It’s the Year of the Dragon: Find Out the Best Matches for Life and Love

Here's how a mythical beast finds real-life love

Dasha Burobina/Getty images: Steve Jennings/ Amy Sussman/ MEGA

2024 is the Year of the Dragon: Whether you’re a Dragon yourself or you have a special Dragon in your life, you’re probably wondering what being a Dragon means for all the important things in life from family to career to, of course, love. What are Dragons like in love? Who are Dragon’s best matches? Who are Dragon’s worst matches? Here’s your guide to all things Dragon compatibility.

A Quick Refresher on the Chinese Zodiac Signs and Finding Your Sign

You probably know that the Chinese zodiac is a 12-year continuous cycle based on the lunar calendar. This cycle renews at the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival every late January or early February, marking the transition from one animal sign to the next.

The Chinese Zodiac Signs:

  • Rat (1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008 and 2020)
  • Ox (1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009 and 2021)
  • Tiger (1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010 and 2022)
  • Rabbit (1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011 and 2023)
  • Dragon (1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000 and 2012)
  • Snake (1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001 and 2013)
  • Horse (1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002 and 2014)
  • Goat (1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003 and 2015)
  • Monkey (1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004 and 2016)
  • Rooster (1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005 and 2017)
  • Dog (1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006 and 2018)
  • Pig (1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007 and 2019)

What’s the Year of the Dragon Personality?

Dragons are the only animal in the Chinese Zodiac that are not “real” but a mythological creature. Dragons are sacred in Chinese culture, and the Year of the Dragon is considered one of the most auspicious times in the twelve-year cycle. Because of their status as a favorite animal, Dragons have larger-than-life personalities—think of Reese Witherspoon, Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, all Dragons. This sign is confident, idealistic and ambitious. Known for being goal-oriented and visionary leaders, these folks often come across as “too independent” for romance. Despite their fire-breathing and magnanimous exterior though, Dragons yearn for support, acceptance and love.

What Are Dragons Like in Love?

Dragons are idealists about their relationships, wanting the same perfection in their partners that they also demand from themselves. Dragons are attracted to exceptional people: those of great talent, great spirit or great work ethic. If you’re not a literal angel dropped down from heaven, it’s hard to get a Dragon’s attention. That being said, Dragon’s big challenge in life is learning how to be less demanding and more down-to-earth. Dragons are here to learn that love is an action, not a static state of perfection.

Who Is Most Compatible with a Dragon?

A cheat sheet for compatibility in the zodiac is something called “triangles of affinity.” These are four groups of three signs who are most compatible with each other based on their temperament and other elemental qualities. Dragons are most compatible with other “go-getter” signs, fellow Dragons, Rats, and Monkeys, who usually have the “out of this world” qualities that attract Dragons.

Beyond the animal sign, compatibility can also depend on the element year you were born in (find yours here). For example, though Dragons and Snakes aren’t necessarily an obvious match, 1988 (Dragon) and 1989 (Snake) were both elemental Earth years, giving them more in common than they would have based on animal sign alone.

Here's a more detailed look at how Dragon interacts with each sign of the Chinese zodiac:

• Dragon and Rat - 10/10

On the outside, Dragons and Rats seem like totally different people. Dragons are self-proclaimed celebrities while Rats are proud to be the champions of everyday people. But Dragons appreciate the scrappiness and work ethic of resilient Rats, and Rats adore how Dragons pioneer and make waves. Together these two can achieve financial and career success as long as they’re both mature and grounded enough to make a commitment.

A prime example of this pairing is a pop culture dating relic from the late 00’s: Michael Cera (Dragon) and Aubrey Plaza (Rat). They were too young for this pairing to last long-haul, but there's something undeniably intriguing about this unlikely couple.

• Dragon and Monkey - 10/10

The Dragon and Monkey relationship is a true meeting of the minds. These two are both known for their vitality, passion and humor, and together they’re two fools in love. Irreverent Monkeys have a lot to teach the more intense Dragon about taking life less seriously, while Dragons help Monkeys find structure for their goals. While both of these signs might come across as “too cool” for love when they first meet, they’re able to bring out each other’s romantic side, and can fall in love over and over again.

• Dragon and Rooster - 8/10

Dragon and Rooster are the ultimate power couple. Roosters are straight-forward and decisive, and like Dragons, can sometimes err on the side of perfectionism. Roosters can be fickle in love and tend to chase flings over relationships, but Dragons have the verve to keep Roosters interested in the long term. The only reason these two don’t get a perfect score is because together, they tend to intimidate others. It’s a “can’t sit with us” vibe. Dragon and Rooster are both ambitious and driven and together might come across as too image focused or vain, but that’s because there’s something going on between them that others just don’t get.

