It’s the most maligned time of the year — when Mercury, our smooth-talking, fleet-footed planet of communication, currency, tech, and exchange, slows its proverbial roll, leaving us with brain fog, regret, texts from our exes, and the odd nude accidentally sent to the company Slack channel.

Sagely or superstitiously, a recent study found that more than a third of singles cease dating during Mercury retrograde. Should you follow suit? Read on to learn more.

Mercury retrograde FAQ

Mercury is named for the messenger of the gods, a wing-footed trickster. Ruslan Gilmanshin – stock.adobe.com

Mercury is the fastest-moving planet in our solar system and the luminary closest to the sun.

Roughly three to four times a year, the planet goes rogue and goes retrograde. The latest cycle runs from April 1 to April 25.

The term itself is a bit of a misnomer, as the planet does not actually move backward but does slow down. During this downshift, and from our vantage on Earth, the planet appears to move in reverse.

Mercury governs communication in all its myriad forms, and when the planet decelerates, the areas it rules are compromised. It is not a cause for alarm or inertia but a call to revisit, revise, and take a beat before lashing out, speaking out, or pressing send.

Not only do we often say the wrong thing during Mercury retrograde, but we misread the messages of others, leaving us in a hazy state somewhere in the badlands between shame, sensitivity, and suspicion — not the ideal conditions for a relationship to flourish.

For more information on how this latest retrograde cycle will affect your zodiac sign, check out April horoscopes here.

Should you ditch dating during retrograde?

How do the stars influence our connections and communication? astrosystem – stock.adobe.com

In honor of Mercury’s backstroke, the dating app Flirtini surveyed 2,000 adults about their relationship experiences during Mercury retrograde. Results revealed that more than 1 in 3 singles avoid going on first dates during these trying times, and 37% have canceled a date after realizing their plans coincide with the planetary crash.

Things are no less gnarly for those with a rock steady, as 71% of people believe that Mercury retrograde negatively affects their relationship, and 46% admit that their loved one acted unusual as soon as Mercury began to slow.

During this transit, 45% of people in relationships confess to struggling to effectively communicate with their partners, and 43% believe that Mercury caused fights.

Woof.

What’s more, 1 in 4 have been dumped because of Mercury retrograde, though 27% of breakups caused by this transit have ended in reconciliation.

More than 1 in 3 singles avoid going on first dates during Mercury retrograde, and 37% have canceled a date after realizing their plans coincide with the planetary crash.

Nevertheless, Anastasiya Pochotna, a dating expert at Flirtini, maintains that the search for love should not be suspended simply because the planets are acting out.

“Should you put your dating life on hold while Mercury has its moment? Definitely not. You just need to be mindful, expect issues to arise, and think before you speak,” she explained. “I’d recommend taking time to focus on self-awareness and attempt clear communication with your match. With a little patience and understanding, that first date just might lead to love.”

Are the effects of Mercury retrograde real or imagined?

To date or not to date during a retrograde cycle? Monkey Business – stock.adobe.co

Anna Hintsyak, from the dating app Pure, tells The Post, “There’s no actual scientific evidence that Mercury’s movements have any impact on our ability to communicate, yet the fear that it might can cause so much stress and anxiety that it starts to put a strain on our love lives. When things get rocky, it makes us doubt the stability of our relationship and ultimately switches off our sex drive.”

All stress and no sex? Trash, trash, trash.

Not only do we say the wrong thing during Mercury retrograde, we misread the messages of others, leaving us in the hazy badlands between shame, sensitivity and suspicion — not the ideal conditions for a relationship to flourish.

Yet, Hintsyak argues there are great benefits to be found in the challenges that Mercury delivers.

She tells The Post, “While Mercury has a bad rep, it can actually encourage deeper intimacy and greater exploration in your sex life. When we feel out of sync, we’re encouraged to engage in more meaningful conversations. We put all our desires, fantasies, and dislikes out in the open, which leads to a stronger emotional and physical connection. It also makes us more attentive to our partner’s needs, which can really get things going in the bedroom.”

There you have it, folks — clarity and consent, talk it out, and get it on.

Astrologer Reda Wigle researches and irreverently reports back on planetary configurations and their effect on each zodiac sign. Her horoscopes integrate history, poetry, pop culture, and personal experience. She is also an accomplished writer who has profiled a variety of artists and performers, as well as extensively chronicled her experiences while traveling. Among the many intriguing topics she has tackled are cemetery etiquette, her love for dive bars, Cuban Airbnbs, a “girl’s guide” to strip clubs, and the “weirdest” foods available abroad.

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