In a world seemingly obsessed with love stories and fairytale endings, the desire for a romantic relationship can often consume our thoughts. Yet, there comes a time when it becomes crucial to embark on a journey of self-discovery and personal fulfillment. There’s no quick tip on how to stop wanting a relationship, but there are many steps that will lead you to that state of mind.
Research has shown that in some cases, single people showed enhanced areas of autonomy and personal development. So for you to live a life rich with purpose, growth, and contentment, we’ve compiled 20 practical tips for you to stop wanting affection and love from a fictional partner. Let’s redefine the path to happiness beyond the confines of a romantic quest.
Why Do I Feel Desperate For A Relationship?
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Feeling desperate for a relationship often arises due to amatonormativity, a significant factor in our culture. Amatormativity is the societal overemphasis on a romantic relationship as the primary source of happiness and fulfillment. Idealized images in media and social platforms generate a sense of urgency and pressure to secure a partner.
Additionally, personal insecurities, past experiences of rejection, and a lack of emotional support contribute to this desperation. Understanding and addressing amatonormativity are crucial in order to combat these societal influences and foster a healthier perspective on relationships and self-esteem. Before you learn how to let go of the need for a partner, here are 5 possible reasons behind why you feel desperate for one:
1. Fear of autonomy can make one want a romantic relationship
Some people may feel anxious about being independent or making decisions or reassuring themselves on their own. They may perceive a relationship as a means to rely on someone else for guidance and comfort, leading to a desperate desire for a partner.
In this state of emotional dependence, as per this article, “you typically end up relying on your partner to meet nearly all needs. When you experience distress, you might look to them immediately before trying to manage your emotions yourself.” Once you focus on self-improvement and become your best version, you’ll be able to focus on a relationship as well.
2. You might want romance to escape personal issues
Feeling desperate for a relationship can sometimes be a way to distract oneself from personal challenges or unresolved issues.
- Some seek romantic relationships to obtain a distraction from their personal struggles like everyday stress or anxiety that they don’t wish to address
- Some people use romantic relationships to seek validation from their partner and worthy of love to mask their insecurities and self-doubt. A partner helps them feel safe and secure
Related Reading: 6 Reasons Why Being Single Is Better Than Being In A Relationship
3. Societal pressure could be the answer to “Why do I keep wanting a boyfriend/girlfriend?”
A study states that by middle adolescence, most kids have been involved in at least one romantic relationship. This societal expectation makes them urgently swipe through countless dating apps, jumping into a hopeless relationship. Here’s how we are pressured into needing a relationship:
- Social media comparisons: The constant display of seemingly perfect relationships on social media creates an unspoken expectation for everyone to conform. It becomes a measure for success
- Family gatherings and inquiries: ‘Well-meaning’ conversations from family members or friends like “Look at that person, they seem your type. Wouldn’t you want to date them?” reinforce the societal belief that being in a relationship should be a need for everyone. Otherwise, you’re considered a misfit in the circles that you depend on for safety
- Casual dialogues among peers: Everyday remarks such as “You’re still single?” again convey the societal expectation that everyone should be in a relationship, adding unnecessary pressure
4. Cultural or religious expectations can make you desperate for a relationship
A study shows that “the more religious people are, the more serious they take notions about the sacramental or covenantal nature of marriage that are central to most religious teaching.” This makes individuals take unhealthy decisions and jump into a serious relationship immediately. For example:
- Many people seek partners of the same faith to ensure alignment in cultural values and traditions, fostering a common foundation for family life
- It’s considered a taboo by many God-fearing folks when someone is not married or if a married couple has no kids. The gossip and pressure that ensues makes one want to be in a relationship that leads to marriage
If that’s you, know that wanting a relationship is not a bad thing. What’s not okay is focusing on the romanticized version of relationships or the stigma associated with not being in one. Try to find your own identity within the religious beliefs you hold.
One might feel desperate to be in a relationship due to cultural or religious expectations
5. You might want a partner for security and stability
For many women, societal conditioning often instills the belief that having a man in their life is synonymous with societal and financial safety. Breaking free from this conditioning involves challenging stereotypes and recognizing that personal strength and independence is what paves the way for a happier and stable life, which can then lead to a relationship if you want.
Also, once you find someone, remember that wanting more in a relationship is not wrong, but putting all your needs or burdens on your partner is. So, try to be aware of when you’re doing that and take a step back.
