For most of us, the new year is when we plan resolutions toward self-improvement and self-acceptance — physically, emotionally and spiritually. It’s also the time, however, when we reevaluate the relationships in our life (friends, family and/or significant others). Here’s the good news: The stars are gonna help on that count. Now, the bad news: With Mercury no longer in retrograde and Saturn in his home sign of disciplined, distant Capricorn, breakups will be plentiful in the early days of 2018. (This, of course, is in direct contradiction to the narrative that it’s cuffing season.)
If it turns out that you’re the dumper — and all of that end-of-year soul searching means you’re about to leave behind the one that you’re with — I’ve assembled a star-informed cheat sheet to help you understand what you’re dealing with. At the very least, I hope it helps you keep the heartbreak — and subsequent bloodbath — to a minimum.
Aries (March 21 to April 19): The best strategy here is bluntness and honesty. Expect some yelling and explosiveness, but remember, Aries don’t hold grudges long, and in the end, they’ll respect you more for your ability to rip off the Band-Aid instead of slowly peeling it back. Be sure, though, not to throw in a “let’s still be friends.” This will only confuse them and further piss off your now ex.
Taurus (April 20 to May 20): They may be the hardest sign to break up with (aside from Scorpio). They’re all about consistency, predictability and comfort, so when you hit them with the “I don’t think I can do this anymore,” expect a dazed “I’m not sure what you mean” in response. More largely, they do not like change (even if they know breaking up is a good idea), and will sometimes even resort to offering material things in order to get you to stay. As such, you’ll have to literally pack up all of your shit and be standing in the doorway when you tell them that it’s over.
Gemini (May 21 to June 20): Geminis will either want to have an extremely long conversation/argument about why you’re breaking up with them, or they’ll be so cold and distant that you may get confused about who’s breaking up with who. To avoid the chatty trap, stick to bullet points as though you’re giving a PowerPoint presentation. Another thing is that Geminis typically try and remain friends after the breakup (e.g., they’ll text you the next day like, “Wanna grab a drink?”). Respond at your own peril.
Cancer (June 21 to July 22): Cancers don’t let people go easily, and they definitely don’t react well to breakups; they’re highly emotional and will feel like you’re ripping their heart out. Initially, Cancers will cling to you with crabby claws by throwing sentimental bagage around — essentially a guilt tactic to get you to stay with them. When that doesn’t work, you’ll find them completely overwhelmed and crying so hard they can’t talk. Don’t expect to be let back into their life when they do get over it, though, as the most a Cancer can give is their ability to trust another human being with their emotions. And you’ll have flushed that down the toilet.
Leo (July 23 to August 22): This will be a dramatic breakup. Every Leo believes they’re the best thing that’s ever happened to you — as well as the rest of the world. They’ll resort to low-blow insults and won’t let you get a word in edgewise (especially if you’re trying to be rational and pragmatic). To steer clear of this rampant fire (and the coffee mug they’ll inevitably throw at you), it’s best to a) break up in a public place; and b) understand that you’ve wounded their pride more than anything so don’t take them personally. The silver lining: Like all fire signs, Leos will move on quickly and typically don’t hold grudges.
Virgo (August 23 to September 22): Virgos are typically the ones doing the breaking up — in large part because they’re never-satisfied and nit-picky. When one does attempt to break up with a Virgo however, expect the same level of precision they’d have when working on a project together. Virgos are notorious for telling people why they’re incorrect and how they can improve. Keep this in mind when they’re trying to convince you of why you should stay together, or listing, in alphabetical order, all the reasons why you’re a piece of shit. Your best defense is to keep things short and sweet and by stating your case in the most rational/logical way possible.
Libra (September 23 to October 22): Libra is the “relationship” sign. They’re also constantly trying to maintain balance. And so, you’re left with people who are hell-bent on preserving the peace at any cost. This makes breaking up with Libras difficult. They’ll try and charm you back into their arms even when they know it’d be best to break up — just to maintain some balance in their OWN lives. To avoid the Libra trap, which includes, but isn’t limited to, them wanting to have sex right after a fight or attempted breakup, have a plan of escape. Make dinner plans with a friend or go to a movie — distance is important. Oh, and turn your phone off.
Scorpio (October 23 to November 21): Oof. Yeah. Good luck with that.
Sagittarius (November 22 to December 21): A Sagittarius loves freedom so much, that if you’ve managed to actually get into a relationship with one, hat’s off to you. That also means, like with a Gemini, you may lose track of who’s breaking up with who. Another word of warning: Sagittarians tend to rebound and don’t wait that long before doing so. Something to contemplate if you’re unsure about wanting to break up and you’re someone who’ll be hurt by this.
Capricorn (December 22 to January 19): Caps have an extremely hard time expressing their feelings (mostly because they’ve compartmentalized them to the point where they can no longer access how they feel at any give moment). This can obviously be disconcerting, because you’ll never truly know how they feel. Once you’ve broken up with your now paralyzed Cap, though, it’s best to give them space. Similar to Cancer however, once they’ve actually started to feel the effects of heartbreak, they’ll never trust you again. So don’t expect to remain friends.
Aquarius (January 20 to February 18): Because Aquarians are the most “poly” sign in the zodiac, they’re probably the easiest sign to break up with. They’re rational and understand others’ need for freedom of expression (like Sagittarians). Keep this break up light, quick and low drama though; Aquarians can say unnecessarily hurtful things if they see wild displays of emotion.
Pisces (February 19 to March 20): Pisces are symbolized by two fish swimming in opposite directions. As such, a breakup typically goes one of two ways: 1) You’ll have shattered their perception of you, and they’ll hate you forever; or 2) they’ll become confused and act as though they don’t know what you’re saying. Either way, expect this to be a long conversation (probably over cocktails). Oh, and you’ll probably have to break up with them more than once.