The NYLON guide to sex and relationships with an Aquarius.


How To Seduce An Aquarius

Your complete guide to loving and living with this elusive air sign.

by christie craft and Mackenzie Sylvester
Originally Published: 

As the high-minded idealists of the zodiac, no sign believes in the transcendent power of true love quite like Aquarius. These quick-witted souls are not so easily won over, but when they do get involved in a romance, Aquarians in love are one of the surest and most committed signs of the zodiac. As for how to seduce an Aquarius, it will take persistence and creativity to catch their eye.

Ferociously independent and rebellious anti-conformists, those born under the sign of the waterbearer are notoriously slow to make hard-and-fast commitments, especially when it comes to giving away their heart. So don’t try to rush an Aquarius into love — it’ll make them feel awkward at best and sprint in the opposite direction at worst.

These gregarious and socially agile signs collect friends like nobody’s business. “Aquarians do tend to start with friendships and value friendships more than romantic relationships,” astrologer Tess Lee tells NYLON. When looking for a partner, they want someone who is also their best friend, who will respect their freedom and stimulate their bright, curious intellect.

If you can prove to be an Aquarian’s best friend above all, the waterbearer might tiptoe out of a platonic connection and into an adventurous, often unpredictably wacky relationship. Get ready for plenty of spice in this partnership — as long as you can keep up, you’re sure to remain entertained, enthralled, constantly learning, and exploring with your Aquarius love. Read on for a thorough guide to understanding, loving, and living with Aquarius, the optimistic, elusive revolutionary of the zodiac.

Dating & Hooking Up: The Aquarius Approach

1. Confidence Comes From Inside

Crushing on Aquarius is easy, thanks to their magnetic lack of self-consciousness, worldly intelligence, and popularity. They’re that kid in high school who is friends with everyone and frankly doesn’t care what you think of them. What’s not to love?

The 11th sign of the zodiac is unconcerned and unbothered by others’ opinions — everyone’s just got to find out who they are and what they’re all about. It’s only natural that their proverbial front door is all but knocked down with potential suitors.

There’s rarely any ego or bombast to these gentle personalities; Aquarius doesn’t care much for being worshipped or placed on a pedestal. They simply want their independent spirit to be respected and be allowed to do as they please. Since they’re a fixed sign air sign, their ideas and opinions about certain things are extremely important to them “and [it’s] oftentimes really hard to compromise around other people,” Lee says.

2. Friendships Above All Else

Not only is Aquarius an air sign, it’s also ruled by the 11th House of Friendships, which means the sign’s priorities lie outside of dating and romance. Most Aquarians place a higher value on friendship than they do on love and passion. “They look for anyone who understands them,” Lee tells NYLON. “[Aquarians] tend to not value or put too much weight on romantic love, as they can also consider other ways of love bonds between people … best friends, communities, things like that.”

Aquarius is ruled by Saturn, meaning these personalities can go long periods of time without dating, intimacy, or even sex — but they simply cannot survive without a healthy social outlet and plenty of friends. “When you think about things like sex, romance, affection, and intimacy, in the realm of Saturn it can be very awkward,” Lee says. “Saturn is a very non-sexual planet to begin with.” It’s worlds easier for Aquarians to feel comfortable making friends.

Letting people in is not easy for this sign, so getting comfortable in a platonic bond before adding in the pressures of romance will allow an Aquarius to feel safe enough to take that next step..

3. They’re Generally Monogamous

You’d think Aquarius’ friendly, detached nature would make them poised for lots of casual relationships, but that’s not necessarily the case. “Aquarius can definitely be involved in a no-strings-attached [relationship], but it does come from a place of fear around intimacy and around the sense that no one can provide what they’re looking for,” Lee says.

It’s all about comfort, and for many Aquarians, that means monogamy. “It’s really important for Aquarians to be seen, so that may be harder in something like a multiple-partner relationship,” Lee says. “There needs to be a sense of centeredness for them.” Since the sun is in its detriment in Aquarius, as it’s the opposite of sun-ruled Leo, there are core issues for Aquarians around visibility, identity, being centered, and being seen.

4. Social Issues Matter Most

Are you tuned in and up-to-date on all the humanitarian and social issues plaguing the globe? You better get familiar with what’s going on, as Aquarius’ number-one goal in life is to make the world a better place.

