(Originally appearing in Gaywired.com)

Ever have one of those relationships where nothing you did was appreciated? Sure you were attracted to each other, but when it got romantic, things started going sour. You would say and do all the things that a guy should go wild for, but he never responded. All the things he did left you cold. Well, believe it or not, there is a reason for it. You both were not speaking the same language!

I’m not talking about the difference between English and French, but a simple difference in the unconscious way we speak the language of love. Everyone expresses their love nature in a different way, but we expect lovers, husbands and boyfriends to behave under the same conditions without ever knowing the rules. Have no fear, there is a rulebook out there, and it’s resting in one of the most unlikely places, astrology.

Although we all express our love and romantic overtures in unique ways, there seems to be a few basic styles, twelve of them in fact! It struck me when taking an astrology class years ago. The clarity of how I behaved with past boyfriends gave me chills. Yes, I know you are thinking astrology went out with the seventies disco scene, but there is a lot of truth to it. My astrology teacher had a PhD. in psychology and the behaviors she described in the context of astrology made a lot of sense. Instead of looking at this ancient art to describe the future, she uses it to describe your behavior and actions.

When someone says, “hey baby, what’s your sign?” they are referring to your Sun sign, the astrological sign the Sun occupied when you were born. Most people know their Sun sign and look up their daily, weekly or monthly horoscope in the newspaper. Such information can be true to a certain extent, but misleading. No one is completely their Sun sign, though it can give you some interesting information. There are more than twelve different people out in the world, making skeptics write off astrology as new age mumbo jumbo. Astrologers actually create something called a birth chart, which is a picture of the sky when you were born, telling you not only your sun sign, but also where all the planets were when you first took breath. Everyone has all ten planets (including the Sun and Moon) and all twelve signs in their chart. The difference is where they fall.

Your Sun sign can give you some information on your romantic nature, but the planet that really deals with relationships, love and romance is Venus, named after the Roman goddess of love. The sign that Venus occupies in your birth chart can tell you even more about how you attract people and how you express your romantic feelings. You find out your Venus sign by getting a birth chart from an astrologer or looking in a book such as The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need by Joanna Martine Woolfolk Since Venus is one of the closer planets to the Sun, they are often in the same sign, or right next to each other.

Here are the twelve signs and how they express themselves with love, relationships and romance.

Aries – Aries is the sign of the adventurer, and such a man will like to take partners all brave and bold adventures. Aries energy tends to be aggressive and lead the adventure. Such men will like to show off for their partners, being the brave strong man, in the wild, or in social settings. Aries men will definitely want to do things, and have a strong appetite for all kinds of action, including the bedroom. If you’re with an Arian partner, learn to be open to the adventure and go with the flow. You never know where he will take you.

Taurus – Taurians express their love in the material world. They like to give and receive gifts to show their love. Although Taurians seem to be money horders, they value the comforts and luxuries money can buy. Such gifts need not be expensive, as long as they are personal and heartfelt. They could even be handmade, showing the time, effort and craftsmanship involved. Taurus is a big lover of the arts from song to good food. Sensual lovers, they love to touch and be touched but tend to let lover come to them and make the first move. Since these men use possessions to show and receive love, they can become possessive of lovers and jealous when feeling insecure. Such displays actually show how much they love and value your relationship.

Gemini – Gemini, the sign of the twins, loves to hear the words, “I love you.” Communication through spoken word, writing, love letters and poetry is the way to the Twin’s heart. Though those with the Sun or Venus in Gemini love to be told those three magic words, saying them might be more difficulty, since one of their challenges is to get into deep, meaningful speech. They can appear fickle because their emotions tend to be more intellectual than physical. Gemini’s like to entertain and be entertained, with stimulating conversation and ideas. They are always trying new things and switching gears without warning, so if you are involved with a Gemini, expect the unexpected.

Cancer – Cancer is the sign of the Mother and guys with the Sun or Venus in Cancer are looking to build a home. They show you they love you by playing the role of the happy homemaker and being protective. They can be warm and loving, very sensitive and somewhat traditional. They expect displays of affection, though not necessarily in public and hide their feelings when hurt. Cancerians simply want to feel secure. Reassurance is wonderful in these relationships, along with some mothering back to let them know you care.

Leo – Leo, the second fire sign after Aries, is the sign of the entertainer, the showman. Leo likes to be the center of attention, and will use jokes, stories and the like to entertain a lover or partner. They are very romantic. They are looking for approval, so take notice. If they do not get applause at home, they may seek it elsewhere. They desire the occasional ego boost and reassurance and take pride in their talents and appearance. After Cancer, it is the most sensitive sign. Leos will want to share you with those close to you, particularly family and children.

