What To Do When You Feel Like Giving Up on Love

Updated March 13, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

If you're struggling with your dating life or in an unhappy relationship, you may feel like finding love again isn't worth it. You might even ask yourself: "Will I ever find love again?" Complex challenges with romantic partners or a turbulent dating life can turn hopeful, positive prospects about potential partners into apprehension and anxiety, but that doesn't have to be the case. If you're thinking about giving up on love, there are a few things you should consider first.

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Benefits Of Love

A healthy, stable romantic relationship offers mental and physical benefits to the partners involved. Physically, a loving relationship lowers blood pressure, lowers the risk of substance use, and encourages healthy behaviors. Mentally, a loving relationship lowers anxiety, reduces depression, and lowers stress.

It is essential to remember that it is possible to lead a full, healthy, happy life without the benefits of romantic love. The adverse health effects observed in those without romantic partners are usually attributed to loneliness, which can be combatted through solid relationships with friends and family. Good self-care and strong friendships can replace the benefits gained from a romantic relationship.

Defining Love

Romantic love between humans is an extraordinarily complex process that scientists are still studying. Recently, scientists proposed a new framework for understanding the components of love and applying them to individual people. The model, named the "quadruple framework," breaks down love into four factors: attraction, connection, trust, and respect.


Attraction can be either material or non-material. Material attraction is an attraction to a person's body, while non-material attraction is an attraction to a person's personality. Both types of attraction are important, but the weight each carries varies from person to person. Some people are more attracted to physical features. Others are more attracted to personality features like generosity or kindness.


Connection refers to the sense of oneness between partners based on intimate companionship. Good communication and positive experiences drive the connection between romantic partners and strengthen the relationship. Connection is also related to the quality of sex in a relationship. As the frequency and quality of sex declines, so does the feeling of connectedness between partners.


Trust in romantic relationships is the belief that a partner will remain reliable or dependable. Trust reduces fear and anxiety and promotes commitment, monogamy, and emotional vulnerability. Trust is a foundational component of intimacy, and a lack of trust prevents a close connection between partners.


Respect entails consideration of a partner's feelings, admiration of a partner, and holding a partner in high regard. In all relationships, romantic or otherwise, mutual respect is expected. Respect also drives forgiveness, empathy, and compassion.

Applying The Science Of Love

The quadruple framework attempts to offer an overview of how love works for the average person. For most people, all four factors are required for a romantic relationship to be happy and successful. However, it is important to note that the quadruple framework needs to be interpreted in the context of an individual's needs and preferences.

For example, consider a person identifying as asexual who feels little or no material (physical) attraction to potential partners. While it may seem that the person is missing a vital component of love, this is not the case. While a person who identifies as asexual may not feel physical attraction, they do feel attracted to a person's personality. Other people may not feel any romantic interest at all (aromantic) but still have love for family and friends.

There is no right or wrong way to love someone, but a person can learn a lot about their romantic life and relationships by understanding the core factors of love. A person who is thinking about giving up on love may feel that they have no options left, but an understanding of love's main principles can reveal previously unknown solutions and inspire hope.

What To Do If You Are Giving Up Because Of Your Dating Life

Perhaps the most-quoted advice for those struggling in the dating scene is "just be confident." Someone who does not feel confident in themselves may find that advice less than helpful, but there are solutions. Confidence is one of the primary traits potential partners are looking for, and improving confidence can help you obtain dates and improve their outcome. Before giving up on love and dating, try improving your confidence.

Before working on your confidence in a romantic setting, assess your social life as a whole. One of the most effective confidence-building strategies is to form positive social relationships that are not romantic. If you have a strong, robust group of friends or family, you are more likely to feel confident in yourself. Finding friends is usually easier than finding a romantic partner, so if your friend group is lacking, consider socializing more frequently and with a wider variety of people.

Confidence can be improved by reflecting on your accomplishments and addressing your inner critic. Confidence requires self-pride; you should honestly and openly praise yourself for things you have done well. You might also consider doing new, unknown activities outside your comfort zone. Trying something that makes you uncomfortable is a great way to build confidence and develop interesting anecdotes to talk about with friends, family, and dates.

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What To Do If You Are Giving Up Because Of An Unhappy Relationship

If you're in an unhappy relationship, the first and most important thing to consider is whether you are experiencing abusive behavior from your partner. If your partner hurts you physically, screams at you, insults you, makes you feel endangered, or tries to control you, don't worry about giving up on love. Turn all your energy towards leaving the relationship and focus on your decision whether or not to find love again after you are in a safe, stable environment.   

If you or someone you know is experiencing dangerous or abusive behavior at the hands of their partner, the National Domestic Violence Hotline can help. Call 1-800-799-SAFE(7233) or text "START" to 88788. You can also seek assistance through the hotline's online chat.

Even if your relationship isn't abusive, it can still impact your physical and mental health. An unhappy relationship that feels like an empty love can make it seem like love isn't worth it and that finding a new partner would be futile. If your relationship is a burden rather than a boost to your life, your first step is to consider whether you are ready to exit the relationship or whether you want to try to improve it.

If you found a glimmer of hope left in your relationship, and you want to try to make things better before you give up on love, consider couples counseling. A couple's therapist will work with you and your partner to figure out how to improve attraction, connection, trust, and respect in your relationship. While there are certainly strategies you can try without the help of a therapist, couples counseling under the guidance of an experienced counselor offers the highest chance of success.

If you think your relationship has run its course, it is important to leave the relationship as soon as you are ready to do so. The key is to wait to make the decision about giving up on love until your current relationship is safely in the rearview mirror. You may be tempted to stay in your relationship for convenience or because you don't think you can find another partner, but fight that urge. Long-term unhappy relationships take a significant toll on a person's well-being, and the sooner the relationship ends, the better.

Low-quality relationships can sour a person's impression of love. It's not hard to imagine why; a person in an unhappy relationship isn't receiving the benefits love offers. Give yourself adequate time after the relationship ends to decide if you want to give up on love. Research shows that recovering from a breakup causes changes in the brain akin to the changes seen during cocaine withdrawal, and recovery from a breakup can take months. Your perception of love may be negatively skewed during the process.

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How Can Online Therapy Help?

There are several ways online therapy can help you find your drive for love again. If you're struggling with dating, a licensed therapist can help with confidence, social skills, and taking risks. If you recently broke up with your partner, a therapist can help you process the breakup and get back on your feet as quickly as possible. If you're in an unhappy relationship but believe it can improve, seeing a couples counselor online is just as effective as in-office therapy without the added burden of finding a local therapist and regularly traveling to their office.  


Almost everyone feels like giving up on love at some point in their lives, but it is rarely permanent. Improving confidence, dating ability, and relationship skills is possible. Love is not maintenance-free, whether for a partner, a friend, or yourself. It takes skill and dedication to maintain a loving relationship. If you're thinking about giving up on love, consider that you may need additional skills or to take time to work on changing your perception. Unhealthy relationships and poor experiences with love in the past can taint a person's perception of love, but it is rare that a person's perspective is permanently soured. 

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