The trappings of childhood may be more conducive to the making and maintaining of friendships, but we need community as much in our grown-up years as in our younger ones. It’s hard enough to feel our core anxieties crescendoing as the years tick by, but to face them alone is nearly unbearable. Adult friendships, for all their complications and frustrations, are bright spots among the more terrifying elements of the human condition—and all the more valuable because they are often so hard-won.
Who we are in our mature friendships, though, is as varied as our individual stories, and what we give to each other now depends not only on what traumas we’ve been through, but how we’ve evolved to manage them. So just between us adults, I’m sharing what each zodiac sign brings to the table in friendship once they’re grown.
Aries: The One Who Makes Us Feel Like a Kid
Your eternally youthful sensibilities make you the kind of adulthood friend who is down to play in sandboxes, eat grilled cheeses, and talk about your crush, even if your crush is just your partner to whom you’ve been married for three years. The magic of bonding with you is that you refract your friends’ lives through the prismic rainbow of uninhibited childlike enthusiasm. Your ability to love what you love without the self-conscious defenses others build up in adulthood grants others permission to feel their feelings without hedging. If your friends need someone to scream with them at a concert, defend an unpopular take, or sob about a tiny slight at work, Aries, you’re there with all the exclamation points they need.
Taurus: The One Who Brings Gifts
Bottles of wine, candles, chocolate—even if gift-giving isn’t your official love language, Taurus, it’s your preferred medium for expressing affection with friends. Adulthood is full of milestones, and you’re not one to underestimate how a well-chosen trinket can punctuate a special occasion. As a fixed earth sign, you appreciate the value and permanence of physical objects, and this puts you in high demand not only as a friend who literally brings treats, but as an authority on taste. This isn’t about flashing cash (actually, Taureans hold on to money better than any other sign); you’re basically a living breathing lifestyle brand that puts quality and thoughtfulness first. Which is why your friends always feel like a million bucks when they’re with you.
Gemini: The One Who Gets Into All Our Drama
Gemini, your talent for gossip make you the number one go-to for unpacking personal dramas. Others may yawn and stare at their phones while a friend re-explains who Rachel, the ex of an ex’s ex is, but not you, twin.
You’re always craving new stimuli for your nimble, fluttering mind, and when it comes to tracking the intricate details of your friends’ tiny, incremental drama, you have the stamina to become the world’s foremost scholar on the subject. If the narrative doesn’t have enough momentum for you, you’ll be ready with script notes (excuse me, advice) that will move the plot forward and, hopefully, toward a resolution. Every new development is a new episode, and with you signed on to co-produce, it’ll be a juicy one.
Cancer: The One Who Brings Us Soup
Cancer, as the sign of parenthood, your caretaking abilities are without peer. You’re everyone’s mama, coming in with tissues and gummy vitamins and hot broth simply when you *sense* someone’s immune system might be compromised. It doesn’t matter if they haven’t coughed once since Monday; a mother knows. The thing about you is your instincts are always spot on because, as a water sign, and one of the most emotionally intelligent, the universe drops its secrets into your soul. Your friends may have no idea that they’re about to cry all night because they haven’t slept in four days and have been scotch-taping their lives together with adrenaline and prayers, but you do. And more than anyone else, you can make them well again.
Leo: The One Who Builds Us Up
Leos, you build us up, buttercup baby. While you have an ironclad astrological reputation as being limelight-seeking—and you are—the nuance that usually gets missed is how much you love it when your friends shine, too. Leo is ruled by the sun, the brightest and most generative celestial body in our solar system. Does it make sense for a literal star like the sun to be jealous of the moon for catching its rays? Pure and utter fiction! And so it is with you lions and your friends. You only know how to operate from a place of abundance; a win for them is de-facto a win for you, and vice versa. Being around you is like having access to the world’s most natural hype person. That inspires a kind of glow that’s impossible to replicate.
Virgo: The One Who Sends the Calendar Invites
Who’s coming and at what time and what is everyone bringing and what’s the dress code? If no one asked these questions, then no one would ever have a good time; so sayeth the Virgo adult friend. You know that if the details were left to anyone else, they wouldn’t get done, and that’s why you nobly (and begrudgingly) take up the mantle of playing social organizer. It’s just easier than way. Now Virgos, I know you don’t always *enjoy* managing logistics and keeping track of everyone’s schedules and preferences, but a) you are better at it, and b) you do get to project that “must be nice” moral superiority that comes along with doing extra work. Do your friends benefit from your efforts? Yes. Do they appreciate you enough? No.
