Illustration by Lucia S.

I finally feel ready to have a serious romantic relationship, but have never even come close to one. Due to some pretty personal family stuff and mental health, I feel like I missed out on a large portion of adolescence including first kisses, first loves, and well, firsts. I’m in a much better place now and feel more comfortable and ready, but I really don’t know how to meet potential love interests. I’m a Cancer to the T, the biggest most emotional homebody, and I’m hesitant to go out into the world to try. Where to begin?! How!? My friends all tell me Tinder’s where it’s at because few people that we know (girls or guys) are into girls, but I’m sure an organic relationship would help me more as it’s my first. (Also I’m a hopeless romantic) (#Cancer) I’m not reserving myself for someone too special or whatever, and all my life I’ve been following the “it’ll happen when it happens” narrative, but I realized that waiting around and not being proactive isn’t doing me any good. Any advice on trying to get more out of my shell?
–Crabby and Un-kissed

Dear Crabby,

First of all, know that you’re not alone in dealing with heavy family stuff or caring for your mental health. So many of us are fighting inner battles that we hide, even if everything looks okay on the outside. That said, it’s okay to feel hurt or frustrated that while other people your age were learning about crushes and first kisses, you had to do something very difficult. You’re brave, and I’m very proud of you for stepping up to look after your own wellbeing.

Here’s where the stars come in: Neptune is getting close to your moon in Pisces (and in your relationship zone, no less), making you crave romance—but what is romance, really? Neptune exudes glamour, but underneath the stolen glances and coupled Instagram photos, things aren’t always what they seem. In the same way, sometimes the messages we get from the media, social media, and even our social circles can make us feel like we’ve missed out on certain experiences. But, if you haven’t had a relationship yet, you haven’t missed out! You still have that to look forward to. The trick is getting rid of the fear that it won’t ever happen, or that in the meantime, you aren’t doing it right.

Luckily, the stars are aligned to give you a major confidence boost. Right now, electric Uranus is syncing up with good luck planet Jupiter in your daring ninth house. With this combination on your side, you have it in you to be bold and make the first move! As to whether to try online dating first or wait to meet someone in person, there’s no right answer—though Uranus rules the internet and is great for making connections online! Just remember that what goes on the internet stays on the internet. Whatever method you choose, the key to success is clearly communicating what you want out of the relationship. Are you looking for someone you can talk to for hours? A cuddle partner? A long-term love? The more straightforward you can be about what you want, the closer you are to actually getting it. That’s what makes putting it out there so scary, and so exciting.

Finally, since you’re Virgo rising, Venus retrograde is going to light up your communication zone from October 5 to 31, giving you the perfect proving ground for your newfound confidence. You might be faced with some things from the past that would have made you nervous before, but not anymore! Retrogrades in astrology get a bad rap, but they’re actually a great opportunity for you to rethink your philosophy on relationships and try new things—like getting out of your Cancer shell.

The truth is, it sounds like you’re quite a catch! You’re self-aware, funny, and open to new experiences—and what more could anyone ask for? Declare what you want, and when the stars align just right, you’ll find the right person for you. You just have to believe that it’s possible.

Good luck! ♦

Need some advice from Amelia and the stars? Send your questions to [email protected] with “Ask Saturn” in the subject line, along with your birthdate, the city or town where you were born, and your time of birth. That way, Amelia can see if there’s anything going on in your star chart that’s causing your troubles, like Saturn, or Mercury retrograde, or something else entirely. She’ll select one question each month to answer here, giving you her very best advice–both astrological and otherwise.