You’ve been single for quite a while and your luck doesn’t seem to be getting better. Maybe you’ve had some past success in dating but it seems impossible to find love nowadays. Or maybe you’ve had little to no luck at all and you wish you could hang it all up and call it a day. Either way, there are so many single women around you, so why is it so hard to find a girlfriend?
The good news is you’re not alone. Many people are dealing with this at the moment, preoccupied with thoughts of #ForeverAlone. A common trap we all fall into from time to time is that it’s harder for guys to get a girlfriend. Whether this is objectively true or not is beside the point. The thing to keep in mind is it doesn’t have to be so difficult for ‘you.’
Why Is It So Hard To Find A Girlfriend – 10 Probable Reasons
So why is it so hard to find a girlfriend? It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what goes wrong because every person is different. There are so many variables in these situations that it’s impossible to break this down into an actual science. But here are 10 probable reasons you’re finding it hard to get a girlfriend.
1. You’re chasing after the ‘idea’ of dating
One problem many guys face or have faced is that until we find someone we like, we’re actually infatuated with the idea of dating or being in a relationship. It comes from the thoughts: “Will I EVER find a girlfriend?” “I’m so frustrated that I can’t get a girlfriend!” So when we do go on a date, we’re not actually present with the person. Our brains are working in overdrive to force us to perceive them as the idealized version we had of them before we met them.
We’re also preoccupied with “saying the right thing to make this girl see what a great catch I am.” When done right, people will call most guys like this “charming” or “charismatic” or sometimes a “bad boy,” but it’s kind of manipulative and the charade falls apart sooner or later. What most girls find attractive is authenticity, not a performance. For most of us, however, the chasing vibe we give off is pretty obvious and puts most girls off immediately. This is a very common cause of perpetually unrequited love.
2. You’re trying to force a connection
Sometimes, we date someone solely because we don’t want to be single anymore. So, we try to force a connection for the sake of having a girlfriend. We do this by trying to live up to what we think her expectations of us are and we end up saying and doing things we never would otherwise. You might say: “I’ve been a fan of slam poetry for years.” “Oh, I love cats too!” “I absolutely think men should be manly. You’re right, anything else is a disgrace.”
We’re all guilty of doing this at some point. This doesn’t make you a bad person, it just makes you human. No one wants to be alone. But at what cost and for how long will you tolerate a fake relationship just to not feel lonely anymore? Trying to force a connection may also be counter-productive to your goal of creating one. Genuine connections happen spontaneously. It is long-term relationships that require effort.
Related Reading: 10 Ways To Be Happy Alone & Resist Feelings of Loneliness
3. You are trying to be a nice guy without being a nice guy
This is a common strategy among men who find it hard to talk to women. But it is more specific than “saying the right thing.” This is more of a performance to show her what a ‘nice’ guy you are in the hopes that she chooses to date you. The problem is that it’s an act and it cannot last that long.
Also, when you’re being “just a nice guy” all the time, it comes across as pretty obvious to single women. And then, of course, you’ll be ‘friend zoned.’ So, if you want to be more than just friends or acquaintances, you have to rethink your approach.
4. You’re looking in the wrong places
With so many singles around and so many things to do, it can be hard to figure out where to go to meet women. For example, if you’re looking for a steady girlfriend to settle down with one day, you might not want to go to clubs and pubs, which are full of college-age women just trying to have fun.
The same is true for online dating. While online dating has resulted in long-term relationships, these are rare. For most of us, online dating goes nowhere. For starters, the whole concept turns people into items on a menu. There are so many choices that it’s hard, almost impossible, to make the right one. There’s also the problem that many women face – an inbox full of creeps that is very difficult to sift through to find a good guy like you. Meeting women in real life is very different from meeting them on dating apps.
Related Reading: How To Meet People Without Dating Apps
5. Your dating priorities are conflicted
Hookup culture is a big part of the dating scene nowadays. So, even if you’re looking for a girlfriend, the temptation and the fear of missing out can cloud your judgment. It is also hard to tell what the woman you’re with is looking for if she doesn’t communicate her needs clearly. This leads to you wondering which way things will go and the resulting uncertainty is detrimental to your interactions with her. If you’re wondering “why is it so hard to find a girlfriend with similar core values?”, get hookups off your mind.
