Love. It’s the drug that we can’t get enough of, with amazing highs and horrible lows.
So much time and energy is spent dreaming of our perfect partner — our soulmate, our twin flame, the one person who will be the yin to our yang and ultimately complete our life — but for some reason, you just haven’t found them yet.
So why can’t you find love? Why does Cupid’s arrow seem to hit everyone except you?
Here are 19 possible reasons why you’re having trouble finding love, and what you can do to better your chances:
1. You’re not really looking
How not to find love: Like it or not, finding love means going out there and actually looking for it.
Countless rom-coms have taught people that either one of two things will happen:
1) The love of your life is someone from your past, and they’ll come back to you eventually so you two can live happily ever after
2) The love of your life is someone who will bump into you while you’re busy going to work, and you’ll immediately feel that attraction when you look in their eyes
The problem with the way movies portray love is that they suggest that love will occur passively.
That all you have to do is simply exist and love will find its way to you.
How to find love: Go out there and look! Sign up to dating sites, join new clubs and groups, say yes when friends ask you to go places (as long as it’s safe, of course).
One thing you’ll notice when you ask people, “how did you meet?”, is that the stories tend to be some of the wildest and most unbelievable stories you could imagine.
And that’s how love works: you never know where it’s going to happen, but it’s never going to happen if you’re not really looking.
Recommended reading: Where are all the good men? 19 reasons it’s so hard to find a good man
2. You’re looking for the perfect person
How not to find love: You know exactly what you want. You’re trying to manifest this perfect man or woman with all the perfect qualities that you’ve been dreaming of since you were a kid.
You want them to be handsome or beautiful, tall and wealthy, intelligent and charming.
And while they need to be perfect, they also need to be willing to accept all of your flaws, or else they don’t really deserve you.
How to find love: Throw out your list. While it’s okay to have a type, you shouldn’t let that type define the only kind of person you’ll even consider going out with.
You have no idea what the universe has in store for you, so you shouldn’t define it by limiting yourself to a very specific and very exclusive list of traits.
3. You’re in the wrong place
How not to find love: You live in a small town — the type of town where everyone knows everyone to some degree — and you simply can’t understand why you can’t find the man or woman of your dreams.
You’ve tried dating every suitable candidate in your area, and now you’re just resigned to the fact that the love of your life isn’t around.
It’s also possible that while you may be in a big city, you’re hanging around the wrong people.
Your friends and your social circle are people you’ve known forever, which is why you still hang around them, but they’re not really people you’d consider your tribe.
So while you can be friendly with them, you find it difficult to become romantically involved with them or their friends.
How to find love: At some point you have to accept the reality that you’re in the wrong place or hanging around the wrong people, and if you ever want to find love — find a person who can truly enter your heart — you’re going to need to leave.
It can be scary, the thought of leaving everything behind and putting yourself in a new place or amongst new people.
But it’s the only way you’re going to expose yourself to the possibility of meeting a person you can fall in love with.
4. You believe too much in destiny
How not to find love: You’ve fallen for the Hollywood fairytale: you think love will happen when the universe has destined it to happen.
And while there’s nothing wrong with believing in destiny, believing in it too much can be detrimental to your search for love.
Instead of actually going out and actively searching for love, you’ll convince yourself that you just need to sit back and let the universe handle everything.
Because we believe that destiny is unavoidable, something fated to occur, and so if you’re destined to find love, it’ll happen eventually regardless of your decisions.
How to find love: We’re not saying you should stop believing in destiny, but destiny becomes problematic when you start using it as an excuse to avoid getting out of your comfort zone.
Destiny only works if you don’t think about it; just let your heart and mind do and act as they would normally, and your fate will follow.
5. You’re still not over your ex
How not to find love: How can you find love when you’re still in love with your ex?
Even if you’re not in love with them, you might still be resentful or frustrated, if not by them, then by the problems you two had.
So every time you go on a date, you just end up projecting your pent-up negativity of love and relationships towards your date; and chances are, you’re never going to get a second date.
How to find love: Ask yourself — have I really moved on? Am I ready to try to start something new?
Too many people rush into dating the next person not because they’re ready, but because they don’t want to deal with the pain of their recent break-up.
But this just ends up with a toxic rebound rollercoaster of a relationship, and no one ends up being happy in the long run.
Recommended reading: How to get over someone: 17 no bullsh*t tips
6. You have unresolved childhood issues
How not to find love: There are a lot of broken homes and broken families out there — children of divorce, or parents who fought and bickered all the time.
