Cancer Compatibility: How the Water Sign Pairs With Each Zodiac

From earth signs like Taurus and Virgo to fellow water sign Pisces, here are the best and worst zodiac matches for Cancers, according to astrologers

Cancer compatibility.
Cancer compatibility.

The first water sign — and fourth sign overall — Cancer is often referred to as the homebody of the zodiac. Represented by the crab, Cancers can be unfairly labeled as moody or standoffish, but crabs also symbolize protection and emotional depth.

As a cardinal sign, the first in their family of signs, Cancers embody the essence of the water element. “They’re very caring, relationship-oriented and empathetic,” author and astrologer Bethany Nicole tells PEOPLE. “They can present as very romantic or maternal,” so when it comes to their relationships, Cancers aim “to create a sense of home and belonging for the ones they love.”

Like their astrological symbol of the crab, those born under the sun sign Cancer tend to be happiest at home. However, that doesn’t mean they’re reclusive. Instead, they want to create a safe, cozy and welcoming environment where friends, family and partners can gather.

Cancers are “especially nurturing, valuing domesticity and family greatly,” says Kyle Thomas, PEOPLE’s resident celebrity astrologer. This is particularly apparent when it comes to romance. “They are quite emotional and invest themselves greatly into their personal relationships,” he says. For those born under this water sign, “love is sacred.”

From their alignment with earth signs to their tension with fire signs, here's everything to know about Cancer's compatibility with other members of the zodiac.

What are the key traits of Cancer?

Horoscope Constellation Cancer
Horoscope Constellation Cancer

Cancer is ruled by the moon, which explains a lot of their personality traits. In astrology, the moon represents deep emotions, the subconscious and maternal energy. The sign is considered “the mother” of the zodiac. People born under Cancer are “very nurturing, caring and giving,” Nicole says. “They feel deeply and love strongly.”

Due to their watery nature, Cancers tend to be extremely sensitive and in touch with their feelings. However, with the moon as their celestial ruler, they also have a strong sense of emotional intuition. “Cancer is very heart-driven and highly empathic,” says Nicole. "They have an almost psychic ability to understand other people’s feelings and needs."

This intuitive, maternal nature really comes out in their relationships. While they can be reluctant to open up to others at first, as soon as they do, Cancers care for their partners deeply. “Once someone has earned their affection, Cancers will become incredibly nurturing and devoted,” says Thomas. “They have deeply sensitive hearts and enjoy giving time, affection, and gifts that hold sentimental value.”

For those with a Cancer sun sign, comfort and security are far more important than excitement. “They are much more interested in deep, emotional conversations and connections than fiery interactions,” says Nicole, adding that they tend to crave stable, long-term relationships.

What signs are most compatible with Cancer?

Cancers seek emotional depth, comfort and stability in a partnership. Because of that, they get along best with earth signs (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn) and fellow water signs (Scorpio and Pisces).

Related: What Are Earth Signs? Everything to Know About Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn

“These elements favor their inner worlds, tend to be more introverted and value longevity and emotional security,” says Thomas. With fellow water signs, there’s a shared sense of compassion and understanding.

Earth signs, on the other hand, are known for being calm and steady, which can provide a strong sense of balance and growth for Cancers. “Rain plus soil bears flowers and fruit,” says Thomas, referring to the signs' elements.


Taurus and Cancer.
Taurus and Cancer.

There’s a celestial soulmate for every astrological sign and for Cancer, that’s Taurus.

Cancer and Taurus are two signs apart from one another — otherwise known as sextile — which means they’re highly compatible. Sextile signs have a gentle, harmonious and complementary connection, and a Cancer-Taurus pairing is just that.

“These two are considered a match made in zodiac heaven,” says Nicole. “They both share a love of creating a comfortable, safe and sensually pleasing home environment.”

Related: What Are the Personality Traits of a Taurus? A Complete Guide to the Zodiac Sign

They also have similar values in life and love. Taurus is a true romantic best known for their dependable nature. Like Cancer, the earth sign prioritizes family and stability. On top of that, these two signs balance each other out.

“Taurus is a calm container for Cancer's big emotions and Cancer helps Taurus access deeper levels of the feeling realm,” Nicole tells PEOPLE.

