I must admit that, when I saw thatLove Jones had finally—yes, finally—made it onto Netflix's viewing library, there was a part of me that smiled—a lot. Even though I've personally seen the movie so much at this point that I can almost recite the lines, verbatim, along with all of the characters, I think it's cool that a movie that is—wow—now over two decades old is something that still resonates so much with those of us who were in our 20s when it came out and with millennials and Generation Z even now.
I'm telling you, out of all of the Black movies that I'm a fan of, Love Jones continues to remain at the top of my list. It's so real. It's so relatable. It's so Black. And that is why, when I heard that it was a new Netflix feature, I asked my editor if I could pen a piece on why it's the kind of timeless classic that should warrant cozying up on the couch with your boo, having some of your girls over to watch it while sipping a little wine or introducing it to a college student who thinks it's too old to be personally relevant.
There are probably a billion reasons why I think Love Jones is an awesome tale of Black love and a great depiction of Black culture but, off of the top of my head, here are the 10 that resonate most.
1. The Love Story Is Unapologetically and Unbelievably Relatable
Darius (Larenz Tate) trying to play it cool in approaching Nina as he spills a drink at the bar. Nina (Nia Long) writing on Darius's hand but it being the word "love" and not her number. Darius semi-stalking Nina at the place where she was housesitting (yes, housesitting; she didn't have a job and that is some realism like a mug). Their first date starting off with hanging at some of his friends' house. Them experiencing a first kiss that was so intense that it led to sex—and Darius making an omelet. Darius trying to act like it was all good when she brought up seeing an ex, only to end up going off to Savon about it.
Nina showing up with Hollywood at Sheila's party, getting embarrassed while masking it as anger, Darius offering to walk her to her cab stop and saying one of my favorite lines of the film—"Stomping up and down like you lost your f—kin' bike." Nina taking Darius on a date and then trying to play coy when she was horny as well. Darius acting like he didn't care when Josie told him that Nina was leaving and then him trying to chase Nina down.
If you're a fan of the movie like I am, you know I could go on and on.
To me, one of the best things about Love Jones is it reminds us that relationships are euphoric…and messy…and wonderful…and frustrating. Darius and Nina weren't perfect or even really perfect for each other. But they loved each other, they desired each other, and that combo put the will in them to make their relationship work. Between that and the movie being set in Chicago, along with all of the Black culture nuances that ran throughout the entire film—y'all, if that ain't real and unapologetic, not just love but Black love, I don't know what is.
2. Darius and Nina Remind Us Great Sex Only Gets One So Far
I can't remember exactly where I saw or read it, but I do know that many women have praised the kissing skills of Larenz Tate (Vivica especially shouts his skills out on Sway right here). As far as the first kissing scene in Love Jones, it was so magnetic that it earned an honorable mention in The Atlantic's "Actually, Kissing Is Good" article. I get it too. Honestly, if I had to provide a list of some of the best sex scenes in a movie, Love Jones would go on that list. Nia and Larenz have some off-the-charts chemistry and, whenever I watch the movie, I must admit that it takes me back to some of my own experiences in real life (le sigh).
But about halfway into the movie, you know what else happens? I am reminded of why I thought it was important to pen articles like "Don't Mistake A Great Sex Partner For A Great Life Partner" and "Experts Believe Passion (Not Love) Makes Sex Better. You Agree?". If you pay really close attention to how everything played out, you'll notice that a lot of what Darius and Nina shared was passion. It was really after breaking up and experiencing some independent growth that they got to the healthy love portion of the program.
Oxytocin. Orgasms. Each is one hell of a drug. Just because someone puts the "Boon doon"—as Darius called it—on you, that doesn't automatically make them your soulmate. It takes a heck of a lot more than sexual chemistry to make a relationship work and last. Love Jones teaches this lesson oh so well.
3. They Also Teach Us That Game-Playing Gets People Absolutely Nowhere
I recently penned a piece on here entitled "Women Cheat More Than We Think. What To Do If That's You." As I was reading some of the comments across our socials, I was doing a mixture of laughing and shaking my head (side to side, not up and down) because it never fails—when men cheat on women, they are jerks, full stop. When women do it, there is always a justifiable explanation. It's not totally wrong just…"kinda wrong" (if y'all say so).