Being exposed to this kind of negativity and violence at such a young age can leave lasting impressions on our minds.
Even if we think we’re emotionally normal and stable people, we end up lashing out at our partners the way that we were taught when we were kids.
Because that’s our oldest understanding of what a long-term relationship should be like, and we haven’t been taught anything else.
How to find love: If this is you, then the solution isn’t to keep dating people until you can find a person who can “deal with you”.
After all, even if you eventually do find that ultimately kind and selfless individual, you just end up trapping them and yourself in a toxic, broken relationship.
The solution is to confront your issues and deal with them yourself.
Understand the childhood trauma causing your destructive behavior, and do what it takes to truly internalize them.
7. You feel like you unconditionally deserve love
How not to find love: All the books and movies and fairy tales tell us that true love is unconditional.
That if someone truly loves you, they’ll be with you through thick and thin, for better or for worse, and they’ll always have your back no matter what storms you two might face.
How to find love: But unconditional doesn’t really mean unconditional.
Unconditional love doesn’t mean your partner should continue loving you even if you’ve done everything wrong; if you’ve abused them (verbally or physically), if you’ve taken them for granted, if you’ve sniped at them constantly.
There is always a limit, and if you’re waiting for someone who will love you unconditionally — meaning someone who will love you for exactly as you are, no matter what you are — then you’ll be waiting forever.
You need to be willing to earn their love whenever it starts to wane, instead of believing they’ve let you down or even betrayed you just because they couldn’t take you at your worst.
8. You try way too hard
How not to find love: You want love more than anything else, we get it.
You feel yourself getting older, you want to settle down and start building a life and family with someone, and your friends and family are constantly pressuring you to get into a relationship.
So every time you go on a date, you already hear the wedding bells from the first minute.
And even if you don’t explicitly say how eager you are, people can smell desperation from a mile away. And there are few things less sexy than desperation.
How to find love: Relax, calm down. Take it easy and find your peace.
Even if you do find the perfect man or woman and you want to lock them down right away, you have to realize: dating is still a game, and you need to play your cards right.
Coming off too strong, too soon can weird people out. You need to give them the impression that they need to work for you, at least a little bit.
Recommended reading: How to find inner peace: 10 things you can start doing right now
9. You take dating partners for granted
How not to find love: It’s not that you have difficulty getting into relationships; maybe you’re an expert at short-term relationships, but for some reason, they just never end up being “the one”.
That could be indicative of one problem you might be having:
When you get into a relationship, you stop seeing your partner as a separate person with their own wants and needs, but as someone who is an extension of you.
As your extension, their purpose is to serve your needs — do what you want, do what you say, and never expect anything in return.
How to find love: While some partners may be willing to put up with that kind of attitude for a while, it almost always spells doom for the relationship in the long run.
Remember: even if your partner has already said “I love you” and you two are already planning the future together, that doesn’t mean you should start caring less about how you treat them.
In fact, as the relationship grows, you should care more about the way you treat your partner, just so they know that they’re investing time in something that will get better over the years, not worse.
10. You sabotage relationships
How not to find love: Ask yourself: how many exes do you actually have?
Maybe you might not even consider most of them exes; just flings, or partners you had for the short-term, because you two ended it before things could get serious.
But how exactly are your relationships ending?
Either you could just be having a ton of bad luck — choosing incompatible partners one after the other — or you’re doing something to either make them break up with you or convince yourself to break up with them eventually.
How to find love: There are many reasons why you might be sabotaging your relationships, such as:
- You’re not really ready for something serious
- You get stressed when a relationship starts to evolve
- You want to keep playing the field, but you won’t admit it
- You don’t think you deserve love
Whatever your issue might be, you need to confront it and get over it before you should try dating again.
If not, the same cycle of sabotaging your own relationships will only continue for years.
Recommended reading: Am I toxic? 25 clear signs you’re toxic to others around you
11. You don’t know what you want (because you don’t know who you are)
How not to find love: One of the biggest tips out there on the topic of how to find love is to be as open as possible to new things — experiences, places, and activities.
You need to avoid sticking to the same social circles and networks all your life if you actually want to find someone you haven’t met before.
But the problem with that is when you go too far: you have no standards or expectations at all, and you end up not knowing what you want.
You’ve fallen in love dozens of times, but that love only lasts a few days or weeks before you realize you’re sick of it.
And the problem is that you’re falling in love with the novelty of a new person rather than with the new person.
How to find love: While you should still be open to new experiences, you should also be coming at it with your own set of general guidelines of what you want in a relationship.
