Mercury governs every function of our lives - especially when it comes to dating. From the ping! we hear our phone make and frantically check to see if it's from a lover, to the awkward conversations that erupt on a first date. It covers ghosting, missed phone calls, and the dreaded read at 10:48 P.M. text. It is not just Venus that’s essential for relationships. Mercury is too.

Mercury is the "Good morning" text and also the 2 a.m. "You up?" text. And it's really funny to see how Mercury actually functions in the real world - the person you're able to communicate to and set boundaries with may also be the person that you have no chemistry with. The person who sets your world on fire and completely changes your perception of love may be the one person who you can't seem to get through to. Of course, there's more to astrology and life than that, but Mercury still functions there, nonetheless.

Having someone you were really interested in ghost you? That's Mercury. Typing out that message you reeeaaaallllyyy want to send but just letting it hang there instead? That's Mercury. That screaming match you get into where you say the words you can't take back, and the apologies after a fight? That is Mercury. (With some Mars and Venus mixed in, of course.)

When a fight breaks out, and words are exchanged that cannot be taken back - what then? The air between people that was once so bubbly and lively now just hangs there. Dull, deadly, and silent.

When communication dies, so does the relationship. This could be because of a fight (Mars), deception or lies (Neptune), or sugary sweet words that just never quite come into fruition (Venus). It could be because of excessive clingyness (Jupiter), insecurity (Moon or Sun), pushing boundaries (Saturn) or more. But the end of a relationship can feel very Plutonian - it brings us to the depths of ourselves only to lead us on a new path. And then Mercury is activated again, as we learn more about how we function in our relationships, what we could've done better, and how we can act going forward. We learn, learn, and learn some more. Pluto, combined with Mercury, sets us on a path of change.

Mercury is the pros and cons list you write of the relationship when your emotions (Moon) and romantic feelings (Venus) just seem to get in the way. Our minds, and subsequently Mercury, are so fickle because it's impossible to tear one thing apart from the other. But I often find that once people reach their breaking point, (Mars, Pluto) it's just a matter of time before Mercury pops up again, their mind is made up, and words and thoughts come to light that had been previously buried.

But as I said... Mercury is fickle. It's the laughter and the first date conversation that just actually flows. It's the feeling of being understood, mind, body, and soul, by another living person. The body is what it is, but it is the mind at the end of the day that creates connection.

After all, what’s sexier than good banter? Love letters and notes scribbled in margins in your own little secret book club? The meeting of minds becomes a meeting of souls - an understanding of shared secrets and inside jokes between two people that feels almost sacred.

Mercury's the inside jokes. It's the first spoken "I love you." It's the feeling of having someone keep up with you. It's, most importantly, feeling understood as your little human self. Mercury is communication, in whatever form that happens to be.

And as we wrap up this aricle, I'm going to end it with something written on a Chinese fortune cookie wrapper I found in my coat pocket:

Wit is the salt of conversation, not the food.

If you are being stalked or harassed, please check out this book, The Gift of Fear, by Gavin DeBecker.