You scratch your head. How did it end up like this? Just last night, he arrived at your house with flowers, a kiss, and his grandmother’s spaghetti recipe, ready to cook you dinner. The date went without issue. In fact, it was better than you expected. You kissed between cooking, danced in the hall, and, after you ate, cuddled up beside one another on the couch. Everything was going great until he got the phone call. You don’t know what was said, but it had something to do with a fight between his mom and dad.
And then, just like that, he shut down, slipped sideways, and dipped inside his own personal hole. No amount of digging can bring him out, and in fact, when you try to talk to him, he just offers you a small smile and tells you he needs a bit of space. You can do that. Hell, you’ve been single for a long time before this to know how to appreciate solitude. But the problem is…you’re not alone. He’s still here, and now he’s moved sideways on the couch and gotten very quiet.
In the past, you’d probably freak out, overthink things, question if he’s having second thoughts–hell, maybe you’re still doing that a little–but maybe, for once, you’ll try something different.
You’ll just let him be.
You get him a glass of water, put on a movie, grab a blanket, and before you know it, you’ve fallen asleep. When you wake up, at first, you’re afraid he’s gone. But then you realize he’s actually lying beside you, his hands in your hair. He smiles and thanks you for being so patient and kind, and after he kisses you, he opens up and tells you about his parents’ fight, and you suddenly realize…maybe there is nothing to worry about.
He’s still his same loving self… he just needed a bit of space to crawl inside himself and clear his thoughts. And you realize you’re actually okay with that because he’s pretty freaking great.
Enter the Cancer.
A natural nurturer, love comes easily to you, and your sensitivity and empathy enable you to develop strong relationships with the people in your life. However, this tendency to offer support to others can often mean you neglect your own self-care, and when that happens, like your symbol, the crab, you sometimes crawl back into your shell when you get overwhelmed. Your need for personal space is as critical as your need to connect with the people around you.
Cancer’s Likes & Dislikes
While other signs are out discovering, settling, and expanding their world, you, Cancer, are a step ahead, civilizing a territory you’ve already made home. Just like the crab, you’re a homebody and are the most comfortable inside your own shell.
You’re more likely an introvert, but even if you have extroverted tendencies, if it’s between staying in or going out, you’ll choose to invite people over to the comfort of your own home. But just because you enjoy offering love and support to others doesn’t mean you’re a pushover. Even a Cancer like you has its limits, and you’re not afraid to snap your pincers if need be.
Your relationships with people are everything to you, Cancer, and you often see your friends as adoptive extensions of your family. You prefer low-key nights over spontaneous adventures. Your imagination, dreams, and goals are as important to you as your relationships, and your reflective nature means you’re constantly working on improving yourself, your mind, and your life.
While you are one of the more tender signs, Cancer, this doesn’t mean you’re a pushover. You feel things incredibly strongly, so your intuition is often on high alert. Like your symbol, the crab, you act and react in the same way–moving sideways–when issues arise. You dislike confrontation, and when things get overwhelming, you crawl inside yourself, finding relief in your protective shell. However, that doesn’t mean you’re a pushover. If someone wrongs you, and especially if you’re cornered, those pinchers will come out to keep yourself safe. You have a forgiving nature, but you’re not quick to forget.
How Cancer’s Traits Apply to Romance and Dating
You’re one of the most nurturing signs, Cancer, sometimes to a fault. It’s often easier for you to listen to your partner’s issues than express your own fears or feelings, and this can come as a detriment in a long-term relationship. Learning to express yourself is a challenge; you crawl back into your shell when things get rough.
This can rub some signs the wrong way. Your introverted introspection is sometimes mistaken for shortness or moodiness. If you are matched with the right partner, however, eventually, you will re-emerge from your shell into a safe space where you feel capable of expressing your thoughts and fears.
What to Watch Out for When Dating a Cancer
If there’s one pattern you’ve probably noticed in your relationships, Cancer, it’s your need for your own space. This doesn’t mean you need physical distance; however, you’re actually okay with sharing the same room with someone, even during a disagreement.
You’re not the one to physically leave in the middle of a fight, but it may feel like that to your partner. Almost like your home, but all the lights are off. This tendency to turn inside yourself might become an issue for your partner, especially at the start of a new relationship.
Still, over time, if your partner gives you space to collect your thoughts, they’ll find that when you come out of your shell, you’re not only more balanced but more appreciative and willing to talk. You’re self-sufficient and independent in this sense.
The ideal partner for you is someone who can vent their concerns but will know to ask about yours as well. You’re more likely to bottle up your emotions and offer support to your partner instead of voicing your own feelings, and you need someone who can remind you it’s okay to express yourself too. If not, this could lead to issues down the road.
Cancer’s Relationships Preferences
Relationships are everything to you, Cancer. Short-term flings and one-night stands are nothing compared to a genuine connection with another person. You love the feeling of love and have more than enough to give. However, your quickness to affection and generosity can backfire if you choose the wrong partner.
You see the best in everyone, which can open the door for people to take advantage of you. If that happens, you’re not the person to get underneath the new to get over the old. Instead, you will recoil inside yourself, trying to figure out where you went wrong and gradually patching up the cracks in your shell until you’re ready to date again.
But you’re a wise one, Cancer. You don’t make the same mistake twice. You’re forgiving, but you won’t forget what happened once you’ve been burned. You’ll remember where you went wrong and go out of your way to avoid repeating the same actions. This is beneficial in the long run, as you learn quicker than other signs how to weed out those who don’t treat you the way you know you deserve to be treated.
Tips for Keeping a Cancer Engaged and Interested
Like the crab, Cancer, you’re more than happy to stay inside the comfort of your own home and come out in small increments to socialize, take a dip in the sea, and have some good food. Out of all the signs, you’re a homebody, and any partner you date must understand your need for time at home.
You’re probably an introvert and require the comfort of your home to recharge yourself before venturing into the world. This doesn’t mean you’re antisocial, however. Relationships add zest to your life. You’re the kind of friend someone will meet in elementary school and ask you to be the best man or maid of honor at their wedding.
Your romantic partner must understand the value your friends hold in your life and not ostracize you from them. Your love language is probably a mixture of physical touch and quality time, and you need someone who can match your affection.
Remember to return that affection to you by checking in and encouraging you to express yourself.
Cancer’s Compatibility with Other Zodiac Signs
As a water sign, like your symbol, the crab, you, Cancer, have a deep understanding of what connects all living things. In the same way, a crab can dip into the water, breathe in the air, and then dig into the earth. You have the ability to connect with everyone around you.
With friendship, no sign is off the table. However, when it comes to romance, fire signs move a bit fast for your pace, and other water signs, like Scorpios and Pisces, can come off a bit intense for your gentleness, Cancer. Earth signs–Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn–tend to mesh the best with you.
Cancer in Love – The Epilogue
How lucky are you? You had a moment. Not one you’re particularly fond of, but one you’re used to. It happens like that. Fast and sudden, your emotions come on intense, so you crawl inside yourself, needing a moment to process what you’re feeling.
You were worried this would be a breaking point for her.
She’s an external processor, often expressing herself out loud to sift through her feelings, and well, you are the exact opposite. Not only did she give you space–and water and a blanket–but she didn’t push you to talk.
And now you feel safe to do just exactly that. You know good people when you see them, and it’s something you value more than she knows. You give her a kiss, take a breath, and now you’re ready to talk.