Astrological Signatures of a Romantic Waffler

Credit: idal via iStockphoto

Credit: idal via iStockphoto

Many of you have had the misfortune of tangling with an open-ended romantic attraction. This is the man or woman who is kind of available, but not really. Maybe they’re involved with someone else, but are having an affair with you. Or, they say they only want to be “friends” but keep dropping hints that something more could develop. Either way, you’ve made it clear that you want an exclusive relationship with them and they suggest (through words or actions) that it’s going to happen. But it never does. And yet, that door never seems to be completely shut. Turns out there are some natal indicators that can help you identity the Romantic Waffler, and reasons why they do this.

Open Options

Many of these people have a reluctance to close the door on anyone. They are not being cruel (even though, from your end, it certainly feels cruel). They simply have a heightened awareness of multiple options, and it’s difficult for them to choose. Natal Sun (ego), Moon (needs), Mercury (intellect and communication), Venus (love) or Mars (action) in Libra, Gemini or Pisces is usually a starting point. Libra enhances the ability to see both sides of any issue, Gemini brings a constant influx of new information, and Pisces makes boundaries very difficult to establish. But these are starting points only. A conjunction, square, opposition or trine to natal Neptune or Jupiter is usually needed to push the personal planet into an open-ended spin. While these signs are more likely to be indecisive, a planet in any sign can waver with enough coaxing from Neptune or Jupiter. Neptune can increase sensitivity to the point where they simply don’t want to hurt anyone (and end up hurting everyone). Jupiter can expand the vision of what’s possible to the point where any limits feel intolerable.

For example, you have a flirtatious thing going with Mr. Gemini. The two of you have been close friends for a couple of years, but you’ve always wanted more, and have told him so. The two of you even kissed once, and it was a real kiss (not a friendship kiss). He keeps saying that he’s not ready for anything heavy, and he doesn’t want to ruin the amazing connection you have. He’s not saying “No,” he’s just not saying “Yes.” When you’ve threatened to cut him off (for your own sanity) he always phones or emails and begs you to stick with him because he needs your friendship. He loves you. Etcetera.

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the validity of this connection is not up for debate. He truly does have feelings for you. But if you look at his chart, you see that his Mercury in Gemini opposes Neptune in Sagittarius. Neptune opposite Mercury (in any sign) is a textbook deception aspect. Does this make him a liar? Yes, but it’s probably not his conscious intention to blur the facts. Mercury in Gemini is always hyper-aware that there’s more than one reason for everything. Neptune, especially in hard aspect, dramatically increases empathy. So he’s not great at saying “No,” because he’s all too aware how much that word can hurt. Unfortunately, this aspect also dissolves his capacity for making clear choices, and for seeing that what he’s doing is even more hurtful. It’s easier for him to escape the consequences of a definite choice by floating in some vague, in-between country. Note that this is not a justification for Mr. Gemini’s behavior. Many people would say he’s being a manipulative coward. But you feel what you feel for him, regardless.

The Safety of Commitment

A strong, natal Saturn (limits, rules and responsibility) is usually an indication that the native knows how to make a commitment. But sometimes, even Saturn isn’t enough to keep someone on the straight and narrow. If there is a mix of influences in the chart, such as emphasized Saturn and emphasized Neptune and/or Jupiter, a person can end up living in two worlds. They may remain “committed” to their spouse, because their natal Saturn creates a desire for stability (and fear of losing that stability). But, if other waffling influences are also pronounced, they’ll have a dual need for open-ended possibilities.

Let’s look at Ms. Scorpio (not a sign usually associated with romantic indecision). Her Venus in Scorpio opposes Saturn. She’s been with her husband for twelve years. But her Mars (actions and male energy) is conjunct Neptune and square Jupiter. She sticks with her husband because she cannot conceive of not being with him. Her Venus/Saturn opposition creates a powerful sense of duty, born of the fear that she’s not really good enough (he’s the only one that will love her). But her Neptune/Jupiter square creates an equally powerful sense of idealistic longing; Jupiter expands Neptune’s dreams, while Neptune blurs Jupiter’s optimism. These energies are personalized and powered up by their contacts to her Mars. Despite her sense of duty, there’s always a restless longing for romance and adventure. She meets you, and the two of you begin a passionate affair. She loves you, says you’re her soulmate, but she’s not ready to leave her husband. And yet she can’t stop seeing you. She’s torn between two, powerful energies in her chart: fear/commitment and hope/adventure.

