Why i cant love

I Can’t Fall in Love: 7 Reasons You May Be Unable To Experience Intimate Connection

From the moment when we can first understand the concept of getting into a relationship with someone, the notion of love seems both desirable, beautiful and romantic. We can't help but smile and think about the perfect person for us, and we strive for perfectionism within our relationships. We usually set high standards for love, but sometimes we don't. 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 and a healthy relationship can be much more difficult than initially anticipated and that navigating romantic 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?” or fearing, “I can’t fall in love with anyone”, or even "my wife doesn't love me anymore". Some people may seek out the help of an online therapist to help answer questions like these.

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 feelings of love fostering a meaningful, intimate connection with someone else. This may leave people instead wondering, “Why can’t I fall in love?” Intimacy and vulnerability can be hard for some people, so let's explore it. 

Fortunately enough, there may be plenty of other 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 talk about what you can to do about it at this moment.

7 Reasons Why You (Or Your Partner) Are Unable To Let Love in

Are You Wondering, "Is It Normal To Not Fall In Love?"

We Can Help. Speak With A Licensed Relationship Counselor.

For those of you who are constantly dodging love but are unable to figure out why some of the most common reasons include:

1. Trauma From Childhood Is Bleeding Into Adult Relationship Fears

How we experience love and other feelings 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 extremely difficult for us to accept love and experience a real connection from even the most loving of partners. 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, seeking a long-term relationship.

Some common childhood traumas that often affect an individual’s ability to love include being abandoned by one or more parents at any age, leading to abandonment issues, witnessing domestic violence (which is a childhood trauma that can also lead to unhealthy relationships down the road), being the target of abuse by one or more parents, being neglected by a parent, 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 or specific behaviors that made an impression. Having a parents with personality disorders can also create psychological blocks, making real love with a partner more elusive. 

Through successfully identifying these traumas and working through them, people can start learning how to maintain healthy relationships and accept affection from others without feeling guarded or worried about what the outcome might be.

2. 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 problems affecting an ability to experience love may simply be rooted in not wanting to necessarily be trapped by the expectations that come with love and healthy relationships. 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 that are central to great relationships for most people.

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. Negative expectations from past relationships may not be as common an issue for blocking falling in love again, but it is the case for some people who find themselves unable to love a new partner.

3. 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, who we are friends with and when to spend time with them. We do what we want when we want without fear of anyone else’s expectations.  In short, we feel 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 there initially was in our past. Not everyone is able to handle this part of a loving relationship without being absorbed by the expectations of their partner.

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 in love 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, perhaps related to attachment issues you still need to explore. However, if your partner is overly attached, controlling, or has their own abandonment issues, this fear may be justified. In that case, you may need professional help to deal with your or the other person’s psychological issue to find the happiness and true love you seek.

4. 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 with the wrong person in the past where 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 with parents who did not provide stability, leading to feelings of low self-esteem or low self-worth.)

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 breach of affection, so they are not taken advantage of and hurt again or don’t connect with the wrong type of partner in the future. Although this will keep you , it also prevents you from experiencing the joys of love that life has to offer and a happy life with the perfect partner. This type of relationship problem can get in the way, making it hard or impossible to fall in love and have a satisfying relationship with a new partner. The fear of pain is normal, but overcoming it is essential in order to lead a healthy and happy life, heal a broken heart, and feel that you deserve love and emotional support from a particular person.

5. 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 too much pressure and like we are doing something wrong or are guilty when we aren’t meeting these expectations or simply have no desire for falling in love. 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, 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 might instead come from a lack of wanting to fall in love and have a loving relationship 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. Not everyone is destined to find the perfect person and stay with them forever. If this example fits your situation, the best option might be to talk about it with people you are dating, so you don’t create unrealistic expectations or the wrong idea for the other person.

6. 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 and feelings of desire that happen 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 wondering why they are not falling in love.

If dating simply isn’t for you and you can’t seem to get past feeling overwhelmed by it, 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, without worrying about falling in love and starting a serious relationship.

