Why cant i be with you

Can't Fall In Love? 10 Psychological Issues That Could Be Stopping You

By: El Payo

By Andrea M. Darcy

Worry that you’ve never actually been in love but are just pretending? Or that something is wrong with you and you actually can’t fall in love? Have you decided that love is silly anyways, you don’t really need it?

Psychologically speaking, we do need love. Not the false representation offered by films and novels (more often than not a culture of addictive relationships over real love). But consistent connection and support from others that helps us recognise our value.

Shutting down to love can lead not just to loneliness but to depression, anxiety, and a lowered immune system.

So before you decide that you can’t fall in love, consider if these psychological blocks are the real problem.

10 Psychological issues that mean you can’t fall in love

1. Fear of intimacy.

Is there a point part way into any relationship where you start to experience feelings of panic? And either sabotage the connection or just leave? Do people tell you you have a ‘wall’ they can’t get past?

Just because you appear confident and positive in relationships doesn’t mean you don’t suffer from fear of intimacy. We can’t fall in love unless we trust others enough to show them our weak side and our worries. So fear of intimacy is fear of being fully seen for all that you are, and also fear of being seen as imperfect.

[Read more in our popular article, ‘7 Surprising Signs You Suffer Fear of Intimacy’].

2. Low self-worth.

Do thoughts occasionally pop into your head like, ‘I am just too hard to love”, or, “there are too many things wrong with me”? Do you often feel flawed, ugly, or useless?

Low self-worth means you feel like you are not as good as other people or that there is something wrong with you that can’t be fixed.  It’s normal to struggle with self-esteem now and then. But if you truly feel you are worthless, it either attracts someone who will take advantage of you over love you, or means you might hide from love, worried others will only see the negative things you focus on.

[Our comprehensive ‘Guide to Self-Esteem Issues’ can help you recognise if this is something you are struggling with].

3. Dependency.

Do you get so needy whenever someone likes you that you scare them away?

Dependency is when you have a core belief that you cannot manage life by yourself and need others to take care of you. You are unable to see your own inner resources. It might mean as a child you were heavily criticised or discouraged from being independent.

4. Abandonment issues.

By: er madx

Do you constantly worry the person you are dating is going to cheat on you or leave you? Do you often leave at the slightest sign they are not happy with you?

 Being let down or neglected by the adults around us as a child, even if as an adult we can rationalise what happened (a family death, a divorce that was for the best), can affect our capacity to trust others. Which can mean we can’t fall in love easily, or at all.

5. Codependency.

Do you want to make others happy in relationships, but somehow always end up feeling unhappy and drained yourself? Do you often feel you are madly in love, then suddenly you see your partner totally differently and panic?

Codependency involves confusing pleasing others with love. It often stems from a childhood where you were only given attention if you were a ‘good’ child, or were forced to take care of others instead of being taken care of.

6. Attachment issues.

Are you an independent person who is horrified to feel needy and manipulative whenever you try to like someone? Do relationships cause fear and anxiety for you? Or do you just feel completely unable to trust anyone to do what they say?

Attachment theory believes that to grow up into an emotionally stable adult, we need to have had a strong, trusting bond with a caregiver as an infant. And we needed that bond to be consistent no matter what our behaviour was; happy, sad, or upset. Otherwise we grow up into the codependent or intimacy-fearing adults mentioned above who feel they can’t fall in love.

7. Childhood abuse.

Do you just not trust anyone? Or are you attracted to the wrong types of people despite yourself?

Abuse of any kind, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and emotional abuse, can leave you an adult who is wary of letting others close.

Left unresolved, childhood abuse can also lead to choosing partners who are abusive, neglectful, or unavailable, replicating the pattern you learned as a child. Even if you convince yourself it is love at first, it isn’t. Abuse never is.

8. Addictive behaviours.

Do you mean to find love, but your work is so important that each year a relationship gets put to the bottom of the pile? Or do you not have time for a relationship because you spend two hours at the gym every night?

Just because a behaviour is socially acceptable doesn’t mean it’s healthy. If something like work, exercise, or overeating has become an addiction for you, it can not only mean there is no room in your life for love. But that you have deeper issues around relationships you are using your addictive behaviours to hide from.

