Friday, April 12, 2024

Why Can’t I Find Love? 15 Possible Reasons And How To Turn Things Around

“You don’t find love, it finds you. It’s got a little bit to do with destiny, and what’s written in the stars,” said renowned philanthropist Ima Hogg. And while she wasn’t completely wrong, in this era of endless swiping on dating apps to find ‘the one’ amid a sea of options, this quote may seem a bit outdated. We’re all trying to ‘find love’, aren’t we? Or the perfect partner, who will complete us? After all, love is a truly magical feeling. Nonetheless, even with tons of tools and options to help one find love, some of us, ‘forever single’ souls, often ask ourselves, “Why can’t I find love?”

In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the reasons behind this. We will also take a look at a few tips to help you find love, with the help from relationship counselor Dhriti Bhavsar (M.Sc, Clinical Psychology), who specializes in relationship, breakup, and LGBTQ counseling. So, if you’re often telling yourself, “I want to feel what love is” or are looking forward to getting into a healthy relationship or finding love again after a breakup, but don’t know where to begin, read on…

Why Can’t I Find Love? 15 Possible Reasons

In this fast-paced dating world of finding love through online matchmaking and dating apps and speed dating arrangements, falling in love has a new dimension. We don’t merely fall in love these days. We look for love and end up dating people endlessly in the hope of finding the perfect romantic partners. Finding love is a task and very much dependent on digital algorithms these days. So much so, that a Harvard Data Science Review study in fact explored how algorithms are matched on dating apps.

Related Reading: 21 Unrevealed Tips To Help You Find Love

But is it all about the luck of ‘matching’ with a compatible partner that defines ‘finding love’? What about offline dating? Why can’t some people approach the people they fancy? What hinders them from finding love? Do you too belong to the ‘single forever’ group that’s often found complaining, “I’m feeling like I will never find love”? Let’s look at 15 possible reasons that could explain why you are finding it difficult to fall in love:

1. Low self-esteem

Often, the main hindrance to finding love is that we tend to go for people way below our league. Dhriti says, “This is because of self-doubt, low self-worth, and poor self-confidence. So, basically, you may choose to pursue people who are below the bar simply because you think anyone better than that is out of your league.” And then that backfires too because those people may avoid getting into a serious romantic relationship or long-term relationship with you, because they may:

  • Suspect you or your intentions
  • Fear being ditched later in the relationship
  • Be overwhelmed by you
  • Feel they can’t match up to you or your standards

2. Fear of rejection

If you often say to yourself, “Why can’t I find love?”, well, remember, at times, the fear of rejection may stop you from putting yourself out there. But Dhriti says, “Love doesn’t find you when you’re sitting at home and watching Netflix. Love needs to know you’re available!” So, you need to be a confident person, show that you’re ready for love, and stop fearing uncertainty.

Related Reading: Dating As An Introvert – 9 Tips To Make The Most Of It

3. Unrealistic expectations

Dhriti believes, “Having an idea of what traits you want in a partner is good, but love isn’t a to-do list of things. Letting go of the notion of a ‘Mr./Ms. Right’ is important, and so is maintaining realistic expectations. Otherwise, you’ll end up looking for ‘the one’ your entire life.” It’s quite possible that the love of your life is buried somewhere beneath a pile of your high expectations regarding their looks, financial status, or other traits. They can be an amazing person in spite of not fitting into your definition of ‘the one’.

For instance, a Reddit user shares what she feels about online dating: “Online dating allows people to always seek something better. It’s a mentality I think a lot of single people are adopting. Why settle when the grass is greener and I can get to it so easily?” So, basically, because the supply is endless, we’re always looking for someone better, someone perfect!

4. Fear of intimacy

If you often ask yourself, “Why can’t I find love?”, be aware that the fear of intimacy may become a hindrance in your path of falling in love. This is often closely related to the fear of rejection. Dhriti says, “Being scared of being vulnerable and genuine because you feel someone might take advantage of you or ridicule you can cause you to shrink into your own shell and avoid reaching out to potential partners.”

