Is he just not that into you, or is he a Capricorn?


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Owen McGonigle, Events Manager/Social Media

As a single man living in the heart of downtown New York City, where I can hop onto almost any train-line and end up anywhere, it feels as if my dating pool should be the most diverse. I can have the Wall Street man, the downtown alternative, or even the ones who live in Brooklyn. Even with all this diversity at my fingertips, I find myself in a rut.  No, I have not dated every man on Wall Street. And no, I have not dated every film major who reeks of cigarettes. Oh no, I find myself in a much more toxic pattern: the Capricorns.

Capricorn (n.): a person born between Dec. 20/21 and Jan.19.  Symbolized by the goat.  A cardinal earth sign.  Quite possibly the worst kind of man imaginable, I have to add.  Maybe that’s just me.  It’s probably just me.

More importantly, Capricorns are the opposite of my very own star sign: Cancer. Now some of you may sigh and claim that dating men for their signs is the newest form of toxic behavior, but my dilemma came about in a more genuine fashion.

It happened about a year ago when a night at a guy’s downtown apartment led to a lonely walk back home. I hummed a few Lady Gaga songs on my stroll as I passed various classmates who probably could not recognize me in the shadows of a downtown night. Truly, I was on a high. The guy and I had had a great time. The only downfall (at the time) was when I had asked for his sign and had been hoping for my very compatible Scorpio. Instead, he merely replied, “Capricorn,” and we had continued with our regularly-scheduled program.

As I rounded the corner onto Beekman Street and the oh-so-familiar scents of its courtyard began to tingle at my nostrils, it all hit me. A few floors up, the window to the room of my old Capricorn fling was lit up. At the time of our relationship, I hadn’t been into signs. All I knew was that he flaunted his Capricorn identity as if it was some excuse to be cold-hearted towards others, hence why our relationship had taken a much-needed halt. But it was then, with the crowds of students around me, that I realized he had not been my first emotionally-detached goat. My history went far back.

So I walked inside and confronted my Capricorn roommate.

“I’m attracted to Capricorns,” I said as I flung the door open and found him sitting atop his navy blue bed. (Did all heterosexual men decorate their rooms with navy blue?)Tyler seemed taken aback. “Well, not to you. I mean, you’re attractive, but I’m not attracted to you.” I stumbled over my own words and the reality of them hit me as soon as they left my mouth. First, I was the crazy roommate that believed in astrology, and second, I had turned into the roommate that dated according to astrological compatibility. I could only imagine how I looked to the outside eye. But I let out a sigh and continued venting to my poor roommate. Tyler, who had merely been trying to watch “The Office,” glanced at me as if I had just proposed marriage.

“Okay?” he asked as I sulked over to my bed. Tyler’s eyes followed me, probably to make sure that I wouldn’t jump into his at the last minute. “We’re good people.”

But the problem is that this was the biggest lie Tyler had ever told me.

The issue with Capricorn men is that they have no idea how to handle their emotions, and even less of a clue as per how to demonstrate them. This, in combination with the fact that my overly-emotional Cancer self is all for talking about feelings, leads to many failed attempts at Cancer-Capricorn relations. We may be the father and mother signs, but divorce rates have been extremely high, so I doubt that means anything anymore.

Take my old Capricorn fling: after a coffee date where he flaunted his own successes, questioned my sense of happiness and optimism, and then offered a peace treaty of “Netflix and chill,” he dropped off the map. Of course, I was not bothered by this. I wasn’t really in the mood to settle down anyway. But this all changed the following semester. Perhaps it was the blossoming flowers or the rise in temperature, but suddenly this guy was ready for commitment.

“So yeah… I think we should,” the Capricorn said without any form of build-up or context clues. My eyes widened. This was not the conversation I thought we’d be having on his bed at that hour.

“Um, you know, we could hang out some more, and then try from there,” I said as I tried to come up with some form of a soft rejection. But the Capricorn did not buy it. Truly, this was my fault for not being straight up with him from the get-go, but my Cancer heart could not bear to fully reject him.

“Oh, so you don’t want to date me,” he said, but I was quick to shake my head.  Again, perhaps it was my Pisces moon that longed to withhold the truth.

“I just think we should try hanging out more first, you know?” I clarified, but I still couldn’t tell if he was convinced.

Flash forward, and the tables sure did turn. I couldn’t tell if it was the sophomore slump or my nearing 20s, but everything in me wanted to settle down. The Capricorn seemed like my best option.

But I soon realized the other problem with Capricorns: no matter how into you they are, they will always find a way to put something before you. Now listen: I’m a working adult who double majors and keeps up a (minuscule) social life. I completely understand that things will get in the way, that you will be double-booked and all that fun, adult stuff.  But there will always be enough time to send a text. “Hey, I’m really busy rn, but I will talk to you soon!” or “Okay so next Thursday afternoon is my only time off (and I don’t have too much classwork!) let’s do something!”

But to a Capricorn, this time does not exist. So as Valentine’s Day came and went, I didn’t expect much. He had told me that he bought chocolates (even though I never even received a Valentine’s Day text), but I did not expect him to have time to see me. But not even receiving a Valentine’s Day text? That part hurt in a much different way. So, of course, I bought my own chocolates and watched “A Star is Born” alone in my room.

Perhaps it was my fault for expecting too much, even with my expectations still very low. Perhaps it was my fault for choosing men I knew would be bad for me. Why is it that we always choose to ignore these red flags? We know certain people are completely and utterly not good for us, but still go for it anyway.

Flash forward to the end of that Capricorn and our toxic demise. The thing about ending relationships with Capricorns: they will always make you feel like an idiot.  (Maybe I am an idiot, but that’s beside the point of my dilemma.) He merely told me that I had made everything up. So of course, I went home, ate a pint of mint chocolate ice cream and listened to sad Lady Gaga on repeat.

About a year later, I found myself on a semi-crowed World Trade Center-bound E train. Work had been pretty pleasant that day. Usually the morning rush at a coffee shop meant angry customers and slight burns, but my energy was at an all-time high. In the background of my narrative was Cap, the newest addition to my Capricorn lineage. Just like his predecessors, he had been doing everything wrong.

From self-centered conversations all the way to canceling plans (that he made!)at the last minute, he was a typical Capricorn. That wonderful morning crumbled as a hungover Snapchat of last night’s hook-up found its way from Cap’s phone into my inbox.

Truthfully, I was more frustrated than upset. Either way, I could not help it when a tear built up in my eye and made its swift escape down my face. I wiped it away, not wanting to accept the reality of it all: it was my turn to make a judgment call.  I either had to face Cap head-on, ignore it and act like I hadn’t been hurt or completely ignore him from then on. I knew that in my heart, the second option was my favorite. Just cut him some slack, I thought to myself. I had to take the blame for constantly entering situations with these earth signs. It was then that I wondered: was it that all Capricorn men were trash? Or perhaps, in the scariest twist of it all, was I the problem?