Why Can’t I Fall In Love? 8 Reasons You May Face Challenges In Relationships

Medically reviewed by Melissa Guarnaccia, LCSW
Updated March 22, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Some people wish to not fall in love, "I don't want to fall in love anymore" while some question why they're struggling in falling in love with another person. If you find yourself struggling to fall in love in relationships or haven’t felt a spark with a potential partner yet, you may ask yourself, “Why can’t I fall in love?” Feeling unable to fall in love isn’t easy, and may bring up scary or overwhelming sensations or emotions. You might see the love of those around you and desire the same type of connection with someone in your own life. In these cases, you could be experiencing one of eight common reasons for struggling to fall in love. Identifying the source of the problem may allow you to move past it.

Therapy Can Be A Safe Place To Discuss Emotional Distress

Eight Reasons Why You May Feel Challenged To Fall In Love

Love can be a complex emotion. How long does it take to fall in love? Studies show that adults can take anywhere from 97 to 139 days or more to feel “in love” with someone else. If you don’t feel love immediately upon meeting someone, this may be more common than you think. 

There are various stages of love, from initial infatuation to attaching to someone long-term. Love is an emotion that triggers chemical reactions in the brain, so it can come and go. Those in long-term loving relationships may not feel love for each other 100% of the time, as the brain makes space for other emotions, like joy, sadness, contentment, and more. However, it is possible to find and stay in love for an extended time.

There are a few reasons you might not feel love for someone, including the following. 

1. You Have An Insecure Attachment Style

Attachment styles develop from childhood by how your primary caregiver attends to your emotional and physical needs. Insecure attachment can occur when an infant or child’s needs are not met or if childhood trauma occurs.  

The four attachment styles include: 

  • Anxious-preoccupied

  • Avoidant

  • Disorganized

  • Secure

In avoidant attachment, you may experience urges to avoid close intimacy, love, or vulnerability. You might feel that the more someone gets close to you, the more you want to pull away. 

2. You Identify As Aromantic

Aromanticism is an identity related to your romantic orientation. Those who identify as aromantic may not feel love or a desire to participate in romantic relationships. 

It can be normal to identify as aromantic and isn’t necessarily a sign of an underlying mental health problem. Aromantic individuals may or may not choose to have romantic relationships or close intimate connections. They might still experience sexual attraction or identify as asexual, which means they do not feel sexual attraction at all.

Many aromantic individuals have a queer-platonic relationship, which is a platonic relationship with specific dynamics, rules, or emotions that are more than expected in a friendship. 

3. You Experienced Traumatic Or Unhealthy Past Relationships

If you have loved in the past but experienced a traumatic or unhealthy relationship, you may feel wary about entering relationships now. Often, healing from trauma can take time, and you could struggle to trust or feel open to intimacy with someone new out of fear that the relationship may end up the same as your previous one. If you experienced prior relationship struggles, consider reaching out for support from a therapist. Healing your past hurts may be a step toward feeling open to love in the future if you desire it. 

4. You Don’t Feel Ready To Be In A Relationship 

You might be in a phase in your life where you do not yet feel ready to date or experience a long-term connection. It’s normal to take some time to date or even to never date at all. If you do not crave a romantic relationship or feel you’re not in a healthy mindset for one, it could be time to focus your energy inward. If you’re already in a relationship and feel you made a mistake or aren’t ready to date, you can choose to leave your partner. Although deciding to break up may feel overwhelming, being out of a relationship can give you the mental clarity and space you need to figure out the dynamic that works for you. 

5. You’re Not In Love With Your Current Partner 

If you do not feel in love but are in a relationship, you might not love your current partner. However, not loving a current partner doesn’t necessarily indicate that you are incapable of love. Think back to past relationships if you had them. Did you feel in love with any of your partners? If so, it could be that your current relationship is incompatible with you, or not enough time has passed. Love is a naturally occurring emotion and shouldn’t be forced. 

You might find that your relationship starts to struggle if you stay committed to someone you do not or no longer love. If you need support deciding whether to leave your relationship, consider reaching out to someone you trust or a professional to gain insightful advice. 

6. Your Needs Aren’t Being Met In Your Relationship 

Healthy relationships contribute to overall mental health. If your needs aren’t being met in your relationship, you might not feel love for your partner. You may have felt love for them at one point and felt that the emotions subsided with time as conflict arose or your needs started to go under the radar. 