The most famous example of the Dragon and Rooster relationship is John Lennon (Dragon) and Yoko Ono (Rooster) which is perhaps the perfect example of this dynamic: idealistic, world building and a little bit hated from the outside. If you get it, you get it, and if you don’t? Dragon and Rooster don’t care.

• Dragon and Snake - 7/10

Dragon and Snake are an interesting match. These two might make better business partners or friends than lovers, but there’s something that draws the larger-than-life Dragon and mysterious Snake together. These two are especially compatible when they share an elemental quality as the Dragons born in 1988 and Snakes born in 1989 do with the Earth element.

Dragons are drawn to the sensuous and seductive qualities of the Snake, and Snakes are intrigued by the Dragon’s powerful presence. Problems arise for these two when Snakes, who are the most jealous sign in the zodiac, start showing their possessive side. Dragons can’t stand any kind of overprotective or clingy behavior, and if this comes up, it’s what ultimately tears this otherwise passionate couple apart.

• Dragon and Tiger - 7/10

Dragon and Tiger are another pairing with power couple vibes. The ambitious Tiger and fierce Dragon can move mountains together, but drama can definitely arise between these two when trying to form a long-term partnership. Both signs are extremely competitive and enjoy the “chase” part of a courtship, almost getting high off the power of landing such a “catch.” But both the Dragon and the Tiger are signs that often end up as the “center of attention.” Though sometimes the generous Tiger and the altruistic Dragon are willing to share that spotlight, issues come up when their values aren’t aligned. These two do best together when they share an elemental quality and temperament and can more easily get on the same page.

• Dragon and Horse - 6/10

The Dragon and Horse are the two luckiest signs in the Chinese zodiac, and when they click, they feel extremely lucky to have found each other. These two have instant chemistry. Dragons are attracted to Horse’s work ethic, and Horses are attracted to Dragon’s confidence. That being said, Horses are also much more emotional than Dragons. What causes problems between these two is the independent Dragon’s refusal to get involved in Horse’s mood swings, especially when the emotions are directed at the Dragon. These two always make great friends, partners and business partners though, and inspire each other to do better.

• Dragon and Goat - 5/10

The underestimated Goat and overachieving Dragon aren’t an obvious match. Goats are resilient, but also very kind and gentle, and they might be overwhelmed by the Dragon’s big personality. Dragons also might overlook the unassuming goat, especially because independent Dragons sometimes need to be pursued in love and Goats just aren’t going to do that. Together, these two will have many ups and downs but learn a lot about how to be more flexible and adaptable in partnership. Outside of romance, these two make wonderful coworkers, friends and business partners.

• Dragon and Pig - 5/10

Pig and Dragon are another case of opposites attract. If they work, they work, and if they don’t, they’ll never get on the same page. The Pig is the ultimate realist while Dragon is the ultimate idealist. As the myth goes, the Pig is the final sign in the Chinese Zodiac because the Pig chose to sleep in rather than get up early to run the Jade Emperor’s race. Pigs are down to earth optimists who are always willing to see the best in others, but also know better than to get involved in something out of their control. Dragons are always saving the day, and their heroics might get on the chill Pig’s nerves. That being said, these two have a lot to teach each other. Dragons inspire Pigs to be more ambitious and go after their goals, while Pigs teach Dragons how to relax.

• Dragon and Ox - 4/10

Dragon and Ox are an interesting and often volatile mix. The Ox is stubborn while the Dragon is bossy, and unless they’re really on the same page, this combination is a recipe for constant bickering. This is a relationship that works best when one partner is the star (usually the Dragon) while the other (usually the more quiet and humble Ox) takes care of the work behind the scenes.

A great example of this relationship is Emma Stone (Dragon) and her husband Dave McCary (Ox). These two mostly keep their relationship private and under wraps, but when Stone brings up McCary publicly (as she did in her recent Golden Globes acceptance speech), she’s gushing with love.

• Dragon and Rabbit - 3/10

Dragon and Rabbit couldn’t be more different. Though both are ambitious, Rabbits have a very soft power. Rabbits are known for being space cadets: quiet, dreamy and imaginative. Though Dragons are initially attracted to Rabbit’s superlative sensitivity, Dragon’s harshness is what eventually pushes Rabbit away. These two both have so much love to give but often end up fighting rather than working on the same team.

• Dragon and Dog - 2/10

While there’s always an exception to any rule, and there are certainly some fierce "opposites attract" couples out there, Dragon and Dog aren’t an ideal match. Dogs are known for being loyal and popular, and their humble attitude doesn’t usually flag the attention of bombastic Dragons. Dragons think Dogs are dull, and Dogs find Dragons condescending. Overall, these two don’t have a lot in common and mute each other’s otherwise warm personalities.



Jaime Wright is an astrologer and writer based in NYC. She has been writing PureWow’s weekly and monthly horoscope columns since 2019, and also authors the cult favorite...