Dear Madame Zolonga: To Date or Not to Date? That is the Mercury Retrograde Question

Dear Madame,

I’m writing because I find all this Mercury Retrograde advice confusing. I hope you can help out. See, there’s this guy at my work. He’s newish so I don’t really have a history on him. But I like him. I’d say he’s more gentlemanly, but you might think he’s older. He’s not. That’s just the best word I can use to describe his attitude toward me.

My concern here is that it seems obvious he’s interested in me and has been for a while. If he asks me out during the Mercury Retrograde, do I say yes? Does that count as a new relationship that needs to be avoided? I’m a Pisces with a Virgo Moon, and I have no clue what he is. Help a sister out.

— Lost Fish

Dearest Fishy,

Let’s not prep the skillet until you’ve got something on the hook. He hasn’t asked yet, so why worry now?

Ah, yes. Here we are at the Full Moon in Sagittarius, and you’re feeling the push to do something. Your Virgo Moon wants to be prepared.

He’s a gentleman and (I assume) you don’t want to be anything less than a lady. Whatever those words imply to you. I’m not your mother or your granny, and I don’t know what school of dating you were trained in.

Yes, your history is always a consideration, with or without the astrology, because habit and culture usually take precedence over inconvenient things like planets. However, assuming you’re past the stage of bending paperclips into his initials, let’s proceed with the astrology.

You want to know if going on a first date is a bad thing while Mercury’s in retrograde. I know some sites want to tell you that’s the case. And my answer is, it all depends on what you expect from dating, this date and this person. I’m never for putting one’s life on hold for anything less than the metaphorical equivalent of a five-alarm fire. Even when the action doesn’t seem to be going as planned, life moves in subtle directions onward. If you don’t appreciate subtlety, it’s hard to see.

What I’m saying is, don’t date with an agenda, especially right now. Mercury retrograde doesn’t put your life on hold. It doesn’t matter if you’ve known the gentleman for three months or three days, really. Mercury retrograde says, “Pause and pay attention.”

If you’re texting a lot with him, take a time-out perhaps. Push the pause button and see how comfortable you are with that. Major anxiety? There might be an agenda in play — yours, to start with.

If your gentleman comes calling, adopt an attitude of curiosity and flow. You flow, you laugh, and most of all, you listen. Are you getting this? Are you actually having fun?

Bonus: With Mercury retrograde you often hear (and see) sides of people and situations you didn’t necessarily notice before. If the date goes awry, that’s even better! You might see an unvarnished version of a person when they arrive late, reservations get mixed up, or the “rare” steak arrives well done. How do they handle a wee crisis? Believe what you see and don’t self-deceive.

That said, I’ve had some spectacular successes with new relationships made under Mercury retrograde skies. These people typify the Mercury retrograde “think differently” motto. And they continue in my life long after the Mercury retrogrades. Other folks have come and gone, and have been no less memorable, enlightening and sweet. The lesson? Enjoy the time and the people, no matter the retrograde.

And if he asks you out, say, tomorrow (and my words haven’t quelled your concerns), it’s just a few days before Mercury resumes direct motion on the June 11. You could put off a date until then — though I might suggest the weekends of June 19 and 26 for a lighter mood. Book in then.

A’ flow with the Merc retro,

— Madame Z

7 thoughts on “Dear Madame Zolonga: To Date or Not to Date? That is the Mercury Retrograde Question

  1. Amanda Painter

    I don’t have time to get into the details right now, but several years ago I very eagerly accepted a lunch date with a man I was *obsessively* into. I knew Mercury was stationing retrograde *the day* of our date, but I was just too excited to try and put it off.

    It was, indeed, a disaster — mainly due to me coming in with a huge agenda and totally blind to some baggage that needed to be sorted out, and also him coming in with his own baggage (and having essentially made his mind up about me the morning of the date, due to some information I shared with him on the phone that morning — a case of TMI too fast). We both piled a camel’s-back-breaking amount of meaning/importance/judgment onto the encounter before we ever had a chance to know — *really* know — who we were as whole people.

    Anyway, what I came away with from the incident was a much greater understanding of what I had lurking in the shadows, and the ways we can undermine ourselves with our agendas too early in getting to know someone. Loose expectations can sink ships… or something like that.

    I was tempted to write that I learned that it can be detrimental to give too much information about yourself to someone too fast, but then I remembered what one wise friend of mine said to me at the time: being open about who I am was not the problem. That’s a good thing, and those who can take it in stride are people worth getting to know better. Attaching a whole set of assumptions and judgments and fears to a little TMI offered by someone too soon cuts us off from getting to know the whole person in a fuller context — and that’s what he did, in the couple of hours between a phone call and meeting at the restaurant.

    I don’t even blame him for doing that; he clearly had his own context and history that attached a red flag to what he heard. And in the ensuing innocent miscommunication of our date, my baggage came spilling out with a vengeance — a red flag to *myself* that I really was not in any position to pursue a relationship with this person at that time.

    So, in a twisted way, it all worked out in the end. And he and I had a chance weeks later to talk about what happened, and make some peace. We’re still friends, btw; not close, but friends enough to chat when we run into each other in town, or in comments on FB.

  2. Shelley Stearns

    I was reminded today that expressed sexual interest from another is just an invitation for me to confront myself anyway. Maybe the Mercury retrograde ‘Pause and pay attention’ is more about that than anything else.

  3. Madame Zolonga

    Amanda, your story is a (self) revelation. What on earth would you have done differently if you didn’t have a good friend, some therapeutic support, and astrology to give you feedback and context?

    Shelley, thank you. That pretty much sums it up.

    xx, MZ

    1. Amanda Painter

      Oh, I know exactly (more or less) what I would have done without the astrological context and good, therapeutic friend support: most likely (given the emotional/mental space I was in then) I would have gone off on a wildly unhelpful “attachment bender” (I just made that term up).

      That is, I have a strong feeling I would have gotten very attached to the “need” to “make it better” and very attached to my agenda that he was perfect to be my next long-term “Mr. Right.” And I probably would have also latched on to some idea that I had “ruined” things — or that *he* was the one completely in the wrong. It could have gotten very messy and dramatic.

      Thankfully, I had the tools and support I needed to back off without extreme hurt and defensiveness, and was able to stay open-hearted and detached enough (not terribly detached, but just enough) to have a neutral talk with him, clear some things up, explain a little, own my “stuff” a little, listen to him a little…and eventually move on. All while continually seeing him in a weekly social context we were both part of. (The obsession kept on for a little while, but I was able to live with it without letting it take over completely, until it finally fizzled out.)

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