What’s the biggest issue for us ladies these days when it comes to relationships and dating? More than anything else, my friends and clients are grappling with commitment issues. Whether it’s their man or themselves, it seems like no one is really clear on when and how to commit—or even how to talk about it.

So what does it take to recognize and address commitment issues? Ultimately, a lot depends on your astrological background, your life experience, communication, and your degree of self-love.

Astrology and Commitment

I’m the first to say that you have to get your whole astrological chart done to really dive into any underlying commitment issues, but to get started, just knowing your Sun and Moon sign will help. Not every sign is naturally inclined to pair bond or even be monogamous, and these tendencies are super helpful to know so you can have realistic expectations of yourself and your partner.

The following categorizations are general, so don’t freak out if you don’t like what you see. Remember the Sun and Moon are places to start.

• Commitment-oriented signs: Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo, Cancer, Libra, Scorpio

• Variety-lovers (most comfortable in polyamorous arrangements or long-term playing the field): Gemini, Aquarius, Sagittarius, some Scorpios, Aries

• Serial monogamists (able to commit long-term but not necessarily to mate for life): Libra, Leo, Pisces, Aries, Scorpio

You’ll see repetition on some signs. For them, so much depends on their level of self-reliance (Libra), how they deal with jealousy issues (Scorpio), or if the relationship still serves them (Aries).

Of course, any sign can mate for life or be terminally single, but you will almost never find a Capricorn, for example, being a total poly player. The Sun sign will tell you a lot about inner essence and fundamental values, whereas the Moon will describe emotional inclinations and needs.

Self-Love is Key

The vast majority of relationships are co-dependent on some level. After all, society teaches us that the “I can’t live without you” type of love is the way to go. Although we’re better at conquering this trend than previous generations, it’s still a thought-plague in our culture, and I don’t know about you, but my mom totally modeled co-dependent relationships for me.

The antidote to co-dependency is self-reliance and self-love. This doesn’t mean you don’t need other people or want them in your life, but it does mean you are okay being alone, taking time away from relationships, and setting healthy boundaries. So many people want to rush into commitment because they are insecure. If you are a woman who has done that (and let’s face it, most of us have), it’s going to make most guys run. But at some point, it is appropriate to talk about commitment. If you have a deep sense of love within and about yourself, you are less likely to rush this conversation and more likely to deal with it maturely when the topic does come up.

Communication—Also Key

To master commitment issues, you really have to communicate with self-awareness and maturity. Learning about yourself, your fears, subconscious hang-ups, and working through your childhood issues all leads to being more aware and being a better communicator. If you are too lazy or scared to work on yourself (listen up, dudes), then you may always find yourself running away—even if you are with someone you really love. Classically, women have more work to do around self-love/reliance and guys around self-awareness—both of which are necessary for handling a committed relationship and the adulting that accompanies it. Monogamy—or polyamory, even more—living together, pooling finances, or starting a family all require good communication to work even remotely well.

Life Experience

Let’s face it, some of us had better role models than others when it comes to relationships. I mentioned my mom; she and my dad divorced when I was about ten, and afterwards, she had one long-term guy after another. I didn’t suffer, but the message she gave me was that being alone was not okay. She even told me once that the most important thing for me to do was to “get a man.” I couldn’t believe it either—but her mom told her that, and her mom before her…so she didn’t even question it. I don’t subscribe to that belief consciously, but my issues around dating and relating were still formed by my parents, my peers, and my culture. You have to look at where you are coming from—and where your partner is coming from—in terms of life experience to begin to unpack commitment patterns, fears, and obstacles.

At the end of the day, each relationship is so unique that it’s impossible to give general advice around when to commit or why you/he/she can’t. This is where a spiritual advisor, counselor, or other mentor can help. But I will say that both people have to be willing to enter into the conversation, even if one might not feel ready to actually do anything in that moment. Is it appropriate on the first date? Uh—probably not. Is it cool on the fourth date? The tenth? The one-hundredth? Again, it depends on the couple.

If you have the self-love and self-awareness to know what you want and what you bring to the table—both positive and negative—then you will know when you are ready to think about making a commitment to someone. The only thing you can do is approach the discussion with honesty, openness, and vulnerability. If you know yourself, you can separate yourself from your fears, so you don’t have to be ruled by them. If you love yourself, you can set boundaries if you aren’t ready to commit or handle rejection if the other party isn’t. Unlike times past, we have so much freedom around how and when to marry or have kids—or whether to take these steps at all—so it pays to take the time to develop self-knowledge first. Commitment to yourself and your own personal growth is what it really takes to be ready to commit to another soul.

Curious about how astrology contributes to your commitment issues? Want support in becoming more self-aware and building self-esteem? An advisor on Keen can help!

Image Source: Shutterstock user Hopeful.ya.

Zada is a Boston-based intuitive and spiritual blogger, Yogi, and dog mom to two Cocker Spaniels, Demi and Bruce. She specializes in Tarot and Reiki, and uses her intuitive gifts to help individuals reach enlightenment and lead their most authentic lives every day through meditation, visualization, and Jivamukti. Her spirit animal is a Pegasus named Randy.