Nina, boy. Her homie Josie was her girl and everything, but that advice she gave Nina regarding telling Darius about seeing Marvin to see if Darius would get jealous is emotional manipulation 101. So was Nina going there, coming back and trying to jump bad about Darius hanging out with his something-to-do-sometimes "friend", Lisa. Then, once they worked through that, Nina picked another fight over Lisa calling Darius even though Darius never asked about her kicking it with her ex or her dating his homeboy Hollywood. The games we play, y'all.
Even though the blow-up that caused Darius and Nina to break-up was hard to watch, what I liked about it is everything got out in the open; they were able to take some time apart, process, and come ultimately back together in a much more real and honest space.
Remember in the movie Two Can Play That Game (Morris Chestnut and Vivica A. Fox) where the main female character said at the end that she realized you can't control a man with games and rules—especially ones that you may not be keeping yourself? Love Jones is a movie that echoes this sentiment. Very well. Any time you're tempted to play a game or two, watch the movie instead for a little bit of a reality check.
4. All of Us Know Each of the Main Characters in Real Life
You know acting is done well when you kind of forget that that's what's happening right in front of you. The cast of Love Jones had such good chemistry and dialogue with one another that sometimes I wonder if they went off script and ad-libbed a lot of their stuff. Either way, pretty much every character reminds me of someone who I personally know to this day.
Think about it. All of us have an always-horny-always-keep-it real friend like Josie (Lisa Nicole Carson). All of us have a Sheila (Bernadette L. Clarke) who has no screen saver on her face and is constantly throwing side-eyes. All of us have an Eddie (Leonard Roberts) who is the king of "It's not what you say, but how you say it." And, all of us have a hatin' ass "friend" like Hollywood (Bill Bellamy) who we tolerate because he's funny as hell.
If Living Single is an ode to Black friendship on the tube (and it is), Love Jones is definitely an ode to Black friendship on the big screen, which brings me to my next point.
5. The Friendships Are Loyal, Authentic and Healthy (Except for Wood)
When Nina broke up with (whew, he was fine) Marvin (Khalil Kain), Josie helped her pack. When Savon was cheating on his wife with a fellow teacher, Darius called him out on it. When Wood was the wackest and pulled a Lil' Fizz (some of y'all will catch that later), the entire team let him know how foul he was for doing so. Yeah, something else that I really like about Love Jones is it's not just a romantic love story; it's a platonic one was well. It beautifully depicts intimacy between men and men, women and women and women and men—single and married alike. It's a reminder that Black love has layers and each one is stunning in its own signature and purpose-filled way.
6. Isaiah Washington Was Still Woke Back Then
2019 has blown my mind on a few levels. And while what I'm about to say probably doesn't even scratch the Top 50, it is something that caught me off guard and is relevant to this list. As a fan of the art of acting, Isaiah Washington gets his props in my book. Crooklyn. Girl 6. Dancing in September. Soul Food (the series). Get on the Bus. His bumpy-yet-still-relevant ride on Grey's Anatomy. An indie flick where he was pure evil—The Undershepherd. And yes, as the—at least to me—sexy hubby who dished more wisdom than he could take but was still conscious and woke, Savon in Love Jones. And that doesn't even really scratch the surface of Isaiah's IDMB credits.
But after he caught a few of us way off guard by announcing to the world that he was (what in the world?!) a Trump supporter (le sigh again), I've actually watched Love Jones a couple of times this year, just to remind myself that Isaiah and Savon used to have a whole lot more in common than they seem to now. Savon, talk to your boy. Goodness.
7. Creatives Are Winning
Nina is a photographer. That's dope. As a fellow writer and author, Darius quitting his job to write a book is magnificent to me. Yes y'all, not only were these two lovers both creatives, they supported one another's craft; you've got to give that props on a whole 'nother level.