7. 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. Feelings of low self-worth or a lack of self-respect on your part may also make it hard for the other person 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 with 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, problems with self-esteem requires help 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  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.

It can also be helpful to read self-help books or blogs about healthy relationships to get a strong sense of what is holding you back from falling in love and reduce the feeling that it’s “only me” who feels this way. Another option that is helpful for many people is having a talk with a counselor who specializes in relationships, attachment issues, and other reasons for finding it difficult to find love. 

Are You Wondering, "Is It Normal To Not Fall In Love?"

We Can Help. Speak With A Licensed Relationship Counselor.

Suppose you are seeking out help to break down the barricades in your relationships. In that case, one great resource to turn to besides family or loved ones is BetterHelp, an online counseling platform that takes the complications out of traditional therapy while still providing you with a way to talk with certified counselors who can provide you with the help that you need. There are many different types of therapy dependent on your situation, both for children and adults. Our thoughts aren't always a fact. This world can get tricky sometimes, but there is help out there. A lot of times everything happens for a reason, but it's important to you bring attention to the things that are weighting you down. If you believe that this can be helpful for your current situation, simply click on the link above to get started today. It might be useful to seek therapy services if you have a history of depression in the family. 

Here are the most popular questions about the topic:

Can a person be incapable of love?
Why is falling in love so hard?
Why can't I get feelings for anyone?
What is a person with no feelings called?
What do you call a person who can't feel love?
Why do I reject love?
Why do I emotionally detach?
Is it normal to not want to date?

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 on Twitter and Linkedin. 

“I can’t love anyone”: what to do if it’s about you

October 17, 2021One on One Relationships

Sometimes we idealize love too much and forget that there are other important things in life.



You can listen to the article. If it's more convenient for you, turn on the podcast.

This article is part of the One on One project. In it, we talk about relationships with ourselves and others. If the topic is close to you, share your story or opinion in the comments. Will wait!

If you look around, you get the impression that the world is obsessed with love. On movie screens - melodramas and romantic comedies. On the streets, in parks and cafes - couples in love. There are tons of articles on the Internet about how to build relationships and keep them, how to find your soul mate.

A person who has never been in love - or thinks he has not been - may feel that he is "wrong" and categorically does not fit into this love-centered world. Here are a few thoughts that will help you look at the circumstances from a different angle.

1. Think about what you mean by "love"

Thanks to books and films, we think that this is a powerful feeling that unsettles and literally turns our whole life upside down. That these are continuous dramas and tears, butterflies fluttering in the stomach, fiery passions, an obsession that deprives the mind and makes a loved one the center of the Universe. Moreover, according to the laws of the genre, all this fireworks should begin almost immediately after meeting with the same or the same one.

Few people release stories on the big screens about how two people quietly and calmly got together against the background of common interests, just as quietly got married and lived for themselves, without arranging scenes of jealousy and stormy partings, without tearing each other's clothes in a fit of passion and not rolling concerts under the windows. Although in real life this is exactly how “boring” everything often happens.

Crazy passionate love, which is so often romanticized, psychologists are more than skeptical and believe that this is not love, but a dangerous pathological condition that causes addiction. Seeking thrills, committing rash acts and engaging in unhealthy relationships is not what makes us feel, but a hormonal cocktail of oxytocin, norepinephrine and dopamine. He provokes what we take for love.

She has many forms and manifestations, and most of them are not at all as bright as in cinema and literature. Feelings may not come immediately - only a third of study participants say they experienced love at first sight. And feelings can be soft and calm.

If there is a person in your life with whom you want to be close and without whom you are sad, it is quite possible that this is love.

Illustration: Anna Guridova / Lifehacker

2. Understand the reasons

If you are still sure that you have never loved, and this torments you, you can analyze why this happens. Here are the main options.

Things are more important

The times when a family had to be created for survival, fortunately, have passed. Now human life is not limited to household and children. He can build a career, go in for sports or creativity, study a variety of things, travel, make friends, communicate and have fun.

For 60% of young Russians, material goods come first. The presence of a permanent partner as a life priority was named only by 5% of respondents.

