We all have different experiences in life. There is no exception to this when it comes to love. Love isn’t a priority for everyone, but circumstances vary even among those who wish for love or see relationships as a priority.
For those who want to find love, the journey may be a short one, a pilgrimage that lasts a good while, or a quest that never seems to end. You may be someone who has been in love before, or you might be hoping to fall in love for the first time. Either way, if you’re on a quest for love and haven’t found it, you might wonder why.
There are many reasons why finding love can be difficult for some. It’s also not necessarily your fault if this is true for you. That said, some common scenarios or thought processes can hold someone back from finding what they’re looking for.
In this article, we’ll look at a few common reasons why one might have trouble on a quest for love - and what to do about it.
Your Expectations Aren’t Realistic.
When searching for love, you should not settle for someone you don’t love. That isn’t fair to you, and it’s not fair to them, either. However, realistic expectations are important.
If you find yourself trying to create the “perfect” partner in your head or find yourself projecting those ideas onto potential mates, it’s time to take a step back. Human beings are complex and imperfect, and love is not about finding someone who is exactly what you want them to be all of the time. It’s something that develops naturally between two fully-fledged, autonomous people that will, at some point, have differences. Are your expectations fair to put on another person? If not, where is that coming from?
If you find that you’re extra picky, it could be that you aren’t thinking about what you want deep down. AKA, the big stuff. Think about the qualities that matter most to you in a partner. Say honesty, emotional availability, and compatible life goals (for example, having a family one day or living child-free). These are all real and healthy things to seek. Ask yourself what’s important to you.
You’re Attracting The Wrong People
For the most part, we assume that if we’re attracted to someone, it’s because we see them as a good match romantically. Many of us don’t even question, however, if that’s true or not.
Are you attracting emotionally unavailable people? What about people who have desires or personalities that aren’t compatible with yours?
This isn’t uncommon, actually, and it can happen for several reasons. Someone with an edgy preoccupied attachment style, for example, might find themselves drawn to a push-pull dynamic where you vie for a person’s affection when, in reality, seeking reciprocity, a healthy, secure relationship dynamic, and a steady pace is best.
Ask yourself if there’s a possibility that you’re falling for unavailable or incompatible people because you’re afraid of being hurt. Then, think about what you want and start making choices based on that.
You’re Coming Off Too Strong
In life, you may think that if you try hard to achieve what you’re looking for, then you’ll get it, or at least have a higher chance at it. However, sometimes, you may need to dial it back a little, especially for love.
The way the media depicts love and relationships is fast and intense in a way that isn’t healthy in reality. Think about a popular movie you may have seen where two characters fall in love quickly and dramatically. In real life, this doesn’t often work, and in fact, that intensity is often correlated with unhealthy relationship dynamics. Even if it’s not your intention at all, it could come off as love bombing.
Remember that there’s a lot you don’t know about this person yet, most likely. Approach the relationship steadily and appropriately. Take the time to get to know a potential partner without making any assumptions about them.
You’re Using The Wrong Dating Sites
There are a lot of different websites and apps for dating, and they’re not all created equally. Some apps and websites, for example, are geared toward those seeking casual connections and hookups, where others are geared toward those seeking ongoing romantic relationships or connections. Neither is bad; it’s about putting yourself in a spot where you’re more likely to find what you’re looking for.
If the dating site you’re on isn’t working out too well, why not try another site? Plenty of dating websites and apps are designed with specific groups in mind. Don’t be afraid to try a few sites or apps to see which ones might be a better fit.
You’re Not Looking Locally
Sometimes, your love can be just under your nose. We may believe we no longer have to look in local places with the Internet, but they still have their uses. Try going to a place locally that is centered around something you love. For example, if you love music, try talking to people in a record shop. If you’re a bookworm, try the library. Or, returning to the topic of dating apps, consider using a dating app that is location or proximity-based.