“Aquarians are very passionate about what they believe in,” says Lee. “They’re spending their lifetime understanding their identity.” Not only are they engaging in issues to explore and understand themselves, but Saturn also encourages Aquarians to get involved. “The sun is king, and Saturn is sort of the one that’s exiled that’s mostly trying to protest against the king,” Lee explains.

In fact, you likely might’ve met your Aquarius at a protest, rally, or political organizing meeting. But don’t expect a date to take precedence over Aquarius’ agenda to rid the world of corruption and evil — you’re there to save the world, not fall in love. So, you might as well join the fight.

5. They Like Variety In Their Company

As the sign of networking and social groups, waterbearers are constantly surrounded by many different kinds of people, so jealous types aren’t really their cup of tea. You must be comfortable with sharing an Aquarius’ time and attention with their many, many friends — you’ll rarely ever have them completely to yourself.

“They’re able to let their partner be, and they [need] their partner to let them be,” Lee tells NYLON. “Aquarians don’t like feeling suffocated, and they also know the importance of boundaries … they do not want to be around their partner all the time.” Take it or leave it, that’s Aquarius’ chill-rebel vibe.

6. You’ll Know If They Like You… Maybe

One sure-fire way to know whether or not an Aquarius is into you is by observing their behavior and actions when you’re together. Despite being adrift in a sea of friends, waterbearers are known for their aloof, abrupt behavior when they’re feeling the romantic vibes, completely losing their social cool and becoming certifiably neurotic. “If Aquarius is into you, they may act a little bit awkward or not know how to place themselves,” Lee explains. Endearing as this may be, if you’re more of a traditional, conformist type, dislike weirdos, or are easily embarrassed, Aquarius might not be your dream date.

In the same breath, Aquarius might strike you as uninterested or unemotional because they aren’t quite sure how to act. Don’t let their aloof, spacey nature fool you. These personalities can be warm and affectionate, but they might not be comfortable with you just yet.

7. They Need An Intellectual Connection

Expect to engage in many long conversations about anything and everything when getting to know an Aquarius. This sign likes to ease into their emotional side rather than taking the plunge into passion, and a big part of developing attraction is understanding your mind.

“They need someone who has opinions on things,” says Lee. Connecting with you on a mental level is far more important than their physical attraction, and they need to know whether or not you can keep up.

8. They Notice The Little Things

Expect to be treated magnanimously if you are lucky enough to earn an Aquarian’s favor. “They typically want to put all the attention on what their partner wants,” Lee tells NYLON. “They can do things that may not always go to plan, but it’s the effort that’s really important,” they add. There’s no other sign in the zodiac whose love language so embodies the idea that “it’s the thought that counts.”

9. They Easily Feel Misunderstood

Waterbearers are quite the Pandora’s box of personality. “Aquarius is the sign of being misunderstood,” says Lee. Though those born under Aquarius seem lighthearted and even superficial at times, this is a sign with infinite layers.

“Aquarians often think people don’t understand them, and sometimes Aquarians do that purposefully because they prefer not to be understood by people,” Lee continues. “It gives them a sense of safety.” If they feel like no one gets them, they’re free from the worry of judgement.

Often, Aquarius can be privately convinced that their quirky nature stands in the way of being fully understood by another. At worst, this misconception can drive them to settle for less simply to avoid being alone.

Driven By Desire: What Aquarius Wants

1. Someone Who Shares Their Passions

In love, Aquarius is preoccupied with finding a best friend who will keep their curious minds busy and buzzing — someone who they can enjoy adventures and friendly laughter with while sharing similar ideals on making the world a better, safer place for all beings.

“I don’t think an Aquarius can be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t have the same sort of outlook as they do,” Lee says. “They can’t be with someone who is obviously counter or an opponent.” Aquarius is attracted to those who share their vision for the future of humanity. Nothing seals the deal with an Aquarius quite like someone who truly cares enough about hot-button issues (especially the ones they care about) to put their money where their mouth is.

2. An Independent Thinker

Communication is extremely important to air sign Aquarius, and enlightened conversation is an aphrodisiac. Aquarius tends to be very attracted to those who are well-read and well-informed culturally as well as politically, taking almost immediate interest in those who can freely flex their cerebral muscles. However, Aquarius natives detest a know-it-all, firmly believing that one never stops learning through a lifetime.