If you are primarily busy with work, hobbies or self-development, and love and relationships are not very interesting for you yet, there is nothing strange in this and everything is in perfect order with you. Everyone has their own values.

Fear of intimacy

It may arise from childhood trauma or unhealthy relationships with a previous partner. As a result, a person associates intimacy with pain: rejection, betrayal, the need to "earn" love all the time - and he is simply afraid of a serious relationship, closes himself, pushes people away from him. Psychologists call this condition attachment trauma, or counter-dependence.

Find out more 🛑

  • Why a person avoids close relationships and what to do about it

The myth of soul mates

Someone still believes that a unique person, destined for him by fate, is wandering somewhere - and is waiting for love at first sight and complete coincidence of emotions, beliefs, plans. Unfortunately, the story of halves is just a beautiful fairy tale. The chances of meeting a person ideally suited to certain criteria are negligible. And while you dream of dizzying love, you risk not noticing more restrained feelings and missing an interesting partner.

Illustration: Anna Guridova / Lifehacker

Lack of the right person

Happy love stories and dating apps create a dangerous illusion that finding the right match is very easy - just reach out your hand. In fact, this is largely a matter of chance and luck: it is likely that the person you can fall in love with just has not yet appeared in your life.

Mental disorder

If a person is depressed, he is often too depressed to look for a mate, fall in love, build a relationship. If he has a narcissistic disorder, he puts only himself in the center of the world, so there is no place left for anyone else.

If a person has antisocial personality disorder, he has problems with empathy and it will be difficult for him to love someone.

Understand 👈

  • "I'm a narcissist." How to stop frustration from blooming
  • Depression has no face: why people smile even when it's hard for them

3. Do not attach too much importance to love

There is a stereotype that love is the main thing in life in general and in relationships in particular. If she doesn't, it's bad. There is - excellent, you can relax, and everything else will follow. A person who sincerely believes in this, but does not experience that very textbook feeling with a capital letter, may feel unhappy. Or even break off relations with a partner, just because they are not filled with sparks, butterflies and other hot passions.

However, in fact, the foundation of a strong and happy relationship is not only, and sometimes not so much love. It also contains other remarkable components:

  • common interests, views and goals;
  • mutual respect;
  • strong personal boundaries;
  • freedom from stereotypes;
  • empathy;
  • affection;
  • ability to communicate without violence and toxicity;
  • ability to resolve conflicts calmly and respectfully.

And it is all this that helps to keep the relationship afloat when love is somewhat dulled.

Every fifth marriage in Russia is concluded not for love, but for convenience. Sometimes we are talking about monetary settlement, sometimes about pressure from relatives.

And sometimes the whole point is just to find a person with whom it is good, and be with him, without waiting for falling in love. And such a model absolutely does not make your relationship inferior and wrong. In addition, no one excludes that over time, feelings will grow between you and your partner, and much stronger and deeper than the notorious love that is talked about so much.

Read also 🧐

  • 3 questions to discuss before marriage to keep it for a long time
  • 10 subtle signs that you do not love yourself
  • What to do if life goes to hell

22. I can't love, I just can't, I can't...

Internet club "Enlightened love"

educational trust site

The Club accepted an appeal to YOU. Agree, it's more convenient.

Hello, I am writing to you for the first time, but I have accumulated a lot of problems. I've been planning to send it for a long time and only today I decided to send it. I can’t love, I just can’t, I can’t, no, of course I love my mom, dad, brother, niece, but it doesn’t work with guys ... I’ve been dating a wonderful guy for a year and a half, he loves me very much he looks after me wonderfully, but we didn’t even kiss ... You think that this is not a meeting, but oddly enough, he knows that I don’t love him, I myself told him: “Sorry, I don’t love you and I’m happy with I will never be you,” to which he replied, “and still I want you to become my wife.” Here's a story...

In sexual terms, I really get complete satisfaction from myself, and I don’t feel guilty, but if other guys show signs of attention to me, my conscience “works”, I forbid myself all entertainment with them, and if someone during the dance I feel strongly presses, I feel an impossible guilt . .. And my boyfriend is just like a brother or friend to me.


