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Photo: Alexander Bemis. Design: Sasha Purdy / StyleCaster.
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Ask a Witch is StyleCaster’s advice column offering sage advice and practical magic for modern problems. Every Friday, our resident witch Roya Backlund will answer your most vulnerable conundrums through the lens of astrology, Tarot, and spirituality. Submit questions to [email protected], along with your birth information—date, time, and location—as well as birth information for other parties involved, if you have it. Hex what vexes you: Ask a Witch.

Dear Roya,

I professed my love to someone, but he doesn’t reciprocate my feelings. He tells me he loves me to pieces, but he’s not “in love” with me. At one point, he even said, “I don’t want to be your boyfriend. I don’t want to be just friends. I want to be your best friend.” Even though his heart isn’t on the same page as mine, I can’t stop thinking about him and how magical we could be together. For the sake of clarity, let’s call him MK.

MK was there for me when I got out of a 10-year relationship with my ex in October 2022. He was supportive and helped me navigate that transitional phase of my life. Through one of MK’s friends, I was able to find a place to live across the country that was within my budget and located near my work. The stars truly aligned, and in December 2022, I officially made the move. I was beyond excited. I was even living near MK.

Fast-forward six months, and MK buys a house on the opposite side of the country. He spends half the time here and half the time there. But I feel like any time he reaches out to spend time with me, I’m the last option on his list, as if he has nothing better to do. For someone he calls his best friend, it doesn’t add up.

My feelings for him were so strong that I onc🔯e read his꧋ diary just to see if he thought about me the way I thought about him. I wasn’t even mentioned once, yet I still keep chasing. I feel like I follow MK around like a lost puppy. I immediately confessed to invading his privacy, and he thanked me for being honest with him, saying I’m the one person he actual felt comfortable with reading his diary. Hearing that come from a Scorpio sent me over the moon.

I’ve tried dating other men over the last year and a half, but I always end up hitting some major roadblock. I can’t help but think it’s because I’m hung up on MK. Although MK and I have never had sex with each other, we came close once early on, and I think I’ve developed an obsession with him because of that.

But in March 2024, he abruptly stopped talking to me. We went from texting each other every day to cold turkey silence. I’ve put myself through hell wondering what I did wrong. After I made several attempts to call him, spread out over a couple weeks, he finally texted back: “Sorry I’ve been MIA, I’m just taking time to think about things.” As of now, it’s been six weeks since we last spoke to each other properly. 

On April 1—the day Mercury went retrograde—my library hold for the book Codependent No More by Melody Beattie became available. And after reading several chapters, I decided to block MK on April 11. With him blocked, I no longer had to suffer through the anxiety of wondering when he’d finally reach back out. (Admittedly, I knew he wouldn’t—he regularly admits he’s avoidant.)

However, on April 8—the day of the total solar eclipse—I visited family in Indiana, as their house was in the path of totality. Completely out of the blue, my ex showed up asking if he could park his RV at their place since he’d had a last-minute change of plans. Given that he lives several states away, having him show up was the last thing I ever expected to happen. I hadn’t seen him in over a year. Due to the once-in-a-lifetime nature of the eclipse, my family and I agreed. I’m still gobsmacked this happened, but I will say it felt like closure.

I still have feelings for MK, but is there a reason my ex reappeared in my life at such a timely moment? And altho꧑ugh I blocked MK, I still feel unsure of the decision. Should I leave the line open for potential communication? I feel like eventually he’ll come around.

Sincerely,
Hopelessly Hopeful

Photo: Alexander Bemis. Design: Sasha Purdy / StyleCaster.

Dear Hopelessly Hopeful,

What’s most interesting about your situation is you seem well aware of the fact that he doesn’t reciprocate your feelings. And yet, you remain invested in him, waiting for a sign that he’ll one day realize you’re meant to be together. Your situation reminds me of : “There is a place in the heart that will never be filled / and we will wait / and wait / in that space.” You are searching for a love that will leave you feeling whole, but the person you’re hoping will complete you is deeply emotionally unavailable. You’re waiting for this man to fill a void, but it is the waiting that continues to stretch the size of that void, making it bigger and bigger until it’s the size of an ancient crater. The longer you don’t receive a response, the more empty that void feels.

