Some people find it easy to fall in love. Others... not so much. And if you’re one of those people who often finds themselves wondering, “Why is it so hard to find love?,” then you may take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. Plenty of single folks have yet to find love (or, at least, lasting love) with another person, and while there’s no one reason why love feels so hard to find for some, there are possible explanations.
Maybe you’ve been told, "Love happens when you least expect it," which implies that the right person will come to you when you stop looking. But according to dating and relationship coach Deanna Cobden, love is oftentimes something you need to actively pursue, and finding it can be difficult. “If you don't look for a quality relationship, you won't find it,” she previously told Elite Daily. “You usually end up with what falls into your lap or nothing at all.”
Prioritizing dating and opening yourself to new connections can allow you to find love, but if you’ve been dating up a storm and still can’t find that special someone, here are some potential reasons why you’re struggling in your search.
You’re Afraid Of Committing
The most common reason why it’s so hard to fall in love is a fear of commitment. Labels can terrify some people, but for others, the uncertainty of where the relationship stands is also terrifying. Whether you’re reluctant to make things official or reluctant to enter an unofficial relationship, committing to someone means potentially getting hurt, so it’s possible you’re avoiding commitment all together.
According to relationship expert April Masini, you have to recognize that fear in order to get over it. "Acknowledge it and even say it out loud — but don’t stop doing something because you're fearful of commitment,” she previously told Elite Daily. And if you’ve found someone you care about (and could potentially even love), then be honest with them about how you feel. “Tell your partner, 'I’m really scared of commitment, but this relationship is so important to me, I want to stick with it, and I want your help with my fear,’” she added.
You’re Not Ready To Settle Down
While you might like the idea of falling in love, a relationship requires a lot of time and effort. Some people aren't necessarily willing to put in the effort, and if you find yourself wanting out every time things get serious, then you’re likely one of those people. It may be a passing phase, you may prefer non-monogamous relationships, or you could just be wanting to play the field. Whatever the reason, you’re not ready to love just one person.
As licensed clinical social worker Dr. Danielle Forshee previously told Elite Daily, if you have "difficulty initiating or following through with a discussion pertaining to future plans or fantasies with your partner," then you could be scared of settling down. “Those who do not want to settle down or are unsure of settling down in general have difficulty with making things permanent," she explained, and this may be why lasting love seems to elude you.
You’re Overly Picky
There’s a big difference between being discerning and being overly picky. When someone is a discerning dater, they make romantic decisions based on their best interests without compromising their values and standards. When someone is overly picky, they tend to operate from a place of fear, where they’re only open to dating someone who is exactly what they envision in a partner. By doing so, they eliminate tons of viable possibilities out of self-protection.
To avoid this trap, try opening yourself to new possibilities. "Try being more intentional about being open to connection," suggested Alysha Jeney, relationship therapist and co-founder of The Modern Love Box. "Smile more, use eye contact, be nice to people around you and start conversations with everyone and anyone."
You’ve Been Hurt Before
Whether you went through a brutal breakup or have been burned by a crush, it’s possible you’re so afraid of having your feelings hurt that you don’t want to put yourself out there at all. A big reason why people are afraid to open themselves to others is a fear of abandonment, which can make you resist the very thing you want: a deep, emotional connection with another person. And when you can’t make yourself vulnerable, then you close off the possibility of an intimate relationship.
That fear may stem from having been hurt before and not wanting to repeat your mistakes, according to licensed clinical psychotherapist and relationship expert Dr. LeslieBeth Wish. “Some of the most common fears are getting hurt or putting up with mistreatment for longer than you want to admit to yourself," Dr. Wish previously explained. "One of the most confounding experiences you hope never again to repeat is feeling fooled."
You’re Caught Up On Another Person
When your heart already belongs to someone, it’s impossible to give it to someone else. If you spend all your time missing your ex or pining after that unattainable crush, then you’ll find it pretty tough to make a connection elsewhere, no matter how many dates you go on. Sometimes, in order to find love, you have to let go of the person who’s currently hogging your emotional energy (and totally undeserving of it).
As sex and intimacy coach Irene Fehr previously told Elite Daily, "From the wondering, dreaming, thinking about 'what ifs' or 'what should have beens' with an ex, still being connected with them takes emotional energy — and that is energy that cannot go to a current partner."
You Have Other Priorities Right Now
Maybe all your friends are in relationships. Maybe you’re feeling pressure from your family, who keeps asking when you’re going to “meet someone.” But even if everyone in your life is making you believe love should be your top priority, perhaps it simply isn’t. Whether you’re focused on your career or school or a recent move, there’s a chance you can’t find love because you’re not actually looking for it right now.
“It’s not a test, or a race, to see how fast you can find a new flame,” Jenna Birch, strategic advisor for Plum dating app and author of The Love Gap, explained. “You can go on a dating hiatus, and just focus on yourself. Honestly. Constantly scanning rooms and browsing apps for new dating prospects can make single life less fun. So if you’re tired, stop dating for a while.”
You’re Pursuing The Wrong Kind Of People
Are you going on tons of dates that never seem to go anywhere? It could be a string of bad dating luck — or it could be time to reevaluate your “type.” People often fall into self-sabotaging patterns or attract the wrong type of person without even realizing it, and while it could be a means of self-protection, you’re not doing yourself any favors by continually pursuing people who don’t want the same things as you.
As Julia Bekker, matchmaker and dating and relationship coach, previously explained, “Recognize what that is and why it is you are so drawn to it so you can see it and not fall for it again. Changing who you are attracted to comes from self work, self awareness, and self acceptance. When you value yourself enough, you will be turned off by anything or anyone who is not respecting you or serving your needs."
You Don’t Value Yourself
While I don’t subscribe to the idea that you need to love yourself before you can love anyone else, it’s true that a person who doesn’t see their value will have a hard time finding a relationship in which they’re valued. If loving yourself feels like an impossible task, then that doesn’t mean you’ll never find love. But going to therapy and bolstering your sense of self worth can make it less scary to put yourself out there.
“It's hard to love yourself when you don't love how you feel,” clinical psychologist Dr. Josh Klapow told Elite Daily. “Loving yourself means caring for, honoring and taking care of you. You sacrifice you, and you cannot be fully present for someone else."
There is no one answer for why love is so hard to find, but if you feel like you’re putting yourself out there with no success, then it may be time to look within.
Deanna Cobden, dating and relationship coach
April Masini, relationship expert
Dr. Danielle Forshee, licensed clinical social worker
Alysha Jeney, relationship therapist and co-founder of The Modern Love Box
Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, licensed clinical psychotherapist and relationship expert
Irene Fehr, sex and intimacy coach
Julia Bekker, matchmaker and dating and relationship coach
Dr. Josh Klapow, clinical psychologist
Editor's Note: This story has been updated by Elite Daily Staff.
This article was originally published on