And the best way to determine that is by asking yourself — who are you, and what do you want out of your life?
What kind of partner would best compliment you and help you become the best version of yourself?
Once you figure that out, you can figure out the general idea of your compatible partner.
12. You’re not being your true self
How not to find love: Psychology Today states a common human practice is to act “as if”.
This means if you want to be happy, do what happy people do until you’re happy (commonly known as “fake it till you make it”).
However, a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research suggests acting “as if” might become a one-way ticket to dwelling on your failures and shortcomings and may never get you any closer to success.
When trying to find the right person, we often put our best foot forward.
We spotlessly clean our house, dress nicely, take our beloved to places of a higher standard, refrain from swearing, etc., but this isn’t who we really are.
And this behavior might be damaging because we aren’t being our true selves.
The person we are trying to court falls in love with the person we are pretending to be and when we can’t keep up that persona, we tend to become bitter.
We are exhausted from pretending to be another person and might even ask ourselves, “Why don’t they love me?”
The honest answer is: they don’t know you.
While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it is unsuitable in the long term. And you may not be alone.
The one you’re attempting to court could very well feel the same way after putting their best foot forward.
If they falter and this perceived personality falls short, you might realize you don’t love them either.
How to find love:
- Find out who you really are and embrace it, flaws and all. Everyone has flaws and that is okay, there is still a wonderful person waiting to meet you!
- Find someone that appreciates your quirks and don’t settle for someone who doesn’t love your flaws. And, in return, love their flaws
- Change yourself to become the person you want to be. Sometimes love needs to take a backseat to your personal growth.
Recommended reading: How to be yourself: 16 no bullsh*t steps
13. You don’t understand what they want
How not to find love: If you’re a woman who can’t find love, then you need to grasp what men want from a relationship with you.
And new research is showing that men are driven by biological instincts in their relationships more than was previously realized.
In particular, men want to provide for and protect you. This drive is deeply rooted in their biology. Since humans first evolved, men have wanted to stand up for the woman in their lives.
Even in this day and age, men still want to do this. Of course you may not need him too, but this doesn’t mean that men don’t want to be there for you. It’s encoded in their DNA to do so.
If you can make your guy feel essential, it unleashes his protective instincts and the most noble aspect of his masculinity. Most importantly, it will unleash his deep feelings of attraction.
And the kicker?
A man won’t fall for a woman when this thirst isn’t satisfied.
How to find love: When it comes to a relationship, he needs to see himself as your protector. As someone you genuinely want and need to have around. Not as a mere accessory, ‘best friend’, or ‘partner in crime’.
This is what you need to make him feel if you want to get a guy to commit to you over the long haul.
I think this biological explanation of what men really want is a fascinating take on what drives men romantically.
I first learned about this biological instinct through relationship psychologist James Bauer. It’s no secret that instincts drive human behavior but James was the first one to extrapolate this to relationships between men and women.
Click here to watch a free video by James Bauer. He reveals one particular biological instinct in men that few women are aware of. Understanding it could be a game changer for your future relationship.
Recommended reading: The Hero Instinct: How Can You Trigger It In Your Man?
14. You’re afraid of rejection
How not to find love: If you’re afraid of rejection, then you’ll never put yourself out there.
The fear of failure or rejection is common, you are not alone. Sometimes we can overcome this fear by moving forward with what frightens us, but sometimes certain situations make us recede further into ourselves. It is not uncommon for us to let our fears get the best of us.
This article in Very Well Mind states the symptoms of the fear of rejection as:
- Sweaty palms
- Labored breathing
- Increase in heart rate
- Trouble speaking
These symptoms resemble those experienced by someone suffering from anxiety because they stem from the same place. This reaction leads us to withdraw and could be the reason you’re not finding love.
On the other hand, your one true love might be feeling the same way. They might never approach you because the possibilities are endless—and not all positive. And you may never approach them for the same reason!
When we fear rejection, our self-esteem lowers and this can lead to the potential of being easily wounded by others.
So, even if our one true love approaches us, their comments could leave us feeling poorly and rejected—even if they are not intending to.
If this happens enough, we don’t put ourselves into the world for fear of being rejected by someone we become vulnerable with.
Psychology Today states that when our fears become internalized, they impact various parts of our life:
- Mood and psychological state of mind
- Attitudes and prejudices
- Personal relationships
- Mate selection
- Style of relating to others
- Choice of school or career
- Work performance
The longer we hide away, the more damage we could be doing.
