Okay, look, romance is a complicated game. Nowadays, there are apps to help you source potential dates, and there are apps to prevent you from drunk texting said potential into oblivion.
If all’s fair in love and war, and if the way to the heart is through the stomach — and if you’re going to listen to all the contradictory advice people give you about “being yourself” and “not naming a test tube in your new acquaintance’s honor at the frozen egg bank,” — you might as well consult an ancient divinatory system for advice on how to plan your next picnic.
Remember: you don’t need to let on that you Facebook stalked to figure out your new cutie’s zodiac sign. All you need to do is be perfectly nonchalant about this very important foodie wisdom you’re about to absorb.
Aries is all “eat first, think later.” The impulsive, impatient ram has so much zeal for life, it’s probably not overly concerned with savoring its food or learning about the origins of your fair-trade cane sugar. Aries exists on a wavelength where everything is exciting, straightforward and immediately gratifying. They would probably be trawling the nearest Chipotle right now if it weren’t for you, but this is a date, god damn it, and the only thing that’s on the line right now is your dignity. Appeal to your date’s love of novelty with a reservation at that brand new joint in town that just opened the other week — preferably if it’s a hibachi joint with flames and gimmicks to keep your Aries entertained. Or, if you’re really feeling bold, try whipping up a meal involving something exotic and slightly unnerving, like cricket ice cream. Aries never backs down from a dare.
Good luck with this one, bud. Taurus is the foodiest of the foodies, and as the ultimate arbiter of epicurean quality, they’re not altogether likely to be impressed with your feeble attempts at a milk-poached halibut. That’s not to say they won’t be smitten by your overtures (or be loathe to give you an “A” for effort) — but don’t be surprised if all of your subsequent food dates end up subtly happening on your Taurean’s terms. Bulls are generally mild and docile people, but they like what they like, and there’s really nothing you can offer to the person who has everything (or every Williams Sonoma immersion blender). If you can stick to supplying a high quality merlot and embracing your new role as sous chef, then you’ve basically got this one in the bag.
As the eternal dabbler and jack of everything that doesn’t require actual mastery (or an attention span of more than 15 minutes), your Gemini amour thrives on variety of every kind. Gemini samples the pupu platter of life, and that can be as literal or as figurative as you want to make it. Cardinal sins for this sign include simple meals with few ingredients and/or eating the same meal twice. To satisfy a Gemini’s desire to have a little bit of everything, go out for tapas, or whip up a super complicated spread with a dizzying array of ingredients — better yet if they’re unexpected pairings that stimulate your date’s curiosity. “Pairings” is really the operative word here, because everything tastes better with a complementary flavor to add contrast. Remember: Gemini = twins, so this is a sign that’s always gotta have two ice cream flavors in its cone.
Whoever equated food with emotions was really just talking about a Cancer. Cancer is the zodiac’s eternal mother hen, which means feeding others is its favorite love language. Even moms need to be mommed sometimes, though, and your spiky little crab will gladly show you its soft, tender underbelly after a home-cooked meal — preferably one that’s made with heart (and lots of carbs and cheese). No one loves comfort food the way a Cancer does, but don’t underestimate their appetite for creative cuisine, either. Cancers may get pegged for their nostalgia and love of all things old and apple pie, but they’re also some of the most creative and imaginative folks around. Besides, they’re moody, so good luck sticking to a predictable menu. These are basically mom figures with the logic-defying appetite of a pregnant woman. Kiwi and cheddar cheese snack, anyone?
Everyone knows Leos love to be worshipped, so assuming you’re putting some thought into your effort to wine and dine your noble one, you can pretty much count on the fact that it’s going to go to their head (in a good way). But as much as these big cats love to bask in the sunshine of your attention, they have plenty of their own sunlight to confer back onto the things they love. A Leo doesn’t want to “like” their dinner. A Leo wants to devour everything with hyperbole and enthusiasm, which means everything they like is basically “the best avocado toast EVER” — one they will return to again and again with the same fanaticism every time. To make a Leo happy, all you have to do is pay attention when they tell you what their favorite foods are. And don’t worry. They’ll definitely tell you.
These picky puritans are frequently obsessed with health, and by extension, anything they put into their bodies. Assuming your Virgo doesn’t have rigid dietary restrictions to help you narrow down your options, sticking to a clean eating ethos will probably be a safe bet. Odds are good that your slightly A-type date would rather have a brief tête-à-tête at the juice bar first before they rearrange their entire yoga schedule for you, but assuming you’ve already passed muster, you’ll probably make your special friend super happy, so long as you demonstrate that you’re taking their preferences into account. Virgos are constantly performing quiet acts of service for others, so booking a reservation at that one raw vegan spot they mentioned in passing the other week is the perfect way to show Virgo you care — and that they’re not the only one who’s constantly overthinking everything.
