Virgos love Pisces and Aries and Scorpios have chronic sexual chemistry. But, astrology is a little more nuanced than that. You can look up sign comparisons for you and your boo all day, but if you are only looking at your birth (or “sun”) sign — that would be the one you read your horoscope for on the regular — you won’t be able to decipher much. This is good news for those with less-than-ideal sun-sign matches. You are not cursed to break up!

In order to get a real grasp of astrological compatibility, you need to look up your chart and the chart of your crush/date/S.O. (Knowing your birth times is helpful but not necessary.) Unlike sun signs, of which there are only a dozen, a birth chart is completely specific to you (unless you’re a twin or know someone born in the exact same time and place as you). By showing the placement of all the planets at the moment of your birth, astrology can get a lot more specific about various elements of your personality. This is when the zodiac hits much closer to home with scary accurate information.

When checking your compatibility with a crush or partner, use the following roadmap.

Compare not only your sun, but also your moon signs.

The sign the moon was in at the time of your birth is revealed by where you were born and where the moon sat in relation to that location on that day. It dictates your inner self — what you are like with those who you feel most comfortable. Even in the case that you have a stereotypically problematic match of sun signs, if your moon signs work well together, it changes things. In that case, your moral compass, needs for affirmation, and desire to talk (or not talk) things out may be incredibly compatible, and who you are at your core is well-aligned. Also, if you have the same sun sign as your partner’s moon sign or vice versa, you are likely to truly understand and respect each other’s ways of thinking.

When looking at your chart, read comparisons for both your sun and moon signs and use your intuition to guide which aspects feel most true for your relationship. This exercise may also reveal more nuanced information about why you, for example, may feel a need to talk out a disagreement until you arrive at a resolution while your partner may value taking space to decipher their emotions before sharing them with you. In new relationships, sun signs show how each person shows up before they feel totally comfortable, while moon signs highlight where each of your true inner needs will feel most met and cherished as the relationship grows.

Compare your Venus signs.

Your Venus sign, aptly named after the goddess of love herself, explains how you show up in romantic relationships. You can read up on sign compatibility here and replace your sun signs with your Venus signs to see if the language you speak in your intimate partnerships is more compatible than just your sun sign might suggest. While your sun sign represents your basic identity and your moon sign dictates how you process with those closest to you, your Venus sign drives how you love. In combination, they provide vital information about what makes you feel safe, with whom you feel most comfortable expressing emotions, and to what degree you value your independence.

If your sun sign is an independent go-getter like Aries or Capricorn, but your moon sign is soft and emotional, like Cancer or Pisces, you can assume that to most you seem independent but to those closest to you, you are clearly highly sensitive. Adding an understanding of Venus, which may be, for example, an analytical sign like Virgo or Aquarius, shows you tend to bounce ideas back and forth, while also being likely to overthink things in dating and relationships.

Check how your elements and ruling planets compare.

Every sign has an element attached to it. Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces are all ruled by water. Taurus, Capricorn, and Virgo are ruled by earth. Aquarius, Libra and Gemini are the air signs. Sagitarius, Leo, and Aries represent the element of fire. Signs of the same element tend to share an understanding that lend themselves to compatibility. Earth signs value reliability. Water signs are great at talking out emotions and being sensitive. Air signs enjoy a unique way of analyzing the world and people that they appreciate in one another. Fire signs have a lust for life and adventure that tend to drive their romantic and interpersonal relationships.

Ruling planets, which you can find a list of here, also play a role in compatibility. Scorpio and Aries are both ruled by Mars, the planet of sex and war. They have a unique sexual attraction to each other that translates to crazy passionate relationships that can tend toward emotional discontent (unless other planets in both people’s charts temper that). Taurus and Libra, both ruled by Venus, have a sensual and partnership-driven air to them. This draws them to each other but may not make for lasting relationships as Taurus’ value stability and Libras have a difficult time making up their minds. Geminis and Virgos are ruled by Mercury, the planet of communication. While they can ping pong ideas back and forth for hours, romantically, they are not a great match since communication style is the only thing they really have in common. Virgos like to control outcomes through analysis, and Geminis like to turn analysis into experimentation, which gives Virgo anxiety.

The rest of the signs are ruled by individual planets: Leo, by the sun, because they do love to shine the brightest; Cancer, by the moon, because they like to crawl into their shell and retreat in cycles like the moon; Sagittarius, by Jupiter, for its luck and magnanimity; Capricorn, by Saturn as a reflection of its hard-working nature. Aquarius, by Uranus for its forward thinking and innovative idealism. Lastly, Pisces is ruled by Neptune, the planet that controls dreams. Ruling planets highlight unique bonds, but like any other part of a chart, they cannot give you the full scope of how or with whom you may be a good match.

Astrology, though not an exact science, can be thought provoking, informative, and very fun to explore. And even if your analysis illustrates that you and your boo may not be a match made in the galaxy, it can help you understand each other’s needs and motivations much better and with a lot more compassion, helping you to fight smarter, advocate stronger, and maybe even love with a more holistic approach to each other’s values.