11 Ways Mercury Retrograde Seriously Messes With Your Relationships

When Mercury is retrograde, watch out!

upset woman on the phone getty

You’ve definitely heard of Mercury retrograde, but you may or may not know what it is.

Mercury retrograde usually happens a few times a year and lasts a few weeks. It’s when the planet of communication (Mercury) appears to be moving backward in its orbit. It’s not actually moving backward, it just seems that way.

In 2022, Mercury will be in retrograde four times: January 13 to February 3, May 10 to June 2, September 9 to October 1, and December 28 to January 18, 2023.


While there’s no scientific evidence that this event has any impact on the world, people who believe in astrology trust that it does, especially when it comes to Mercury retrograde and relationships.

Because Mercury retrograde affects all forms of communication — especially technology, information, and even services like mail delivery — that includes relationships of both the past and present.

The effects of Mercury retrograde leave people feeling frustrated and stressed, particularly because these periods tend to mess up our usual matters of business, as well as their love lives.



Is it bad to start relationships during Mercury retrograde?

During Mercury retrograde, it’s best to not make any big decisions, and that includes beginning romantic relationships. Because Mercury rules communication, this can lead to issues regarding that exact thing, which can potentially ruin a budding romance.

Despite the potential for challenges, that doesn’t mean you should stop a new relationship in its tracks; it just means you should be mindful of the problems that may occur.

Does Mercury retrograde affect emotions?

During Mercury retrograde, you may find that you have a short temper, are more confused, feel stressed, become easily upset, and tend to be moody. It’s important to find some kind of outlet to find balance and, luckily, this won’t last for long.

Also keep in mind that certain zodiac signs are more affected — Virgo and Gemini, in particular, as Mercury is their ruling planet. But Mercury retrograde can also affect the more emotional signs, like Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio, Libra and Gemini. These signs may find that their emotions are out of whack or just “off.”


Does Mercury retrograde cause breakups?

Mercury retrograde tends to bring up issues from the past, so you may find you and your partner arguing or rehashing old problems. That’s not to say that retrograde will cause an imminent breakup, but it’s certainly a cause for concern, as couples do break up suddenly during this time.

Be sure you and your partner openly communicate with each other, and are paying attention to what the other has to say, because even though retrograde can cause major problems, it can also offer solutions. Just by talking and being open, you’re making your relationship stronger in the long run.

Do breakups during Mercury retrograde last?

Breaking up with someone is a big change, and during Mercury retrograde, has a tendency to be long and drawn-out.

Depending on the strength of a relationship prior to the breakup, a couple can either end their relationship for good, or break up and get back together after some time. This could end up being years, not just until the retrograde is over! And, even worse, if retrograde affects their natal chart to a greater degree, they could feel things are over for good.


Should you get back with your ex during Mercury retrograde?

Mercury retrograde tends to bring back people from the past, and that includes exes.

While it’s a good time to confront your past issues, that doesn’t mean a reconciliation is guaranteed. But it can provide some closure and understanding of what went wrong in the first place.

RELATED: What Your Mercury Sign Means, According To Astrology

How Mercury retrograde affects relationships

1. You don’t think as clearly.

You’re going to have fuzzy thinking. It won’t be clear enough for you to make rational decisions and will likely result in misinterpreting things. Be careful when hooking up with someone because you may end up thinking there’s more between you two, when really it was just a one-time thing.


2. Things may feel inexplicably weird.

There’s a giant layer of weirdness in the air. Things are awkward between you and your partner, or they end on an awkward note with your hookup. You’re also likely to be stuck in your head, overanalyzing everything in your life when you make a weird comment to a potential love interest or casual relationship.

It’s okay. Just know that things are a little funky at this time.

3. Mercury retrograde shakes up all of your relationships, not just romantic ones.

This doesn’t just affect that person you are involved with; it may also affect your ex-girlfriend who, all of a sudden, pops up in your life with a bunch of things to say. No relationship is exempt from the craziness of Mercury retrograde.

4. You may feel pretty out of it.

It may seem like everything is slow or like you’re moving through molasses. As a result, you’re not going to be interested in social events, and you’re not on top of your game when it comes to dating.


If you try to force yourself to do what you don’t want to do, you’ll end up feeling awkward and uncomfortable.

5. Things are likely to be delayed.

Mercury retrograde makes you and everyone else late. This may mean you’re late for a date, really making the other person mad. Or, perhaps someone else is late on your date, leaving you wondering what the heck is going on.

Know that there’s this delay-cloud over you and everyone you know. It isn’t personal.

RELATED: Each Zodiac Sign's Weekly Love Horoscope For May 9 - May 15, 2022

6. Hookups won’t usually become anything more than that.

You may have a hookup that comes back again, but this doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Even if it seems like that one-night stand might turn into more, it’s mercurial, or temporary.


Even though you’re having a great time with this person, whatever you do, don’t get attached, because they aren’t sticking around.

7. You may have trouble with making important decisions.

With all of the fogginess and miscommunication happening during this time, it’s not great to make big decisions. Even if you do, they’re likely to change once Mercury retrograde is over.

Try not to make any serious agreements because you may be seen as dishonest or flighty when you inevitably change your mind. It’s not that you’re fickle, it’s just that circumstances may change.

8. Your texts may be misconstrued.

Communication is thrown for a total loop during Mercury retrograde. People are prone to jumping to conclusions and making assumptions, which doesn’t always result in something positive.


You may do the same thing, misinterpreting texts that are meant to be loving and kind. This is a notorious time for confusion, so expect a tidal wave of it.

9. Buying gifts becomes a bad idea.

Don’t buy something expensive; even smaller gifts aren’t the best idea. You may find that when you go to buy it, the item is out of stock. Or, you’ll buy it and regret it later.

Your partner can wait for whatever gift you were going to give them. It’s a good idea to buy it before Mercury retrograde if you need it for a birthday present; otherwise, you’re going to be in trouble.


10. You'll probably feel forgetful.

You may be likely to leave your phone at home, resulting in you having to turn around when you’re already late for a date.

Forgetfulness is an inevitable part of this time, messing things up left and right. It’s even common for people to lose gifts, so if you have a gift for someone, be sure to handle it with exquisite care.

11. You could be indecisive.

Breakups often happen during Mercury retrograde, when everyone is wacky. Then, afterward, they feel terrible and change their minds. This is quite possible if you’re in a relationship. Maybe it will happen to you or your partner.

Either way, there’s a ton of indecision and even the most healthy relationships aren’t exempt from it.


RELATED: The 3 Zodiac Signs Who Are the Luckiest in Love, May 9 - 15, 2022

Ginelle Testa is a queer writer who explores feminism, body acceptance, and mental health. She's been featured on YourTango, Thought Catalog, and Elephant Journal. Visit her website for more.