How To Stop Wanting A Relationship
Obsessing over your relationship status? Do you find yourself wondering “Why do I keep wanting a boyfriend/girlfriend?” or “Why do I need a partner so badly even though I just had a breakup?” This is perfectly natural, and you can overcome this state of helplessness. So if you’re looking for ways to stop wanting love of a romantic nature in order to make yourself ‘complete,’ read ahead for our compilation of 20 tips:
1. Focus on self-discovery and embrace independence
Spend time exploring your interests, passions, and values. Discover who you are as an individual outside of a romantic relationship. Find out your likes and dislikes. This applies to sexual fulfillment too. This newfound self-awareness will positively impact your future relationship. Instead of jumping into a serious relationship, here are some ways you can relish being single:
- Learn to say no to commitments that drain your energy
- Disconnect from technology and set some time to detach from screens and distractions
- Try to engage in some solo activities like taking yourself out for dates, etc.
- Set aside some me-time to stop wanting a relationship for some time. Maybe attend cooking classes and cook up a fancy dinner for yourself
Once you fully embrace your independence, your relationships will flourish as you’ll bring a sense of self-assurance to them.
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2. Set personal goals that don’t include romance
There is more to life than just thinking about wanting a relationship. As you prioritize personal growth, you’ll find joy beyond having a partner. So, direct your energy toward achieving personal milestones and aspirations like this:
- Set personal goals in a diary or a poster, and channel your energy into achieving them
- Celebrate your accomplishments and challenge yourself to pursue your dreams
- Create a list of amazing things you want to experience and work toward achieving each one of them
Related Reading: 8 myths about Asexuals (ASE)
3. Nurture your friendships actively
In the process of wanting to be desired and loved, don’t forget about your best friends. If you have to choose between a friendship and a relationship, choose friendship. Cultivate deep and meaningful connections with friends who bring joy, support, and companionship to your life. This can be a catalyst in your quest to stop wanting a relationship.
- Initiate communication regularly
- Learn to listen actively when friends are talking
- Be supportive and be there for your friends during both joyful moments and challenges
- Platonic friendships can offer physical intimacy in the form of hugs and cuddles too, so open up this conversation with them
4. How to stop wanting a relationship: Practice self-care
You can stop wanting love from someone else, but don’t stop wanting it from yourself. Prioritize your well-being by engaging in activities that promote self-care, such as exercise, meditation, and hobbies. Just something that brings you joy is enough.
- Nurture your soul with compassion, positive affirmations, and gratitude
- Embrace your flaws and celebrate your uniqueness
- Do things that make your heart sing with joy, even if others don’t understand it or find it strange. E.g., when men take up knitting for their mental health
5. Build self-confidence to beat the singledom blues
People who forget about themselves end up putting all their focus on wanting a relationship. Focus on your strengths, work on self-improvement, and develop a positive self-image. Here are some tips on how to stop wanting a relationship through confidence-building:
- Observe your quirks and unique qualities without judgment
- Replace self-criticism with self-compassion
- Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations
- Celebrate your progress and achievements along the way
- Step out of your comfort zone regularly but not forcefully
As you practice self-care, your heart will radiate with contentment, drawing genuine love into your life. Let your inner light shine, and you’ll discover that the love you seek is within you too.
6. Prioritize your well-being
Assess the factors that drain your joy or compromise your health. Learn to say no to overwhelming commitments and establish firm boundaries with toxic family and friends. Sometimes, we only look for a partner because of a feeling of helplessness or tiredness. Or because we don’t feel supported.
So, the first step is to take out the trash from your life. Don’t be the one who always overlooks the relationship red flags. By freeing up your time and mental space from negativity and unrealistic expectations, you pave the way for a healthier life. This also helps you break free from the longing for a relationship.