In this case, an open conversation with your partner could be beneficial. Let them know you feel dissatisfied with the current state of your connection. Common reasons you might feel dissatisfied include: 

  • Your partner isn’t holding their weight with chores, childcare, or bills 

  • The level of physical intimacy in your relationship is low

  • You don’t feel heard emotionally 

  • You don’t feel that your partner is grateful for what you do for them 

  • Your partner is emotionally distant

  • Your partner is emotionally overwhelming 

  • You are busy with work or other responsibilities and don’t spend time together

  • Your interests do not align, or you don’t feel compatible

  • You are financially, emotionally, and physically caring for your partner mostly or completely

  • Your partner isn’t caring for their mental or physical health 

  • Your love language isn’t considered by your partner 

  • Your partner disregards your boundaries

  • You are arguing or having conflict more than usual 

If any of the above points are occurring in your relationship, consider reaching out to a couples therapist or individual counselor. You might also consider leaving your relationship if things stay the same or do not change after communicating your needs. 

7. You’re Experiencing Low Self-Esteem 

Low self-esteem can cause feelings of repulsion toward love or relationships. If you do not feel attractive, valuable, or loveable, you may subconsciously feel that others will not see you in this way. Low self-esteem can be improved through self-care and practices that increase self-compassion, like meditation.

Other forms of self-care can include: 

  • Going for walks in nature

  • Identifying your emotions and validating them for yourself

  • Participating in an activity that you feel passionate about 

  • Practicing personal and sleep hygiene

  • Caring for your mental health needs

  • Eating a healthy diet 

  • Drinking water daily 

  • Practicing mindfulness

  • Talking to someone you trust

  • Writing down your goals and dreams 

  • Journaling 

  • Utilizing fidget toys

  • Separating work, study, and personal life 

8. You Haven’t Met Your Match Yet 

It is possible you haven’t met someone who meets your standards for love, relationships, or attraction yet. If you have dated casually in the past or haven’t found a prospective partner, it could be that the “right” person hasn’t crossed paths with you. Focusing your energy on yourself could be beneficial if you often think about meeting a partner to the point where it causes stress. When you stop looking for a connection, one could stumble upon you. While it’s important to look for someone you’re compatible with and who meets your needs, it’s also vital to focus on what you can do to be a healthy partner to another person.

On the other hand, if you haven’t put much effort into finding a partner but are ready to start, you could consider online dating or attending a blind dating event in your city. As previously stated, love can take a couple of months to develop, so test your connection in favorable situations and let it go from there. 

Is It Wrong To Not Feel Love? 

Whether you haven’t felt love yet, have lost love for a partner, or identify as aromantic or asexual, not feeling love can be normal and healthy. Your motions may not be in your control and judging yourself for not feeling something can be counterproductive. There is nothing wrong with you. However, if you feel distressed, confused, or upset about not feeling love, you might consider reaching out to a counselor for support. 

Therapy Can Be A Safe Place To Discuss Emotional Distress

Online Counseling With BetterHelp

At times, feeling unable to fall in love or experience intimacy can cause emotional distress. If you’re already in a relationship, you may be experiencing conflict with your partner and don’t know where to turn. If you relate, counseling could be a valuable option. 

If you’re interested in trying online counseling, several platforms, such as BetterHelp for individuals and ReGain for couples, offer client-therapist professional matching services to find the most effective counselor. You can set your preferences for gender, sexuality, and specialty when you sign up. This lets you have more control over your experience in therapy. 

The Efficacy Of Online Counseling

Many individuals and couples turn to online counseling for support. In a recent study, 71% of participants found online counseling more effective or as beneficial as traditional in-person therapy options. Online therapy is often more affordable and more available to couples, as well. Additional research shows that 70% of couples who seek treatment find it effective and beneficial to their relationship. 

Takeaway

Feeling unable to connect intimately with another individual or struggling to fall in love can feel confusing and complicated. Although not feeling romantic attraction can be a sign of a romantic orientation like aromanticism, it can also stem from many other causes—some of which you may need to find support to move past. If you are concerned with your lack of love, consider reaching out for help from a licensed counselor. 

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