James Brolin and Barbara Streisand are the perfect example of a lasting Cancer-Taurus love. The couple have been together since 1996. In 2023, they celebrated 25 years of marriage.


Cancer and Cancer.
Cancer and Cancer.

While not all zodiac signs do well in a same-sign partnership, that’s not the case for Cancer.

“This can be a wonderful bond, particularly because both favor domesticity and family so greatly,” says Thomas.

Nicole agrees. When two Cancers find each other, they “can create a loving, nurturing home that fosters deep relationship connection,” she says. They also share a strong level of understanding and can communicate their needs easily and effectively. “It’s kind of like they speak the same language, so the other one gets them perfectly," Nicole says.

Take Aubrey Plaza and her husband Jeff Baena, for example. The ultra-private couple wed in 2021 after dating for 10 years.


Virgo and Cancer.
Virgo and Cancer.

Virgo is another earth sign that makes a good match for Cancer. According to Thomas, this is “one of the most nurturing connections in the zodiac.”

On paper, the stoic Virgo and sensitive Cancer can seem like total opposites, but they complement each other well. Virgos are known for being practical and somewhat detached perfectionists so “Cancer can help Virgo access deeper emotions [and] learn to open up to close connection," Nicole says. Meanwhile, “Virgo can help Cancer process their emotions and find the lessons within them.”

Aside from their differences, both signs tend to put others first. “They can really enjoy pampering each other,” she says. In terms of priorities, they also have a lot in common. “They often share similar goals and values,” including a stable family and home life.

Nick Jonas, a Virgo, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas, a Cancer, are proof of this strong astrological bond. The couple married in 2018, a year after they started dating, and welcomed a baby girl in 2022.


Scorpio and Cancer.
Scorpio and Cancer.

Cancer is symbolized by the crab while Scorpio is related to a similar animal, the scorpion, so it’s no surprise that these two signs are highly compatible.

“Scorpio and Cancer are a winning pair, offering each other deep levels of sensuality, emotional safety and companionship,” says Thomas.

Both water signs value loyalty, commitment and close relationships. They also share a similar temperament. Aside from intense feelings and strong intuitive powers, Scorpio and Cancer can both be secretive and introverted.

“These two can delve easily into the emotional realms forming some of the deepest bonds in the zodiac,” Nicole says.

Just look at Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson: this Cancer-Scorpio match is practically the definition of Hollywood couple goals. The pair have been married since 1988 and they share two children together.


Pisces and Cancer.
Pisces and Cancer.

While Scorpio shares their strong sense of loyalty, Pisces speak to Cancers’ creative side.

“These two can create a very sensual and romantic relationship,” Nicole says. “There is often a lot of art and creativity with this pair.”

As a fellow water sign, Pisces is also a sensitive, feelings-oriented sign. “They bond well and can meet each other on deeper emotional levels,” she says.

Benedict Cumberbatch, a Cancer, and his Pisces wife, Sophie Hunter, exemplify this compatibility well. The couple wed in 2015 and have three children together.

What signs are least compatible with Cancer?

Watery Cancer thrives on emotional connection and stability rather than excitement and spontaneity. Because of that, they tend to be least compatible with fire signs (Aries, Leo and Sagittarius) and air signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius), says Thomas.

“Combative energy can make a Cancer feel unsafe to open themselves up,” he explains. Fire signs, which are typically characterized as being passionate, impulsive and action-oriented, can feel aggressive to the more sensitive Cancer. Air signs, on the other hand, are known for being intellectual and flighty, so Cancers may struggle to feel emotionally secure with them.

Related: What Are Fire Signs? Everything to Know About Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius


Aries and Cancer.
Aries and Cancer.

As the cardinal fire sign, Aries may be the worst match for Cancer.

“These two do not play well together,” says Nicole. “Even a friendship pairing can present problems.”

Related: It's Aries Season! Here's How Compatible the Fire Sign Is with Each Zodiac Sign

Although opposites can sometimes attract, with Cancer and Aries, there are too many big differences to overcome. Everything from their energies to their emotional needs are at odds.