Related Reading: Lack Of Affection And Intimacy In A Relationship — 9 Ways It Affects You

This may include the fear of:

  • Physical intimacy: You may be scared to initiate gestures of love such as touching and kissing, for the fear of being tagged ‘desperate’, leading to the relationship fizzling out
  • Emotional intimacy: You may shy away from sharing a deep emotional bond or intimate details, as you may fear being mocked or taken advantage of later
  • Intellectual intimacy: You may stop yourself from having healthy discussions on topics of your interest, for fear of being judged or branded ‘too clingy’
how do you want to be loved
The fear of intimacy can ruin your chances of finding love

5. Pessimistic attitude

Dhriti believes, “Harboring a pessimistic attitude is like throwing a wrench in the wheel of your own car!” And it’s true. Your pessimism can:

  • Repel others: People may avoid you for your cynicism and negativity
  • Damage your self-respect: Excessive negative self-talk can lead to low self-esteem
  • Ruin your prospects: You may end up talking yourself out of situations that could’ve led to you finding your love

6. Unhealthy relationship patterns

So, why is it hard to find love? A Reddit user says how she self-sabotages her love life every time she goes about seeking love, “It feels a bit like drowning with feelings of high pressure, nervousness, tightness in my chest. I tend to assume my partners lie to me, cheat, fake love. Feels quite awful and it’s definitely not fair.” Well, these are signs of unhealthy relationship patterns.

Related Reading: 9 Signs Of An Unhealthy Relationship

And often, such unhealthy relationship patterns may be responsible for you not being able to find love. Dhriti lists a few such patterns:

  • Being a control freak, such as stalking them or keeping tabs on their movements
  • A tendency to manipulate people
  • Being dishonest with your partner
  • Suspecting them of cheating on you

7. Unresolved trauma

If you’re wondering, “Why can’t I find love?”, remember that past relationship trauma or childhood trauma can, in many ways, hamper your prospects of finding love again. Dhriti believes, “Our past pain forces us to repeat dysfunctional patterns of behavior because at some point, this behavior kept us safe.” However, even when we seemingly recover from such traumatic situations, these behaviors persist and may manifest as:

  • Anger issues
  • Trust issues
  • Communication problems
  • Poor self-esteem

8. Lack of self-awareness

Are you still asking yourself, “Why is it hard to find love?” One possible reason for you not finding love could be your lack of self-awareness. Dhriti says, “One of my favorite quotes goes like, “You can only meet others as far as you have met yourself.” This means that you need to know and understand who you are, in order to understand someone else.”

Related Reading: Am I Ready For A Relationship? 13 Signs You’re Ready To Embrace Love

Lack of self-awareness can feel like:

  • Inability to decide what you want from a partner — short-term relationship or long-term commitment
  • Indecisiveness about your own life goals
  • Being finicky about your own interests

9. Unwillingness to compromise

Dhriti believes, “In a loving relationship, two individuals come together to form a third entity — the committed relationship itself that both are responsible for ensuring the health of. This can only be achieved through compromises on both ends.” So, if you often wonder, “Why can’t I find a boyfriend or girlfriend?”, remember, finding love is not about “my way or the highway”, but about realizing that there are more important things to be taken care of.

10. Inflated ideas about love

Be it the constant supply of perfect couple selfies on Instagram or the portrayal of mushy love in romcoms, this generation has perhaps created a false notion of love. Love isn’t all roses and candle-lit dinners. And unrealistic expectations can hamper your chances of finding love.

Dhriti agrees, “Love is not found, it is created. You work on it. And seeking perfection will only hinder your chances of finding the right person. There is no such thing as a perfect person for someone. There will be people you align with more than others, and whatever comes next will depend on how you interact with them.”

Related Reading: 8 Ways To Know Do I Love Him Or The Idea Of Him

11. Limited social circle

One big mistake that people who’re left wondering, “Why can’t I find love?”, make is not looking beyond their comfort zone. So, if you’re not meeting people beyond your domain – be it your social class, profession, or interests, you will limit yourself to the same set of friends and acquaintances. This will limit your interactions and prospects of meeting people and, hence, of seeking love and finding someone special too.