By: Pixel Addict

9. Perfectionism can mean you can’t fall in love.

Are you endlessly seeking for the perfect partner but can’t find them?

There is having standards and self-respect, and then there is using perfectionism to block love and hold so tightly to an unrealistic view of love you end up alone. Perfectionism becomes a psychological issue when it is used to hide fear of intimacy and low self-esteem, as well as things like black and white thinking.

10. Personality disorders.

Do you just feel completely confused by why you can’t have a good relationship, or not understand why it seems so easy for others when you try so hard but fail?

It might be you have a personality disorder, which refers to consistent patterns of thinking and behaving you would have had since adolescence that are markedly different from the norm.

Because you think and feel differently than others, it makes it hard for others to understand you and be in a relationship with you. It can sometimes mean, like in the case of schizoid personality disorder, for example, you don’t even feel an attraction to others in the first place.

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) in particular is known for making healthy relationships a challenge. Sufferers deeply want to be loved, but are so emotionally sensitive and afraid of abandonment that trying to fall in love is overwhelming. It leads to overreacting, sabotage, and depression.

And if these issues are why I can’t fall in love?

First of all, don’t panic. You are far from alone with your issues. Sadly, we live in a society that often means children don’t receive the protection and care they need to grow up allowing themselves to be loved. All of the above issues are actually ones that counsellors and psychotherapists deal with all the time.

The good news is that you can absolutely learn to overcome, or at the very least manage, the issues that block you from receiving and giving love. Can’t fall in love becomes a can. All forms of counselling and psychotherapy help you with relating to others simply as they give you a clearer idea of who you are and what you want from life and relationships.

For example, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a popular short-term therapy that helps you change the way you think and feel, including how you feel about yourself and others. And some forms of therapy even specialise just in looking at your patterns or relating to those around you, including cognitive analytic therapy (CAT) and dynamic interpersonal therapy (DIT).

Want to work with a therapist who can help you break your blocks to love? We connect you with top therapists in Central London. If you aren’t in London, find a registered UK therapist on our booking platform, where you’ll also find Skype therapists you can talk to from anywhere in the world.

Have we forgotten a psychological issue that means you can’t fall in love? Share below.

Andrea M. Darcy is the editor and lead writer of this site. You can find her @am_darcy. 

Why Can't I Be You? by The Cure

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  • During live performances, The Cure often used this song to play around with and incorporate different songs into the performance. These other songs have included "The Lovecats," "Fly Me To The Moon," "Young At Heart," and "Out Of Touch," among others. >>

    Suggestion credit:
    Richard - Alva, OK

  • The video clip to this song cleverly included some risqué word play, turning "Can't" into "Cu-t." When the members of the band are symbolizing the words "Why Can't I Be You" as the letters Y _ I B U, by shaping their bodies into the shape of these letters, the word "Can't," which is the only word that could not be symbolized by a letter, was instead represented by a large mouth, or "Pair of lips" turned sideways (i.e. a vagina). Thus, 'Y c-nt I B U.'

    Robert Smith denied responsibility for the joke and placed the blame on director Tim Pope. He explained: "The obvious phonetic depiction of the word 'can't' was nothing to do with me - it's the childish side of Tim Pope's award-winning nature. It seems crass now. We thought it would be seen once, fleetingly, on telly."

    The original film clip is nowadays often replaced with the film clip of the remix to this song which doesn't include this part of the clip. >>

    Suggestion credit:
    Anthony - Tokyo, Japan

  • This was the lead single from the band's first and only double album. The record was their first to enter the Billboard Top 40.

  • In a 1987 interview with Les Inrockuptibles, songwriter Robert Smith said that the title "is not to be taken generally, on the contrary it comes from a particular situation. I was in the middle of a tense discussion and these people around the table were looking at me as if I was going to make some groundbreaking revelations, and I thought to myself, 'Good God, why can't I be elsewhere? Why isn't someone else in my place?' I would've traded with anyone. I would've preferred to be that guy leaning at the bar than myself. "

  • Smith has also said that the song was written as a keepsake for a 1985 visit to his Peruvian sponsored child, Aurora.

