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One of the most delightful movies of the past few years was The Object of My Affection, starring Jennifer Aniston. The film told the story of a growing friendship between a straight woman and a homosexual man. Eventually, Aniston's character fell in love with her gay roommate—and they grew to care so much for each other that the roommate actually considered committing to a straight relationship.

Of course, it didn't work. Few novels or movies celebrate the romantic friendship, even though statistics demonstrate that this sort of involvement can be the strongest. The romantic friendship is the girl-next-door syndrome, where childhood friends reach adulthood and suddenly notice that the pigtails and braces are gone. Romantic friendships develop less because of passionate physical attraction than interests in common, an easy rapport and a sense of comfort and security. Sex in a romantic friendship can be intense—but usually is not the driving force behind the relationship.

Sun to Moon: Male-Female Bonding

When comparing charts of two people who are romantically involved (or may become romantically involved) to gain some insight into the relationship, we consider aspects (angular relationships) between (a) the Sun in one chart and the Moon in the other; (b) Venus and Mars, for attraction; (c) both Mercurys, for communication and (d) Saturn, for potential to endure. With obsessions, we generally see multiple connections between these planets. Many can be stressful, creating tension and often jealousy between the two.

In romantic friendship, there are usually fewer aspects between two charts than in obsession, and nearly all the aspects are easy (“easy” aspects are those that show a positive or helpful relationship between the two planets involved). Usually there is one harmonious aspect between Sun and Moon, producing enough chemistry to draw them together, but not enough to create a love-at-first-sight situation. If natal charts existed for the two protagonists in The Object of My Affection, we'd probably find this sort of Sun-Moon connection.

Venus to Mars: Physical Attraction

In obsessions, I almost always find a double Venus-Mars aspect (meaning there is more than one connection between the two charts involving Venus or Mars). Usually, at least one of these connections is challenging, like a square (difficult 90-degree angle) or opposition (180-degree angle).

In romantic friendships, there is usually a single Venus-Mars connection, and it’s usually harmonious—often a sextile (favorable, 60-degree angle). This can bring an attraction that lurks beneath the surface until the couple reaches the point where they want to spend most of their time together. Unlike obsessions, where lust arises first and emotional intimacy second, in relationships with one harmonious Venus-Mars aspect, intellectual and emotional intimacy appear first. Lust results from the bond.

Two popular movies of the 1980s that celebrated this kind of involvement were Best Friends, starring Goldie Hawn and Burt Reynolds, and The Buddy System, starring Susan Sarandon and Richard Dreyfuss. "I can't share my troubles about you with my best friend," Goldie sobbed to Burt, "because you're my best friend!"

Mercury to Mercury: Communication

The Mercury-Mercury combination can be strong in any romantic relationship. Any aspect between two Mercurys, harmonious or stressful, is better than no connection at all. In obsessions, this combination can often be challenging, like a square or opposition. This aspect, especially if it is complicated by Mars, Uranus or Pluto (meaning one of these planets makes an aspect to the Mercury of one of the people involved), can result in the strange sort of bond celebrated in racy novels like those of Kathleen Woodiwiss, where the couple is constantly fighting but nonetheless can't seem to live without each other. Reviewers of romance novels refer to this as the "taming of the shrew syndrome."

In a romantic friendship, however, the Mercury-Mercury connection is almost always harmonious. If Jupiter or Uranus is also involved (aspecting Mercury in one or both charts), the intellectual rapport between the two can be very dynamic, almost to the point where they can't wait to have another discussion. I'm not saying that couples involved in a romantic friendship never quarrel. However, they probably agree on more matters than the average couple, and they might enjoy talking together almost as much as making love.


If, statistically speaking, the romantic friendship is the kind of bond that lasts the longest, Saturn aspects between the two charts should be favorable. If there is no aspect at all between the Saturn of one chart and the Sun, Moon or Saturn of the other, this hints that the involvement may not last indefinitely. A chart comparison in any kind of romantic relationship can contain stressful Saturn aspects, which implies that the relationship can be difficult, but hard to sever. A favorable connection between the planets listed above indicates a stable and lasting bond, and is found most often in romantic friendships, especially where the people were acquainted for years before becoming involved.

Friends or Lovers?

There is an old saying: "Your best friend should be your attendant at your wedding. Unless your best friend is of the opposite sex, in which case you're marrying the wrong person." Take a good long look at the charts between you and that nice girl or guy whom you've always thought of as a good friend. You might make some fascinating discoveries!



Mary Devlin is a certified professional member of the American Federation of Astrologers, and was trained by Marcia Moore in karmic astrology and past-life regression. Mary's many published works include books such as I am Mary Shelley, Astrology and Past Lives, Astrology and Relationships and Your Future Lives.

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For more information about Mary Devlin, click here.

Other StarIQ articles by Mary Devlin:

  • Romantic Suspense: The Crisis Bond   11/16/2013
  • Deepak Chopra: The Healing Abilities of Pisces   11/9/2013

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