All About the Aries Zodiac Sign: Dates, Personality Traits, and Compatibilities of the Self-Starter Sign

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If you ever overhear someone ask, “Does anyone want to play truth or dare?” at a party, they very well could be an Aries. People born between March 21 and April 19 have Aries as their zodiac sign (aka their sun sign, or the sign the sun was in when they were born), and their competitive nature runs deep. Bold, ambitious, and passionate are just a handful of the Aries personality traits that make these folks fiery balls of energy.

It will likely come as no surprise that the Aries symbol is the head of a ram: Aries is ready to charge right into any task or challenge at hand. Adding to its initiatory energy is its cardinal modality, as the sign that doesn't just kick off spring (its season begins with the spring equinox) but also the entire zodiac calendar: It's the first zodiac sign and the one whose season heralds the astrological new year. It's no wonder Aries has such a go-getter spirit, doing whatever it takes to reach their goals.

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Don’t believe us? Some notable Aries celebrities whose journeys to fame reflect the ram’s motivated energy include Lady Gaga, Paul Rudd, Diana Ross, Eddie Murphy, and Reese Witherspoon. And let's not forget perhaps the most classic Aries Robert Downey Jr., whose career might be one of the best comeback stories of all time.

Whether you're an Aries yourself or just want a peek into how their minds work, it's worth reading on to learn what astrologers consider to be the classic Aries personality traits, plus their typical strengths, weaknesses, and preferences.

Aries Dates

Aries season occurs between March 21 and April 19, give or take a day or two depending on the year. These are the dates during which the sun moves through the sign of Aries, kicking off a new zodiac year with the can-do disposition of the ram.

If you were born during those dates, you have an Aries sun sign (aka the zodiac sign for which you'd read a horoscope). That means you will probably resonate with the motivated, fiery energy of the sign and the Aries personality traits outlined below.

But, it's important to note that having an Aries sun doesn't necessarily mean you will embody all of the typical Aries traits; while your sun sign is certainly a fundamental component of your astrological profile, it's not the sole determinant of your personality. Every element of your natal chart—beyond just the position of the sun—illuminates a different facet of your character. (Want to check out your chart? Drop your birth time, date, and location into an online generator like this one.)

For example, even if your sun sign is in Aries, your natal moon or rising could be in a different sign, and you might resonate more closely with that sign's traits. Alternatively, you might not have your sun sign in Aries but still vibe with the Aries traits below, perhaps because one of your other "big three" signs, like your rising or moon is, in fact, in Aries. That's all to say, chances are you'll connect with the Aries characteristics below if you have any major birth-chart placements in the fire sign.

Aries Personality Traits

As the first zodiac sign in the astrological calendar, Aries is considered the trailblazer of the zodiac. In turn, common Aries personality traits include being strong-willed, passionate, and at times, convinced that things should be, well, their way or the highway. Fittingly, Aries is also associated with the fire element, which encompasses high-energy signs known for seeking action, adventure, and transformation, and not shying away from spontaneity.

Ruled by Mars—the planet of action, physical energy, and sexuality—Aries is a burning ball of fiery passion. Of the 12 houses in astrology (which govern particular realms of life), Aries is associated with the first house, which deals with all aspects of the self, including physical appearance, personal identity, and self-expression.

“The sun is exalted in Aries,” says astrologer Emma Toynbee, describing a harmonious astrological aspect that allows the sun's core meaning—its association with our ego, creative spark, and life force—to really shine. That means that people with their sun sign (aka main zodiac sign) in Aries are “blessed with certain qualities necessary to be leaders and innovators,” says Toynbee.

“Aries are blessed with certain qualities necessary to be leaders and innovators.” —Emma Toynbee, astrologer

The Aries people of the world “represent all that is newly born, are movers and shakers, lead-role actors, agents of change, individual and unique, pioneers, inventors, innovators, strong competitors, and fierce warriors,” says Toynbee.

To sum it up, here are the most notable personality traits of Aries:

  • Assertive
  • Spontaneous
  • Independent
  • Adventurous
  • Optimistic and outgoing
  • Competitive
  • Quick-thinking and dynamic

What are Aries strengths?

One of Aries’s biggest strengths is that they aren’t afraid to fully express themselves. Aries owns who they are 24/7, inspiring others to live free of inhibition, too. “They often allow themselves permission to just be in charge and live their lives to the fullest,” says astrologer and social worker Monisha Holmes, MSW.

This fearless nature lends a hand to another one of Aries’s main strengths: their open-minded, adventurous spirit. “They might have a little apprehension, but if they really want to do something, they’ll go out and do it,” says Holmes. Aries doesn’t typically fear the future or delay trying fresh and innovative things for the sake of caution; they tend to live by the mantra, "There's no time like the present" instead.

What are Aries weaknesses?

