Am I Undateable? 5 Possible Reasons Why

By Corrina Horne |Updated April 29, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Stephanie Deaver, LCSW

As just about any TV sitcom can attest, dating can be hard. Dating can take a lot of courage and determination, and there’s oftentimes a lot of disappointment involved. Although dating is often portrayed simplistically as a fun, straightforward endeavor, for many people dating is essentially a means of finding someone with whom they can share their life ─ or someone to warm their bed for at least a few hours. Regardless, the basic idea is the same: dating exists to bring people together and to forge connections.

Looking For A Partner Can Bring Up Complex Emotions
This website is owned and operated by BetterHelp, who receives all fees associated with the platform.

The trouble is that you can’t seem to get to a point where dating that ever-elusive cornucopia of available people seems to be a legitimate possibility. Perhaps you’ve never been asked on a date. Perhaps you’ve never asked someone to go out. Perhaps you’ve only been asked a few times, or perhaps you’re asked constantly and with increasing regularity, but nothing ever seems to work. Is it possible that you’re “undateable”?

“Undateable”: 5 Reasons You May Have Difficulty Dating

1) Your Expectations Are Set Too High

You might think that your date will sweep you off your feet, confess their undying love in a matter of days, and pledge their devotion to you. However, the truth is that getting to know someone takes time and deciding that someone belongs in your life also takes time. Dating is not a single one-stop shop but is instead 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 or not 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 extremely problematic in love. Although the notion that you must first love yourself before anyone else can love you isn’t necessarily true, there is some substance to the idea that your relationships will benefit from being confident and secure in yourself. 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 rapt 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, by default, put up a wall between you and your prospective or actual date.

3) You Always Rely on Others

You do not have to sit around looking pretty or 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 a human being 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 with whom to spend your life is wonderful, you are a whole person by yourself. 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 you. 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 a human. The question to ask yourself, then, is whether or not you are prone to gossiping, thinking or 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 all of them could be worked on and, to some degree, resolved before trying to enter into a relationship with anyone.

What to Do Instead

If you are afraid 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, ensuring 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 an incredible partner. Focus on all of your strengths rather than only acknowledging your flaws. Perhaps you have an incredible zest for life, or you can curate music playlists filled with the most obscure, incredible musicians. Everyone has something that they can consider a strength, so take the time to go through all of your potential strengths and begin to build your strength and confidence on that.

Feeling “Undateable”

If you feel as though you are undateable, have no fear: it is highly unlikely that you are so entirely unlovable as to be impossible to date. There can, however, be plenty of reasons you are struggling to get dates, connect with other people, or maintain a relationship. If you are struggling to improve your interactions with others or your confidence seems impossible to improve, you may benefit from the help of a mental health professional, such as those found on ReGain. Therapy can help you regain confidence, improve your interpersonal skills, and leave behind the self-imposed label of “undateable.”

Helpful resources for relationships & more in your inbox
For Additional Help & Support With Your Concerns
Speak With A Licensed Therapist
This 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.