What To Do When You Want Love But Can't Seem To Find It

By: Mary Elizabeth Dean

Updated October 12, 2021

Medically Reviewed By: Whitney White, MS. CMHC, NCC., LPC

Sometimes we may feel like society is delivering us the message that it’s abnormal to want to be loved; however, the need for connection with others and for love is fundamental. In fact, it has been proven time and again that being deprived of love during childhood leads to psychological problems, some of which are difficult to overcome.

To people talk about how they want to be loved.Source: rawpixel.com

If you want love but can’t seem to find it, don’t give up hope just yet. It is one of the best-kept secrets to overall happiness and an essential part of a fulfilling life. The five tips below will point you in the right direction.

#1 Accept That You Want To Be Loved 

American culture will tell you that if you believe you need love, then you first need to love yourself. This idea holds some weight, but every human being needs love from an outside source. It’s part of our nature. As we are creatures that care deeply for one another and are meant to nurture offspring as our most basic instinct, it is no surprise that we feel the need to be loved, as well as to want to love others.

American culture will also try and say that wanting love is a weakness. Wanting love is not a weakness but a strength. If one can identify what they are lacking in their life, they can begin to grow. There is one question you must ask yourself as you embark on your search for the love you want: Are you craving love, or are you craving something else?

If you’re sure that what you’re craving isn’t just sexual desire or the need for companionship, you may be wanting and needing love. Some find it hard to accept that they’re wanting love because of the myth that needing others or wanting love equates with weakness.

Others may take it further and believe that they do not deserve to be loved. Why? Perhaps they feel like something they’ve done, or even something they haven’t done, is good enough reason not to be loved; therefore,they cannot accept that they need love, although they do want it.

Needing and wanting love is normal, and everyone possesses traits, qualities, and inherent value that makes them deserving of love. Sometimes it helps to affirm these points to yourself. Try saying some of the following to yourself each day:

“I am a person worthy of love, because I am alive. I need love, and I accept the fact that I do. By needing love, I am not weak. I am strong because I know I need love, and I know that I am a person who can be loved.”

By reminding yourself of this often, even if you do not believe it now, you soon will come to believe your words and can continue on the path to finding the love you want. Here’s a list of self-love affirmations to get you started.

#2 Try to Find the Root of the Problem

Do you feel unlovable, or do you believe love is a weakness? Is there something else?

Once you have accepted the fact that your desire for love and connection is normal, looking at the root of the problem may be helpful in moving forward. Your beliefs about yourself, love in general, and others can impact your behavior and approach to situations, and may need to be addressed.

Painful experiences like loss of a loved one, childhood trauma, and more can shape the thoughts and ideas you have about yourself, love, and others. Working to uncover what your underlying beliefs about love and yourself are may help you make important changes that begin to bring you the things you want for yourself, including love.

You can talk these issues out with a trusted friend or family member, or you can talk to a licensed counselor, who will keep things private and have specialized insight to share.

#3 Try Not to Depend on Tinder, Bumble, Etc.

Source: rawpixel.com

A lot of people who want love try out apps like Tinder or Hinge. Although it is true that people have found love on Tinder, most people use it as a surface-level confidence booster. Although Tinder can be used as a (generally unhealthy) way of raising self-esteem, it can also be detrimental to one’s self-esteem if they do not find ‘matches.’

Most people on Tinder are not on the website for healthy relationships, but instead for hook-ups, which can lead to a dip in your self-esteem ifthe individual does not request a second date, perhaps because they were never looking for one in the first place.

Depending on matchmaking websites can hurt you emotionally, potentially leading to relationships that are not made to last. If you fall into a pattern of going on Tinder/Bumble/Hinge dates, it can not only further harm your self-esteem, but it can also make you feel more hopeless about finding love.

Instead of depending on applications and websites to make you feel wanted and loved (as studies show that excessive screen time is bad for the brain and can contribute to feelings of hopelessness, as well as further create problems feeling loved), try to connect with real people. Try joining activities in your community, attending events, joining clubs and other organizations, or visiting libraries, coffee shops and similar low-stakes places to meet people.

If you have already started using dating apps, be mindful of their potential to be used by others in anunhealthy way and keep them in perspective—they aren’t the only way to meet people!

#4 Know How You Want To Be Loved in a Healthy Relationship

As you are on your search for love, make sure you have a solid idea in your head of what healthy relationships look like, as well as what you want and need in a relationship. Make a list of the things you would want out of a relationship, and your ideas about how a relationship should work. Talk with friends and family members, and even do some research about healthy relationships. This is another area that a licensed counselor can be very helpful with as well!

#5 Try to Work on Yourself

Source: rawpixel.com

Finally, try to work on yourself. Perhaps you dislike traits about yourself, or there were things you wished you could learn to do. In your search for love, try to work on yourself by doing the adventurous things you’ve always wanted to, and growing your patience and kindness.

You’ll not only feel more fulfilled as a person, but be a better partner when love comes your way. By building yourself to be a person you like, the path to finding a healthy, loving relationship becomes even more meaningful.

Preparing for Love With BetterHelp

Research shows that online therapy can be beneficial for those who are dealing with difficult emotions arising out of issues with love and relationships. In a comprehensive study published in Behavior Therapy—a peer-reviewed academic journal—researchers found that online cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) was effective in reducing feelings of loneliness in participants. In addition to decreased loneliness, the study notes that participants experienced an overall increase in quality of life, and a reduction in other symptoms that are often associated with depression and social anxiety. Cognitive-behavioral therapy works by helping individuals understand and regulate the thoughts and behaviors that are underlying certain difficult-to-manage situations, such as an unfulfilled love life.

As mentioned above, online therapy can help you manage complex emotions arising out of your search for love. If you are uncomfortable discussing these issues in person, online therapy can be a more private option, allowing you to participate in counseling from the comfort of your home. With BetterHelp, you can connect with a licensed therapist from the comfort of your couch, or basically anywhere you have an internet connection. Online mental health professionals can help you build up your confidence and work through your emotions so that you’re ready for a loving relationship when the time comes. Read below for reviews of BetterHelp counselors, from people who have experienced similar issues.

Therapist Reviews

“Courtney is an amazing counselor. She helped me a lot feel less lonely during these times. She helped me with finding ways to stop ruminating. I definitely grew a bit these past few weeks with her help.”

“Herb is a great listener, and offers very insightful observations about my situation every week. He supports my self development by offering solutions to problems, and helping me build good habits such as daily meditation, gratitude exercises, and different ways of staying active. I feel like Herb has a genuine interest in my well being, and I look forward to our conversations every week. Starting weekly therapy with Herb using BetterHelp has really helped me deal with work related stress, loneliness, and overall organizing my life and living in a healthier way. I think Herb is a great therapist, and can really help you deal with a diverse set of problems.”


If you’re stuck on your path to love and connection, consider reaching out to a licensed counselor. Remember that help is out there for you if you need it. Take the first step today.

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