6. You’re looking for the wrong traits
One of the most overrated ideas that dating experts have debunked is that opposites attract. This has led to countless toxic relationships that have ended in disaster. For instance, if you’re an outgoing guy and you follow this advice, you might look for an introverted girl. The problem down the line for this introvert and extrovert relationship is that you’re both going to annoy each other because of personality traits that neither of you can help having.
She could be one of the most attractive women, yet you’ll be annoyed that she hardly ever wants to go out. And she’ll be annoyed that you never want to stay in. This conflict will become a part of the relationship dynamic and, needless to say, is not sustainable. So, while you may not want someone whose personality is nearly identical to yours (that might be more boring than you’d think), you also don’t want to pursue someone who is the polar opposite of you. Research confirms that couples who have more similarities than differences are more likely to stay together.
7. You’re only considering your looks
Many chronically single men fall into the trap of thinking that something must be wrong with them. “I’m not tall enough” or “I’m not buff enough” are commonly recurring internal responses to the question “Why is it so hard to find a girlfriend?” But if you’re looking for a girlfriend and not a fling, then your looks aren’t as important as you think. Yes, you should groom yourself and keep yourself fit and healthy but physical attraction plays a smaller role than you think. Additionally, research has shown that physical attractiveness is influenced by non-physical factors such as honesty and kindness.
Related Reading: 6 Things Men Are Obsessed With But Women Don’t Care About
8. You neglect yourself
On the flip side, you may be thinking, “I don’t care about my looks and the perfect girl wouldn’t care either. She would love me for who I am.” Except that she doesn’t know you yet and if you show up on your first date looking like you just rolled out of bed, chances are even the perfect girl for you will not see a reason to go past the first date with you. It shows a lack of self-respect. Grooming yourself shows that you care enough to look your best for your potential partner. And women appreciate a man who puts some effort into his appearance.
9. Your insecurities are overwhelming you
Insecure guys will often say, “I’m so frustrated that I can’t get a girlfriend! Why is it so hard to find a girlfriend?!” And this is a natural sentiment to have. Being single can be very frustrating. But the problem is your insecurities are what keep you from having a girlfriend.
This is because those insecurities manifest in toxic behaviors such as jealousy, need for control, neediness, passive-aggressive communication, and co-dependence. These issues are some of the biggest signs you will never get a girlfriend – if you don’t deal with them through inner work or therapy.
10. You haven’t addressed or accepted your mental health issues
Mental health struggles are probably the biggest hurdle in dating. As per a study, a high proportion of men in Western society have acquired psychological coping strategies that are often dysfunctional, such as failing to obtain appropriate support, overusing alcohol to lessen emotional suffering, denying suffering and ‘sucking it up,’ isolation or reducing social connectedness in times of distress.
Mental health problems usually come with anxiety, resentment, pessimism, and self-flagellation, making it all the more difficult to find love or even approach girls. Addressing these issues, working through your trauma, discovering your needs and boundaries – all of these can help you be more in touch with yourself and consequently more approachable to single women. It also makes meeting people in general much easier.
5 Things You Can Do
If you relate to any of this and are thinking, “With so much work to do on myself, will I ever find a girlfriend?” then yes, you will. Don’t give up. With a little patience, here are 5 things you can do to step out of your comfort zone and increase your chances of getting a girlfriend.
1. Resist the urge to chase after a relationship
Leave your agenda at the door and be yourself. It’s called the dating game but it isn’t a game that you’re supposed to win. It’s just an experience you’re sharing with another person. And if that experience leads to something more, then that’s great. But if not, it’s not the end of the world. You can always try again later. Just keep in mind that the woman you’re interested in is a human being and not a prize.