Dhriti says, “Make sure you’re not mistaking the pond for the big, wide ocean and then wondering, “Why can’t I find a boyfriend or girlfriend?” You may yourself be limiting your chances.”

12. Poor communication skills

Another significant factor in seeking love and finding someone is your communication skills. Dhriti explains, “Not being able to convey yourself clearly or understand others will obviously hinder your ability to fall in love.” It’s not just important to know the answer to, “How do you want to be loved?”, but also equally important to let others know that.”

Communication skills don’t just include the way you talk, but also non-verbal cues, such as body language, including gestures, postures, and eye contact. For instance, smiling a lot, hand movements while talking, and leaning toward your object of interest are all ways in which you can make a person feel you’re interested in them.

Related Reading: Is Gen-Z In The Headspace To Sustain Relationships?

13. Difficulty trusting others

Trust issues, stemming from past experiences, are completely normal but can contribute to major hurdles in finding love. Dhriti says, “Without taking that leap of faith, you can’t reach the love you seek.” One of my friends, Cathy, was so deeply affected by her ex, who had broken up with her over a text after dating her for 3 years that she stopped trusting people. Cathy once confided in me, saying though she was keen on finding love again, she hated the idea of placing her trust in the wrong people.

Stories about love and romance

14. External factors

If you’re often complaining, “I’m feeling like I will never find love”, well, remember, a lot of external factors can be probable hurdles on your way to finding love. Dhriti lists a few:

  • Economic factors: You may have just gotten laid or are financially unstable. So, that may prevent you from reaching out to potential partners
  • Geographical constraints: You may be posted in a remote location, where there aren’t enough places to socialize. You may also be interested in someone from a different city or town, and lack of face-to-face interaction may mar your chances of striking up a rapport with them
  • Family values: A lot of people are bound by rigid family values, where falling in love may be considered taboo unless your beau belongs to the same religion or shares the same values. This prevents you from finding true love to a great extent

Related Reading: 9 Reasons Relationships Are Hard But Worth It

15. Priorities in life

Dhriti feels, “Many a time, it’s our priorities in life that prevent us from getting the love of our lives.” In fact, you may end up being too engrossed in your own world and too emotionally unavailable to find love. Here are a few such instances:

  • You may prioritize your career and work long hours, leaving you with no time to focus on your love life
  • Your friends take up most of your time, leaving you with little or no time to find love
  • You spend most of your leisure focusing on your interests and hobbies, instead of swiping for love on dating apps

How To Turn Things Around If You Can’t Find Love

We hope we have given you enough reasons in the section above to help you find answers to your burning question, “Why can’t I find love?” But, hey, now that you know why you probably can’t find love, if you still tell yourself, “I want to feel what love is”, we’ll give you a few tips to help you in your pursuit.

Well, we don’t believe it’s an exhaustive list, as ‘finding love’ isn’t a set task that has set rules. Nonetheless, the following tried-and-tested tips on how to find love may work in most cases. So, if you’re stressed because you can’t find a girlfriend, or boyfriend, or are often wondering, “Will I ever find love?”, read on:

1. Focus on self-improvement

Instead of wondering, “Why can’t I find a boyfriend, or girlfriend?”, work on yourself and focus on self-love and self-development. Dhriti advises, “Remember to approach this with kindness and compassion. You can’t hate yourself into being better, and you don’t deserve to be hated either. So, treat yourself like a work-in-progress. Self-love is the secret to fulfilling your “I want to feel what love is” desire.”

Related Reading: I’m 35 and Single | I Don’t Think It’s Late To Find A Life Partner

Here are some tips on how you can grow:

  • Take up a hobby that you’ve always wanted to pursue, be it painting or dance
  • Identify your flaws and fix them, whether it’s your communication skills or your habits
  • Groom yourself and invest in self-care

2. Expand your social circle

Do you often ask yourself, “Will I ever meet someone?” Well, to meet someone special, make sure you’re in the right circle. Your social circle can make or break your chances of finding love. Dhriti feels, “The best way to find love is to expand your social or friend circle. You need to step out of your comfort zone and interact with new people. A stagnant life never gets you anywhere.” Here are some tips on how to do it:

  • Attend new social events, such as drama or music fests
  • Ask your friends to introduce you to new circles or friends
  • Join clubs, workshops, or hobby classes

3. Be open to new experiences

Instead of asking your friends, “Will I ever find love?”, focus on new experiences. Dhriti lays stress on “being open-minded to accept new experiences.” You see, just attending new social events isn’t enough. You need to clear all mental blocks and inhibitions. You also need to stop being judgmental, start accepting different points of view, and spend time knowing people of different points of view.