Plus, the movie offers another teachable moment when it came to their professions. While they were both living in Chicago, I think a part of why they couldn't make their relationship work was because they were still trying to manifest their purpose. But isn't it interesting that once Nina moved to New York to work for, I believe it was Vibe and she thrived for a year, Darius was able to complete his novel? Then, once they were able to scratch their professional itches, they could finally get their personal lives on track?
If you're someone who is a creative and is currently on the fence about stepping out, or if you are trying to figure out if you need to put a relationship on hold until you can figure out what you want to do and be, Love Jones definitely has some scenes that you'll totally be able to connect with; they might even offer you a bit of much-needed clarity too.
8. It’s One of the Greatest Shout Outs to the Art of Spoken Word
I got my start in writing as a spoken word artist. I used to be a house poet at a joint called The Spot here in Nashville. As life would have it, the very first standing ovation that I ever received was for a piece called I'm Single and That's All Right with Me (that's still the case, by the way). I penned and performed it in the fall of 1997. Spring of 1997 is the year that Love Jones was released. Looking back, I'm pretty sure that it provided some of the inspiration that I needed. Anyone who is a spoken word artist or poet (which are similar but not exactly the same; spoken word artists and poets know that), they probably have a soft spot where this movie is concerned, simply because it pays homage to the art form. Not to mention the fact that Darius's "Brother to the Night"/"A Blues for Nina" is a classic piece. It was back then. It still is—even now.
9. The Cinematography Is (Still) on Point
As a fan of film, I really dig cinematography and yes, there are scenes from Love Jones that are truly unforgettable. Scenes like when Nina is riding on the back of Darius's motorcycle or when they are playing Hide and Seek (I guess that is what they were doing) while running on a foggy day in the park. There's Darius as he was chasing Nina's train at Union Station. Oh, and don't even get me started on how Nina has a way of always keeping her make-up looking both timeless and flawless or how, when a lighting team knows what they're doing in the presence of greatness—that would be us—Black people shine on a whole 'nother level.
There are some Black films that are cool as far as the screenplay and/or acting goes that I still don't enjoy watching that much because the visuals are dated, corny or both. Yet although I am fully aware that Love Jones is 22-years-old, and it does have a bit of a vintage feel, it still looks good. The cinematography was well done. Very much so.
10. The Soundtrack Is One of the Best…Ever
I reference music a lot in the copy that I write because music is something that I adore on so many levels. And as if all of the other reasons that I just provided weren't enough of a reason to load up your Netflix tonight, another reason to remain a fan of Love Jones until the end of time is because of the soundtrack. Listen here. There's "Hopeless" (Dionne Farris). "I Like It" (The Brand New Heavies). "The Sweetest Thing" (Lauryn Hill). "Rush Over" (Marcus Miller and Meshell Ndegeocello). "In a Sentimental Mood" (John Coltrane and Duke Ellington). And the song that needs to be on everyone's sex playlist—Maxwell's "Sumthin' Sumthin': Mellosmoothe". And shoot, those are just my personal favorites.
Man. I can't believe that penning all of this has gassed me up, once again, to either watch the movie, listen to the soundtrack, or both. But that's the power of a good film. Especially a great Black one. Good move, Netflix. Good freakin' move.
Feature image on Giphy
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
How We Met is a series where xoNecole talks love and relationships with real-life couples. We learn how they met, how like turned into love, and how they make their love work.
I’m willing to bet that this is not the first time you’ve seen this couple. Dalen Spratt is a television producer, owner of a tailored men's suit line, and creator of Ghost Brothers: Haunted Houseguests, which is currently streaming on Destination America. Stacey Spratt is also a serial entrepreneur, focusing mostly on events and the nonprofit world, and she is the owner of two award-winning craft beer bars called Harlem Hops. But their accolades are not what united them.
The couple met years ago at their alma mater, Clark Atlanta University, when they were still working to create the life they have now, and if you had told them then that they’d eventually tie the knot, the pair probably would’ve laughed in your face.
Today, they’re new parents, flourishing in their careers, and each others’ “teammates.” When desiring love, Dalen recommends not looking to other couples for advice. And Stacey advises staying true to what you want. “Don’t put age or limitations on love and children. If God could do it for me, why can’t he do it for you?”
