When Does "Astrological Snooping" Cross The Line?

Photographed By Elizabeth Weinberg.
After a few dates, you might want to know more about your new flame's childhood, their career, or their favorite movies. Astrology enthusiasts, however, have a very different set of questions on their minds: What are their sun, moon, and rising signs? What about their planetary signs? Do they have a dominant element? If your date is a fellow birth chart expert, you could simply ask them these questions directly while getting to know them better.
Sometimes, the temptation to delve into a new love interest's astrological info right away proves too great. Instead of simply swapping ascendant signs, we whip out our handy chart app to get the dirt on their placements without their knowledge. Of course, drawing up a birth chart requires personal details (their birthdate, time, and place) that you probably don't know off the top of your head — and gracefully working those questions into casual conversations isn't as easy as you'd think.
Taking this rather nosy route can qualify as snooping: You're seeking out personal information about a romantic partner without their knowledge, which, in general, isn't the best way to get to know someone. But, if you're only snooping to learn more about their astrological identity, should you feel all that guilty? Where some people invest a lot of meaning in their signs, others think it's purely silly. Reading into someone's Zodiac facts is not the same as pulling their credit score or finding every single one of their exes on Facebook. Is horoscope-scouring really even a dating faux pas?
"I don’t think it’s a mortal sin as long as your intention is discovery, not judgment," Tali Edut, one half of the Astrotwins, tells Refinery29. She adds that it's probably easier (and way less sneaky) to offer to read your date's chart with them. "It’s the best icebreaker I’ve ever found and always leads to deeper subjects than just the chart," she explains.
Edut admits that she's snooped before, too, but always with the understanding that each person expresses their signs differently. There is no one-size-fits-all set of behaviors for a given sign, so it's pointless to use the fact that your lover has a Virgo moon, for example, to try to predict when they'll open up to you. "Just because you know someone’s chart does not mean you know them as an individual," she says.
So, if you're considering astrologically snooping or have been guilty of it in the past, you're not a villain on some cosmic level. What's much more likely is that you're just excited about your new relationship and want to know more about your potential partner. Edut says it can't hurt to say as much to your date — even if they barely know their sun sign, they'll probably find it flattering.