How to find love:
- Assess the worst thing that could happen when approaching someone. They may reject you, but have you not rejected others in the past? It is okay to feel as though they will push you away or say something you may interpret as cruel, but pushing past this fear will help you find love. Sometimes we have to search through the rubble to find the treasure.
- If your fear stems from past trauma, try to work through it at your own pace with whatever method you feel okay to use. If you are okay with talking to someone, even just a close friend, do that. Sometimes talking through our fears makes them less real.
- Write down a list of the reasons you believe someone would reject you and brainstorm the reasons why you think they would reject you based on this assessment. Maybe your fear of rejection stems from you not appreciating yourself enough. (If this is the case, keep reading!)
- Practise self-compassion. Be kind to yourself and believe that you deserve love. Rejection is hard, but it doesn’t have to control your life.
15. You don’t love yourself
How not to find love: Not being able to find the one could stem from your inability to love yourself. Maybe you scoffed at this, maybe you’re nodding your head, maybe you are surprised, but are you ready to take the next step? Are you ready to love yourself?
When we don’t appreciate ourselves, we may search for someone to fill the void within us. We may feel empty and unloved because we aren’t receiving the love we desire.
This is nothing to be ashamed of. If we don’t love ourselves, how can we accept the love shown to us?
Oftentimes, we push away the things we believe we don’t deserve and this leads to secluding ourselves from those who love us.
We may not even consider the fact that someone could love us. What happens next is a spiral of feeling low and rejected.
But your loved one may not be the reason you’re feeling like you’re not living in a fairy tale. You might even see the “evidence” of their inability to love you.
But this means you could be projecting your feelings about yourself onto other people.
Statistics show that:
- Men would rather feel respected than loved
- Most women wonder if they’re really loved
- Men spend a lot of time thinking about providing for their families
- Most women would rather their husbands focused on family than work
- Most men need to think things through before talking about them
- Most women feel the need to process their thoughts out loud
With these points in mind, you might be able to see why we behave the way we do and why we need to respect our significant others and ourselves.
How to find love: So, how can we love ourselves more?
In this day and age practicing self love is surprisingly hard.
Because society conditions us to find ourselves through our relationships with others. That the true path to happiness and fulfillment is to find love with someone else.
I recently came to understand that this is an extremely unhelpful standard.
The turning point for me was watching a free 60 minute love and intimacy masterclass by world renowned shaman Rudá Iandê.
Rudá taught me an incredibly important lesson about self love.
Now, I’m not the typical person that would seek out the advice of a shaman. But Rudá Iandê isn’t your typical shaman.
He has spent a lot of time with indigenous tribes in the Amazon. He even sings shamanic songs and bangs his drums on occasion.
But he’s different in an important way. Rudá Iandê has made shamanism relevant for modern-day society. He has interpreted and communicated it for people like me and you.
People living regular lives.
One thing I learned from Rudá is that the relationship I have with myself is mirrored in my relationship with others. Therefore, it was very important for me to develop a better relationship with myself.
If what I’m saying resonates with you, please go and check out this excellent masterclass here.
This free masterclass on love and intimacy is a wonderful resource to help you practice self-love.
Recommended reading: How to love yourself: 16 steps to believing in yourself again
16. You’re closed off
How not to find love: If don’t emotionally open yourself to others, how can you expect to ever find love?
Sometimes the simple answer to the inability to find satisfying love is to look inside yourself. Sometimes we cause our problems.
If you’re emotionally unavailable or don’t trust easily, you might build brick walls and place stationed guards outside to protect your fortress when someone attempts to get to know you.
There are a variety of reasons we build walls and some are easier to explain than others; some are more simply taken care of than others.
One of the most common reasons we build walls is because we’ve been wounded in the past. And we all know that letting go of past pain is easier said than done.
Our inner critic affects our ability to move forward, especially when the wounding was severe.
Despite this, we must remember that being closed off does not make us bad people.
We might react negatively to certain situations or hurt someone else’s feelings because we are scared of being hurt again.
We might reject the idea of receiving love because we don’t know the outcome.
Our minds work against us to drown out the positivity that should be forming with a new romance.
While others might see this behavior as rude, that’s not always the case. Becoming vulnerable with someone is scary and it’s okay to be scared. Fear keeps us safe, but it can hinder our happiness.
So, while you aren’t a bad person by any means, closing yourself off to people and opportunities makes letting others in very difficult.
If their attempts are continually thwarted, they might give up, and you may miss the opportunity of your life.