  • This was used in the 2007 movie I Could Never Be Your Woman , starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Paul Rudd.

  • More songs from The Cure
  • More songs used in movies
  • More songs from 1987
  • Lyrics to Why Can't I Be You?
  • The Cure Artistfacts

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"I can't be with you now": why give hope?

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In the fifth season of the most popular comedy series How I Met Your Mother, there is an episode with the characteristic title "On the Hook". Throughout the series, the characters share stories about how, being in love with someone, they remained only fallback options for the subjects of their sighs. They were not told a firm “no”: in every way, the same universal phrase was repeated in every way: “I can’t be with you ... at the moment.”


The series, of course, is hilariously funny, but many people have come across such stories, albeit not in such an exaggerated form. And they will certainly confirm that in general there is nothing fun in being a “fallback option”. Recently, this phenomenon has attracted more and more attention of psychologists and has even received a special term “backburning” (from the English put on the back burner - to put off for later, to keep in reserve).
Why, in general, can we be in a romantic relationship and at the same time, from time to time, gently reassure some other admirers or admirers, even if we have no complaints about the relationship? Psychologists point to evolution, which requires all homo sapiens to be in a constant (and not always conscious) search for the best partner - in order to pass on to the next generations a set of the most wonderful genes.

But, on the other hand, the same evolution tells - and women in the first place - to take care of maintaining existing relationships: so that the partner provides and protects the offspring, to whom the precious genes have already been transferred. Against “backburning” is also evidenced by the now popular “investment model” of relationships, which in many articles was developed by social psychologist Caryl Rusbult (Caryl Rusbult) 1 . Its essence is that the energy, time, and finances invested by us in relationships are also considered as investments. And the more serious they are, the less likely we are to put relationships at risk and look for fallback options.

"Backburners" - who are they?

However, the first serious study of "backburning", undertaken by psychologists Jayson Dibble and Michelle Drouin, showed that the investment model does not work. Well, in any case, in modern relations, which are developed and maintained largely with the help of the Internet. About 400 volunteers took part in the experiments, both those who were in permanent relationships and those who were “free” at that time 2 . And this should not be surprising: having an option in reserve is not at all the prerogative of only those who spend most of their time with another “option”. Psychologists approached the issue seriously and first of all determined what “backburning” is.

So, first of all, "fallbacks" are those with whom you are currently not romantically involved. That is, we are not talking about an affair on the side. At the same time, if you sometimes see your former classmate or old friend’s sweet cousin in dreams, but the matter is limited to dreams, then you can’t talk about any fallback either. A substitute is someone who is languishing with worries, losing hope and ready to give up everything, but at exactly this moment he suddenly receives the message “Hi, how are you?”. Everything, this is enough to continue to stay on the hook. The key factor in backburning is communication. Innocent enough, but still present. Actually, Jason Dibble and Michelle Drouin tried to study it in the first place.

Profitable investment

It is easy to guess that communication turned out to be almost entirely electronic. 45% of the participants who admitted to having “spare” communicated with them mainly via SMS. 37% used social media. About 13% descended to “old-fashioned” telephone communication, and another 5 preferred email, as well as communication via Skype or Twitter. But it was not this that surprised the researchers, but the fact that no difference was found at all between the participants who were in a relationship and those who declared themselves free. Both of them were equally inclined to keep their "reserves".

Does this mean that the investment model is wrong? No, psychologists say. Rather, it means that it does not apply to such relationships maintained through the Internet and text messages. Imagine what it cost the noble ladies of yore to keep their fallbacks on the hook. Send scented letters about nothing through a duenna, at least occasionally meet with an admirer for meaningless, but encouraging conversations ... What can I say, even 15 years ago it was required to at least periodically make phone calls, and sometimes meet for a cup of coffee in a cafe.
Today the issue is solved by adding a “like” under the status of one’s “spare” on Facebook (an extremist organization banned in Russia) and a couple of text messages. If you describe backburning in terms of the investment model itself, the investment in it is extremely small. And they are in no way comparable with the value of a potential romantic partner, into which one day a “spare” can turn.