Libra: The One Who Woos Us
You’re a romantic sort, Libra, even in the way you conduct your platonic friendships. There’s always a little courtship up top, a meet cute, a flirtatious exchange. Maybe you weren’t sure someone wanted to hang out at first, so you dropped some hints. Laughed at their jokes. It’s a thrill to meet someone you click with, especially as adults, and you make it feel a little bit more magical than others do. Libras love love in all its forms, and as an adult, you can’t help wooing your friends with sweet little gestures that make them feel special and giddy. Like showing up with their favorite lemon bars just because it’s Tuesday, or texting them a little joke only they would get, causing them to giggle with such abandon that the people around them assume they’re talking to a paramour. In a way, they are right.
Scorpio: The One Who Holds All Our Secrets
You know everything about your friends, Scorpio. It happens naturally. You’re natural detectives, researching anything you care about and forming connections no one else sees. Most of the time, when your friends tell you something about themselves, you already knew it. But you’re responsible with your vast reserves of data. You’re a vault, keeping every secret under lock and key. You’d never squeal on someone who trusted you; you’re one of the most loyal signs in the cosmos, and that’s why you tend to keep friends for years and decades and so on. Of course, it’s a virtuous circle: the longer your friends know you, the more sophisticated your wisdom, and the more likely they are to unburden their souls in your confidence. And every few years, you tell them something about you, too…
Sagittarius: The One Who Takes Us Places
You are a travel buddy for the ages, Sagittarius. The world couldn’t be big enough for you, and the restlessness that inspires your wanderlust pairs well with adult friendship. After all, the only thing you love more than the freedom to take off to Queensland to hike the Daintree Rainforest is having good company to chat you up while you do it. Your fundamental cosmic motivation is education, and when your friends are along for the ride, they too can interact with the world as a living, bubbling laboratory. What makes you such a top-notch lab partner (if you will) is that you help open people’s minds with new experiences and insights. Big ideas are the oxygen that powers your friendships, and you will never run out of those.
Capricorn: The One Who Networks for Us
As busy as you are, Capricorn, you’re absolutely expert at keeping long-term friendships strong. What you lack in facetime you make up for in consideration and supportive gestures. You’re a thoughtful communicator on social media, never missing an opportunity to publicly celebrate your friends’ ~some personal news~ posts or any funny jokes they’re cranking out. As the sign of professional success, you’re always looking out for opportunities your friends would never consider for themselves—and you’re not shy about vouching for them to any VIPs whose ear you have. It may take you eight months to finally find a mutually convenient day to brunch, but once it’s in the calendar, you will never, ever flake.
Aquarius: The One Who Expects Nothing
You accept your friends’ limitations, Aquarius, which is an incredibly freeing quality in an adulthood friend. The rigors of real life are exhausting, and it’s so nice to have someone who won’t hate you if you cancel plans at the last minute or wait a week to text back. It’s not that you’re cool with rudeness, but a) you need more space than most, and b) you innately understand that people are all so different. That’s part of the appeal, as far as you’re concerned. If you understood someone completely, you’d probably lose interest, and that’s why you keep an eclectic sampling of fascinating people in your inner circle. But as enamored with them as you are, you like a long leash. Friendship with you is a completely at-will arrangement, and you are happy to delight in your friends’ eccentricities and imperfections as long as they delight in yours.
Pisces: The One Who Understands Everything
Pisces, you are so deep in the emotional weeds with your connections that being your friend kind of feels like sharing a soul. There are only so many people who can intuit what’s behind vague social posts accurately enough to spiritually echolocate a crisis down to the timestamp. But your friends are so grateful for that depth of connection and your preternatural capacity for empathy, which is almost magical in its ability to heal them when they’re wounded. The energy of a Pisces is a dissolving one; you dissolve the borders between you and others, exposing their inherent interconnectedness as living creatures. More than any other sign, Pisces knows that no one is truly alone. And that’s a relief—at any age.
Graphics by Coco Lashar