Where’s The Finish Line?

So when will Mr. Gemini/Ms. Scorpio commit to you, or put you out of your misery by moving on? Well, you can hope that a transit will snap them out of it. Maybe a hard Saturn transit to Mr. Gemini’s Mercury/Neptune opposition will force him to make a choice (and he’ll choose you). Maybe a wake-up-call Uranus transit will hit Ms. Scorpio’s Venus/Saturn, and she’ll be jolted out of her marriage. You can wait for such a transit (and there’s no guarantee that anything will change), but in the end, you hold the key to your closure. You can’t force someone to choose or commit. The best you can do is recognize that if the natal aspects outlined above are present along with the described behavior, it’s doubtful that you’ll get a firm commitment out of your romantic waffler.

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About Nadia Gilchrist

Nadia Gilchrist offers over 19 years of experience in astrology. Her writings and personal consultations focus on applying practical astrological analysis to the real world. Nadia blogs regularly at Ruby Slipper Astrology.


  1. 7H Saggi neptune-moon-NN is squared by 10H Pisces Rx. Jupiter. Dreaming (Neptune+moon) about a partner (7H) seems to be the karmic lot for this life (NN). Dreaming away with no steady partner or career…:(

    But i read in an earlier post by Nadia that “Jupiter in pisces squaring neptune puts jupiter close to divine”. So pinning hopes on that.
    Will this natal ‘dreamer’ energy be challenged, reduced or enhanced when Tr. Neptune passes over natal Jupiter in Pisces? I am hoping for some breakthrough (deep into or out of this energy) at that time.
    What kind of shift in this energy might take place when Rx. Jupiter turns direct by progression?


  2. Great article, Nadia. It’s funny, because I just said to a friend yesterday, “I think of myself as a person who wants a committed, stable relationship, but my actions and history don’t back that up.”

    Saturn/Sun conjunction in Libra, plus moon in Pisces square Neptune square Jupiter = romantic waffler who thinks of themselves as committed?

    It’s kind of comforting to realise that I’m single not because I’m unloveable, but because I have commitment issues.

  3. To be fair, I was “committed” to my ex for eight years, but he was completely wrong for me, it was never stable, and I was living in two worlds, exactly like you described.

  4. Him: Sun, Mars conjunct in Pisces. Gemini moon, (trines Saturn) Mercury in Aquarius square Neptune in Scorpio and born under a Neptune station.

    Nine years of waffling from this guy. In fact, called last night and asked was there any hope for us. This is after several years of my complete devotion but he couldn’t /wouldn’t commit.

    Thankfully, I have moved on.

    I think there is something really narcissistic about someone who continues to string someone along. At some point they have to realize that they are hurting the other person and to keep doing that seems incredibly self-centered.

    The funny thing (once you get over yourself) is that when someone is in the throes of this self-delusion, excuse making for the unavailable other, no amount of reason seems to pierce the delusion. Mid summer nights dream anyone?

  5. Dear Nadia,

    love your blog and your Articles, interesting in this article example of Mr.Gem and Ms. Scorpio , I am Scorpio, was in relationship(?) fwsb on/off 10yr with Mr. Gem funny he had Neptune 15 Scorpio opposites his Jupiter 14 and 18 Mercury+Mars in his 4th house , felt he was not truthful to his parents regarding me lol he is living with them…My Venus is in his 12th house….He was on the go all the times…seeing everyone from all walks of life, I accepted that he needed air to survive and this Peter Pan has to come to terms with himself in his own time …I began to let go. Life is too short!

    My Neptune and Mercury is conjunction 9 degree Scorpio in 9th house, I have been reading and love astrology for over 20 years, as you know all planets and aspects have both positive and negative characteristics , it’s up to us to choose in my case either the dark caves or soaring like an eagle once the karmic lessons in our lives has enlightened the wisdom, that I call growing up!