Aries may sometimes act before they think, making them prone to impulsivity. In that same vein, they can also be impatient. “These people don’t like queueing or being stuck in the back or behind someone else,” says Toynbee. “They will often find a way to push to the front.”

This lack of patience may also make it difficult for an Aries to see a project through, from start to finish. “They have an enormous capacity for trying all sorts of things but sometimes face difficulty in sticking to one path or project,” says astrologer Constance Stellas.

Aries is also known for following their head, not their heart—and their ability to reason logically is often stronger than their capacity for emotional reasoning. “They can still be compassionate, but I think sometimes they can get caught in their own reality bubble and don’t necessarily recognize where someone else may be coming from,” says Holmes.

Finally, Aries loves a healthy dose of competition, but sometimes their need to win ends up casting a cloud over the fun. At their worst, Aries will do most anything to come out victorious, occasionally even stepping on others in the quest to get ahead.

Aries Likes and Dislikes

What makes an Aries happy?

According to astrologer and psychic medium Rachel Lang, Aries typically loves a good outlet for their physical energy (like exercise or outdoor activities) and anything that stokes their passion for adventure, such as traveling and learning new things. They also enjoy competition and often love taking risks, says astrologer Emily Newman.

Similarly, Aries likes to be surrounded by people who value their passions and eccentricities. “Aries needs to know they’re free to be themselves,” says Lang. “The best way to get along with an Aries is to allow them to be independent.”

Aries also values direct communication and honesty, says Newman, and they appreciate people who are upfront about their thoughts, feelings, and intentions. Just keep in mind that Aries doesn’t usually have the patience to linger too long on emotions. “Aries people tend to be action-oriented and like to get things done and make decisions quickly,” adds Newman.

What annoys an Aries?

Fiercely independent and pragmatic, Aries tends to dislike micromanagers and indecisive folks (sorry, Libra). According to Newman, that’s because they generally dislike anything that hinders their creative energy or slows their progress, whether that be domineering authority figures, having to wait in long lines, or being criticized or interrupted.

As Aries often strives to be number one in their pursuits, they also hate to lose or be second best, says Lang. Losing an argument or having a project turn out poorly can serve as an outsize blow to their self-esteem.

Aries Compatibility With Other Zodiac Signs

From the jump, it's worth noting that you can't determine whether you'll be compatible with someone based on sun signs alone.

Just because someone's zodiac sign is said to be compatible with yours doesn't mean you're necessarily fated to have a great relationship or friendship with them, and the reverse is also true: Having a zodiac sign that is typically incompatible with that of someone else doesn't mean you're destined to butt heads. (After all, we all contain multitudes beyond our sun signs, and figuring out true astrological compatibility would require comparing two people's full birth charts.)

That said, there are certain zodiac signs with which Aries tends to be more compatible than others. Read on to learn the signs that tend to mesh well with Aries, and the ones with which they're more likely to clash.

Which zodiac signs are Aries most compatible with?

Aries often gets along well with fellow fire signs Leo and Sagittarius, as these signs can understand and respect Aries’s high energy and need for independence. “Both Leo and Aries are driven by achievement and are ambitious,” says Newman. And Sagittarius and Aries are both fun-loving and adventures, she adds.

In different ways, Aries can also get along well with the cerebral air signs Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius, connecting over engaging conversation topics and fun ideas. Similarly active and social, Aries and Gemini will never get bored together; Aries will appreciate Gemini’s charisma, while Gemini will love Aries's passion for whatever interests them.

When it comes to Libra and Aries, there can be an opposites-attract scenario (these two are opposite zodiac sides), if they can get over their differences—namely, Libra's focus on other people versus Aries's orientation toward themselves. They’ll have no trouble getting things going when it comes to making plans or coordinating parties, as they’re both cardinal signs.

In the realm of Aries and Aquarius, there could also be a good deal of synergy, largely because both of these signs are fiercely independent; they can each respect someone who goes after what they want. If Aries lets them, Aquarius could also use their analytical skills and deep-rooted intellect to help Aries achieve their big dreams.

Which zodiac signs are Aries least compatible with?

Aries may have trouble seeing eye-to-eye with water signs Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces, as well as Earth signs Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. Water signs are known to be emotional and sensitive, with a tendency to think with their heart—which might be off-putting for Aries, who leads with logic. By the same token, water signs may not receive the emotional support they seek in Aries.

Earth signs can relate to and respect Aries's ambition and drive, but they tend to prefer working toward their pursuits slowly and steadily, whereas Aries moves with a quick intensity. Earth signs can also be set in their ways or even stubborn, which might cause friction with Aries, who can also have firm convictions... and find joy in a little spontaneity every now and then.

Aries in Love, Relationships, and Sex

Aries’s passion, enthusiasm, and adventurous spirit often translates to their love life. The ram goes all-in when it comes to love, making them dedicated lovers and romantic partners. “In a romantic relationship, Aries is bold, confident, and energetic, and known for being direct and honest in their communication,” says Newman.