Take the Helen Fisher test to find the best hormonal partner.

Our comment:

The inability to love this problem is as old as the world, the ancient Greeks even had the god Anteros, who was part of the retinue of Aphrodite - the god of the denial of love, inspiring a person to hate for those who love him.

When there are a lot of problems, they don’t need to be lumped together, it’s easier to solve one at a time. Let's look at Lika first:

>>> I can't love

Lika and, what in your concept enters "to love"? Stormy passion? Drama? Like Romeo and Juliet, like Anna Karenina?

Various feelings of love and falling in love. E. Pushkarev.

The essence of love. E. Pushkarev.

What is love. E. Pushkarev

Is love an emotion, a feeling, or what? E. Pushkarev

If we eliminate the confusion of love with pseudo-loves. E. Pushkarev

This is the harmful word love. E. Pushkarev

The most famous foreign researcher of love of the twentieth century, Erich Fromm (whose classic work "The Art of Loving" 1956g undoubtedly influenced subsequent research on this topic): "A superficial and lightweight attitude to love is demonstrated by a huge number of" consumer films "about happy and unhappy love, as well as" base songs "about love, from which the mass consumer draws plain information. Although the public is saturated to the limit with information "seemingly about love", few people have an idea of ​​\u200b\u200b"true love", not being able to distinguish it from "fake love". Nowadays, in the West, love is considered "fashionable" at the source - a sudden surging feeling, emotional spontaneity, unbridled passion, most often excluding responsibility, human seriousness, spiritual and moral kinship and mutual understanding between partners.Despite the fact that everyone burns with a "passionate desire for love", practically in a consumer society "almost everything is considered more important than love: success, prestige , money, power; all energy is spent on achieving these goals, and almost nothing is done to learn the art of love.

More "Romantic love": aspects, analysis and consequences. E Pushkarev.

Love turns into an illusion, as we expect from it much more than what it is able to give. A person faces a dilemma: a huge need for love and affection, on the one hand, and the difficulty of achieving it, on the other.
Karen Horney

Our rules of love are so imperfect that many should not, and many more cannot love...
P. Mantegazza

Just because you can't love as violently as they show in an endless stream of TV shows, it doesn't mean that you can't love at all. Since the reason may be in those skewed, overheated rules of love that our culture has imposed on us. If a:

>>> And my boyfriend is just like a brother or friend to me.

Brother or friend is not some weak, secondary feeling.

Let's look at your situation from the perspective of smart women.

Bella Akhmadulina:

- Of all loves, there is no feeling stronger than friendship. : I idolize friendship.

Actress Tatyana Okunevskaya, a wise beautiful woman who went through fire, water, copper pipes, Stalinist dungeons, powerful I.B. Tito, L.P. Beria sought her love, recently left this world:

- I put friendship above love.

The correspondent asks questions to Galina Shcherbakova, the author of women's novels:

- What is love for you?

- Love is necessarily suffering, sadness, an explosion of feelings, spiritual flight, jealousy, forgiveness:

- Would you like to fall in love again?

- Not. That calm, pleasant, warm certain feeling that I am now experiencing, I like it more, and I do not want to exchange it for a love storm. I've already experienced it all, felt it, that's enough.

Erich Fromm:

- The most fundamental kind of love, underlying all its types, is brotherly love. By this I mean a sense of responsibility and care, respect and desire to help him in life. This is the kind of love that the Bible says: “Love your neighbor:

It is possible to give an exact answer that you have Lika with your boyfriend friendship, love or hopelessness only after testing. I think the most reliable, the most elaborate and time-tested is the Love Test: “Love Scale” by Z. Rubin. (1973 University of Michigan).

But I advise you to better define your ideas about love, friendship. And already, based on these concepts, take a closer look at your boyfriend, maybe he is wiser than you, and you have already figured out these important concepts.

A couple more aspects of this question:

- A. Maslow in his work “Love and Self-Actualization” explains that there is not only “the ability to love”, but also “the ability to be loved”, and only the one who possesses both of these abilities can find true love. These are people with the highest level of psychological health.

