Am I Undateable? Five Possible Reasons Why

Updated June 17, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

Dating can take a lot of courage and determination, and there’s sometimes disappointment involved. Dating exists to bring people together and to forge connections. However, some people have a harder time finding a connection than others. Some are rarely asked out. Others go on a lot of dates, but seldom find a connection. If this sounds familiar, is it because you’re truly “undateable” – or is it something else?

Getty/Vadym Pastukh
Looking for a partner can bring up complex emotions

Five reasons you may have difficulty dating

Let’s look at five of the most common reasons people have difficulties with dating. 

1) Your expectations are set too high

You might think that your date will sweep you off your feet, confess their undying love, and pledge their devotion to you in a matter of days. However, the truth is that getting to know someone and deciding that someone belongs in your life takes time. Dating is not a quick sprint to the finish line. It is far closer to a marathon in which you and your date (perhaps significant other down the line) gradually and consistently spend time together to determine what you mean to one another.

This can certainly go the other way — setting expectations too low and swallowing poor treatment — but there is a healthy, reasonable middle ground. Anticipate having a nice time, or at the very least find out whether you’d like to go on another date. Going into your date with an open mind and relaxed expectations can create a wonderful experience for you and your date.

2) You think too little of yourself

Thinking too little of yourself can be problematic in finding love. If you feel poorly about yourself, you might be less likely to put yourself out there, struggle to encourage and engage in conversation, and entirely misread signals and nonverbal cues. Your date could touch your arm, pay attention to everything you say, and give you every indication that they’re interested in you. Still, you might inadvertently misunderstand these cues if you feel that you are unworthy of such admiration.

Thinking too little of yourself can also affect whether or not you accept a date at all. If you perpetually think that other people are too good for you or that there must be something wrong with anyone willing to go out with you, you will put up a wall between you and your prospective or actual date.

3) You rely on others to make the first move

You do not have to sit around looking available to attract possible suitors. Standing at a bar and looking aloof as you palm your whiskey might make you feel sexy and mysterious for a few minutes, yet it does little to actually engage the people around you or offer anyone a window into who you are, what you want, or what you are feeling.

You are human and you are more than capable of determining your thoughts, needs, and likes, as well as being able to ask the person you like out on a date. You don’t have to wait for an invite, nor do you need to bring in a massive panel of judges regarding every little thing that happened on your date.

4) You place too much weight on dating

Although a partnership is a beautiful thing and having someone to spend your life with is wonderful, you are a whole person by yourself. Being the most magnificent partner in the world is not a requirement for you to be fulfilled, successful, and happy. You do not have to give up on dating, but it might be smart to take a step back and determine what you want from dating. If you expect the last piece of your life’s puzzle to fall into place, you might be placing too much weight on your dating life and the possibility of a partnership.

5) You aren’t ready for a relationship

Some people have traits that do not lend themselves to a healthy, stable relationship. These traits, if you exhibit them, might make others consider you as someone “difficult” to date. Traits or tendencies such as selfishness or grudge-holding might indicate to a potential partner that you are not ready for a relationship and are thus not a dateable person.

Looking for a partner can bring up complex emotions

Of course, one person’s view of dateability will not be representative of the entire population. What one person might consider immature, another person might consider an expected part of being human. The question to ask yourself, then, is whether you are prone to gossiping, speaking poorly of others, refusing to accept responsibility for your mistakes, or refusing to apologize. These all can indicate a lack of maturity. The good thing is these concerns can improve before trying to enter into a relationship with anyone.

What to do instead

If you are concerned that you are “undateable,” there are some things you can do to improve your situation. Even if it turns out that you do not exhibit any of the behaviors mentioned above, none of the practical steps below would be detrimental to you overall and are reasonable actions to take at any station in life.

1) Work on you

Ultimately, you are the only person you are guaranteed to have in your life, so it’s important that you are someone you like and respect. Rather than simply lamenting your flaws or throwing your hands up at your mistakes, take the time and effort to actively work on becoming a healthy, complete individual who does not consider happiness as contingent on others.

2) Practice connecting with others

Again, dating is largely about connection and communication. To improve your “dateability,” improve your ability to connect with and communicate with others. Dating is not just about you and getting your needs met; it is also about your partner and their needs. Practice reaching out to friends and family and engaging in healthy, strong, straightforward communication.

You can also practice speaking honestly and openly in times of conflict. Ask anyone close to you to help you step forward in creating healthier patterns of communication, connection, and general relationship navigation. This will help you create better habits that can improve your compatibility with others and your corresponding dateability.

3) Feel your feelings

Ignoring that you feel undateable will not help and could even make the thought stronger. Instead of allowing these feelings to rule your life completely, close your eyes, breathe in deeply, and allow yourself to feel sad, overwhelmed, angry, or anything else you might feel about being undateable, then open your eyes and resolve to move forward.

Really feeling your feelings is essential for good mental and emotional health. Suppressing the way you feel can be dangerous while overindulging how you feel can be similarly hazardous. Allowing yourself to feel and then taking action to improve is the best way to move forward.

4) Think about your strengths

Some people have intense needs or backgrounds that can make dating seem intimidating. Abuse, divorce, single parenthood, poverty, and other issues may make dating seem like an impossible task. Even if you have a complicated background, you can be a wonderful partner. Focus on all your strengths rather than only acknowledging your flaws. Perhaps you have an infectious zest for life, or you can curate music playlists filled with the most obscure, amazing musicians. Everyone has something that they can consider a strength, so take the time to go through all your potential strengths and begin to build your strength and confidence on that.

If you or a loved one is experiencing abuse, contact the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Support is available 24/7.

Help for feeling “undateable”

There can be plenty of reasons you are having difficulty getting dates, connecting with other people, or maintaining a relationship. If you want help learning how to improve your interactions with others or build your confidence, you may benefit from the help of a mental health professional, such as the relationship counselors on Regain. Therapy can help you regain confidence, improve your interpersonal skills, and leave behind the self-imposed label of “undateable.”

Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is the most popular form of therapy because of its effectiveness in helping with a variety of mental health disorders, including improving self-esteem. A counselor can use CBT to help you identify false beliefs and thoughts, including negative self-talk, as well as flawed ideas about yourself, then retrain your mind to be more positive. CBT has also been found to effectively help patients with many mental health results that may coincide with low self-esteem, including depression and anxiety, among others. 

Research has also found that online CBT (iCBT) is generally just effective as in-person counseling. Online counseling through Regain offers a number of advantages, including the ability to choose from a larger number of professional counselors and the flexibility of working with a therapist from the comfort of your home and at a time that is convenient for you. 


Some people find dating more difficult than others, but that doesn’t mean they are undateable. One of the best ways to become more dateable is to be happy in your own skin – and a counselor can help you with that. Whether you need help working through past experiences, strengthening your social skills, or improving mental health concerns, the relationship specialists at Regain are here for you. Get started today. 

For Additional Help & Support With Your ConcernsThis website is owned and operated by BetterHelp, who receives all fees associated with the platform.
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
Get the support you need from one of our therapistsGet Started
This website is owned and operated by BetterHelp, who receives all fees associated with the platform.