I Can’t Fall in Love: 7 Reasons You May Be Unable To Experience Intimate Connection
Updated October 03, 2019
Reviewer Lauren Guilbeault
From the moment when we can first understand the concept of getting into a relationship with someone, the notion of love seems both desirable and romantic. Most of us have that dream about meeting the perfect person, getting married, and then living out the rest of our lives in a picturesque "happy ever after" fashion. It seems very easy when we are younger and all we have to do is wait for the moment.
As we get older, however, we discover that finding love can be much more difficult than initially anticipated and that navigating relationships can be even harder. Going through multiple people in search of someone who we are going to be with for a significant amount of time can leave us asking ourselves, "When will I fall in love?"
For some, the issue is not finding people that they can connect with and possibly fall in love with but they may have an issue falling in love in the first place and may feel that they are simply incapable of love fostering a meaningful, intimate connection with someone else. This may leave people instead wondering, "Why can't I fall in love?"
Fortunately enough, there may be plenty of reasons that are contributing to your inability to love someone back and identification of a problem is the first step in solving it. If you feel as though you are unable to love another person, we are going to walk through some of the potential reasons why this may be happening to you and what you will be able to do about it.
7 Reasons Why You (Or Your Partner) Are Unable To Let Love in
For those of you who are constantly dodging love but are unable to figure out why some of the most common reasons include:
- Trauma From Childhood Is Bleeding Into Adult Relationship Fears
How we experience love and other major things in our childhood sets the tone for how we receive love later on in our lives. Any kind of trauma, no matter how big or how small, can make it much harder for us to accept love from even the most loving of partners and we may not always be aware that these kinds of problems are taking place within us when we start engaging with others on an emotional and intimate level.
Some common childhood traumas that will often affect an individual's ability to love include being abandoned by one or more parents at any age, witnessing domestic violence (which can also lead to unhealthy relationships down the road), being the target of abuse by one or more parents, being neglected by a parent or not feeling that strong feeling of attachment that one should at a young age (which can lead to attachment issues in relationships later on in life), or having a parent that engaged in negative relationship habits and specific behaviors that made an impression.
Through successfully identifying these traumas and working through them, people will be able to start learning how to maintain healthy relationships and accept affection from others without feeling guarded or worried about what the outcome might be.
- One Partner Doesn't Want To Feel Obligated To Return Affection
We often think that reasons for lacking love are rooted in fear but some of them may simply be rooted in not wanting to necessarily be trapped by the expectations that come with love. Some people may not want to love someone back because they don't want to feel obligated to return the same level of affection that their partner is giving them. Whether it be in the form of gifts, events, or other forms of giving, some partners may not always have the capacity to reciprocate these signs of affection.
If they had someone in the past that made it clear that they were not able to reciprocate certain behaviors and were very mad about it, the person who is unable to love can feel that they will encounter this again and will withhold their love so as to avoid this happening again in another relationship. This may not be a common issue to come across but it is the case for a few people who find loving others to be difficult.
- One Partner Is Worried That They Will Lose Themselves In The Relationship
Before we enter a relationship, we are completely and utterly ourselves. We dictate how we live our lives, we do what we want when we want, and we are free. When we enter a serious relationship, on the other hand, we start to form an identity with another person and while there is still our identity in the mix that is maintained on the side, there is somewhat less freedom than their initially was and not everyone is able to handle this without being absorbed by the relationship.
Some people will have this overwhelming fear that they will not be able to live their own lives or be themselves within a relationship with another person. Whether or not this is justified by the current strength and health of the relationship, this fear can lead a person to keep their partner at arm's length so as to keep themselves from falling too deep and potentially losing who they are in the process. It is important to know whether or not this is truly a justifiable fear or not before taking any action. For example, if your partner gives you plenty of space but you are worried about being smothered, this can be an issue on your own end. However, if your partner is overly attached or controlling, this fear may be justified and you may need additional help to deal with this issue.
- Fear Of Being Taken Advantage Of By Someone Else
Trust is the foundation of every loving relationship. You need to be able to trust that your partner will not try to hurt you or do anything to sabotage the relationship and the trust goes both ways. Trust, however, can be hard to earn and accept as you or your partner may have been in a major relationship in the past in which they gave their full trust to someone else, only to have their heart broken in the process. (This lack of trust may also come from relationships early in their life that did not provide stability.)
In order to cope with these problems and to prevent them from happening again, people will close themselves off and keep their guard up against any potential intruders so that they are not taken advantage of and hurt. Although this will keep you protected, it also prevents you from experiencing the joys of love that life has to offer and can get in the way of many great relationships. The fear of pain is normal but it must be overcome in order to lead a healthy and happy life.
- You Or Your Partner Don't Feel The Need To Engage In Long-Term Relationships
As a society, we have certain expectations for ourselves and for others. Among these expectations is the one that we all need to meet someone, fall in love, and settle down. Because of this, we may feel like we are doing something wrong or are guilty when we aren't meeting these expectations or simply have no desire to. This may make us ask ourselves, "Why can't I feel the love?" rather than, "Do I want to love at this point in time?"
The truth is that this is your life and that certain societal expectations are not designed to be met if they do not fall in line with your own desires. An inability to love someone else may not stem from trauma or from a desire to avoid it but may instead come from a lack of wanting to fall in love with someone else. If love is not in your cards and you are simply looking to connect with others and have short-term relationships, there is nothing wrong with this and you should make these needs known to both yourself and to the people who you connect with.
- The Pressure Or Expectations Of A Relationship Are Too High
It can be hard to fall in love with someone else if you are worried about the mechanics of a relationship and the effort that goes into it rather than focusing on the raw connection that happens between you and someone else. For some people, dating and other traditional courting tactics can be too much pressure and they may avoid love altogether so that they don't have to go through these dates and meetings each time.
If dating simply isn't for you and you can't seem to go around the overwhelm, you can find solutions such as making dates more casual or trying to make friends before you move into a relationship with someone. This can help ease some of the pressure so that you don't miss out on opportunities to intimately connect with other people
- Low Self-Worth And Low Self-Esteem Blocking Out Positive Aspects Of A Relationship
You may have heard the phrase, "you need to love yourself before you can love others" and in some cases, this is true. When you are in a relationship with someone and you have low self-worth or low self-esteem, this can cause you to constantly doubt the positive things they are saying about you or make it hard to believe that they are capable of loving you. This may also make it hard for them to want to stay in the relationship since you are not accepting of the love and affection they are showing towards you and are rejecting their praise.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have individuals who have low self-worth but will rely on their partners to provide them their happiness and reassure them of their worth, becoming dependent on and attached to their partner as the relationship develops over time. Regardless of which traits you or your partner display and the course that it sets the relationship on, this issue requires help so as to prevent it from becoming a problem in future relationships as well as everyday life.
Men who can't love and women who can't love share similar traits when it comes to the reasoning behind the inability to love someone else. Hopefully, these 7 reasons listed above will give you more insight into why you are unable to love someone or why your current partner seems unable to love you.
Although this information can be helpful to know, you may be wondering, how do I go about fixing some of the issues that are holding me back from loving another? If you are seeking out help to break down the barricades in your relationships, one great resource to turn to is BetterHelp. BetterHelp is an online counseling platform that takes the complications out of traditional therapy while still providing you with certified counselors who can provide you with the help that you need. If you believe that this can be helpful for your current situation, simply click on the link above to get started today.