You’re Looking Too Locally
On the other hand, some people only try to date in the range that’s closest to them. While it can be convenient to date someone close, you’re limiting yourself. If you look exclusively in your town, especially if you live in a small town or feel like the “odd one out” when it comes to what you want, it can be hard to find someone compatible with you. Maybe, you have the idea in your head that you have to end up with someone that you went to high school with. This isn’t realistic for everyone. It’s okay to look a little further out.
You’re Not Confident Enough
We all have insecurities. You don’t have to be confident all of the time, but there are some things to avoid. For example, if you’ve ever said, “No one likes me,” “No one goes after me,” “You’re way out of my league,” or “Everyone rejects me” to a potential partner, it can put them in an awkward position.
The possibility of rejection is always there when you’re on a quest for love. However, saying this kind of thing to a new person can be a way of putting walls up to protect yourself from getting hurt. This can be tough to recognize in yourself, but this attempt to keep yourself safe can backfire.
Love does require vulnerability. If someone doesn’t feel the same way about you, respect it. You deserve someone reciprocal, so at the end of the day, that relationship probably isn’t one that you want anyway.
You Need To Work On Yourself Before You Find Love
Some believe that once they find love, their problems will go away. This can lead to unhealthy relationship dynamics, unfortunately, even if it’s unintentional.
This doesn’t mean that you “have to love yourself” entirely before you find love or that you can’t learn or grow when you’re in love. Ideally, we learn and grow for the rest of our lives, and healthy relationships support that.
That said, there are times when we need to find a certain level of security, confidence, behavior change, awareness, or growth before we purposefully bring someone into our lives for a serious relationship.
If the right person does come along while times are tough, take it slow and get support.
You Are Hung Up On Your Last Relationship
If you just got out of a big relationship, it may not be time for you to find love again. Or, it may not be time to seek it actively. Sometimes, you’re still grieving over your last breakup, even if you don’t realize it. Don’t do it if you’re trying to find someone who replaces your previous partner or previous relationship. Instead, give yourself some space and focus on yourself. That way, if someone does happen to come into your life, you’ll have been focused on healing, which will benefit both you as an individual and the new partnership. By focusing on yourself, you avoid using someone as a rebound, and you avoid insecurities from your last relationship or breakup seeping into the new one.
It’s Not Your Priority Right Now
Love is something our society has told us that we must have. We must find the one who is right for us and live happily ever after. And, that’s indeed what a lot of people want.
However, some people experience the need to be single at some point in their lives, perhaps for a significant period. Some like to date casually, but things don’t work out whenever it gets serious because a serious relationship isn’t what they want deep down.
Know that it’s okay if you don’t want a relationship, whether that is at all or just for now. It’s also okay to date casually, as long as your dates know that that’s what you want.
Do you want love, or is it pressure? If you want to find love, awesome. If it turns out that you’re trying to find love out of some form of obligation, permit yourself to focus on life outside of relationships. Take this advice with your unique situation in mind, but know that there’s nothing wrong with you if it’s not what you want right now.
It’s By Chance
This is the one that most people don’t want to hear. Sometimes, you just haven’t met the right person yet by chance. In this scenario, the best thing to do is to continue working to be the best person you can be and keep putting yourself out there in a healthy, realistic, authentic fashion.
Of course, these are by no means the only reason why a person may not have found love yet. Every situation is unique, just like every person in every relationship. If love - or the fear that you won’t find it - is something that causes you to stress, consider speaking with a mental health professional who can help. Social health is a crucial part of our mental health, and that can include romantic relationships.
You deserve to have someone who understands you, especially with it in mind that many things can affect love and relationships or make them differ from the relationships of those around you. If applicable, you may seek a culturally informed therapist, an LGBTQIA+ affirming therapist, a therapist who works with polyamorous people, or look for something else that applies to you.
Whether you’re looking for one or are involved in one right now, relationships aren’t always easy. Talking with a therapist can help you build and maintain healthy relationships, address concerns such as those related to confidence or past experiences, and so much more.
You can find a therapist to work with online through a platform like ReGain, or you can start your search for a provider near you.ReGain offers not just couples counseling but individual counseling as well. Using an online therapy platform like ReGain, you can meet with a therapist from the privacy of your own home and talk about what’s going on in your romantic partnerships or other areas of life.