Therefore, there is every reason to believe that "backburning" will only gain momentum. Both Jason Dibble and Michel Drouin are preparing a new study. This time, they aim to find out what phrases in the messages are most effective in stoking the hopes of the "substitutes" and keeping them on the hook. Is it really true "I can't be with you... at the moment"?

1 C. Rusbult et al. "Predicting satisfaction and commitment in adult romantic investments: An assessment of the generalizability of the investment model". Social Psychology Quarterly, 1988, 49.

2 J. Dibble, M. Drouin “Using modern technology to keep in touch with back burners: An investment model analysis.” Computers in Human Behavior, 2014, No. 34.

Text: Georgy Zaitsev

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How to understand that you don’t love him anymore: signs

This sometimes happens - love is gone. And you haven't yet. This is because you have not yet fully realized that love is no more. How to understand that you no longer love? And how to break this vicious circle?

Website editor





After the love has passed, many continue the relationship. People deceive themselves, believing that the former passion can still be returned.

Love is gone, but you are not yet. Moreover, you are not going to leave, but the once dear person annoys you and, which is bad, feels it very well. You are worried about signs that you no longer love your boyfriend. You unconsciously, not on purpose, give him signals that your relationship is moving towards the end, but you yourself do not leave. Just because you yourself don’t understand yet that there is no love anymore. .. How to break the vicious circle?

How to understand that you no longer love a person: guess for yourself

We signal each other all the time. They help us adjust our behavior depending on whether others like it or not. When you are in love, these are signals like “I like you”, “I want to be with you”. And when a person is unpleasant to you, you start to push him away - “leave”, “I don’t want you”, “I don’t need you”, that is, you actually show aggression. How to understand that love has passed? Such signals indicate the absence of past passion and attraction to a once beloved person.


In fairness, it must be said that most of us do this unconsciously, in fact, trying to behave like decent people, that is, passively. Therefore, psychologists called this "resistance of materials" passive aggression. How do you know that you don't love him anymore? When you have almost no warm feelings left for a person, when everything in him annoys you. And you come to the conclusion that it's time to leave.

How a loving man behaves

Breaking up is always difficult. But it’s one thing when he doesn’t treat you well, cheats or beats you, or at least you swear. Then the ending seems to be justified. And it’s quite another thing to say “let’s break up” for no reason at all to a person with whom you spent several years, who managed to become a part of your life and didn’t even do anything bad to you ... But there are signs that you are more than him don't love. Is it worth it to endure the unloved person next to you, destroying the memories of the happy time spent together?

It's unpleasant, what can I say. Somehow uncomfortable. It turns out that if he is so good, and you leave him, then you are bad? Yes, if you are used to dividing the world into good and bad. In this case, someone must be to blame, and it turns out that you will be the one to blame if you leave him. So you don't quit, dutifully "bearing your cross." How to understand that you no longer love your husband? Here are some examples: you don’t want to please him anymore, you don’t choose nice surprises and gifts for the holidays, you don’t wait in the evening after work, you don’t write messages to him.

And if such a life seems unbearable to him, well, he is free to leave on his own, leave you, such a scoundrel... And then you will rightfully try on a halo and wings, and you and your sympathetic girlfriends will mentally draw horns and a tail on him. Which is what was required to be proven. Signs that prove you no longer love your partner become relationship irritants. A peaceful separation can relieve moral and psychological stress without aggravating the break with scandals and quarrels.

How to understand that love has passed: don't be a child

Passive aggression is characteristic of those who prefer to shift responsibility for anything to anyone. For those who don't want to grow up. How to understand that love has passed? It's very simple - one of the partners acts like a child, without being aware of his actions. The couple behaves like children, the two cannot sort out their feelings, express their “I want” and “I don’t want” with words. But children cannot do this, and infantile personalities do not want to. After all, you will have to take responsibility for your actions and, perhaps, experience a sense of guilt, and so, maybe it will resolve itself.

“Responsibility and guilt go hand in hand,” confirms Gestalt therapist Artem Zhilin, “because they are related categories: responsibility is an idea, guilt is a feeling, and they are interconnected. That is, the recognition of one's responsibility inevitably provokes the experience of guilt - and this is normal, the experience of healthy guilt leads to the growth and development of the personality in the context of relationships. How to understand that love is no more? At least by the feeling of guilt that constantly haunts - after all, your partner is still sensitive to you, attentive and gentle. And you are rude to him, do not want to talk to him, turn away from kisses.