Here's How We Met.
How did you meet?
Dalen: We met in 2005 when she was advising the Greek sororities and fraternities in college. She was old as hell in college, and I was a young buck (laughs). Everybody had a crush on her, but I didn’t think much of it. Then, in 2007, we were in the same grad school class, but she still wasn’t trying to see me then either. I had to catch her five years ago; I was very patient.
Stacey: Yeah, everybody in our grad school class called him Young, Fresh to Death because he was always dressed in B-school (what CAU affectionately refers to as business major classes), and we’d just wear sweatpants (laughs).
So, I know Dalen was always attracted to you. But what about you? Did your attraction to him develop over time?
Stacey: So 2006-2008 – all the years went by. I don’t think we were really thinking about each other at all back then. Years later, I had an event in Dallas, and I booked him to be a speaker. Then, a few years ago, Dalen posted a photo of him on Instagram, and I slid in his DMs. I remembered him being so young and handsome, and I’m like, I should hook him up with my younger cousin. His response was: "If you’re not hooking me up with you, no thank you." But I still thought he was too young at the time, and he started pulling receipts. Taraji P. Henson was dating someone young at the time, Gabrielle Union–
Dalen: First of all, I didn’t do that. You did that.
Stacey: Okay, I did. I thought he was a cutie pie, but that age thing was on my mind!
"Dalen posted a photo of him on Instagram, and I slid in his DMs. I remembered him being so young and handsome, and I’m like, I should hook him up with my younger cousin. His response was: 'If you’re not hooking me up with you, no thank you.'"
Talk to me about the first date. How did he change your mind?
Stacey: Our first date was at Tin Lizzy's in Atlanta. During that time, he was living in Dallas, so it was long-distance. But he came into town, and we just had a good time. We talked a lot, which we still do. It wasn’t anything fantastic.
Dalen: Don’t downplay our first date.
Then, walk me through your courtship. How did you get to the next level? What was that conversation like?
Stacey: I think he knew at age 43 or 44 I wasn’t playing around. But also, I think it just naturally progressed.
Dalen: Yeah, it just happened naturally. And I’m going to be honest, I don’t think initially either one of us thought it would be as serious as it was. She thought I was too young and I wasn’t ready for marriage, kids, and all that. I think we both thought we were just hanging out. But after spending so much time together, a lot of stuff started happening. Like, she had to have surgery early on. It wasn’t just time together; it was intimate time. Next thing we know, we just never left each other. That’s why we still don’t have an anniversary date because we never really asked.
"It wasn't just time together; it was intimate time. Next thing we know, we just never left each other. That's why we still don't have an anniversary date because we never really asked."
What made you want to commit to each other?
Dalen: The moment I knew Stacey was for me was from a phone call. I don’t really like talking on the phone, and I can be really blunt sometimes. But we were talking, and I said, ‘I don’t really feel like talking anymore.’ And she was just like, okay, and hung up. I wasn’t trying to be rude, and she understood that. It sounds bad, but that’s how I knew she just got me. I felt like she could get my random awkward moments, and she does to this day.
Stacey: For me, I liked him as a person. Even when times get rough and tough, I could still like him as a human. He is my best friend. We have time. We laugh until we cry, and it’s just always like that. Even when we get pissed at each other, something happens, and we fix it. Also, how he treats his mother. That’s a momma’s boy, but I’m a daddy’s girl – so I get it. I know how I want to be treated, and I see how he is with her and that’s beautiful.
What are some important lessons you’ve learned about yourself through loving your partner in this relationship?
Dalen: I grew up an only child and she grew up with siblings. So, when you have someone who is used to doing things by themselves, there is definitely a learning curve when you get into a serious relationship. It’s funny now, but it was definitely a process.
Stacey: I agree – definitely the only child thing. There’s times I look at him like, did you ever live with anyone else? That comes from being momma's baby, too. I have to say, my “mother-in-love” spoiled him. But also with Axel (their daughter), that brings another level of patience.
Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images
What was the biggest challenge that you had to overcome together?
