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How to Outsmart Mercury Retrograde and Date Mess-Free

Produced in partnership with the experts at astrology and horoscope app, Sanctuary.

Pay attention

Mercury rules communication, touching everything from your conversation starters to your IRL dates. When it heads retrograde, you can expect communication to go a little haywire! Now’s the time to focus on the details. That means double-checking you hit reply, and not reply all, on that sensitive email! Mercury also rules travel, and the combo can be a little unpredictable for your romantic life. Get ahead of this troublemaking planet by double-checking the time and place of your dates, and leave a bit of extra travel time to be 100% sure you don’t leave anyone hanging.

Take it slow

A huge theme of Mercury retrograde is taking things slowly, giving you time to breathe, think things through, and process. So you don’t always have to respond to that message immediately (that’s what extending your matches is for!). If your match isn’t messaging you back as quickly as you might like, blame it on the retrograde.

Taking it slowly doesn’t have to be negative, though! Sometimes a little extra time is what we need when the world is on constant fast-forward. Don’t be afraid to take a night off, carve out a little time of your own, and do some reflecting. You might discover you need a change, or that your priorities are changing, but you’ll never know unless you stop and think!

Don’t take it personally

We all have bad days, and Mercury retrograde is notorious for catching us at our least prepared or less gracious selves. Communication delays and misunderstandings happen! The best response is graciously assuming that you’re not the center of the issue, and giving the other person a bit of space to collect themselves. 

Own your mistakes

Uh oh, maybe you messed up. That message was totally meant for someone else! The only thing to do now is to disappear forever in a hole of self-loathing, right? No!

Mercury retrograde knows that mistakes happen. And so does everyone else. Although it can be mortifying to admit your missteps, it’s a lot more attractive, and honest, to own up when it’s on you. It won’t always fix the problem, or unsend that text, but it will certainly help you remember to check the recipient line before you fire off something that isn’t for everyone’s eyes. 

Shake it off

If you find that the retrograde has gotten the better of you, it can leave you feeling a little worse for the wear. Maybe you’re feeling a bit more anxious than normal, or frazzled because suddenly your commute is a nightmare, and you’d rather be at home in bed.

Mercury retrograde happens a couple of times a year, and it’s always temporary. The stars can be a powerful force, but remember that you’re in control of your life! Preparation and attention are the keys to success at any time of the year. Think of Mercury retrograde as the perfect time to check-in and fine-tune those skills, which touch everything from your dating life to your professional life. If you swipe in the wrong direction, go ahead and shake your phone to go back to that potential match. You never know who the stars might shine on while you swipe!

Be brave

Don’t fear the retrograde! There’s so much noise about dire astrology, just remember the stars are like the weather. You can bring an umbrella, or check your horoscope, but you’re still in charge of your love life. Mercury may be on the move, but you’re still in control. It’s important to think things through, but don’t let planetary paralysis get the better of you. Thoughtfulness, respect, and consideration are always in style, even if Mercury is in the mood to make trouble. Be bold, and make the first move!