain personality traits you have," she points out.
Mineko said she also takes a peek, but has learned "Just because the signs are compatible - that doesn't mean people are."
And while Jill always checks out her horoscope, she insists, "It wouldn't sway any decision for me."
As for my husband and I? Well, we're both Pisces. And according to the Internet, that means we "definitely [have] a good chance of success." I'll take it!
What do you think? Is it just for fun or is there something to this whole 'sign' thing when it comes to compatibility? We want to know what you think... and hear your stories. Are the stars aligned for you and your mate?