2. Stop putting on an act to “get the girl”
Whether you’re trying to be the alpha or the nice guy, you’re putting on an act, which may work for flings or one-night stands. But if you’re looking for a girlfriend, i.e. a long-term relationship, you’re better off just being yourself, flaws and all. This is because the persona you choose will only take you so far. At some point, your true self will come through and your girlfriend will feel deceived. Confident and honest men don’t need to put on an act and it is these qualities in men that attract women the most.
3. Get your dating priorities straight
As covered under the point on dating priorities, it can be tempting to give in to the allure of hookup culture even if you’re looking for something long-term. But this can be a self-defeating approach because you’re taking a passive role during the courtship by waiting to see what your potential partner wants. If you want a girlfriend, be honest enough about it to turn down a no-strings-attached sexual relationship if that’s what your date wants. That initial sexual tension does not necessarily mean you’re in love, it’s just a sign that you’re infatuated.
4. Figure out what you need from a relationship
The old adage “opposites attract” is not as wise as we once thought. People who are polar opposites of each other don’t tend to get along that well and the same is true of romantic relationships. But before you list out the qualities you want in a partner, make a list of what you’re bringing to the table. And this includes negative things like: you may have low self-esteem which you sometimes project on others.
This is something a woman would want to know about her boyfriend in addition to his strengths (and you would want to know the same about her) and is a much better way of finding a good match.
Related Reading: 10 Critical Emotional Needs In A Relationship
5. Work on yourself (inside and out)
Unresolved mental health issues can be one of the biggest signs you will never get a girlfriend. The accompanying negativity about yourself in your thoughts and body language could be what’s keeping you perpetually single. Therapy can help you resolve these issues by freeing you from your trauma responses. Once you learn how to do that, dating ceases to be the Herculean task you face now. Some of the issues that you might face on your mental health journey are:
Social anxiety is a common experience for many who struggle with their mental health to the point where it’s almost impossible to even make eye contact while talking to someone. Therapy can help you develop the social skills you need to increase your chances of getting a girlfriend. A mental health professional can also help you clarify your priorities when it comes to dating, validate your struggles, and help you assert your health needs unapologetically, which can go a long way in alleviating/managing your anxiety.
Even if your social skills are adequate, you may still suffer from mental health problems such as depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, etc. The trauma of living with a mental health condition in an ableist society is something you deal with all day every day and it does affect your ability to have a serious relationship. Once you start to work on your trauma and understand more about your mental health, chances are high that you’ll find someone who will accept that part of you completely and support you through it.
Related Reading: My Encounter with Depression: Thoughts of a Damaged Soul
Shame and resentment
Another thing that many people with mental health issues struggle with is shame. Shame regarding mental health issues does tend to come out in other ways. You may make a joke about someone’s inability or health or ‘laziness’ that sounds meaner than you intended it to. Needless to say, no one wants to be around a person who is mocking them all the time. So kick the stigma and watch how it strengthens your relationships.
A part of your journey to better mental health will be looking after your appearance. While it is true that what’s on the inside matters more than looks, taking care of your appearance can do wonders for your self-esteem. Even if you weren’t blessed with movie star genetics, you can maintain your fitness (gym membership not required) and have a stylish haircut. This may seem superficial but it goes a long way in reducing your negative self-talk and giving you a chance with beautiful women. It doesn’t hurt to smell good either.
If you are looking for a therapist, you can book an online consultation with one of our counselors at Bonobology.
- Instead of asking yourself, “Why is it so hard to find a girlfriend?” try asking yourself what you can do to be a better catch
- Some reasons you find it hard to get a girlfriend may be that you’re chasing after an idealized version, you’re faking “being nice,” you don’t have your priorities straight, or you are in denial about your mental health issues
- If you want to improve your dating life, your best bet is to spend time on yourself, and if you need a therapist or life coach there is no shame in consulting with one
If you have trouble dating women, look at it as an opportunity for you to grow as a person. So, if any of this resonates with you, give it a shot, work on yourself, assert your relationship and health needs without guilt, and show that it isn’t harder for guys to get a girlfriend.