The One Thing You Should Avoid Doing When Mercury's In Retrograde

by Rosey Baker

Much has been written about the horror show that is Mercury in retrograde, and guess what? It's back this week, on Aug. 12, to be exact. Now I'm sure you've heeded the regular warnings about making sure to double-check dates, buy refundable tickets for travel plans, to stay away from buying new electronics, and to hold off on signing any new contracts until the retrograde is over. But there's something else to be wary of during the retrograde: new relationships.

This includes relationships for up to two weeks both before and after the retrograde period, during Mercury's shadow phase, when the effects of the retrograde can be felt most strongly. Mercury stays in retrograde for five weeks total (including these shadow phases), so don't sweat it too hard if you feel like it'll never end. It will.

Communication is the basis of any successful relationship.


Talk to any happy healthy couple you know, and they'll tell you communication is key. They're not wrong. The problem is that when Mercury, the communication and technology planet, is in retrograde, communication can run into a few glitches. When you are in the very beginning of a relationship, especially in the digital age, much of this conversation incorporates technology.

More often than not, new couples meet one another using technology, via Tinder, Bumble, or any of the other dating apps. We get to know one another by communicating via text. When Mercury is in retrograde, it can lead to misunderstandings, problems in comprehending one another's meaning (already impeded by text conversations) and this can lead an otherwise promising relationship down a difficult road -- possibly even a dead end.

Exes will be reaching out.

Since Mercury retrograde is best utilized as a time for going over past mistakes and cleaning up any leftover messes, you'll find that your exes will be coming out in droves to just "check in," seemingly out of the blue. Whether you're in a relationship or you're just starting to get serious with someone, having an ex show up out of nowhere can be a mindf*ck.

Some exes will put on a full-court press to try and start things up again, and during Mercury retrograde, we tend to be more open to this -- even if we have a feeling that it isn't gonna work out. You'll be feeling an almost-cosmic desire to revisit your past mistakes, but this rarely lasts long. Usually, Mercury allows us a chance to take a good look at where we went wrong and to accept responsibility for our part in the equation, so we don't go making the same mistakes all over again.

No verbal contracts.

If you must start a new summer fling during the retrograde, let me issue a warning to take things very easy. There's no need to jump into some verbal contract about it. If you've been seeing someone for awhile and you're wondering where this is all going, now is not the time to have the talk, even if you think you absolutely must.

With Mercury in retrograde, the chances of your partner being threatened by this kind of chat increase, or worse, they could offer you an answer that you misunderstand. It's best to wait until Sept. 5, when Mercury goes direct, or to wait until two weeks after that date, when Mercury exits its shadow period.

All this being said, there's still a whole lot to look forward to this month, because we're right smack in the middle of eclipse season, and there's a lot of good coming from that. Utilize Mercury retrograde to reevaluate your goals, ambitions, and to strategize ways to move forward in whatever area of life you'd like to focus on expanding.

This month promises to be a bridge that carries you from the status quo into a bright and beautiful future — if you use it!