    I believe Neptune can be deceiving not only others but mainly to ourselves such as wishful thinking or lofty ideals as you mentioned in your articles. My Conjunction is a midpoint from Pluto in Virgo Trine Jupiter in Capricorn and no other aspects to them helps me to try to focus in a positive way. Thanks to Neptune in Pisces now it brings in my love in literature, arts, mythology, and poetry….it’s a beautiful mind!

    sending you love where ever you are!

  6. Hi Nadia,

    thanks a lot for this article.

    Could u please explain what do you mean when you mention in bold an emphasised Saturn or Neptune or Jupiter can keep someone a waffler- do you mean these in hard aspects to personal planets?

    In that case, what do you mean when you say a Strong Saturn you could think keeps it narrow and committed?
    Whats the meaning of strong Saturn here, and how is that different from emphasised Saturn in the next line in bold.
    This refers to para just under “Safety of Commitment”

    thanks a lot

  7. @marion
    TR Neptune over natal Jupiter will probably emphasize the dreamer energy. Prog Jupiter turning direct may give you the drive to manifest some of those dreams. Depends how in touch with natal Jupiter you are.

  8. @Katie
    Sun/Saturn will certainly make you doubt yourself, hence the fear that you are unlovable (fear that is not based in reality). Moon square Neptune/Jupiter means you need magic in your relationship, and Sun/Saturn means you are perfectly capable of committing.

  9. @Jane
    There can be overtones of narcissism, if we consider this trait as an example of being out of touch with reality.

  10. @Tulips
    Thank you, and thanks for sharing your story.

  11. @S
    When I say emphasized Saturn, Neptune, etc. I mean in hard aspect to personal planets (but even a trine can count as emphasized if it’s aspecting a relationship planet). If Saturn is aspecting a relationship planet, that person will express the energy of that planet through Saturn. I used an example in the article of how that can manifest with Venus/Saturn. There is no difference between “strong” Saturn and “emphasized” Saturn; they mean the same thing. If you need more of an explanation of how natal Saturn works, type “Saturn” in the search field for the archives on this site.

  12. Hi Nadia, this has been a very illuminating article. I have a natal venus conjunct mercury opposite neptune so I am well aware of my inability to commit. But I feel like it affects my work-life as well as romantic life and I wonder if there will ever be anything I can do to stabilize? My 7th house is pisces, 4th house moon-uranus trine jupiter and its starting to look like there’s no hope for me.

    Unlike the description of stringing people along, I keep people far away and avoid any commitments because I know at any point I will be likely to want something separate that will make a person confused. In relationships, I never want another person outside of who I’m attached to, but they tend to so I’ve stopped dating and don’t know when or if I’ll ever get back to it.

    Are there more optimal expressions for these waffler energies?

  13. Richelle says:

    I feel like I fall in the second scenario. I have a lot of Jupiter contacts in my chart. The personal planets are sun sextile Jupiter and Mars square Jupiter. As well as Venus opposite Saturn. Also Jupiter trine saturn. Venus and sun are both in Gemini. I strive for commitment. But a lot of times I get into a long committed relationship and eventually I fall in love with other people at the same time. I just live in fantasy world with other people in my head, essentially. I have never acted on my impulses physically and to an extent emotionally, with the exception of one time where me and my partner were on the outs and I became emotionally involved with someone else. I have never led anyone on while being in a relationship, but I have strung people along when I was single and dating. I also have mercury conjunct mars, which I think makes me a little more upfront with people

  14. Richelle says:

    Also, I have never strung people along maliciously. The times it has happened it was a result of not knowing what I wanted. I have friend zoned a lot of guys, only because I didn’t want them to think they had a chance romantically, but I wanted to remain friends. I have known girls who friend zone guys, but still engage with them sexually, and I’m not like that. I do really try to be clear with people. Sorry if I appear defensive! Lol

  15. Ok thanks Nadia..

    So I guess my finish line comes when tr. Saturn squares tr. neptune right on my natal neptune square natal jupiter, in September 2016. I am one soul definitely looking forward to saturn in my 7th house full of hallucinations. I just need saturn to plant my feet on the ground.