Yes, feeling guilty is unpleasant. Unfortunately, the ideology of the consumer society devalues ​​the developmental significance of suffering and pain, and even just discomfort. Life, as the commercials show, is supposed to be pure pleasure, and therefore it seems natural that many do not want to take responsibility for actions that can hurt others. Signs confirming that you no longer love your partner begin to weigh you down, under which you feel guilty. But do you really think that in real life it is possible to never hurt anyone?"

How to understand that you no longer love him: passive aggression

Another category of those who show passive aggression are people who cannot be called aggressive. How to understand that love has passed? By the expression of passive aggression. People who experience it consciously avoid any conflicts and confrontations, because in such situations they don’t know how to behave, they panic, unconsciously perceiving them as a threat to life.

Passive aggression: what to do if he does not offend you, but it hurts

They understand intellectually that it is unlikely that the “offended” party will kill and eat them. But such attitudes are laid down in childhood, and for the child, the anger of the parents, on whom his life depends, means a direct physical threat. And when a child grows up in an unpredictable environment, not understanding what exactly in the next second can provoke the fury of parents, he learns to bypass sharp corners in relationships, often ignoring his own interests. It is easier for such a person to ignore the problem than to discuss it. And he pretends not to see signs that you no longer love him. And he will play for time, avoid direct contact, pretend that nothing is happening in order to avoid an unpleasant conversation. Techniques can be quite sophisticated - from constant lateness to endless jokes. Pranksters, by the way, demonstrate the aerobatics of passive-aggressive behavior: they recognize the signs of an approaching thunderstorm and find a way to defuse the situation with the help of humor.

“The hardest thing was that I never knew what I was guilty of,” admits Georgy (32), who broke up with his bride shortly before the wedding. “I saw that she was unhappy with me, but when I tried to find out what was the matter, she rolled her eyes and sighed, as if I should have guessed it myself. How to understand that love is no more? How to come to terms with this? I felt like a complete fool. If he tried to entertain her, he came up with something new for the two of us, he heard: "Do as you like, I don't care." I always felt like I offended her in some way. I loved her, but I couldn’t bear this for a long time.”

The fact that George's fiancee did not realize the reasons for her cruelty is little consolation. A passive-aggressive partner always manipulates the other person, forcing him to guess his feelings and dooming him to defeat in advance. How to understand that love has passed? George's case is a prime example of this.

How to understand that love has passed: there is no more pain

Among those who choose a passive-aggressive behavior there are those who avoid a breakup not because they themselves are afraid of pain, but because they are afraid to inflict it on their partner. How to understand that love has passed? Here is another example demonstrating the relationship of partners.

“I did not suspect that I was acting passive-aggressively until I came to see a psychologist,” says Oksana (27). - Lesha and I lived for three years, but I fell out of love with him after two. He is so positive that it began to irritate me wildly. How do you know that you don't love him anymore? Yes, it manifested itself every day, every hour, every minute. Infuriated his voice, his touch! But we started dating at the university, we went through so much together, I couldn't hurt him. And endured."

Now Oksana understands that such behavior was painful for Lesha, and regrets that she did not dare to talk to him openly. “When he asked what was wrong, I answered: “I was just thinking.” Subconsciously, I was waiting for him to explode and disappear from my life. I hated myself, but I couldn't help myself. All signs indicated that you no longer loved the person, but we continued to be together, and mentally I hoped that he would leave.

How to bind a man to you forever

And one day Lesha left. “By that time, we didn’t even talk. Now I understand: this is the most destructive way to end a relationship, after it it’s not like parting in a good way, it’s impossible to see each other. ”

“Such behavior is already harmful because a person refuses his own life, shifting the tasks of his growth and realization to another: “Let him (s) do what I want,” Artem Zhilin notes. - So a person does not learn to do what is important to him. But the refusal to receive vital experience does not exempt from its necessity. How to understand that love has passed? There are many signs that indicate the end of a relationship. It is important to find the strength to discuss this with your partner. Even if it will be accompanied by painful conflicts. Taking responsibility for what another person feels is a special form of megalomania. It turns out that we kind of control the feelings of other people, and this is not true.