Dalen: We’ve gone through a lot within the years we’ve been together. We suffered two miscarriages – I’d say that’s the biggest.
Stacey: Having those miscarriages and trying to understand what’s next and what our options are was a lot. I had two myomectomies (fibroid surgeries), and he supported me through that time. Also, still, it was on my mind that he’s eight years younger than me. I was wondering if I can’t carry [a child] what that looks like for us. We had very real conversations pretty early in our relationship.
"Having those miscarriages and trying to understand what’s next and what our options are was a lot. I had two myomectomies (fibroid surgeries), and he supported me through that time. Also, still, it was on my mind that he’s eight years younger than me."
What do you fight the most about?
Dalen: Nagging. Stacey nags; she’s a complainer. She’s that momma that will look in a room and just hunt for something to complain about. Like, I’m worried for Axel when she's in high school.
Stacey: It’s because I like things to be in place. He leaves stuff all over the place. I can tell where he’s been in the house because something is left around. So he says I’m nagging – but it’s like, just get your stuff.
What are your love languages?
Dalen: Stacey is gifts all day.
Dalen: We’ve talked about this. xoNecole is about to cause problems in our home (laughs).
Stacey: Obviously I love you. *thinks again* It’s words of affirmation.
Dalen: That’s it.
What’s your favorite thing about each other?
Dalen: I’ve always respected her business-mindedness. That may sound superficial, but it’s not because I’ve never been with someone who thinks like me. It’s one of my most treasured things about her. I remember one day, I was just running through ideas with her, and each time Stacey had a suggestion on how I could make it better. It’s just very comforting. She takes whatever I’m doing and elevates it – including me.
Stacey: I love Dalen’s hustle and creativity. He’s been on multiple shows, and he continues to create, produce, and reinvent himself and the product he’s putting out. I love that we can create together and bounce things off each other. Even though we may be in different arenas, there’s nothing he can’t offer me great advice about. I love that drive.
Finally, how did you know it was love?
Dalen: Well – she said it – first. (laughs)
Stacey: And he looked at me and smiled! He didn’t say it back. We were on a trip, out of the country.
Dalen: We were arguing when she said it, and she just threw it out.
Stacey: But we continue to do that. We’ve spent holidays and everything outside of the country.
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The Scorpio man and Pisces woman form a relationship that is heartfelt, sincere, and not for the weak. There is an immediate connection and familiarity between these two, being that they are both water signs and are both ruled by their emotions. They are on a similar playing field in life, yet they go about their desires in love in a very different way.
Scorpio Man And Pisces Woman Love Compatibility
Ultimately, a partnership being formed between the two is an intimate and emotionally transformative one, and this is a relationship they both never forget. Things can get messy, but if they are willing to do the work within, then the love can also be pretty amazing for them as well. They are all in or nothing when it comes to partnerships, and they learn a lot about true commitment and vulnerability through this pairing.
What attracts a Scorpio man to a Pisces woman?
The Scorpio man is attracted to the Pisces woman's mysterious aura and emotional demeanor. The Pisces woman is attracted to the same things as the Scorpio man. See, these two are more similar than most signs of the zodiac, and they can intuitively feel this about each other right away. Pisces and Scorpio often share similar interests and have a lot of opportunities to meet each other because they like to do the same things and are often in the same places. These are two creative and artistic souls, and there is something that they both find inspiring about each other right away.
The connection and synergy of a Pisces and Scorpio couple is undeniable, and there is a strong force in life that often brings these two together. The Pisces woman can feel that there is more to the surface than the Scorpio man presents right away, and this is instantly intriguing to her, being that she rules the 12th house, which is where everything is hidden in life. The Pisces woman has secrets of her own, and she sees the Scorpio man as someone who can resonate with how she feels and dive deeper into the relationship together.
What is the relationship like between a Pisces woman and a Scorpio man?
The relationship between the Pisces woman and the Scorpio man is emotional. Emotions run very high in this relationship, which is often a good thing, but can turn into something entirely different very quickly as well. The Pisces woman and Scorpio man often get into a relationship together quickly. They are not earth signs that take their time developing a relationship; they are water signs that base their decisions on their emotions and go with the flow of the currents here.