  16. Narcissism as having no empathy and feeling that the world is an extension of yourself.

  17. Richelle says:

    @jane- I think what you’re describing is a sociopath.

  18. got it. Thanks a lot, Nadia

    Since you see so many natal charts, wondering, do you really find charts where personal planets are entirely unaspected by all 3 – Saturn, Neptune, Jupiter. No hard aspects, and no trines, either? I mean ppl who have NO signature of a waffler at all ?



  19. Well that makes more sense than just about anything else in my chart as to why and what the relationship challenges are. I have Neptune in 1st house scorpio which is square Jupiter conjunct IC aquarius, neptune opposes my Venus in 7th and my moon in 12th house libra is quincunx Venus, Saturn in late Cap squares my Libra ascendant, plus so many other aspects that link all other parts of my life to the relationship challenges. I am amazed, especially as once committed I will not break that commitment no matter how much it hurts, all makes sense! thank Nadia 🙂

  20. acquagal says:

    very interesting. my mr gemini has a 2 degree gemini sun, opposed by a 3 degree neptune rx in sag. i have a hunch hes a sag rising too but dont know his birthtime. he also has sun conj saturn at 8 degrees gem and juno trine his sun at 3 degrees libra. he did stay married a while… because he did want the stability… and he does have that trait of waffling, but not wanting to hurt anyone, like you described. he’s been going through his uranus opposition (also opposing his moon) for a few years and the timing correlated with his divorce. it will conj his natal chiron when it hits 16 aries. his progressed moon will move into taurus later this year. saturn will hit his neptune and oppose his sun when it reaches sag later this year too. his progressed saturn has moved to 14 gem and is trine his natal moon/uranus in libra.and his progressed juno is trine his natal saturn in gem at 7 libra, sextile his progressed mercury/mars in leo. his progressed sun is now 12 cancer, squaring transit uranus, opposing pluto, and squaring his natal moon/uranus. and his progressed venus rx is at 18 gem, conj his progressed 14 gem saturn, but wont be exact because it will go direct at 18 degrees in a few years. transit saturn is also currently opposing his natal mercury at 18 libra. so… yes… i am hopeful that he will decide to commit to me (and i’ve dreamt that it will happen). i guess time will tell. thanks as always

  21. acquagal says:

    as an aside, he has venus in cancer natally, at 4 degrees, conjunct mars in cancer at 7 degrees. so he does love stability. hes definitely a both “black and white” kind of person. and i, with venus and mercury in gem, and gem ruling my 7H, understand it.

  22. acquagal says:

    i meant saturn is opposing natal mercury at 18 taurus, not libra.

  23. @S
    Yes, I’ve seen plenty of charts where personal planets are not aspected by Neptune, Jupiter or Saturn. But to be clear, Saturn does not create a waffler. Aspects to Saturn increase the need/ability to commit. But when there are also aspects from Neptune or Jupiter, that person may want a committed relationship and romantic freedom, at the same time.

  24. Thanks as always, Nadia! I’ve been on both sides of this coin and it’s quite distressing when the one I would like to be with is semi-available, but not really available at all. However, there can be many astrological reasons for a hanger-on…someone that wants a relationship, but is in denial that it ain’t gonna happen. I now know that when the target of my affection isn’t completely responsive, then it is time to move on. Should I not move on, then I am the problem and source of my own pain…not the other person. My failure to disengage and move on makes me a victim of myself.

  25. Thanks a lot Nadia.

    That brings me to another curious Qn.

    Perhaps, its a tug of war between the Saturn-personal planet aspect vs the Jupiter/Neptune-Persona Planet aspect, if both are present in a chart ?
    For example, If the Saturn aspect is weaker, eg only a trine or hard aspect with only one personal planet and the other aspect stronger, eg, any hard aspect / hard aspect with more than 1 planet, the person may have waffling tendencies?

    Thanks a lot.


  26. @S
    strength of aspect certainly makes a difference, but so does the prominence of Saturn versus Neptune/Jupiter in the chart. And, the sign on the 7th House cusp.

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