Will I Ever Be Able to Fall in Love Again If I Have Just About Given Up on Dating?

I am a heterosexual woman, but I am finding it increasingly more difficult to become attracted to men. I would like to love someone, but I doubt I can. I had online dating profiles (recently deleted all of them) and I do get some level of interest from men, but I tend to not be interested back. The last few men I did become attracted to rejected me and I’ve been in a downward spiral of hopelessness ever since. I feel like I should just give up on dating – I’m definitely not in the right place for it at present. But I’ve been here for about 18 months now. Theoretically I’d like to meet some new people, but in practice I don’t see it going anywhere, so why bother? Is this a passing phase that people go through when dealing with rejection and other disappointments in love? Will I ever be able to ‘fall in love’ again, or have I passed some point of no return?


If you really, truly believe that there is no point to dating, it would make absolutely no sense for you to keep dating. If you really, truly believed that there was no way to lose weight, it would make absolutely no sense for you do keep dieting.

Dear Heather,

Your question is an important one.

And to any reader who has an important question, I would highly encourage you to type it in the Lijit Search box on the left. Dating and relationship issues, while intensely personal, are often quite universal. And after 2 ½ years of writing this advice column, I may well have dealt with your personal question already.

But the reason I’m writing again is because it’s so important and it comes up for EVERYBODY.

If you really, truly believe that there is no point to dating, it would make absolutely no sense for you to keep dating. If you really, truly believed that there was no way to lose weight, it would make absolutely no sense for you do keep dieting. And so on.

We live life according to our beliefs. And since, in our brains, there’s no difference between fact and belief, it should be no surprise that wrong beliefs could create a considerable roadblock.

“The last few men rejected me” becomes “All men will always reject me”.

“I’ve been doing it for 18 months without success” becomes, “I will never have success”.

These are normal conclusions to draw, but they are patently FALSE conclusions. You know how I know this? Because I went out with more people than you – over 300 in 10 years. And if I had quit after “a few women” rejected me or because “18 months” had passed without being in love, I would not be married right now.

Understand, the people who succeed in ANYTHING are the ones who are able to fight through discomfort and failure. People who want to play it safe can continue to lead a safe, low-stakes life. There’s certainly nothing wrong with it. You can be perfectly content with your job, your friends, your yoga, your cat, your workshops and your spiritual life. And if that’s all you want, that should make things extremely simple. No need for dating, no need for trial and error and failure and confusion and rejection…and no possibility of finding everlasting love.

That’s your call, Heather. But don’t make the mistake of concluding that because it hasn’t yet happened for you, it will never happen for you. The only way for it to happen, however, requires an act of boldness on your part.

The people who succeed in ANYTHING are the ones who are able to fight through discomfort and failure.

You must vow to try dating in a NEW way.

Why? Because the OLD way isn’t working, hasn’t worked, and, most likely will never work.

And that’s where I want to acknowledge the validity of “why bother” syndrome. If you refuse to change anything from the way you were doing it before, then yes, there is absolutely no point in continuing to date.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

So if you want to know why you read this advice and yet nothing’s changed in your love life, ask yourself – are you doing anything different? Or are you reading, understanding, nodding your head…and STILL doing everything the same?

Are you still using your same old profile and photos?

Click here to get a new profile. Click here to get new photos.

Are you still frustrated at all the rejection you face?

Are you surprised that the wrong people are attracted to you, and unsure how to get the right people to be interested?

Click here to learn how to make the most of your online dating opportunities.

I don’t care whether you buy anything from me. My concern for you is whether you’re actually taking any new action. Budgeting 30 minutes a day to date online. Setting up one new date a week. Opening up to people who might not be on your radar. Screening a bit longer before meeting. Giving people a chance to shine on a date.

Knowledge doesn’t get results. Only action does.

Knowledge doesn’t get results. Only action does. So even if you’re the best, brightest, kindest woman in the world, nothing changes unless you DO something different.

In the past month, I’ve had three clients find relationships within 3 months of coaching.

One is 34, one is 35, one is 41. They’re no different than you are. They’re readers who decided to overcome “why bother” syndrome and take their love lives in a new direction.

When you hear me tell client success stories, it’s not pure self-promotion. Really. It’s a means of inspiring you to take new actions and work within a different relationship paradigm.

Why bother, Heather?

Because, to me, not bothering is just another way of saying, “I quit”.

And I’m not all that big on quitting.

Good luck.


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  1. 1
    Karl R

    Heather said: (original post)
    “I do get some level of interest from men, but I tend to not be interested back. The last few men I did become attracted to rejected me and I’ve been in a downward spiral of hopelessness ever since.”

    Wow. I would say Heather’s expectations have greatly exceeded reality. Dating can be viewed as a numbers game. (That’s not entirely accurate, but it’s a place to start.)

    When I look around at the women in my city, what percentage do you think I’m interested in? Maybe 2% – 5%. What percentage of women do you think are interested in me? Probably a similar percentage.

    Let’s assume that I’m interested in 5% of the women, and 5% are interested in me. That means of every 20 women I contact through Match.com, one might be interested in me. Of every 20 who contact me, I might be interested in one of them. At that rate, I can find one good match in about every 400 women.

    But it doesn’t matter if the percentages are 0.5% and 0.5% (or one in every 40,000 women). I only need to succeed once.

    Obviously, if those numbers are 5% then I’ll succeed a lot faster than if they’re 0.5%. That’s where being open to a broader range of dates (which Evan c0aches people to do) and using better dating strategies to attract a broader range of dates (which Evan teaches people to do) help speed up the whole dating process.

    So you’re not interested in most men. That’s normal. So most men aren’t interested in you. That’s normal as well. You’re ready to give up hope because you’re in a situation that I would consider typical.

    Maybe your expectations aren’t normal.

    But if you’re getting burned out, you may want to take a break from dating for a few months to recharge. Sometimes that’s useful. Go pursue your passions. Not only will that make you feel better, but you’ll also be a more interesting date.

  2. 2

    Reading this, I wonder if the OP has a rewarding, rich life outside of the romantic – a job she finds rewarding that provides her with financial security, pets, hobbies, close friends that she can spend time with and feel comfortable confiding in.

    Because if she doesn’t have those things, then I think that’s where she should start.

  3. 3

    Great advice as usual Evan.
    I needed to read this today, if only remind myself that I could have settled along time ago.

    But I’m heeding your advice you’ve been giving me in our coaching sessions where you had me change my focus from “guy who makes me feel passion” to “guy who tries hardest to be my boyfriend”. So if I factor in your new searching criteria, its only been 5 months of searching for the RIGHT things…. I’ll find it. But its great to have reminder blogs like this when it seems like such a daunting task.

  4. 4

    You’ve got to wonder though if she isn’t doing things that make men not want to see her again. I think this happens a lot, to both men and women. I know that the vast majority of women I’ve gone out with through online dating, and even some I decided on the phone not to go out with, I could coach them easily and tell them what they are doing wrong…everyone has their own blind spots. It seems that because of the nature of online dating that these negative personality or character traits are magnified – people are their own worst enemies it seems more so with online dating than the regular ‘meet them first then ask them out’ dating that happens when you meet someone in real life. I bet that if you were a fly on the wall, Evan, or anyone here could point out a lot of things this person is doing wrong. Like the old song says…”eliminate the negative and accentuate the positive”. I think you’ve really got to study this stuff, especially what the opposite sex is looking for and is apt to be attracted to. You can learn a ton for absoultly free just by reading Evans blogs and articles…I’m amazed at those who don’t. If you want to have success at anything, you’ve got to work at it. I also think it helps to take a long hard look at how you seem to someone who is out with you…putting the shoe on the opposite footso to speak!