So when they meet and they feel that instant connection with each other, they often jump into a pairing with one another right away.
This couple will enjoy spending time together and will feel like they are deeply understood in the relationship. There is a comfort here that is truly profound, and if anything, they are best friends first and foremost. However, the Pisces woman and Scorpio man tend to let their emotions overwhelm them and can turn little things into something bigger. Arguments or disagreements in this relationship can get messy, and they are both somewhat emotionally impulsive. Neither will forgive and forget easily as well, so reaching a point of forgiveness or harmony after something challenging occurs may never happen.
This relationship works best if both parties have already experienced a long-term commitment or have learned their lessons in love and evolved. The longevity of the relationship will depend on how they begin it. However, the love they have for one another is undeniable.
What is the sex like between a Scorpio man and a Pisces woman?
The sex life between the Pisces woman and Scorpio man is transcendent. They tend to have no issues in the bedroom, and that instant connection they feel when they meet often has an underlying energy of sexual compatibility as well. This isn’t the type of couple to wait a long time to explore each other in the bedroom, and they form a deep intensity here right away. They are looking to connect on many different levels, and they feel enough compatibility in the connection to do so.
The Pisces woman is willing to explore in the bedroom, and the Scorpio man is ready for anything. This is a couple who will entertain role-play, bondage, etc., and there are a few limitations to what they are both interested in. With the Pisces woman providing a safe space to many, the Scorpio man feels comfortable opening up in many different ways, the main one including behind closed doors and in the bedroom. They are emotional at their core, however, and will still want a level of intimacy with each other that goes deeper than just sex, so although their sex life is great, there is more they both want at the end of the day.
What makes a relationship between a Pisces woman and a Scorpio man work?
What makes the relationship work between these two water signs, is that they both understand each other deeply. They don’t have to explain themselves or work too hard on getting to know each other because it’s almost instant that they do. They speak the same language, in other words, and they can learn a lot from each other in the process. They are more open with each other, and their more reclusive demeanor changes in the presence of one another. This is a couple that likes to spend time together doing things that each other has an interest in.
At the end of the day, these are just two people who want to love and be loved, and they can give each other that.
The Pisces woman helps the Scorpio man open up more, go with the flow, and trust the universe. The Scorpio man helps the Pisces woman step into her power, stick up for herself more, and live life fully. There is something creative and eye-opening about this pairing, and they create their own world together. Trust is everything between the both of them and once they have that, they lay the foundation for the relationship to grow and thrive.
What may cause a Scorpio man and a Pisces woman to break up?
The thing about a water sign relationship is that things can get messy. Emotions are always running high, and if they are not on the same page, this can lead to the energy of the relationship being all over the place. The Pisces woman is loyal, attentive, and compassionate, but she is also a free spirit who likes her space and freedom. The Scorpio man, on the other hand, craves deep intimacy and partnership and may have a hard time trusting the Pisces woman, and that trust needs to be had in a relationship.
Scorpio may find Pisces to be too wishy-washy for his liking, although Pisces just sees herself as someone open-minded and flexible and doesn't understand why the Scorpio man can’t be a little more like that as well.
This relationship can fall apart due to things becoming overwhelming too quickly. They tend to get into the relationship quickly and break up just as fast as well. If they can act on mental clarity as much as they do their emotions, then this can create a more solid ground for the relationship to grow and continue to grow upon. You would think that being with someone who is the same element as you is a recipe for success in a relationship, but two of the same things can be too much at the end of the day.
Summary: Is a Scorpio man and a Pisces woman compatible?
Ultimately, this is a relationship with high compatibility, and depending on the two people at hand, it will determine how things unfold here. They have the tools needed to form a sincere, loving, and compassionate relationship but will have to confront each other's differences with the same attitude to work. Once the first challenge or conflict arises in the relationship, how they handle it afterward will determine if the relationship is going to work out or not.
These two are perfect when things are going well, but can be dramatic when they are not. The Pisces woman and Scorpio man can’t get enough of each other at the end of the day, and this will indeed be a relationship that they will never forget.
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