Related Reading: How To Cope With Being Single In Your 30s – 11 Tips
7. If you’ve been constantly thinking about wanting a relationship, challenge societal norms
Questioning traditional expectations and norms surrounding marriage and life-long commitment is a crucial step in freeing yourself from the desperation for a relationship. To effectively challenge these norms, consider the following:
- Make friends with happily single people: Expand your social network to include those who have chosen the single life. Interacting with people who embrace their independence can provide alternative perspectives on happiness and success
- Talk about amatonormativity: Foster open conversations with friends, family, or peers about societal expectations regarding relationships. Encourage discussions that challenge these norms, thus promoting a more inclusive and empathetic understanding of personal happiness
- Reframe your thoughts about being single: Challenge any internalized societal norms that suggest being in a relationship is the only path to completion. Affirm the validity of singlehood as a conscious and fulfilling choice
- Learn about non-traditional relationship structures: Whether it’s polyamory, open relaftionships, or other alternative models, understanding the spectrum of relationship possibilities can broaden your perspective on what constitutes a well-rounded connection
8. Develop a gratitude practice
One of the best self-love tips is to learn to give gratitude. Once you learn to be grateful for everything around you, you’ll be much less focused on desperately wanting a relationship. Some easy ways to do this are:
- Share your gratitude journey with a friend or create a small group dedicated to expressing gratitude. Regularly discussing what you are thankful for provides accountability and a shared positive experience
- Dedicate a few minutes each day to jot down three things you are grateful for. This simple practice encourages a positive outlook and helps shift focus toward the positive aspects of your life
- Create a gratitude jar or box where you can deposit notes of gratitude where you write down moments, experiences, or things you’re thankful for. Periodically revisit these notes for a boost of positivity
As you foster gratitude, your focus shifts from desperate yearning to embracing the richness of your current experiences. By acknowledging the abundance in your life, you’ll find contentment within yourself, making the quest for a relationship less pressing and more aligned with your authentic desires.
9. Explore new hobbies and interests
You can invest in personal development through reading, attending workshops, or pursuing further education. Expand your knowledge and skills at the pace you want. This sense of fulfillment diminishes the need for external validation. Embrace the opportunity to learn and grow in the areas that excite you. Some benefits of doing so are:
- Joyful interests broaden your horizons, enriching your sense of self
- Igniting your curiosity and passion diverts the mind in a healthy manner
- It can lead to a deeper understanding of yourself and lead to new connections and heartening experiences
Related Reading: 6 Reasons Why Being Single Is Better Than Being In A Relationship
10. Travel and explore in order to stop yourself from wanting a relationship
Travelling and exploring by oneself can help in self growth
There must be some new places you wish to see. Make it a goal to travel and explore more. Embark on adventures, explore new places, and immerse yourself in diverse cultures to broaden your perspective and create memorable experiences. Traveling solo for women helps reassert their freedom. But, just keep the following tips in mind:
- Choose a destination that aligns with your interests and comfort level
- Plan ahead as much as you can, yet try to keep some flexibility and spontaneity
- Start small if it’s your first solo trip
- Pack light and smart
- Most importantly, stay connected and safe. Share travel plans with trusted close ones
11. Volunteer and give back
A study found that people who volunteer often feel more content in their lives. Social services can provide support, resources, and a sense of community, fostering feelings of belonging and reducing isolation.
You can contribute to your community and make a positive impact in the lives of others through acts of kindness and service. Volunteer in an animal shelter (who can stop wanting affection from animals?). Or choose any other cause that is near to your heart. This would help you give back some of the love and feel a little more.
12. Cultivate sexual freedom to get out of the “I’m single” funk
For many folks, indulging in safe, consensual sexual practices is essential to being more content in life. To not be desperate for a relationship, look after yourself sexually first. This is an area we usually find ourselves depending on others for. There are many ways for you to satisfy yourself, and one of the simplest ones is through pleasure aids.
If you embrace this spectrum of experiences without shame, you will not only be able to break free from over-dependence on others for sexual gratification, but also be able to gain personal empowerment and a profound self-connection. Then, once you the right person, wanting more in a relationship sexually would be an easy need to express. Because now you know exactly what you desire in bed.
Related Reading: 7 Signs That Gadgets Ruin Relationships With Their “Technoference”
13. Practice mindfulness to be able to sit with uncomfortable feelings
Try to be present in the moment, cultivate self-awareness, and develop a deeper understanding of your own thoughts and emotions. It ensures overall health, inner peace, and self-acceptance too. Some ways to practice mindfulness are:
- Grounding techniques: Pay attention to your senses when feelings of desperation arise. Connect with the present moment by focusing on what you see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. This helps redirect attention away from relationship-related anxieties
- Thought-challenging activity: When desperate thoughts surface, question their validity and replace them with more balanced and realistic perspectives. Mindfulness helps create distance from automatic negative thoughts
As you develop a deeper connection with yourself and your emotions, the need for external validation diminishes, and you’ll discover that true contentment lies in the richness of your own inner world.