No matter how you find a provider, it’s good to have a professional on your side. Reach out to someone in your area or sign up for online therapy today to start the process.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Why have I not found love yet?
People grow up hearing about love both from the media and people around them, so many people wait on it as one would wait for an upcoming event.
When love doesn't arrive, and it seems like everyone around you is already in a romantic relationship, you might start to wonder why you've been left out. The truth is that it's not something that's 100% in your control, so there's nothing wrong with you if you haven't found the love of your life.
That being said, let's take a closer look at the obstacles preventing you from finding love. These obstacles are:
This is not the same thing as having high standards; rather, this means you expect reality to match your ideal to the point that you act as though it does. For example, rather than putting yourself out there, you might be unconsciously waiting for a meet-cute moment or someone who sees you and instantly falls in love. While it is possible to stumble upon love, actively seeking it by putting yourself out there is more effective and realistic. A good way to start your quest for love would be to buy a notebook and write out what you want to change about the way you think about romance or relationships and how you intend to change it. This helps you ground your actions and expectations in reality. You can take charge of your romantic life and stop leaving it up to chance by letting go of unrealistic ideals.
Another obstacle is not putting yourself out there. If you don't make yourself accessible to other potential singles, you will have difficulty finding love. There are many ways to start dating, such as dating apps or socializing more in general, thus allowing yourself to meet new people.
As long as you're actively putting yourself out there, you have a good chance of finding love. So, put yourself out there as though you were on a random short story quest.
When you've been single for a long time, you can get so used to being single that the thought of being in a relationship might seem frightening. The change that being in a relationship will bring to your life will suddenly affect most parts of your life. This might not be such an appealing idea for various possible reasons that are unique to you. Even if it is, it can be scary. It's okay to communicate with a partner and let them know that you want to take things slow if this is something that you're afraid of, but you don't have to write off love.
People who have a hard time finding love sometimes fear that they don't deserve love or that who they are isn't lovable. This subconscious suspicion that they aren't good enough to be in a loving relationship can cause them to self-sabotage and destroy their opportunities at love. This could be in the form of isolation, ghosting potential lovers, ending relationships before things can get serious, etc. Therapy can help if this is something you struggle with.
Can you be incapable of love?
If you want love, the chances are that you're not at all incapable of falling in love. Some people experience less romantic attraction than others, but they experience love in other ways.
If you worry that you aren't capable of love or feel like you're held back, there are a couple of things that could be going on, including but not limited to:
Entering a relationship means that our normal life and routine will change significantly. You now have another person to put into consideration when you make decisions. You have to loosen up your schedule to make time for them; you must develop and maintain a healthy relationship. All these things can seem overwhelming. A good way to counter the fear of this would be to take things slow. Let your partner know that you want things to start slowly to adjust to being in a relationship comfortably.
Being self-reliant is considered a virtue. Society often teaches that vulnerability is synonymous with weakness. As a result, people work very hard to be completely self-reliant. Being in a relationship means you have to be at least a little bit vulnerable. You have to put yourself out there and show your feelings, or the other person won't know how you feel. There are various reasons as to why one might struggle with vulnerability. You might've been judged or turned down in the past, or you might have personal insecurity. No one is immune to this experience, and it is not just you. Remind yourself that putting yourself out there authentically is what gives you the chance to find genuine relationships.
How can I increase my chances of finding love?
Once you've decided that you're ready to get into a romantic relationship, you'll want to increase your chances of finding love significantly. So, apart from the normal stuff like joining a dating site and letting your friends set you up on blind dates, what can you do to increase your chances of finding love?
Some steps you can take to increase your chances of finding love include:
What are the chances of not finding love?
Research shows that 51% of those between 18 and 34 years old don't have a romantic partner. However, there are some things that you can do that will help you put yourself out there, and therefore, have a better chance at finding love.
These changes include:
How Do You Love Yourself?
Learning to love yourself is not a random quest. It is a life-long journey that yields result every step of the way. Some steps you can take to increase your capacity for self-love include: