'I Don't Want to Fall In Love': What to Do If You Feel This Way

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While love is all around us in pop songs, books, television shows, and reality tv, not everyone wants to fall in love. There are a wide variety of reasons why you might want to avoid falling for someone. You might not have time for love, fear getting hurt, or simply enjoy the freedom of being unattached.

Using cognitive and behavioral strategies to alter the intensity of love is known as love regulation. Research suggests that people can utilize emotion regulation strategies such as cognitive reappraisal and distraction to help intensify or reduce feelings of love. 

Here's what it might mean if you don't want to fall in love, how to deal with it, and how to avoid letting it keep you from forming positive, supportive relationships.

Reasons You Might Not Want to Fall In Love

Before you decide to rule out falling in love for good, it's essential to understand your motivations and why you might feel this way.

You're Afraid of Getting Hurt

You might want to avoid love because you're afraid of getting hurt. This might stem from a fear of the unknown, but past negative experiences with love can also play a role. In other cases, watching other people's relationships crumble and lead to turmoil and strife may have marred the whole idea of love.

In particular, close relationships marked by deep love are more likely to inspire deep hate if the relationship is broken. Past betrayal can leave deep emotional wounds, making it that much more difficult to imagine yourself falling in love again in the future.

You Love Being Single

While many people enjoy being in a relationship, others prefer the benefits of being single. Sometimes, you don't want the responsibility of being in a relationship. Or maybe you're just not ready for a serious commitment.

For some, not wanting to fall in love stems from concerns that being in love will hold you back from reaching your goals. If you've watched family, friends, and others in your life put off their dreams of getting married and raising a family, you might feel that your fears are justified.

In many people's minds, falling in love is followed by marriage and kids. If you don't want to get married or have children, the thought of falling in love and "settling down" can lead to fears that it will hamper your independence.

Instead of being tied to a relationship and all the obligations and responsibilities that may come with it, you may prefer to focus on yourself and your goals in life.

You Have Low Self-Esteem or Self-Worth

Not wanting to fall in love can sometimes signify a problem with esteem, attachment, anxiety, or another issue. You might feel anxious about becoming attached to someone and potentially losing them. Or you might have low self-esteem and struggle with feeling that you are unloveable. Instead of facing the possibility of rejection, you might decide to avoid love altogether.

Whatever the reason, it's important to be honest about why you don't want to fall in love. If you are unsure why you don't want to fall in love, you might want to consider exploring the issue further with the help of a therapist.

Understanding your reasons might help you overcome barriers holding you back from a positive relationship or help you further clarify your reasons for wanting to avoid being in love with someone else.

Consider the Pros and Cons

If you're still wrestling with the idea of never falling in love, spend some time thinking about the pros and cons of staying unattached.

On the plus side, avoiding love means you won't have to deal with heartbreak if the relationship doesn't work out. You also won't have to sacrifice your independence or put your goals on hold to make room for a romantic partner.

However, some potential drawbacks exist to not letting love into your life. For example, you might miss out on the supportive and close bond of being in a healthy relationship. You also won't have someone to share your life experiences with or to rely on during difficult times.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to fall in love is a personal one that only you can make. Consider all the factors involved before making a decision that feels right for you.

How to Overcome the Fear of Falling in Love

If you suspect that you might someday regret not falling in love, there are steps you can take to address your fears and become more open to the idea of eventually forming a lasting love connection.

Talk to a Therapist

If your feelings are related to self-esteem, attachment, or anxiety problems, a therapist can help you develop coping skills to help you navigate romantic relationships more successfully. Different types of treatment, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, can help reframe how you think about love and relationships. 

Practice Opening Up to Others

If your fear stems from a fear of vulnerability, start by opening up to close friends and family members. Talk about your feelings, thoughts, and experiences with them regularly. As you feel more comfortable sharing your innermost thoughts and feelings, you might find it easier to open up to a romantic partner when the time comes.

Don't Discount Non-Romantic Love

Having strong social support is essential for mental well-being. In general, partnered people tend to have better mental well-being than single people, but the amount of social support a person has can go a long way in counteracting this trend. If you don't feel like romantic love is in the cards for you, focus on building strong, supportive relationships with friends and other loved ones.

Remember that it is possible to love someone without being in love with them. Focus on developing platonic relationships with others. You might find that you can still experience the benefits of love without all of the complications that come with being in a romantic relationship.

Think About What You Might Want in a Relationship

If you're not sure you're ready for a relationship, spend some time thinking about what you might want in a partner. What qualities would they need to have? What kind of relationship would you like to have? Once you know what you're looking for, opening yourself up to the idea of falling in love might be more manageable.

How to Avoid Falling In Love

If you've decided that you don't want to fall in love, there are some things you can do to help make sure you stay unattached.

First, being honest with yourself and potential partners about your intentions is essential. If you're not interested in a serious relationship, communicate early on.

It's important to set boundaries with potential partners and to stick to them. For example, you might decide that you're only interested in casual dating or that you don't want to see someone more than once a week.

Once you know why you don't want to fall in love, it will be easier to take steps to avoid it. If you're afraid of getting hurt, you might want to stay away from relationships that seem like they could be headed for trouble. If you don't want the responsibility of a committed relationship, you might want to date around and keep things casual.

Being honest with your potential partners about your feelings is critical. If you're not ready for a serious relationship, let them know. That way, you can avoid leading them on or getting yourself into a situation you're not comfortable with.

What to Do If You Fall In Love Anyway

If you've always vowed never to fall in love, finding yourself falling for someone can be difficult. You might worry that you are letting yourself down or abandoning your plans. This might lead to unhelpful behaviors such as sabotaging your relationship or experiencing anxiety about where the relationship is going. 

If you do find yourself in love, even though you swore it would never happen, there are things you can do to protect yourself and improve the chances that your relationship will be a success.

Proceed Slowly

When you're getting to know someone, take things slow. Don't rush into anything physical or emotional. Get to know them as friends first and see how things progress from there.

Set Boundaries

Having boundaries is essential in any relationship, but it can be crucial when trying not to get too attached. Make sure you're on the same page about what you're looking for in the relationship, and don't hesitate to speak up if you're feeling overwhelmed or uncomfortable.

Communicate Openly

Honest communication is vital in any relationship, but it's crucial when you're trying to take things slow. Talk about your feelings, your expectations, and your fears. The more you communicate, the easier it will be to keep things in perspective and maintain a healthy relationship.

Try to Live in the Moment

When you're in a new relationship, it's easy to start thinking about the future and picturing yourself with that person. But if you're trying not to get too attached, focus on living in the moment and take things one day at a time. Enjoy getting to know someone without stressing out about where the relationship is headed.

A Word From Verywell

Despite what popular culture says, you don't have to fall in love to be happy. In many cases, there's nothing wrong with wanting to avoid falling in love. Be honest with yourself and your partners about your feelings.

If you're not ready for a serious relationship, that's OK. Just be sure to communicate your feelings and boundaries. That way, you can avoid getting hurt or hurting someone else.

4 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Jin W, Xiang Y, Lei M. The deeper the love, the deeper the hate. Front Psychol. 2017;8:1940. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01940

  3. Apostolou M, O J, Esposito G. Singles' reasons for being single: empirical evidence from an evolutionary perspectiveFront Psychol. 2020;11:746. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00746

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By Kendra Cherry
Kendra Cherry, MS, is the author of the "Everything Psychology Book (2nd Edition)" and has written thousands of articles on diverse psychology topics. Kendra holds a Master of Science degree in education from Boise State University with a primary research interest in educational psychology and a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Idaho State University with additional coursework in substance use and case management.