3. An Adventure Buddy

These folks love to travel, so you’ll need to be up for an international jaunt. “Sagittarius, a sign that’s known for travel, is also a sign that forms a sextile with Aquarius on the wheel,” Lee explains. “So, it makes sense why Aquarius would be down to do adventures … Aquarius is all about knowing, and knowing things that are far out of reach where you have to move and search.”

Waterbearers want someone who knows how infinite the universe is — someone who will remain curious enough to explore all of its mysteries with them.

4. A Witty And Friendly Mind

Even as the zodiac’s staunch progressives, an Aquarian would be the first to tell you that life is short, so you might as well enjoy every second. Waterbearers are drawn to sunny, optimistic people who are chatty and possess a sharp, entertaining wit. “They want someone who is also a little bit corny,” notes Lee. “Aquarians need to laugh … because, being ruled by Saturn, they can be so serious.” These personalities love an electric smile and comedic flair.

5. Someone Who Respects Their Individuality

Aquarians guard their independence fiercely and appreciate a free-thinking partner who can operate autonomously. Anyone seriously considering locking down this sign must have a life of their own.

“As already independent people, Aquarians want someone who has an understanding of boundaries,” Lee explains. “If there is someone who needs to be in their space 24/7, that could be an issue.” They need a partner who understands that having space doesn’t mean they are being punished.

6. Someone Outspoken

Complete and utter honesty is just as important to waterbearers as their personal freedom, even if the truth is brash, bold, or harsh.

“They can definitely be blunt,” Lee tells NYLON. “That’s the Saturnian nature.” Aquarians are hard to shock or offend, so there’s no need to censor yourself around them. In fact, the more out-there your opinions are, the more interesting you’ll be.

How to Lose an Aquarius: Turn-Offs

1. Indifference Or Being Out Of Touch

Aquarius is attracted to partners who contribute their own thoughts to the conversation and have a grip on current events. “The biggest turn-off is somebody who has nothing to say about something,” offers Lee. “What frustrates Aquarians more than anything is people who aren’t really passionate about what they think.”

Even though these signs don’t give trends too much thought, they also turn away people stuck in old traditions. “They don’t like outdated things,” Lee says. Progressive Aquarius is utterly unimpressed by antiquated ways of thinking.

2. Conformity And Boring Routines

Nothing will make an Aquarius turn cold and distant than a companion lacking in excitement. Boring, predictable love is a guaranteed way to turn off these unpredictable air signs. Relationship ruts can be a recipe for disaster, which means these personalities need to constantly introduce fun, adventure, and learning into their love lives.

3. Forced Emotional Intimacy

Pushing an Aquarius native to open up immediately or divulge every detail of their life story is a huge no-no, as this sign tends to be somewhat shy. They love to talk and will certainly let you into their life over time, but it must be on their own terms — they must never be rushed or pressured.

Likewise, don’t get too personal or mushy with them too soon; declaring deep feelings right away is not their cup of tea. Waterbearers are cool, collected, fairly aloof, and emotionally detached from life, so wildly effusive statements only stand to make them uncomfortable.

4. Uncertainty

Aquarius is the sign of paradox and contradiction, so timidity or hesitancy is just as big a turn-off as getting emotionally intimate too soon. “They don’t really like wishy-washy people at all,” Lee tells NYLON.

People who are unsure of themselves in social situations can also come off as standoffish to an Aquarius. And that will drive the socially conscious, gregarious air sign away; they can’t risk being dragged into sitting on the sidelines.

5. Undermining Their Triumphs

Do not ever try to outshine an Aquarius’ achievements or take credit for their positive actions. “If there’s effort in anything, Aquarius does not want to not be considered,” explains Lee. “Aquarians aren’t these natural brainiacs that some people may say … Aquarius is a brainiac because they put effort into it.” So, you better take notice.

Those born to this sign are somewhat preoccupied with a desire for recognition and appreciation, and they will shun anyone who doesn’t completely adore their uniqueness.

Getting Down: Sex with Aquarius

1. Spontaneous And Nontraditional

Sex with an Aquarius can be unpredictable and unconventional — but that’s half the fun. Those born under this sign are free of the shackles of social norms and expectations in all areas of life. If an Aquarius is feeling it right away, they’re not above taking you home for a romp. “Aquarius would not mind taking someone home on the first date,” Lee says.