  5. 5

    Hi Heather! Been in that boat before…I know and understand how you must feel. For me it comes and goes in waves. I have to say though that Karl R…nailed it! Good goin’ Karl….he is so right. Thank you Karl you even helped me!!! Takin’ a break is what I do. Sounds like you just need some time off…it’s ok. As strange as it sounds you just might meet someone in that time off wouldn’t that be something? Hook back into a hobby and passion, connect with friends, get a pet….distract, distract….when it’s meant to be it will be. Hang in there because love is always out there! and again, thanks Karl…I hope Heather found it useful too! Love those reality checks! 🙂

  6. 6

    Yes, I know this is a generalization. But men tend to compartmentalize better. The better of them don’t take rejection personally, or at least can talk themselves out of it. With women, most of the time, that’s not true. Even three or four rejections matter alot, if taken seriously each time as an indictment of your personal attractions, you’d be spiraling into depression and tottering on the edge of your personal stability too.

    Evan, you talk about being able to accept rejection, but during your dating period, I’ll bet you did you own fair share of rejecting too. Rejecting people isn’t fun either, but if you manage to do some, it’s easier to see that it’s just the nature of game, you win some you lose some, you get hurt a little, you hurt someone else a little. You pick yourself up and keep on going because that’s life.

    For the op though, she’s sounds like she’s just entering into the dating situation, and she already thinks rejection is all that’s out there because that’s all she’s gotten so far.
    She sounds like she really needs to reframe for herself what her expectations are for meeting single men. Can she conceivably see herself dating like a man? i.e. not giving a sh*t for the first couple of dates, just meeting new people as an excuse for socializing and getting some fresh air, as opposed to something that *should* lead to a significant development?

    To the op, your self esteem should not come into it. I know this sounds vague, but practice meditation or something, or develop a stronger interest / hobby other than your love life. Meeting new people is hard, you need to know at least how to protect yourself emotionally.

  7. 7

    Hi Heather. As long as you have an open heart, you will be able to fall in love again. Whether that will happen no one can say.

    I can relate somewhat to your situation. I’m also not that particularly interested in men, even when they are curious about me. I think it’s because as I have grown and matured, my values and what sustains me have changed. Of the handful that I did have an interest in, they were either in a different phase of their life or not all that interested in return. While I, too, have sometimes personalized their blase attitude a little too deeply, as women often do, I always have a well to replenish my spirit. And this is where trying your best to live a full and rewarding life, independent of male companionship, becomes so important. And if you keep your heart open “without expectation,” you may find yourself one day face-to-face with your next great love.

    Remember, all anyone truly has in this world is themselves. By loving. valuing and taking good care of yourself, you will heal and feel whole, and that heart of yours will spring wide open. Who could resist that? 🙂

  8. 8

    I can relate to you Heather. Dating is not easy. I don’t care whatever anyone says. I am a huge fan of Evan and his very straight forward advice.
    I tried for over 2 and half years to actively participate in the dating game after my divorce. I went on quite a number of dates, talked and emails with a lot of men. Took Evans advice at heart and changed my outlook about dating and think outside of the box. Widen my vision etc
    I can assure you that I am not a person who quits and gives up easily. I took myself of the dating websites and stopped dating all together. I decided just to enjoy my life and focus on just going out with friends and doing fun activities that make me happy.Dating became a chore I was just not enjoying anymore.
    I have not been out on any dates for 8 months now. I savoured that peace and quiet time in my life. It was such a relieve not having to weed out unsuitable guys, the back and forth emailing and chatting and texting and having to put my self out there on dates over and over again. Do ask myself the question will I ever meet anyone? Ever fall in love? Yes I do…but for now my focus in on me!!
    There are many other things going on in my life I just decided to focus on other things in my life…….

  9. 9

    Sometimes when you stop searching, stop trying to be in control, the universe opens up and sends you something miraculous – and you notice it. Maybe if Heather stopped looking so hard, the right guy would show up in her life, unexpected.
    That sort of things happens to me all the time. I’ve met several of my post-divorce girlfriends at parties or elsewhere in real life where I didn’t know they would be. They appeared, I approached, we dated.

  10. 10

    Maybe her standards are too high for what she has to offer. Makeover, treatment of physiological issues – who knows what it will take to get better results. The only thing that seems fairly obvious is that, given the long stretch of futility, she should be doing something differently.