When the negative, inner critic starts chirping in your ear, think of what the future could hold and remember to focus on the positives to form a healthy relationship.
What is a healthy relationship though? A healthy relationship should include the following (from both people):
- Affection and interest
- Room for growth
- Healthy conflict resolution
- Individuality and boundaries
- Openness and honesty
Remember that you deserve love.
How to find love:
- Assess why you cannot let people in and write a list of the reasons you think you’re closed off. If you do not trust people, this doesn’t mean you will not find love. Love is waiting for you with open arms, you just have to find it.
- Try to open up with people. If they are understanding they will be patient with you and your needs. If they aren’t patient, don’t be afraid to ask them why. While it is important to understand how others see us, it is more important to be happy in ourselves, so if they are cruel in response you have your own permission to move on from that person towards a better future.
17. You don’t know how to be sexy and play the game
How not to find love: This point most applies to people who have “forgotten” what it’s like to date.
Maybe you were in a long-term relationship for several years or even over a decade, and for some unfortunate reason, it just didn’t work out.
Now after spending such a long time being coupled up, you suddenly find yourself back on the market.
The problem? You’ve forgotten how to sell yourself. You’ve forgotten how to be sexy.
Instead of playing the game, building intrigue, and presenting yourself as attractive as possible, you simply expect the next person you date to fall in love with you.
How to find love: Whether you like it or not, dating is a game. While honesty and transparency are important, no one wants to know your full life story and all your secrets and every thought in your head on the first date.
Build intrigue, build mystery, and feed yourself to your potential new partner slowly. Give them a taste here and there, and make them want to see you again, preferably as soon as possible.
Recommended reading: How to be sexy: Everything you need to know to look and feel attractive
18. You just don’t have time for it right now
How not to find love: You have work, a social circle, a family, hobbies, and a dozen other things you care about.
You wake up bright and early almost everyday because you have a hundred things that need to be done, and you still rarely ever go to bed feeling like you’ve accomplished everything.
In the back of your head you know you would love to find someone to share all this with, and you keep putting it on the bottom of your to-do list: go out on a date.
How to find love: Love needs time. Building a relationship isn’t easy; it’s not just about going out on a date with someone once every two weeks or once a month.
Especially in this day and age of constant communication, love is now a daily obligation of little conversations and reminders here and there.
And if you don’t have the time for it, then that’s okay; you just can’t fit it into your life right now. There’s nothing wrong with that.
But if you want to find love, remember: you’re going to need to take something else out of your day to make time for having an entirely new person in your life.
19. You already found it
Look around you, right now. You’ve spent all this time trying to find love, but the truth might be that you already found it a long time ago.
But you gave up on the relationship too soon, or something that now seems stupid and trivial happened that pulled you apart.
But in your heart you know that you love them, and you would do anything to have that old relationship back.
It won’t kill you to try again and see what might happen.
To sum this post up, here are the most important topics discussed throughout:
- Putting your best foot forward is a good start to a relationship, but only if you are showing your significant other the real you.
- Love may not come to you, you might have to search through the rubble to find the treasure.
- Rejection is scary, but you can overcome it to find the love you desire. You have control over how you feel.
- You need to understand what the other person wants. For a man, that’s to provide for and protect his woman. And it’s up to the woman to trigger this instinct.
- If you push away those who love you, you might need to break down some walls and have fun before you can appreciate love wholly.
- Love should not be based on high or low standards, respect yourself and those around you by creating realistic standards and see where this takes your love life.
- If you’re feeling unloved by the people around you, perhaps you don’t love yourself enough. When you don’t love yourself, you cannot accept love shown to you.
No one needs to be single forever. I hope these 7 tips will motivate you to put yourself out there and find the person right for you.
However, there’s one crucial ingredient to relationship success I think many women overlook:
Understanding how men think.
Getting a guy to open up and tell you what he’s really feeling can feel like an impossible task. And this can make building a loving relationship extremely difficult.
Let’s face it: Men see the world differently to you.
And this can make a deep passionate romantic relationship—something that men actually want deep down as well—difficult to achieve.
In my experience, the missing link in any relationship is never sex, communication or going on romantic dates. All these things are important, but they are rarely deal breakers when it comes to the success of a relationship.
The missing link is actually understanding what drives men
Relationship psychologist James Bauer’s new video will help you to really understand what makes men tick romantically—and the type of women they fall in love with. You can watch the video here.
James reveals a relationship “secret ingredient” few women know about which holds the key to a man’s love and devotion.