And naturally, the attraction will be based on how well you’re matched intellectually and whether or not your wits mesh — and it helps if there is some kind of social connection. “If they can talk and bond over something, that’s a really good plus,” says Lee.

2. Imagination Welcomed

Since this sign is turned on by all things technology, they’re also the most likely to jump at the chance to introduce the latest toys into the mix. Excitement and enthusiasm are Aquarius’ sexual currency, making it nearly impossible to shock or offend them with your ideas and fantasies.

Curiosity drives Aquarius as their number-one motivation, so sex with them can be fun and lighthearted, but can also be incredibly deep and revealing. “They have these different tastes, different interests, and different fantasies,” Lee says. Like everything else, sex is just another exploratory activity for Aquarius.

3. Can Feel Sexual Shame

As a Saturn-ruled sign, there can be a lot of shame for Aquarians over the kind of sex that they want or the people they want to be intimate with. And because these signs tend to be late-bloomers, they can also hold shame or worry about their experience level. “They may like different things, but they don’t know if the other person will, so they don’t know how to communicate that,” Lee explains. “So oftentimes they have sex that is not their preferred or aligning with their wants.”

As an air sign, Aquarius needs to be able to communicate their desires, “especially if someone’s Venus or Mars is in Aquarius,” says Lee. “Aquarians [are] going to have unconventional interests in sex [and] unconventional kinks, and so there needs to be that sense of communication before getting involved in the dirty business.”

4. Detached, Yet Monogamous

Aquarius can compartmentalize their sexual feelings from emotional attachment, which is a defense mechanism for catching feelings in casual relationships. Surprisingly, despite Aquarius’ distaste for tradition and ultra-progressive approach, they’re not very likely to adopt polyamorous ideals permanently.

Since Aquarius is a fixed sign, they have a penchant for being stubborn and poised for monogamy. “The fixedness and also the Saturnian side of Aquarius needs that sense of one-on-one relationships; it just makes it easier to hold people accountable,” Lee explains. “There’s more trust that goes into poly relationships, [and] that can be difficult for Aquarius.” While they become bored easily, they’re no more likely to wander elsewhere for gratification than more obsessively attached signs.

Don’t expect jealousy from Aquarius — this sign competes with no one but themselves, respecting their partners’ independence to move freely. They expect the same level of personal autonomy in turn.

Relationships & Commitment

1. Rebellious Romance

Typically, it’s a long, often rocky, road to concrete commitment with an Aquarius. The exception to this is when they want to rebel against the status quo — especially their family’s expectations. “Oftentimes what you’ll find is that Aquarius does date someone or be with someone who their parents don’t approve of,” Lee says. If an Aquarius is advised to handle their love life in a certain manner by their parents or family, rest assured they will do the exact opposite.

2. Patient And Loving

Once Aquarius commits, they take it seriously, not least because every lover and partner must first be a friend. “When [Aquarians] are in a committed situationship, it’s super important to them,” Lee explains. An Aquarius in love is tender, generous, and ever tolerant — these signs aren’t quick to take offense at the small stuff and won’t likely pick fights.

3. Independence For Both Partners

Their love of freedom and independence, particularly in their social lives, means they don’t feel envy or become jealous in their relationships. Aquarius is a reasonable partner who won’t become codependent or clingy, and they expect the same liberty from their other half.

Loyal and devoted partners, the waterbearer guards their privacy intensely — you must never make an Aquarius feel trapped by their commitment to you. Smothering an Aquarius is the kiss of death.

4. Even-Tempered

Certainly, this is not a sign prone to emotional outbursts or raging fights, and when dating an Aquarius, they will give you the benefit of the doubt. “They don’t do the theatrics of [drama], going back and forth,” Lee says, explaining that straightforward Aquarians would rather resolve their issues right then and there. Even better, they typically forget offenses and slip-ups rather quickly and won’t nag or beat a dead horse over past issues.

If you get the chance to date this mysterious sign, just know you’ll be in for quite the ride. Aquarians are forever unpredictable, and their relationships thrive on adventure, novelty, and a shared sense of trust and independence. But when they’re in love, they commit like no other, so you’ll know once you’ve captured an Aquarian’s heart.


Tess Lee, professional astrologer and digital creator in the horoscope and astrology spaces

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