Related Reading: Choosing between Friendship and Relationship | Which to Prefer?

While it’s understood that you’ll be looking for someone your interests match with, you also need to realize that no two people are exactly alike and that it’s the differences that make people more attractive and interesting.” Dhriti adds, “Not only will this increase your chances of meeting interesting people but will also boost your self-worth, a large part of which we derive from meeting challenges and overcoming them.”

4. Practice being authentic and genuine

Finding an answer to, “Will I ever find love?”, may involve some introspection. Ask yourself if you’re being genuine enough and not living a life that looks good on social media. After all, your made-up persona could be one of the reasons why you can’t find love.

will i ever find love
Being open to new experiences and hobbies and being genuine can get you a lot of opportunities to find love

You may also be rushing into things for all the wrong reasons. We agree you need to put your best foot forward when you’re getting into a new relationship, but make sure you’re not catfishing your prospective romantic partner in the hope of finding a good match. At least, let them know who you really are, your quirks, your negatives, etc.

Dhriti feels, “It’s crucial to be your authentic self and showcase your true likes and dislikes while trying to get people to love you.” You need not put up a fake persona to make someone like or love you. So, stop telling yourself that you cannot be loved for who you are.”

5. Opt for clear communication

One sure-shot way of finding love is to ask yourself, “How do you want to be loved?”, and then communicate the answers to the right people. Yes, you deserve love, my friend, but how will your potential partners know what you’re looking for, if you don’t tell them?

Related Reading: Communication Problems In Relationships – 11 Ways To Overcome

Dhriti advises, “Instead of going around telling your friends, “I want to feel what love is”, focus on communicating clearly and honestly to the person you fancy. This can be intimidating. So, it’s a good idea to start around people who you are comfortable with.” To improve communication, you can:

  • Let people know you like them, through subtle hints
  • Set clear boundaries. Let them know what you tolerate and what you don’t. Communicate what offends you
  • You can also communicate your expectations, once you set the ball rolling

6. Seek support

If you often find yourself dejected because you can’t find love or find yourself wondering, “Will I ever meet someone?”, fret not! You’re not the only one. Instead of lamenting, “I want to feel what love is”, talk to friends and family, join support groups, or consult a relationship coach or a mental health professional. If you’re considering seeking help, Bonobology’s counseling services are here for you.

Key Pointers

  • Though traditional views suggest one needn’t find love, because it finds you, these days, it’s crucial to find the right person amid a sea of options
  • Some of the most prominent reasons for not finding love are self-doubt or low self-esteem, fear of rejection, and limited social circle
  • A few tips on finding love, when you’re wondering why you can’t find a girlfriend or boyfriend, include: focusing on self-improvement, being open to new experiences, and seeking support from mental health professionals

We hope you aren’t still clueless or asking yourself, “Will I ever find love?” You see, the concept of love varies from person to person. First, you need to find an answer to: how do you want to be loved? It’s also true that love isn’t easy to find, and there’s no easy answer to why you can’t find a girlfriend, or boyfriend, especially if we’re looking for true love or a healthy relationship, and not mere flings or hook-ups.

But it’s also true that merely looking for love, without fixing one’s own shortcomings isn’t going to get you anywhere. Likewise, love isn’t a collection of features or qualities. It’s an overwhelming feeling you get with the right person, even if that person is a bit flawed.

So, instead of focusing on finding someone who checks all the qualities on your list of ‘Mr,/Ms. Right’, find someone who brings you peace. And of course, go through our list of tips if you face any hitches. After all, you’re someone who deserves true happiness. All the best!

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