Why Can’t I Find Love? 15 Possible Reasons
In This Article
“We do not attract what we want, but what we are”. Philosophical British writer James Allen inspired many with this quote to keep working on life’s lessons. We continue in “mental inharmony” and deep discontent if we don’t.
Why can’t I find love isn’t about them; it starts with you. This article will address all the various aspects of being unable to find love.
What is love?
Psychologists, philosophers, poets, artists, scientists, sociologists, and just about everybody has tried to define what finding love across the centuries means. Is it an emotion, a process, an experience or simply chemicals in the brain?
Your answer depends on your viewpoint, although, interestingly, with phenomena like speed dating, scientists are gathering more data than ever before. Today, those scientists are split into two groups, as explained in this Science and Health article on the Science and Mystery of Love.
The first group believes that love follows a pattern so that people can, in a sense, stick to a process and find love. The other group states that love is unpredictable, which means that two seemingly incompatible people can build love together.
As psychologists and coaches will tell you, the answer is somewhere between order and chaos, as the article confirms. This is good news for those wondering, “will I ever find love” because it means that you can set some goals while also learning healthy relationship habits.
It isn’t about asking the question, “why can’t I find love” but “what am I changing about myself and my routine to attract the right person.”
15 reasons why you can’t find love
“Never” is a big word; as we know from the constant uncertainty around us, everything changes, including us. The following points are a few signs you will never find love but clues that you need to change something.
1. Fear of rejection
Are you plagued by thoughts of “why can’t I find someone”? Most people crave the intimacy and support you get from romantic relationships. Nevertheless, you could be sabotaging your happiness with your fear.
Fear of rejection can be linked to anxiety and depression. It can also go back to childhood trauma. Perhaps one of your caregivers died or moved out post-divorce?
For some, it could also be the aftermath of growing up in boarding school. While still in the minority, as a therapist’s article on boarding school syndrome explains, it has very real consequences for adult life.
Related Reading: How to Overcome Fear of Rejection in Any Aspect of Life
2. Fear of commitment
Another aspect of fear which could lead you to thoughts of “why can’t I find love” is linked to commitment. Contrary to rejection, commitment can feel suffocating to many.
Author Steven Carter made an interesting discovery about the fear of commitment detailed in his book, “Men Who Can’t Love .”In short, during a project on phobias with psychiatrist Harold Levinson, it came to light that the fear of commitment is potentially a phobia.
If this sounds like you, you’ll need to work through where your fear comes from and learn emotional management techniques.
On the other hand, if you constantly seem to end up with commitment-phobes, you’ll need to observe your relationship patterns with strong boundaries and clear expectations.
3. Attachment style
Many anxious and avoidant-attached types find themselves with the phrase “why can’t I be loved” going around their heads like a bad record. On the one hand, they’re too needy but on the other, too distant for anyone to get close to them.
Psychiatrists John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth developed their attachment theory in 1991, as this overview of the theory’s origins explains. Essentially, how we relate to our caregivers impacts our relationships as adults because we hold onto the same behaviors from childhood.
The aim for anyone looking for stable and grounded relationships is to first find balance within, often with a therapist. You can then learn how to meet your needs without over-relying on other people or, as in the avoidant, to open up safely to others.
Related Reading: 4 Types of Attachment Styles and What They Mean
4. Fear of letting go
How to find love doesn’t have to be some ethereal quest. Sometimes it’s just about getting out there and letting go of your fear of being yourself. It takes courage to reveal our flaws but the more vulnerable you are, the more likely you’ll connect with people on a deeper level.
5. Emotional walls
People who sit with the question, “why can’t I be loved” often struggle to connect with emotions. We like to think we’re logical people, but no amount of pushing away emotions will make them disappear.
Moreover, being emotionally distant creates an invisible wall around you that puts most potential suitors off. It’s a typical reason for asking yourself, “why can’t I find love.”
Related Reading: 10 Signs You May Have Hit An Emotional Wall and What to Do
6. Excessive expectations
If you can’t find love, could you be being unrealistic? It’s easy to convince ourselves that Hollywood love exists or that there’s one soul mate for you. Nevertheless, don’t be swayed by such fantasies.
Real life is painful. Nevertheless, the more we let go of the expectation that everything will be perfect, the more we can appreciate what’s around us.
7. Low self-esteem
In many ways, finding love is about first loving yourself. After all, if you can’t love yourself, how can you expect anyone else to love you?
Similarly, we treat others how we treat ourselves. So, if you’re constantly hard on yourself while believing you’re no good, you’ll inadvertently send the same dynamic to others.
Furthermore, as this study on self-esteem and perception shows, the more you believe in yourself, the more likely you’ll have satisfying relationships.
Boosting self-esteem isn’t as impossible as it might seem. Have a go at the triple column technique developed by psychiatrist David D. Burns if you want a tried and tested process.
You can also view this video on four small habits to improve self-esteem:
8. Misguided motivations
If you’re wondering, “why can’t I find someone,” have you considered what vibes you’re giving off? If you’re radically honest with yourself, what motivates you to find love?
Do you want someone to keep you safe and make you feel good? Or are you interested in partnering with someone for mutual self-discovery?
The former can appear insecure and even desperate, whereas the latter can appear more grounded. Naturally, a more grounded person looking for mutual growth won’t find themselves stuck in thoughts of “why can’t I find love.”
9. Loose boundaries
Finding love across a lifetime starts with how much you love and respect yourself. If you let people walk all over you, it might feel like you’re being amenable. In reality, they lose respect for you and usually walk away.