Virgo – Those with strong Virgo energy are the great analyzers. They can intellectualize and pick apart every emotion and scrutinize it greatly, which causes them as much hardship as their partner. Such men seek to know the emotion inside and out before making a move. They seek practicality in a relationship and do not play games. Virgos desire to keep things down to earth. They may be soft spoken, but show their feelings by sharing interests with their partners, such as work or intellectual pursuits. They often seek to be of service to their lovers and may often desire to give more than receive.

Libra – Libra is the sign of the scales, and those with the Sun or Venus in Libra are seeking balance. Balance in relationship is important. Librans are learning to balance their needs with their partner. Equal relationships and harmony are important, but they can take time to decide about things, including relationships because they are weighing both sides of the scales. They are concerned with doing the right thing and seeing fairness or justice served. Men with strong Libra energy will seek to share the arts; music, painting, sculpture and performance with their partners, but unlike Taurus, are often concerned with the intellectual message behind such work. If balancing a relationship with a Libra, learn patience and an open mind.

Scorpio – Well, with Scorpio, what can I say, it’s often about the sex. Sex is very important in any relationship, but even more so with the energy of this sign. Scorpio romances are dynamic, dramatic and mysterious, with the allure of the unknown. They usually like the role of mystery man, ala James Bond and desire a certain amount of control, but often throw caution to the wind to be experimental and dangerous. Their emotions run deep and they either pick up on other people’s emotions and thoughts very well, or are completely oblivious to them. If wanting to bag a Scorpio man, learn to play the game and keep it exciting but still dive deep into mature emotions.

Sagittarius – The sign of the archer is all about freedom. Like the arrow being shot, Sagittarians do not like to be held down or held back. They like to be exposed to new ideas, philosophically, intellectually, emotionally and culturally. Exotic foods, art, religions and trips are a staple in this never ending quest. The world is their playground. They seek to enjoy everything, from mind to body and may be avid sports players. Freedom to explore and expand is pivotal to such men, but they approach relationships honestly and morally.

Sagittarians seek to share such new discoveries with lovers, but the major drawback is some will try to impose new beliefs and views on partners, but would not abide such actions against them. Don’t fence a Sagittarius in and get ready to explore with him.

Capricorn – Capricorns, the sign of the goat, are all about honor. Responsibility, duty and personal honor play high in this sign, and those with Venus in Capricorn will always be a gentleman and always be open and up front and loyal in the relationship and will expect you to do the same. Treating them with respect and honor is a way to show them you understand. The drawback is Capricorns can seem a bit stuffy and reserved. Their priorities are often first on those who depend on them, job, family and community. Understand, support them and becoming involved in what is important to them. Thereby, your relationship becomes one of those responsibilities high on the list. Beneath the stoic exterior is a very sensual and sexual man, like the Greek Goat god Pan, but it will take a patient and loyal lover to bring that out.

Aquarius – Don’t be alarmed if your Aquarian lover seems detached at times. That’s his nature, though he can be very social and popular in general. The true way to his heart is friendship, and equal relationship where ideas and thoughts can be expressed, about the relationship, and about life. Those with the Sun or Venus in Aquarius can be very progressive and modern in relationships, open to new ideas but possibly want to share a sense of social altruism with their partner. Aquarians live by their own rules and not necessarily those of society. They can also be eccentric and seek out the unusual, in relationships and the bedroom.

Pisces – Pisces is the empath, the one to relate and understand you emotionally. They are highly sensitive to their partner’s feelings, but sometimes forget not everyone is as naturally sensitive to them. Sometimes Pisceans are self sacrificing, offering themselves to their partner’s needs. When their feelings are hurt, such men are escapists, and let themselves be absorbed by whatever compulsion and addictions they may have, from the more benign like TV and computers, to the often cited alcohol and drugs. Pisceans in their most evolved form, bring spirituality to their sensual relationships and express themselves creatively. When involved with a Pisces, do not let them get too involved in self-sacrifice in a relationship, even if you are benefiting. Encourage their spirit and creativity. Learn to both talk about your emotions instead of expecting the other to simply know.

Use this guide to help accept love from your partner even if it is not what you usually desire. With astrology, you can understand the ideas behind his actions. Hopefully now that you have a better idea how he expresses romance, you can give him what he needs and share your needs with him. A great book for gay men, since it’s the only astrology book I know specifically aimed at our needs is Gay Love Signs by Michael Jay (Plume).