14. Process your past experiences to stop wanting a relationship so badly
Reflect on past relationships, learn from them, and work on healing any emotional wounds or unresolved issues. Here’s how it’ll help:
- Experiences with relationships contribute to the way we approach romance in the present, so focus on resolving or accepting the past. This closure fosters emotional healing and a healthier approach to future relationships
- Understanding the emotions tied to your past relationships can heal, foster resilience, and develop an emotionally healthy mindset
- This will also provide you more clarity about your desires, deal-breakers, and relationship goals
15. Engage in positive affirmations
A study shows that “self-affirmations can restore self-competence by allowing individuals to reflect on sources of self-worth, such as core values.” Sometimes we forget about our own self. Affirm your worth and contentment in being single. Remind yourself of the benefits and opportunities that come with singlehood. Focus on all the things you love about yourself and try to be more accepting of yourself as you are.
16. Build a support network that validates your single status
It’s important to have friends, family, or support groups who understand your desire to focus on personal growth. With a strong network of care, you can go through life without desperately wanting a relationship to fill that void.
- Try to take a step back from hanging out with people in relationships for some time
- Spend some more time with single people who are thriving in their lives
- Surround yourself with understanding and loving individuals who celebrate your journey of self-discovery
- These people and groups can provide the much-needed emotional backing and validation that you need and deserve. This encouragement and companionship can foster a sense of security and belonging
17. Take breaks from dating apps and social media
Disconnecting from the constant exposure to others’ relationships can shift your focus inward, toward finding contentment within yourself. Taking breaks from dating apps and social media creates space for self-reflection, self-care, and originality in thought. By detaching from the constant comparison and external validation and pressures, you’ll foster a stronger sense of independence and joy, making the quest for a relationship a choice rooted in authenticity rather than a means to seek validation from others.
Related Reading: 25 Motivating Divorce Quotes to Help You Move On
18. Cultivate a fulfilling career to get over the relationship obsession
In this race of wanting a perfect partner, we often forget about other aspects of life. Invest your time and energy in building a satisfying professional life that brings you a sense of purpose. This can provide a source of purpose and accomplishment, reducing the sole focus on finding a partner.
Start the journey of personal and professional growth, and you’ll discover that true contentment arises from a well-rounded life. By channeling your passion and energy into building a rewarding career, you’ll develop a stronger sense of self.
19. Engage in self-reflection
Evaluate your own wants, needs, and values regularly. Ensure that your desires for a relationship align with your authentic self. Wanting a relationship is great but requires a lot of consideration.
- Through regular introspection, you’ll develop a deeper understanding of what you truly seek in a relationship
- Through the process of self-discovery, you’ll find that the desire for a meaningful partnership arises from a place of authenticity, rather than a need for someone to distract from or resolve your issues
- You’ll then be able to foster a genuine connection that complements your life, and not completes your life
20. Practice patience and trust in timing
True connections often come when you least expect them. Trust the journey and know that the right partner will come into your life when the time is right. Don’t try to rush things and learn to go with the flow. Practice patience and trust the timing of life — Have faith in the right person finding you.
- Many people in our relationship-obsessed society are highly focused on finding a partner to stop feeling lonely and to be desired. So, it is possible that you feel desperate to find a relationship hero because of social pressure or just to rescue you from your mundane life
- Before finding a partner, you need to first focus on yourself and feel accepted by yourself
- If all your attention goes toward finding your right person, you spend a lot of your energy chasing this dream. So to stop wanting a relationship for some time, turn the focus inward and introspect on your values, support network, core needs, and career
- Some other ways to get over the intense longing: Quit dating apps for a while, learn a new language, change up your daily routine, focus a lot more on your friendships, or maybe even volunteer for a cause you care deeply about
In conclusion, breaking free from the relentless pursuit of a romantic relationship is a transformative journey. By implementing the 20 practical tips provided in this article, you can stop wanting a relationship so desperately by redirecting your focus and discovering your independence.
If you still want a romantic relationship, first focus on self-love, obtain a healthier mindset, and work on your personal goals. By letting go of societal expectations and embracing personal growth, you can get rid of the urgent desire for a relationship and discover a deep sense of contentment in your own life.