Read more: "Psychological health is a prerequisite for love" E. Pushkarev

- One of the chapters of the book "The Five Love Languages" by an experienced specialist in family relations Gary Chapman is called "To love the unloved." In this chapter, Gary Chapman explains what needs to be done to achieve the intended goal. But since the question of love for the unloved is very ambiguous, I make an extended comment on this topic and on the entire book.

In short, it is impossible to love the unloved.

With almost anyone, you can build quite acceptable contractual relationships and live in them all your life. This is taught by the Family Service and the church.
It is appropriate to recall that the closest synonym for love is "harmony", but harmonious relationships cannot be built with anyone. Contractual relations are built on good will, conscious efforts, diligence, and harmonious relations are built involuntarily on the best compatibility of selves - what kind of person is by nature and it is better not to.

More: From disharmony in choosing a marriage partner to harmony. E. Pushkarev

In a survey conducted by a student magazine, more than half of the students wished for a wealth of feelings, drama, passionate relationships.

Of course, at one age you want storms and passions in another "calm, pleasant, warm definite", just do not try to pour incompatible phenomena into one bottle. Still, it's better when the flies are separate cutlets separately.


Above is the psychological version of the "I can't love" problem, which is caused by a biased assessment of ideas about love. It is experienced by almost everyone in adolescence, adolescence, over the years, more precisely, as they grow older, a person is determined both with a feeling of love and with a partner, youthful maximalism is successfully overcome. But this "can't love" problem can also exist as a disorder.

“The fact that you do not love does not mean that there is no love in you, but only that there is something in you that prevents you from loving ...”
L.N. Tolstoy

In the studies of W. Kephart, it was revealed that the inability to love is truly expressed in people in two versions, when such a person has a large number of novels or their complete absence. He came to the conclusion that these two opposites are associated with an insufficient level of emotional maturity of a person. This is about a quarter of all adults.

Love is not for the infantile! E. Belyakova

Public Opinion Foundation survey 2004 “How many times in your life have you had to fall in love?”, respondents indicated: once - 33%, twice - 20%, three times - 13%, four times - 2%, five times - 3%, ten times - 3%, many times - 14%, not in love - 10%, other - 2%.

Another aspect of this problem is described by psychotherapist Oleg Kurakin

Neurotic love.

According to Freud, the inability to love is a manifestation of narcissism.

Love and selfishness

According to K. Horney, the inability to love is a sign of neuroticism, the reason is the hidden fear of being rejected.
Neurotic need for love. Karen Horney.

“Horney writes about the incapacity of the neurotic personality for love “…because of anxiety and hidden and open hostility, which arises in him in early life as a result of mistreatment of himself. In the process of development, this hostility increases significantly.

However, the neurotic does not know that he cannot love. He lives under the illusion that he is the greatest of lovers and has a great capacity for self-giving. He will assure you that in his life he does everything only for others and does not know how to please himself.
Psychologist Diana Balyko "365 + 1 rule of true love for every day of a happy year"

What must be overcome in order not to be afraid of love? P. Cutter

John Powell Why I'm Afraid to Love.

John Townsend Don't hide from love. How to get rid of the fear of emotional intimacy that keeps you captive, isolating from communication.
Books are in our library: "Love, family, sex and about ..."

The inability to get along with others is the main feature of a neurotic. It distinguishes suspiciousness, society seems hostile to him, and he moves along the path of life, as if in an armored car.
Rollo May

The problem of "can't love" may be the result of a significant intrapersonal conflict.

The concept of intrapersonal conflict, its features and classification. N. Loban

Children deprived of contact with their parents immediately after birth run the risk of remaining emotionally, mentally and socially defective for life. Even the acquisition of a new full-fledged family and loving foster parents does not guarantee complete rehabilitation if the child spent the first 1-2 years of life in an orphanage.
Seth D. Pollak, University of Wisconsin

About the influence of upbringing in the parental family on the ability to love writes Doctor of Psychology M. I. Rosenova "LOVE + EDUCATION = HEALTH OF THE NATION"

According to E. Fromm, the inability to love is a consequence of a lack or lack of love and care in childhood, which leads to isolation and a kind of blocking of feelings. It happens that a person loves and does not recognize this, but it happens when he does not love at all and tries to convince his partner and himself of the opposite.