  11. 11

    Rejection Is Universal. And it’s no indicator of whether someone is mate-worthy. The reason I like this site so much is because sometimes I just gotta know: Is it me? Am I a nutjob? Why does this happen to me? Most important, I need to know that I am not alone. I don’t know if this applies to Heather, but for me, the fact that none of my women friends does on-line dating makes them a pretty poor support system when I’m spiraling downward after being rejected. They can’t relate to what I’m going through, other than to say: “I can’t believe you’re still doing that. What are you, a glutton for punishment?” Not so helpful. But what is clear from Evan’s response and the comments is that everyone gets dumped. While getting some coaching advice might be very useful and increase your odds, just keep in mind that no matter how much coaching you get or how much you widen your search or make improvements to your profile, you will still probably be rejected more than you’ll be accepted in on-line dating. It’s the nature of the beast. The odds may not be exactly the same for everyone, but I’d bet there’s not a huge variance in the rejection-acceptance ratio among most of us. Even hotties get rejected…they just take it harder.

    I want to add one thing, though, particularly in response to Paul’s comment (#4 above)about how he could offer advice to women he rejects by pointing out what they’re doing wrong. There have been a couple of times when I’ve actually asked for feedback from a guy who rejected me, asking him WHY. The responses I got were actually pretty vague and unhelpful. I believe the true nature of most humans (at least I hope so) is not to offend or do harm to others when it can be avoided. But even if you did get clear and specific feedback from the guy whose just rejected you — what you will get is just his opinion, subjective and based on all that’s happened to him in his life leading up to now. He might reject you because, to him, you’re “too up in your head.” But the next guy you meet might just think that’s one of your most charming qualities. A coach, on the other hand, is not personally involved in the match-up and can be more objective based on his/her experience with a broad pool of people.

    I’m all for taking breaks, and I definitely encourage everyone — dating or not — to develop a comfortable and independent life where you like your own company. Whenever I take a break, it’s always obvious when it’s time for me to get back in the saddle and back on line. But don’t quit out of cynicism. Take a break and recharge. Know how to recognize the guy who wants to be your boyfriend & distinguish him from the guy who just wants to hang and keep it loose. You deserve what makes you happy, but just remember that with on-line dating, you usually have to work hard for it. Best of luck.

  12. 12

    It’s only human to want to give up when things aren’t working out, or to infer the future from the history and the present. It’s tempting to indulge in such behavior, but ultimately foolish.

    Great post, Evan.

  13. 13

    Thank you for your comments and advice. I’ve been putting pressure on myself to date for a few reasons and it’s been wreaking havoc with my life. I’m 36 and I feel like this love thing isn’t going to happen for me because I’ve failed at it so many times before. I have a history of serial monogamy so dating isn’t doing more of the same for me, it’s a new and very frightening experience that I thought I’d have to go through, just like everybody else. Maybe I don’t have to do what everybody else does.

    I’ve decided to not pressure myself for a while, but I feel like I’m in my prime and I don’t want to waste it being alone. I’m glad to read that others experience the ‘I’m only interested in 2%-5% and only 2%-5% are interested in me’ thing. I thought I was a freak for feeling this way – the odds just seem so astronomically stacked against me! The online dating approach hasn’t been a good one for me – looking through pages of pictures of men’s faces and personal statements doesn’t seem like a good way to go about it. It’s too easy for me to say ‘no’ to most of them.

    I do have issues I need to work on. I have been doing so for a few years now, and I try to maintain a full social life outside of a relationship (another relatively new concept for me). It’s not easy making the realization that the person you really are is not exactly the person you always hoped you’d become and that is something you need to adjust to living with because you’re a bit of a perfectionist. Also realizing that we have no control over attraction no matter how much work we do is a pretty sobering thing.

  14. 14

    Heather #13

    One thing I’ve noticed about online dating is that there are alot of men (maybe women too), who are serial online daters. I’m not sure they really want to find someone. They have terrible attitudes (badmouthing their exes, knocking 10-15 years off their ages and adding those numbers to the photos they post, being generally rude and disrespectful). Unless you are one of these types, I’d say it’s not you. Finding a compatible partner is no easy task.