While you’re the one left with the anxiety of being ghosted, he’s been receiving the benefits of having you around without having to commit. I keep rereading his words and scratching my head: “I don’t want to be your boyfriend. I don’t want to be just friends. I want to be your best friend.” This statement is intentionally confusing, as he seems to be rejecting you and giving you hope at the same time. He says he doesn’t want to be your boyfriend, but the way he says “best friend” almost makes it sound like what he feels toward you is even deeper than simply wanting to date you. It dangles the carrot of love above you. It also puts him in a position to receive your love, but protects him from having to keep any promises to you. After all, he can always say, “I did tell you I didn’t want to be your boyfriend.”

I know you have feelings for this man, but I don’t think any of his actions here are admirable. The fact that he isn’t in love with you doesn’t make his behavior toxic—it’s the fact that he isn’t even a good friend to you that makes it so gross. This whole situation is really convenient for him, because he knows you have strong feelings for him, and yet, he continued to exploit those feelings over a long period of time. You read his diary, and instead of seeing that as a major red flag that you’ve formed an attachment to him, he nurtures your attachment and actively encourages it, knowing he doesn’t feel the same way about you. This isn’t a sign that he feels deeply toward you. It’s a sign that he doesn’t actually care about you. If he was speaking to you every day for over a year and then suddenly stopped, it’s because he found a new source of emotional validation. I know this sounds harsh, but he was talking to you every day because was getting something out of it, and once he found someone else to give it to him, he lost his need for you.

Before we get into why you’re so invested in someone who clearly doesn’t care about you, let’s talk about MK and what his problems are (because he has many). His sun, Mercury, Mars, and Pluto are all in Scorpio, situated in his fifth house of love and pleasure. Scorpio is a highly sensitive zodiac sign that craves connection just as much as it feels repulsed by it. Scorpio wants to merge and become intimate, but it also feels terrified of losing control and giving someone else the upper hand. And with all these planets in his romantic fifth house, this energy manifests in MK’s love life more than anywhere else. Scorpios want someone to care about them, but they tend to want to be the one in power—the one who dominates the situation. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s got a long list of potential lovers, as he feeds off infatuation and emotional involvement. However, he’s always on the lookout for a better option, as he was born with a Venus-Saturn conjunction in his seventh house of partnerships. (Learn more about the 12 astrological houses.)

MK claims he’s avoidant, which may be surprising to you, as the vast majority of his birth chart is made up of emotional water signs and loyal earth signs. However, there’s one thing missing—fire. He has no placements in Aries, Leo, or Sagittarius whatsoever. In astrology, fire is the element of action, passion, and self-expression. With no fire in his chart, it’s very difficult for him to pull his emotions out of his body and put them out there for the world to see. He keeps his cards close to his chest, as his lack of fire can make it difficult for him to be courageous. And if there’s one thing that love requires, it’s courage. In order to find love, you need to be willing to take a risk one way or another. He neither had the courage to respectfully cut you off when you were clearly becoming too attached to him nor the courage to be honest about how he really feels. His avoidant behavior is a manifestation of his lack of fire, which is something you desperately need in order to live a fulfilled life.

You see, you are made of fire. You are a Sagittarius rising at 29 degrees—the “fame” degree—which essentially means your life is a powerful and chaotic expression of adventurous, philosophical, and truth-seeking Sagittarius energy. Not only that, but your birth chart is also ruled by your Jupiter in Aries in the fifth house of romance and creativity. Basically, you’re a fire-breathing dragon, and you’re searching for love in someone who doesn’t even believe dragons exist. You have all this passion and intensity guiding you through your life, and MK does everything he can to avoid these extremes. You keep “chasing” him, but he can’t even begin even to understand you and all that you’re capable of. Your natal Mars in Cancer forms an exact conjunction to his natal Cancer moon. This synastry absolutely indicates that you are hungry for him—that you want something from him. However, what your Mars placement wants will make you feel victorious, but not necessarily fulfilled. Your hope that MK will one day love you back is an attempt to prove to yourself that you are worthy of love. If he reciprocated your feelings, it would only give you a false sense of confidence—it won’t truly make you happy. (Learn more about how your Mars sign takes action.)