Pseudo-love. E. Fromm

About the destructive influence of "consumer society" on sexual love. E. Fromm

Consumer society and its anti-love nature. E. Pushkarev

My versions of the "can't love" problem and how to solve it are described in the book "Marilyn Monroe Syndrome". S. Israelson, E. Macavoy (The book is in our library: "Love, family, sex and about ...").

The vision of the problem “I can’t love” and what to do with it is described by K. Steiner in his book “Scenarios of people's lives. Eric Berne School" - script "Without Love". The book is in our library "Love, family, sex and about ...":
“A huge number of people in this country are in a constant unsuccessful search for intimate relationships. Women are more likely to experience this difficulty, which happens for several reasons: women are more sensitive to the presence (absence) of love in their lives and therefore endure loneliness and unsatisfactory relationships less.

As long as a person is waiting for love and attention from others, he lives by this, he will never be satisfied, he will demand more and more, and everything will not be enough for him. In the end, he will end up with nothing, like that old woman who wanted a goldfish to serve her. Such a person is always internally not free, depending on how they treat him. This source of love and goodness must be discovered in oneself. And the discovery must be made not in the mind, but in the heart of man, not theoretically, but by inner experience.
Orthodox psychologist T.A. Florenskaya

Lika if you determine that your problem is similar to one of the disorders listed, special attention will need to be paid

Psychological health is a prerequisite for love. E. Pushkarev

Thus, there is reason to believe that about 80% of women who seek psychological help with a request to get rid of female loneliness have a disturbed personality structure and occupy an inadequate role position in interpersonal relationships.
Doctor of Psychology N. Tsvetkova. "Personal characteristics of single women seeking psychological help".

Narcissism, neuroticism, infantilism, intrapersonal conflicts, etc. These are already diagnoses. Our Club does not deal with this, but we provide information for familiarization, with pronunciation: all this can be corrected or cured by contacting a psychotherapist.

The rare disease of the pituitary gland - hypopituitarism (hypopituitarism) can also be the cause of the "can't love" problem. It causes hormonal problems and "love blindness". Men and women who have this condition are often unaware of it and lead normal lives. They create families according to the principle “like everyone else”, guided by friendly relations, but the “spiritual uplift” or “fire in the chest” of those in love are unknown to them. There are some mental disorders that do not have a distinct severity, as a result of which the synthesis of dopamine is disrupted.

And I would like to finish with this letter, when Lika you read it to the end, you will understand why I brought it here.

