Love is a core component of the human experience for most people, but it can be difficult to find and sustain. Whether you’re talking about friendships, relationships with family members, or romantic relationships, there’s usually a lot that goes into finding and nurturing loving connections. If you’re feeling like giving up on love, read on for advice, inspiration, or simply a different perspective on love.
Is Love Important?
In fact, researchers have linked the experience of ongoing loneliness and social isolation to various physical and mental health problems. For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), having poor social relationships is associated with a 50% increase in risk of dementia, a 32% increase in risk of stroke, and higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide. These risks represent one compelling reason to avoid giving up on love altogether, even if you have no interest in romantic love. Platonic love with friends and family can also help you live happily and healthily.
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or behaviors, seek help immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached 24/7 by dialing 988.
Why You Might Feel Like Giving Up On Love
Interpersonal relationships can be complex and confusing. Healthy, fulfilling ones can be hard to find, especially in a society where busy schedules and the rise of the internet have many people feeling more disconnected than ever. Relationships can lead to love but also come with the inherent risk of hurting others or being hurt, which can make it harder to keep at them or engage in new ones over time. Every person and every relationship is unique, so there can be a variety of reasons a person might end up feeling like giving up on love. Some of the most common reasons to start giving up on love include:
- Low self-esteem, or having a low opinion of yourself and thus believing you’re not worthy of love, or that feeling like no one would want to be your friend or romantic partner
- Past trauma, such as abuse*, loss, abandonment, a difficult divorce, divorce of parents during childhood, childhood neglect, etc.
- Past experiences in your love life that may not qualify as trauma but were still harmful and may influence your views on relationships now, such as a bad relationship, infidelity, or unrequited love
- Trouble finding love, whether platonic or romantic
While all of the above can be difficult experiences to go through, it is generally possible to heal from them and go on to cultivate a loving, fulfilling, and healthy relationship in the future. Although you may believe you have a good reason to give up on love, it may still benefit you to open your heart to finding love.
*If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse in any form, you can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for immediate support, advice, and assistance.
What You Can Do If You Feel Like Giving Up On Love
Whatever the reason, there may be times in your life when you feel like giving up on love in one or all forms. Since human connection can be crucial for well-being, however, it’s often in your best interest to find a way to eventually move forward in your love life—whether that applies to love for family, friends, community, or a romantic partner(s). The following tips could help you on your journey of healing from any bad experiences of love in the past or emotional roadblocks in the present so you can soothe yourself when you feel like giving up on love and find nurturing physical connection going forward.
Take A Break
Relationships, where you experienced heartbreak or harm, can take time to heal from. There’s no set timeline that applies to everyone, and many factors—including how long the relationship lasted and whether you initiated its end or not—can play into how long you need before you try again with someone new. It’s okay to give yourself this time to reflect, reset, and work towards healing before you put yourself out there for new friends or romantic partners again. The feeling of giving up on love likely won’t last forever, so you might consider pausing the pursuit for a while to feel your feelings and process the experience until you're ready to try again. You may eventually find that the thought of having a special person in your life seems appealing.
Build Skills For Healthy Relationships
Sometimes, relationships go badly, end, or are hard to form because of circumstances out of our control. All we can do is invest our best effort into helping our relationship succeed. Learning skills for healthy relationships can be useful in this regard. For example, you could learn about love languages to empower you to ask for what you need in relationships and to learn how to show love to others effectively as well. This can help you find happiness once you do enter a relationship and find love again.
You could also consume educational content on helpful strategies for conflict resolution, interpersonal communication, boundary setting, and other useful skills. You might also look into the theory of attachment styles, which can help you understand how you tend to behave in the context of relationships—especially romantic ones. It’s easy to believe that we are always in the right in relationships, but introspection may reveal that there are areas where we can grow and improve to become good partners.
Enrich Your Life In Other Ways
It can be difficult to weather the storms that can occur within interpersonal relationships if you’re investing all of your time and energy into them and nothing else. Diversifying and enriching your life in other ways can help you create balance and find happiness on your own so that you can get through it when you experience trouble in one type of relationship in your life.
If you feel like giving up on love in general, you might make sure you’re cultivating a sense of self-love and care, setting and working toward personal goals, and investing in hobbies and other activities that bring you joy, for example. Giving yourself time to do things you enjoy can help you grow as a person.
Address Past Trauma
There are many types of trauma people may experience in regards to relationships, and many ways in which they can interfere with connections with others going forward. Depending on the experience, a person may be left feeling emotionally shut down, afraid to be vulnerable, hesitant to trust, or unable to communicate openly after going through trauma, for instance. Since all of these can impact the potential and health of future relationships, it can be important to address any trauma you’ve experienced and process it in a healthy way so that you might go on to have satisfying, safe relationships in the future.
Speak With A Therapist
Feeling like you are giving up on love can be an isolating and confusing experience, which is why many people turn to a therapist for support in this situation. A qualified mental health care provider can offer you a safe, nonjudgmental space where you can express and process your emotions on the topic. You may rest assured that they typically practice a policy in which they won’t share what you’ve said during sessions with other people. They can help you uncover the reasons you may be feeling pessimistic, uncomfortable, uninterested in, or unable to develop loving relationships so you can work through the root causes together.
If you feel nervous about sharing your feelings with a therapist in person, you might be more comfortable meeting with a provider online. With an online therapy platform like BetterHelp, you can get matched with a licensed therapist who you can connect with via phone, video call, and/or in-app messaging from the comfort of your home. Research suggests that there’s “no difference in effectiveness” between online and in-office therapy sessions in most cases, so you can typically choose the format that feels best for you. See below for client reviews of BetterHelp therapists.
"Priscilla is someone who you can talk to without feeling like she's going to judge you. Obviously that is how a counselor should be but she truly is like that. She's approachable, genuinely listens, is funny as well when appropriate and really wants to understand you for who you are and where you are at in this point of time in your life... 10/10 five stars from me!"
"Dr. Harrell was there for me and helped me get to the issues of my problems and triggers. I am a much better person and feel like a new person. I am pursuing a dream that I never thought would be possible to achieve. Me and my wife are again on speaking terms with a small glimmer of hope. I honestly wouldn't be where I am now without her support."
Is it OK to give up on love?
You don’t need a romantic relationship to live a healthy, fulfilling life. However, research suggests that humans do need some form of interpersonal connection in order to promote mental and physical health. If you’re feeling discouraged when it comes to relationships with others, you might consider taking a break to heal, grow, and build skills before you try again. Speaking with a therapist can also be helpful.
When should I give up on love?
Giving up on a particular relationship may be warranted if it no longer makes you happy, if it’s actively harming you, or if you and the other person want different things, for example. Giving up on love altogether may feel tempting when you’ve had bad luck or bad experiences, but some form of interpersonal connection is generally helpful for good health, so you may not want to give up on all forms of love altogether.
How do I completely give up on love?
To give up on love temporarily to give yourself time to heal, you could practice self-care, enrich your life in other ways, and focus on platonic, familial, and community relationships. Over time, you might find that you’re revitalized and ready to pursue other forms of love, or you may decide to focus on non-romantic ones going forward.
How do you walk away from someone you love?
Walking away from someone you love may be necessary in some cases. Expressing yourself, setting boundaries, and potentially seeking the help of an individual or couple’s therapist may help you walk away from someone you love if that’s what’s best for you.
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