“They do not process emotions or experiences the same way,” she says. Cancers are sensitive and self-protective by nature, so the bold, assertive Aries will likely rub them the wrong way. “They value different experiences and lifestyles," Nicole adds.


Sagittarius and Cancer.
Sagittarius and Cancer.

Sagittarius is another fire sign that doesn’t typically mesh well with Cancer.

“This is a very challenging connection,” says Thomas. “Cancer hungers for calm while Sagittarius demands constant adventure.”

Related: Your Ultimate 2024 Sagittarius Horoscope, as Predicted by a Celebrity Astrologer

Symbolized by a centaur holding a bow and arrow, Sagittarius is practically the poster child for wanderlust. “Sagittarius loves nothing more than a spontaneous adventure out in the world,” Nicole says.

When it comes to relationships, they tend to crave freedom over commitment. “This can cause Cancer to feel emotionally unbalanced, on edge and anxious," she explains.


Libra and Cancer.
Libra and Cancer.

Airy Libra is known for having a peaceful, balanced demeanor, which would seem ideal for the comfort-seeking crab. However, they’re typically not compatible.

“While this connection may seem good on paper, it often clashes,” says Thomas. “Libra craves more social engagement and Cancer prioritizes the home and emotions above all.”

Related: What Is a Libra? The Dates, Personality Traits and Compatibilities of the Zodiac Sign

Like Sagittarius, Libras tend to prefer freedom and spontaneity. They’re also incredibly outgoing and adventurous whereas Cancers long to stay in their comfort zone.

“These two may share a common love of art, but they don’t share much else,” Nicole says. A Cancer-Libra match is likely to leave Libras feeling smothered and Cancers feeling neglected, she explains.


<p>Gemini and Cancer. </p> Gemini and Cancer.

Gemini and Cancer.

Gemini and Cancer.

Playful, quick-moving Gemini is also fairly incompatible with Cancer.

Geminis are outgoing, fast-paced and restless, all of which are at odds with a Cancer's nature. “Cancer is more cautious on decisions and likes to get to know people more slowly over time,” says Nicole. “These two speak very different energetic languages and value vastly different things in a relationship.”

Related: What Are the Personality Traits of a Gemini? A Complete Guide to the Zodiac Sign

That said, they may share some common interests, like in their creative pursuits. “Friendship wise, they can be a very interesting combo, but they need space to have their own needs met," she adds.


Aquarius and Cancer.
Aquarius and Cancer.

Aquarius is perhaps the quintessential air sign, known for its eccentric, cerebral nature. Unsurprisingly, they don’t always pair well with Cancer.

“This connection is a rare match, as they operate from entirely different perspectives on life and relationships,” Thomas tells PEOPLE.

Related: Aquarius Compatibility: How the Air Sign Pairs with Each Zodiac

Relationship-wise, Aquarius is “notoriously emotionally avoidant,” says Nicole. Cancer, on the other hand, is typically clingy. “They might find each other interesting and curious, but as far as creating a deep emotional connection, it’s rarely in the cards.”

What is Cancer’s compatibility with other signs?


Capricorn and Cancer.
Capricorn and Cancer.

Cancer is known as the mother of the zodiac while Capricorn is considered the celestial father. “This can be a perfect match — as long as they seek to work as a team,” says Thomas.

Both signs value family, traditional roles, stability and loyalty. “They can create a solid home and are often easily able to achieve their dreams,” Nicole explains.

Related: What Is a Capricorn? The Dates, Personality Traits and Compatibilities of the Zodiac Sign

However, Capricorns tend to be incredibly stoic and aloof, which can be at odds with Cancers' sensitive, emotional nature. If they aren’t careful, this can leave Cancer feeling overlooked or emotionally unfulfilled.


Leo and Cancer.
Leo and Cancer.

Typically fire and water don’t mix, but a Cancer-Leo connection isn’t always a bad one.

“This one can be high drama, or it can work pretty well,” says Nicole. Both signs are loyal and relationship-driven, so if they make an effort to connect emotionally, they can pair together nicely.

“Leo's adoring gaze can make a Cancer feel special, loved, and pampered. Cancer's supportive and nurturing nature can give Leo a sense of being in the spotlight,” she says. Potential problems for this couple can arise due to Leo's fiery nature or tendency to get bored.

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