"Hello. I decided to ask you a question.
My story is as follows: as a student, I was friends with my classmate - just friends. We spent a lot of time together, understood each other; all was good. Everything went to the fact that friendship had to develop into love, this person was so dear and close to me. But ... As it happens: she herself did not take the first steps, and he did not. And when he revealed his feelings, I was not ready and did not respond to them. And friendship incomprehensibly broke off in this way. In February there were friends, and in July he was already married to another girl.
Time passed and I got married, got married just like that without love. She lived with her husband for almost 20 years and realized that I could no longer, and he was tired of living like this, because she could not love him. We parted. My son understood everything and helps me to live and not lose hope for happiness. She remembered all the years and fondly remembered the one whom she had lost and loved, but she never told him about her feelings. I dreamed of finding him, talking and maybe seeing him.
They say the truth, you have to say your dreams out loud. This summer, a classmate came to visit me, and I told him that I really want to find this person.
And at the beginning of September they gave me his phone, and as it turned out, my phone was given to him. And he called me right away. It was such a joy to hear this native voice. He remembered every little thing from our past, just as I kept ours with him in my heart. And I already told him again that I was so glad to hear, but I really want to see him. And then there was a decision to meet in a couple of weeks. We live in different, though bordering areas. He organized transport for me to get there and I went to meet him inspired.
I was driving and did not know how to behave, what to say - I knew one thing: I will see him and this is already a great happiness. She knew one thing, that even if she was still married, she would still go to meet him. This person is so dear to me.
We met and during communication once again realized that we are kindred spirits, halves that had to find each other in this world in order to be happy.
Both could not answer what happened 20 years ago, why they broke up. Both unanimously said: "How am I going to live without you now?!" After 20 years, they confessed their love and realized how wrong they were by losing each other then, and that they should not be lost now.
The usual story - he is married, 2 children (adult children). Now we live from a telephone conversation to a telephone conversation. We live in hope for new meetings.
I am tormented by the fact that I understand that I cannot live without him, that I want to be with him, but this is rather impossible - he has a family. But it is no coincidence that everything in this life is fate - for so many years we both kept and cherished the memory of each other, loved each other and dreamed of meeting. We met and realized that we can not live without each other.
How to live on? What to do? I feel at the same time the happiest and most unhappy on earth. I found him, we loved and love each other, I follow him even to the ends of the world. But I can't destroy my family, I shouldn't. I understand how difficult it must be for him now. I so want to tell him everything that I want to be with him, that we should be together, that life is one, etc. But I do not want to put pressure on him - he himself must make a decision. Maybe you shouldn't be silent? It is necessary to tell him everything and let him make his decision as a MAN. I know that I will grab every slightest opportunity to see him like a straw and strive for him. I can't lose my happiness now! I know that happiness must be fought for. I believe that it was not by chance that fate twisted everything so, and something will definitely happen and we will be together, we will be happy - I really want this.
You usually lay out everything very subtly and explain - help me figure it out: how to live on and what to do?

Lika the sooner you ask for help, the sooner you will get rid of your problems. And you will find true love.

True love, also compatible love. E. Pushkarev.

Culture of longevity of love. The culture of grief of separation. E. Pushkarev.

If you want to tell your story, share your experience, express your opinion - write.
Your story will be interesting and instructive to others, your experience is useful to everyone.

All stories ----- next

Psychologist E. Pushkarev Chairman of the Internet Club "ENLIGHTED LOVE"

This is one of the chapters in the book. "LOVE! GOOD OR EVIL? Psychological measurements.

The problem I can't love is manifold, as the letters from readers show:

Hello Club.
After reading this page, I wanted to write my own story.
I have a boyfriend. We have been living together for over a year. I think I love him. I like him in everything, outwardly, in character, in sex. Relations with him are absolutely harmonious for me.
My only problem is that the development of our relations, steps towards each other, rapprochement, comes only when he feels bad. I really like those periods when, for example, he is sick. By himself, he is very frank, and he trusts me in everything, so he always tells what is happening to him. Does he have a headache, or even more intimate details like that his tummy hurts. It is at these moments that I begin to feel my attitude towards him. He becomes dear and interesting to me. I help and take care of him. He is a rather sentimental person and, in turn, wants to receive warmth and affection from me during these periods. He asks to sit next to him, putting his hand on his head, massage his tummy, press him to himself, make tea. Only on such days can I get sexual satisfaction in bed with him. Precisely because I think that he is bad.
In ordinary life, when everything is fine, I begin to treat him absolutely coldly, and he becomes alien and uninteresting to me. In order to begin to feel sympathy for him again, I need to see that he is ill, physically ill. I reread texts and letters where he complains that he is not feeling well today, or look at photographs that I took in secret when he was sleeping with a fever or a headache, curled up and holding his head in his hands. Or when he squats out of the car, holding his stomach, in the hope that the sudden colic will soon pass. After looking at this, I again begin to think that I love and want him.
I understand that this is not normal. But I can't figure out why this is happening?
What is this strange desire to see how bad a loved one is?
How can I get rid of this?
Help me, please, with the solution of my personal problem.

There are books on the same topic in our library of books and videos: "Love, family, sex and about ..."

John Townsend “Don't hide from love. How to get rid of the fear of emotional intimacy that keeps you captive, isolating from communication.

John Townsend How to love and be loved

Philip van Manching, Bernie Katz "It's your parents' fault, or why your love relationship doesn't work out"

Valery Ilyin “The archeology of childhood.

Learn more