Don’t count on a Libra to ever actually tell you when they’re not happy with something, but if you really want to sweep these people off their feet, you’re going to want to appeal to their highly demanding aesthetic priorities and their impeccably good taste (in everything). Libras definitely care about good food, but a tasty meal won’t cut it unless it’s plated with MoMA-worthy artistry. More than anything else, your main concern should be ambiance, ambiance, ambiance. If it’s a hip, trendy spot, even better. Libras love fashionable things and places, and they love to see and be seen. That’s not to say you’ll ever go wrong by opting for a scenic, candlelit dinner for two at your (tastefully decorated) apartment. But Libras are essentially social creatures, so avoid cooping them up for too many consecutive dates if you can, and try to humor their need to keep up with all the latest Instagram food trends.
Ha, ha, everyone knows the one about Scorpios being obsessed with sex. It’s probably true that your Scorpio date will be happy to eat Papa Johns with you if it leads to the two of you getting it on, but for the purposes of this article, let’s assume you’re still in the early courtship stages, and you can’t yet count “whipped cream and strawberries” as actual dinner. Scorpios love authenticity, and though they’re generally private people, they’d much rather cut to the intense, emotionally revealing conversations and skip the polite bullshit. Scorpios don’t care much for pretentious food (or people), so take your beau to your favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant with the bomb pupusas — preferably one with a booth, so you can get (conversationally) intimate.
Is there a world cuisine your globe-trotting centaur hasn’t tried yet? Probably not, but Sagittarians are famous for their wanderlust and their love of foreign cultures, so if you can prove that you’re “ride or die” by taking your Sadge to that Icelandic restaurant you haven’t even tried yet, you might just nail your audition as a culinary adventure buddy. With these free-spirited types, you’ll win more points with a willingness to try new things than you will by “always getting it right” with your food choices. You need to remember that these people are guided by a cheerful sense of optimism that generally allows them to fly by the seat of their pants and (mostly) pull it off, so keeping it fun and spontaneous is where it’s at. Sagittarians are basically the golden retrievers of the zodiac. They love anyone and everyone who will take them on lots of walks.
Not all Capricorns are motivated by prestige and cachet, but no matter what, taking their dignity into account will be important. This means absolutely no tipping off the waitstaff that it’s their birthday, because they might legitimately never speak to you again. Bougie food choices will probably be appreciated, but whether your Capricorn cares all that much about money is not what’s ultimately at issue here. Goats are fundamentally no-nonsense, practical types who practically get off on being “the one with good judgment,” so if you can prove that you’re discerning, too, you’ll stand a good chance at winning Cap’s respect. When in doubt, definitely avoid prattling off “facts” about your paleo diet that you got from HuffPo. Capricorn will not be impressed. In a pinch, these peeps definitely have a soft spot for the kind of traditional, no-frills fare they grew up with. Nothing like a hot dog and a brewsky for these stalwarts of “keeping it real.”
If this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius for your love life, you should probably buckle up for for some experimental food adventures. The way to an Aquarian’s heart is through the unconventional, the avant garde and the straight-up weird. A dining-in-the-dark experience staffed by blind waiters? A molecular gastronomy tasting menu? Vaporized alcohol? Sure, why not? Aquarius also has a notorious penchant for humanitarian causes, so it wouldn’t be altogether ill-advised to plan a benefit picnic for the local community. Just don’t be too easily fooled by these do-gooder tendencies, because there’s usually a wee bit of an elitist hiding behind that democratic veneer. Aquarius has a lot of opinions about food, but they also get off on being a contrarian. To cover all your bases, pick a top rated restaurant where you can both argue over where to get the best steak in town.
If there’s anyone who’s generally easy to please, it’s a Pisces. These are real go-with-the-flow people who can get along with just about everyone they encounter, and they’ve probably never met a pizza they didn’t like. Because it’ll probably be up to you make the decisive dinner plans (no, really, it’s up to you), you’ll generally be okay if you don’t overthink it. That said, a small gesture of appreciation can go a long way for these famously giving souls, so go a little out of your way to return the favor by gallantly procuring their favorite bag of chips on the way home. Fair warning, though: Pisces can have addictive tendencies, and some fish are perfectly capable of swimming in booze. Don’t be afraid to nip that bar tab in the bud if you feel like your companion is at risk of drowning.
Photo by Elvert Barnes, CC BY-SA 2.0
Steph Koyfman is a writer, dancer, and the brains behind The Daily Hunch, an email subscription service that keeps users in the cosmic know with personalized astrological insights unique to their birth charts. Her new platform aims to bridge the gap between hardcore astrology nerds and beginners who are ready to move beyond sun sign horoscopes. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as @thedailyhunch.