The fact is, MK doesn’t care to see you clearly, nor is he planning to make you a more public feature of his life. Your natal Gemini sun and Venus are both sitting in his 12th house of spirituality and hidden energies, which means you feel him completely, but he has no plans to solidify your relationship or take it to the next level. For over a year, he benefited from having someone who was emotionally available to him—someone he could be open with and receive validation from. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he really had his sights set on someone else all along, as the 12th house of also where affairs live and breathe. You were his secret emotional support buddy, and because talking to you made him feel good, he allowed you to continue having hope that maybe one day, you would turn into something more. And as soon as he no longer needed that support, his energy toward you completely evaporated. Do I even need to say you deserve better than this selfish Scorpio man? I hope not.

Let’s be real—being on your own has never been easy for you. After all, you were born with your natal Saturn—planet of karma and limitations—in your first house of the self. Saturn is a planet that places pressure on whatever it touches, forcing you to accept restrictions and embrace delayed gratification. With Saturn in your first house, you may be, in many ways, a bit of a late bloomer. You’re probably extremely critical of yourself, as Saturn expects perfection and is never quite satisfied. Accepting yourself for who you are has taken time, and it may even be a lifelong journey. However, this placement is also incredibly special, as it indicates your best years are still ahead of you. And once you begin to understand the beauty of being independent—of learning how to complete yourself rather than wait for someone else to fill that void—you’ll embrace a strength of self that will allow you to truly conquer the world. It will diminish your concern for people, like MK, who do nothing but siphon your energy for their own benefit. Don’t despair. Saturn-influenced people age like fine wine, and so will the love in your heart. (Learn more about your Saturn placement.)

Point blank—no, you should not unblock him. Absolutely not. If he does come back around, it will only be because things aren’t working out with the new person he’s focusing on. And yes, I can almost assure you he’s focusing on someone else right now. This man needs emotional validation like oxygen, and the only reason he ghosted you is because he’s getting his supply somewhere else. Don’t give him the satisfaction of being available as soon as he needs you. It will merely bolster his ego and reduce the level of respect he has for you. Why would you want someone who thinks of you as an option when you deserve to be their priority? There are deeper reasons you’re so focused on this man, as deep down, you feel that if you can convince him to love you, then maybe you’ll finally be able to love you. And I promise, you don’t need anyone’s permission to love yourself, least of all an avoidant Scorpio man who can’t even begin to appreciate how magnificent you are. Let him sweat when he finally does reach back out to you and he receives no response. Let him think about what he missed out on by overlooking you. Let the tables be turned as you take your power back and leave him to deal with his problems on his own.

About your ex reappearing in your life on an eclipse—you’re right to find that significant. On April 8, the total solar eclipse in Aries landed just one degree away from your North Node of Destiny. This has activated a new chapter in your life, and it will likely have to do with love, as your North Node is situated in your fifth house of love and romance. While I don’t know if your reunion with your ex will amount to the love you’re searching for, I do believe he arrived to remind you of what love can look like. You’ve been starved of true affection for so long, as you’ve been setting your sights on an emotionally unavailable man who’s strung you along for over a year. And with your ex back in the picture, you’re remembering what it was like to be with someone who reciprocated your feelings. After all, Mercury was also retrograde at the time, which causes unfinished busi🍒ness to resurface, allowing you to tie up loose ends.

In the grand scheme of things, MK was never really that important of a figure in your life. But I do believe he was here to reveal deep-seated issues in the way you respect yourself and protect your energy. Your relationship with MK was a learning experience meant to guide you back on your path toward self-actualization and healing. You’re already well on your way. So whatever you do, don’t look back.

About Roya

Roya Backlund is StyleCaster’s Senior Lifestyle & Astrology Editor and a professional witch. Born in Los Angeles on May 26—the same day as Stevie Nicks—she’s been obsessed with the zodiac since she discovered she was a Gemini as a child. Her interest in mysteries and the occult began in the metaphysical section at her local Borders. If you’re a fan of astrology, spirituality, and witchcraft, you’ve probably read her horoscopes and lifestyle articles, which have appeared elsewhere in Elite Daily, PopSugar, Astrology.com, and more. Whether you want to delve deeper into your birth chart or interpret signs from your spirit guides, Roya’s got you covered.

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