That said, adds Newman, Aries also sometimes needs space to individuate from their relationship. They value their independence and enjoy pursuing their interests solo, too.

Because of their competitive nature, Aries can sometimes view relationships as pursuits. “They love the chase in romantic relationships, but they can lose interest fast,” says Lang. “For this reason, they need partners who have the same love for adventure.”

If you’re hoping to woo an Aries, you can reel them in by offering them something they deem valuable—whether it be intangible, like knowledge about a specific subject, or concrete, like a book about their latest interest. “They have an opportunistic streak,” says Lang. “Can you teach them something new? Introduce them to someone influential in their field? These are ways to impress Aries.”

Aries in Work and Career

It’s not enough for Aries to be first; they typically have to be the best. If Aries energy runs through your blood, you probably have the drive and ambition to excel in whatever field you may find yourself in.

“Aries is the quintessential entrepreneur,” says Lang. Given their rulership by Mars, the planet of ambition, Aries tends to be a self-starter, she explains. “They have a competitive drive that leads them to innovate and aim for the top.”

What are the best careers for Aries?

Newman says that Aries thrives in work environments that allow them to take charge and make decisions quickly. Careers that require them to be active, innovative, and pioneering will be especially fulfilling for Aries, she adds. Those traits considered, Aries is likely to excel as an emergency first responder, firefighter, or surgeon.

“Additionally, Aries are creative, driven, and self-assured,” says Newman, noting that sales and marketing, law and politics, competitive sports, and creative fields are also well-suited for them. “Overall, Aries thrives in careers that provide challenge, stimulation, and opportunities for leadership and achievement,” she says.

What are the worst careers for Aries?

Aries prefers to be in the driver’s seat. As such, the spirited ram may feel creatively stifled and bored by behind-the-scenes careers like accounting, information technology, or assistant roles.

“Aries is often great at starting projects or leading new initiatives, but they need help staying the course,” says Lang, adding that they can quickly become frustrated if they have bosses or supervisors that exert too much authority over them.

Aries in Friendships

Aries is the kind of friend that’s always down for a spontaneous adventure. “In friendships, they are outgoing, fun-loving, and loyal,” says Newman.

Aries can also be quite sensitive, says astrologer Natalia Benson. However, their tender energy isn’t always readily available, she adds. They greatly value their independence and can be a bit reserved about sharing their deeper thoughts and emotions in order to preserve their sense of self.

While Aries is often quick to act, this also means they can be rash; to get along with them, it’s important not to take their actions personally or get upset by decisions they make on a whim, says Newman. “Understanding their impulsivity, giving them space to think, offering constructive feedback, and focusing on the positive aspects of their spontaneity are essential.”

In terms of social circles, Aries thrives when they have someone in their corner who shares their enthusiasm and supports their pursuits, says Lang, whatever they may be. “Boost them up,” she says, of how to make a quick friend of an Aries. “Be a cheerleader for even their wildest ideas!”

Aries in Family Dynamics

At a family cookout, you can find Aries behind the grill, flipping patties and chumming it up with distant relatives. As a natural leader, Aries often takes the initiative when it comes to family affairs. They might not be the one planning the event, per se (that’s a job better suited for Capricorn or Virgo), but they tend to take charge of the festivities and set the energetic tone day-of.

Their assertive nature could lead to conflict, however. After all, Aries is stubborn and doesn’t take well to losing arguments. “An Aries usually needs to work through a challenge—they enjoy the energy of pursuit,” says Lang. “It fires up their competitive drive.” In turn, Aries has a hard time just “dropping it,” and their desire to continue debating until they "win" could cause a rift.

Aries also tends to be straightforward or even blunt in their communication, which could add fuel to the argumentative fire, especially with more sensitive or introverted family members.

On the positive side, Aries is as loyal as they come; if you need help, Aries is often the first one to raise their hand. “Aries is fiercely protective of their loved ones,” says Lang. While they might struggle to get their message across with tact, their intentions are pure. They just may need to learn patience and diplomacy to navigate any differences of opinion.

Advice for Aries

Aries’s self-starting energy can be as much a strength as it is a weakness. According to Lang, they can stand to learn how to better collaborate with others in all aspects of life, but particularly in romantic relationships. “Partnership is a big growth opportunity for Aries, who tends to have an all-or-nothing approach to love,” she says. “The teamwork and collaboration required in a long-term relationship may not come naturally for an Aries.”

Known to be fast on their feet, Aries can also be quick to anger. Calm, rational thinking is usually a challenge for them when they become activated, says Stellas. They are also naturally prone to impulsivity, but if they can learn to take a beat and think through the bigger decisions in life, they might find that they can channel their fire more productively—and to better effect.

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