“Having realized that I no longer love my husband, I faced a choice,” says Katerina (29), “either to sacrifice his feelings or my own. I had already convinced myself that 8 years of marriage and a child oblige me to shove my feelings away. But suddenly it dawned on me: to give up my own feelings and desires is, in fact, to die! I've been turned over. Am I really ready to sacrifice my life for another person, especially since I no longer love him?! How to understand that you no longer love him? Evaluate past and current relationships, come to the conclusion that parting can make both of us happier than now, when we are at an impasse. I pulled myself together and talked to my husband. I thought he would kill me or fall into a severe depression. And he said that he almost refused an interesting contract in the Far North - he was afraid that I would be against it! By my decision, I also untied his hands.”

How to understand that you don't love him anymore: talk to him

You have to understand that for a person passive-aggressive behavior is a dead end. It negates communication, the very foundation of any relationship. And when a couple nevertheless breaks up, this does not solve the problems of two people: no one understood anything, lessons have not been learned, and in the future there is a high probability of stepping on the same rake. How to understand that love has passed? In conversations with a person for whom, until recently, you had warm sincere feelings. Tell him how you feel for him now.

“When there are difficulties in a relationship between two people, it is always useful to speak them out,” explains Artem Zhilin. - Attempts to manipulate are not only ridiculous, but also futile. “Let him understand that I feel bad” or “isn’t it obvious how I suffer” - this is a typical model of children's behavior, when a mother guesses that something does not suit the baby by his crying or other non-verbal manifestations.

In adult life (the joint life of two equal people), no one is always obliged to guess other people's thoughts, understanding the other without words. There are signs that suggest that you no longer love him. But does the partner need to pay attention to them? Sometimes he can do it, but he doesn't have to. And therefore, the only way to convey to the person with whom you live next to that a serious problem has appeared in your relationship is to talk to him. Moreover, I note that this must be done, not only when you yourself demonstrate passive-aggressive behavior, but also when you understand that such tactics are being used against you. And, having started such a conversation, it is important for you to talk about what exactly excites you, does not suit you, even infuriates you - without hanging labels and without blaming your partner for feeling this way and not otherwise.

And, of course, to discuss what you yourself are ready to do for a better understanding. Although sometimes the very fact of such a conversation can become one of such actions. After all, discussing difficulties is a sign of your indifference to a loved one.

If you treat this conversation as a journey into the depths of your partner's personality (and not as a way to get him to change his behavior), you may find that the actions that hurt you so much have some very simple, understandable nature. and nothing terrible (except for your attitude towards them) is hidden. How to understand that love has passed? Very simple - be more attentive to your partner, even if you are hurt and offended. And if he still categorically refuses to make contact - well, this is also symptomatic. At least you did your best.

How to understand that love has passed: the time of distancing

In a sense, passive-aggressive behavior is a sign of today, because we are increasingly moving away from each other, preferring virtuality to reality. And there are also certain signs in this, proving that you no longer love your partner. Whatever you say, electronic communication (using Internet messengers or sms) is a great opportunity to hide true feelings: your face is not visible, your voice is not heard, and words can be carefully considered and rewritten as many times as you like.

You can generally, without explaining anything, disappear from the access zone: “Oh, sorry, the mobile phone is dead (“ICQ” fell, mail was covered, etc.)”. At the very beginning, when there is still essentially no relationship, this, of course, will work: a person will call or write to you twenty times, and they will stop - in fact, the light has not converged on you yet. But some people use this tactic even when the relationship is on a completely different level, which implies that you have already learned to understand each other quite well. How to understand that love has passed? There are thoughts and assumptions that partners intentionally avoid unnecessary contacts. That is, it turns out that they act according to the usual scheme, without giving themselves the trouble to think about what exactly our relationship requires and what this particular person wants from you.

And if you really don't want to lose them (both the relationship and the person), then you have to be prepared to seek the advice of a psychologist.

Learn more