Regardless of whether you believe in astrology, there’s no debating there are times when things are just … off. No matter how effectively you execute your communication skills, folks just seem to “not get” what you are trying to convey.

Although  your claims of things just “happening” may be valid, there’s an even BIGGER, and more impactful, reason why some things go down how they do. I’ve got two words for you: MERCURY RETROGRADE.

OK, so what the hell does this mean? A few times during the year, Mercury rotates slower and appears as if it is moving backward. Mercury is the planet of communication, so basically, all hell breaks loose when this happens.

From Aug. 30 to Sept. 22, communication may be off in all aspects of our lives. During this period, I encourage you not to make any major life decisions, such as purchases, job/housing changes, or have important interpersonal conversations.

But what does the Mercury retrograde mean for your love life? Well, depending on how aware you are, it can either add to your relationship or jack it all up. Here are three ways to soften Mercury’s blow on your love life during Retrograde:

1. Think before you speak.

Some of your most strained conversations will be with your significant other. Many of us have experienced arguments following the smallest remarks that were meant to do the opposite. The romantic connection, sexual intimacy and/or emotions that come with a relationship automatically requires a level of care that must be handled at all times, but especially during Mercury Retrograde. Guard your words like you guard the dollars in your wallet. Spend each one carefully, and think about what to say more than once before it comes out of your mouth. Now is your chance to examine how well you communicate with your mate.

2. Focus on strengthening your bond.

While you may be tempted to avoid people, places and things, the period when Mercury is in retrograde is prime time to reconnect with your mate or establish a connection with someone  you’re crushing on. Pay attention to small details that will aid you in your quest for a closer connection with your significant other or potential bae. Now is the time to show your love interest that you are invested in him or her, so do your research and make a bomb impression.

3. Allow actions to speak louder than words.

Like I said before, communication during Mercury’s retrograde is at an all-time low, so speak only when necessary. But your actions can send a clear message that will not be confusing if you allow them to. If you’re in a relationship, simply set time aside to cater to your mate’s needs. This shouldn’t be a problem because he or she is with you for a reason, right? If you want to get back in your significant other’s good graces following a dispute, show your love by packing his lunch or running a nice bath for her after work. Seemingly minute details send the biggest messages.

These tips should be practiced throughout the year in your relationship, but it is critical that they are adhered to now more than ever. Mercury Retrograde can be a clusterf***, but it doesn’t have to be.

Shantell E. Jamison is a Love and Lifestyle editor for and She is also the author of Drive Yourself in the Right Direction: Simple Quotes on How to Achieve Your Best Self. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @ShanTell_em.