They say the course of true love never did run smooth, but exactly how rough should it get?
This whole love, romance, and dating thing is often a pretty bumpy ride.
Disappointment, rejection, and heartbreak can leave many of us wondering “what if I’m not meant to find love?”.
We may think that if it hasn’t happened by now there’s something wrong with us or it never will.
6 reasons why you feel like love isn’t meant for you
1) You’ve been hurt in the past
It might not be much comfort, but heartbreak is one of the most universal of all life experiences. Over 80 percent of us will have our heartbroken at some point.
If you’ve gone through it, you’ll know that it’s the worst and there are many stages of heartbreak to overcome. So it’s perhaps unsurprising that the pain from heartbreak can do pretty strange things to us.
Being in that state is associated with neurotic tendencies, anxious attachments, and avoidant attachment.
Heartbreak can also create physical stress on the body too, causing appetite changes, lack of motivation, weight loss or weight gain, overeating, headaches, stomach pain, and a general sense of being unwell.
Is it any wonder then that past experiences of heartache can impact how we react towards and view love in our future.
After a recent breakup, it’s common to have fearful thoughts about whether you will ever find love again. Because of the negative headspace we’re in, we can easily panic and start to think we’ve lost the only chance at love we might have had.
No matter how “real” this feels at the time, it’s not the case. We just need time to believe again that there really are plenty of fish in the sea.
Carrying emotional baggage from old connections that didn’t work out can prevent us from finding love again.
Healing old wounds and practicing forgiveness (towards yourself and your ex) can help you to begin to feel more optimistic about love again.
This is a process and may take time, self-compassion, and gentleness.
2) You’re scared
Even when we say that we want to find love, plenty of us are simultaneously scared of it.
Because of this, we can find ourselves self-sabotaging when it looks like love could be heading our way, or running for the hills when someone gets too close.
Defense mechanisms kick in when part of our brain believes that we need to be protected.
After all, loving and being loved can feel very vulnerable.
Whenever we think that we want love, but we can’t seem to find it or things just never work out, it can be helpful to do a little bit of soul searching:
- What is the benefit you’re getting from not finding love?
- What is the benefit you’re getting from not being in a stable relationship?
At first, we might think the idea that an absence of love is bringing us some kind of reward. But when you dig below the surface you usually find it is.
For example, you don’t have to put yourself out there and feel exposed to the potential for getting hurt or feeling rejected.
You may be afraid of losing yourself or your independence if you “settle down”.
Perhaps you are not quite as emotionally available as you might think.
3) You’re not settling (and that’s a good thing)
Do you ever look around and feel like everyone else is in a relationship but you?
Maybe you have a friend who never seems to be single and manages to jump from one relationship to the next. It could prompt you to wonder why that’s not the case for you.
But look a little closer and you may see that plenty of people are in pretty bad relationships, simply because they are scared to be alone. They would rather have a substandard relationship than none at all.
If you have strong self-esteem and self-worth, the chances are that your expectations from a relationship will be higher.
You may find love appears more elusive to you, simply because you have high standards. You’re not desperate and you respect yourself. Good for you.
Rather than latching on to the first Tom, Dick, or Harry that happens to walk by, you prefer to wait for a partnership you feel you deserve.
Whilst being in love can be a wonderful feeling, it’s certainly not the be-all and end-all in life.
In many ways, not being in love can be a lifestyle choice.
You may be prioritizing other things right now, whether that is your career, travel, or your own personal development.
That certainly doesn’t mean you’re not meant to find love, it just means it will come when you are good and ready for it.
4) You’re being unrealistic
I blame the fairytales and romcoms that most of us grow up on. Because there is no denying that as a society we have an incredibly romanticized vision of love.
The trouble with this is that real-life fails to match up. It can create unrealistic and unfair expectations of love within us.
We want our Prince Charming or Princess but what we actually find is a regular flawed fellow human being.
Because of the emphasis on finding romantic love in life, we expect way too much from it. We want love to complete us, fulfill us, and make us happy.