So, don’t wallow in the thought, “why can’t I find love .”Instead, work on developing healthy boundaries either with this worksheet as a starting point or with a therapist.
Related Reading: 15 Signs of Unhealthy Boundaries in Relationships
10. Trying too hard
Remember that if you can’t find love, it’s worth staying away from the question, “why can’t I find love.” This pushes you to over-focus on your weaknesses. You may try too hard and put people off.
Instead, consider the more motivating question, “what can I do differently to find love .”And what do you need to let go of?
11. Lack of self-awareness
Without the perfect blend of self-awareness and healthy habits, you’ll most likely be left thinking, “why can’t I find love.” For instance, you could be too rigid in your views on the perfect match to meet your life goals.
On the flip side, you could be too focused on staying within your comfort zone without giving yourself a chance to get out there. Sometimes you have to take a risk to find love.
The first step in how to find love is to get to know yourself and how you impact those around you. Then you can start changing your habits and behaviors.
12. Mismatched values
Finding love is virtually impossible if you seem to target people who approach life differently. This often happens when people follow societal or parental pressures to be with a particular person.
Another reason for wondering, “why can’t I find love” is that you’re projecting onto other people your own issues or fantasies. This can take you into projective identification, where a relationship is built on a fantasy that eventually crumbles.
As psychoanalyst Melanie Klein explains in her article on projective identification, it’s when someone might, for example, project the need for stability onto someone flighty. They might reject this and move on.
Alternatively, they might accept to play that role, usually subconsciously, and force themselves into someone they’re not. As you can imagine, this eventually breaks them and the relationship becomes confusing and chaotic.
14. Trust issues
Everyone suffers from something and we all have varying degrees of trauma from our past. In many cases, this creates the deep-seated belief that the world is dangerous and that people can’t be trusted.
If you’re lost in the thoughts of “why can’t I find love,” it’s worth exploring with a therapist how to open up to those around you. To trust is to be vulnerable and everyone can do it.
Related Reading: How to Date Someone With Trust Issues
15. Personality disorders
No matter who you are or what your issues are, no one should ever lose hope with the words “I will never find love.” Some disorders are tougher to manage, but if the willingness to change is there, anything is possible.
Many people might refer to psychopaths or sociopaths as examples of people who can’t love, in the normal sense of the word. Nevertheless, as James Fallon, the neuroscientist with a psychopath’s brain, demonstrates, finding love and building a family is possible.
Clearly, this involves a huge amount of personal work in some cases but individual or couples therapy can help you find the way.
How to find true love
We all have it in us to change ourselves. The question is, do you truly want to? We make decisions, consciously or not, to meet our needs. That includes love and being nurtured.
Psychiatrist William Glasser developed his Choice Theory on the premise that believing in external control destroys all relationships because then we never try to change anything. Instead, we should focus on what we can change, which is, essentially, ourselves. In short, we have no control over other people.
Rather than ask yourself, “will I ever find love” review Glasser’s 10 axioms from his Choice Theory describing how to manage our behavior. Marry this with the list of connecting relationship habits on the same page.
In summary, as you make an honest and radical assessment of your behavior and how you relate to people, try to consider what you might be able to change. So, rather than drowning in “why can’t I find love,” consider how much you “accept versus nag” those close to you.
What about “listening versus complaining”? Or even “controlling versus healthy negotiation”? We all make mistakes. The worst thing you can do is blame the world and everyone around you for those mistakes.
When you repeat the phrase “why can’t I find love,” you’re not taking responsibility for the problem. Instead, embrace the inner work it takes to develop self-awareness, empathy and general emotional intelligence to attract the right people to you.
Some commonly asked questions
Love and finding someone that loves you can be confusing for many people. Here are some questions that make things clearer for you.
What age does true love start?
Humans have debated true love since we could write and think. For neuroscientists, love is a concoction of chemicals in the brain. For poets and philosophers, it’s a soul connection.
For psychiatrists and coaches, love is something you work on and nurture. Love is when you want to help each other become better people. Technically, that can happen at any age. Although, as they say, wisdom and the desire to improve oneself come with age.
Paradoxically, signs you will never find love are that you’re too caught up in finding “true love .”For instance, as this BBC article on the ‘Dark Side of Believing in True Love’ states, the more you believe in true love, the less likely you can make your relationships work.
Furthermore, review the mini-questionnaires in the article to check your beliefs on soul mates versus working it out. It will help you see where you might stand in the question of “why can’t I find love.”
Are some people unable to fall in love?
Never lose hope and never get lost in the thought, “I will never find love .”It’s easy to fall into the rabbit hole, and change is hard. Nevertheless, it is possible.
You might need therapy and a lot of personal work but everyone can open up and find love.
Sadly though, there is a caveat. Some personality disorders would struggle to find love, for example, depersonalization disorder, as described by a BBC writer.
Regardless, don’t just assume you can’t do anything about the question, “why can’t I find love .”Get help, plan and review your options before you give up.
We all have the basic need to love and be loved, but it isn’t easy to find. Moreover, we are often our worst enemies because of the layers of fear, excessive expectations, emotional walls and mismatched values that we unnecessarily add.
Don’t hesitate to connect with couples therapy to discover the root cause behind the question, “why can’t I find love .”Everyone deserves love but it might take some personal work to get there first.
Then, most importantly, get out there, get dating and dare to be yourself both within and without.
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