When it doesn’t, we can end up feeling short-changed. We think we haven’t “found the one” after all when we start to experience challenges or another person fails to make all our dreams come true.
The truth is that nobody is your “other half” even if you do feel like you’ve found a soulmate.
Your happiness will always be down to you and it never depends on being in love with someone.
A lot of us try to use love as a shortcut to discovering happiness and fulfillment in our own lives. But when we do this, we are always bound to end up disappointed sooner or later.
5) You’re feeling under pressure
Although I have been in love before and am confident I will find it again one day, I’ll admit there are times I feel the pressure.
False narratives like “what if I’m too old to find love again” or “what if I’m not meant to be in a relationship” creep into my mind.
The reason is that we create expectations around the timeline for when certain things should happen in life, even though life just doesn’t work that way.
Yet we still burden ourselves with the pressure to find someone by a certain age or stage in our life. If it hasn’t happened yet, we tell ourselves it never will.
We also have a habit of falling into the trap of unfairly comparing ourselves to others. We may look at people who seem to have what we want.
But we’re selectively focusing our attention in a very skewed way. We look towards the people we believe are loved up or in committed relationships.
We don’t remind ourselves that in fact more than half of young adults (18-34) don’t have a romantic partner.
Or that there are plenty of fully grown adults who have never been in love.
All of this can create tension that weighs down on us when we think about finding love.
6) You’re worried you might not be loveable
Deep down at our core, many of us hold onto a secret unspoken fear…
“I am not loveable.”
It’s actually the reason why so many people respond negatively to being loved.
A lot of us experience feelings of “not-enoughness”.
We can pin our self-worth on so many external factors, such as what we believe others think of us, our job title, our relationship status, etc.
It makes us feel insecure if we think that we’re just not stacking up.
Sometimes the idea that you are unloveable even becomes a core belief. A core belief is an assumption we make based on past experiences, which becomes so deeply ingrained that we act as though it is true (even when very often it couldn’t be further from the truth)
You get hurt or rejected a couple of times in the past, so you subconsciously on some level jump to the false conclusion it means you are not meant to be loved.
Admitting to yourself that you may feel unloveable is the first step, before banishing this false core belief once and for all.
3 ways to still feel loved when you’re not “in love”
1) Connect to the love already around you
Love, affection, and intimacy come in many forms, and not only through romantic partnership. Chances are you have a support network around you.
The most obvious of which could be in the form of friends and family. But these are certainly not the only sources. You can find it in other places too like community groups, networking clubs, or even places like your gym.
The key to feeling loved regardless of your relationship status is to actively build meaningful connections.
When we widen our perception of “love” even further, we can start to see it everywhere we go, in hundreds of small moments scattered throughout the day.
It’s in the warm feeling on your skin when the sun pokes through the clouds, it’s in the rustle of the trees and the smell of a fresh cool breeze when you’re out for a walk, it’s in the welcoming smile of a stranger you pass on the street.
2) Discover new passion
A full life is a fulfilled life. The more you enrich your life with things you care about, which interest you and stir enthusiasm within you, the less you will feel lacking.
The absence of a love interest right now offers an opportunity to pursue other enriching things that light you up.
Taking a night class, spending time on activities you enjoy, or learning something new — all of these things remind us that passion presents itself in many ways.
3) Give love
It’s one of those little truths that whatever we feel an absence of in life, we may also be withholding too.
Love is a two-way street and the channels need to be open both ways. To receive love, we also must be able to give love.
But in the same way that selfless giving is good for your health and evokes gratitude, the same goes for giving love.
The positive effects of giving away your compassion, kindness, and love to others will come back to you tenfold and make you feel more loved.
To conclude: “Love is not for me”
Love most certainly is for you, because love is meant for everyone. Every single person on this earth is worthy of love from the moment they are born.
In fact, scientists think that the need to be loved is one of our most basic and fundamental needs. It’s hardwired and it’s universal.
We are all driven to seek love and to give love.
If deep down you crave romantic partnership in your life, you can find it. But no matter what, it’s important to remember that love appears in many ways and is always all around you.