  15. 15

    I think dating is a pretty annoying thing for anyone to have to do… haha, but don’t let it get you down. You can do it! In fact, don’t ever let anything get you down. Pick up a new hobby like ballroom dancing or a class on sewing. Ok so those were bad stereotypes, but that’s what I did to pass time. At the very least, it will put a smile on your face, you’ll learn something new and you may run into a nice guy. 🙂

  16. 16

    Actually, I like that idea of taking a sewing class. I’ve always wanted to know how to do that!

    I think I’d be in less of a state if I hadn’t managed to fall for someone who didn’t reciprocate my affection. That’s the part where I start to think I’m legitimately crazy. I don’t know how else to heal a broken heart than to meet other guys and fall for someone new. This whole dating venture has been an attempt to get over that last guy, but it’s only been rubbing salt in my wounds.

  17. 17

    Hey Heather. Life and love can be so hard sometimes. Your history of serial monogamy is very common. As so often happens with the letters Evan receives, there can be deeper, unspoken issues. I think it’s a great sign that you recognize your inability to heal a broken heart without meeting other guys and falling all over again. By recognizing this pattern in yourself, and what appears to have been the usual disappointing results, you can begin to improve this area of your life, albeit it will be a painful, but healing process.

    Jumping from one relationship to another, without first healing, only masks your pain and sabotages your next relationship which is a shame because under different, emotional circumstances, that next guy might could well be the one for you. In your best effort to do what feels right to you at that moment, you are creating the very end results you do not want.

    So what does all this mean? If only humans were simple creatures. 😉 Well, there’s another issue at play here, too, which is why you feel you cannot deal with the breakups in any other way. But I’m not a therapist or psychologist, and I don’t play one on TV :), so this is a journey only you can navigate. You’re on your way.

    All the best.

  18. 18


    I’m completely sympathetic. You don’t know just how sympathetic- I woke up this morning and the headline of this post went through my head. I’ve posted before, and I try hard (so hard it almost hurts) to not draw negative conclusions about men and dating in general. But, like I said, it can be very difficult- and I think sometimes only a very open-minded woman who’s completely loving toward the male sex can do it (where are you, Helen? ;-))

    And to Ava #14-

    Ur completely right- that’s been my experience, at least. I’m 31- and I’ve been dating online off and on since I was 25. Well, I always got lots of e-mails, went out on some dates. But since I hit 31 this July, I get few hits. And the ones who do e-mail never seem to want to meet up. Since I’ve still got hot pics up, look the same as I did last year (when I was getting hundreds of e-mails), the only explanation is the 3-1, right? I’m past my expiration date. It’s absolutely disgusting. And yeah, a lot of the guys seem embarrassed to be up there, and they have me wondering if this whole online thing something they do for kicks when the wife/g-friend isn’t watching.

    It could be the site: Chemistry- which I do NOT recommend.
    So, Heather, I don’t want to make you feel worse, but the thing is in spite of what everyone’s saying…I get what you’re saying. It’s hard as hell to get along with men sometimes. And yes, I realize I’m being hypocritical here with my past posts about how there must be decent men somewhere, etc. etc. But it is what it is.

  19. 19

    Sayanta #18

    Well, if you think 31 is hard, try being over 45! 31 still sounds pretty young to me. Hang in there!

  20. 20


    31 is young- to us women. Apparently not to the opposite sex. lol

  21. 21

    I don’t think it’s age. I’m 24 and I’ve been rejected plenty of times. Especially within the last 4-5 months or so when I decided that I needed to get back out there. I really had my game face too. I consider myself good at dating, hopefully. It’s only about age to idiots. I’m sorry, but if a guy passes up on an awesome woman because she’s 31? He’s a complete tool, and not worth your time! I know because of my age that there are PLENTY of things that I don’t know, I don’t know(said twice on purpose), but don’t give up. I feel like I was in that state of mind 3 months ago in the midst of guys walking all over me, and I hate seeing any other woman go through it. It’s very depressing. It made me depressed. After that I just didn’t want to date anymore, and it was making me crazy (therefore giving me the “why bother” mentality). But I met someone amazing shortly after that, and I’m not saying this to rub it in your face. Just trying to get you to remember, as hard as it is, that there are decent guys out there. There are definitely more guys out there that you are less compatible with, but there are also good ones! You’re not as alone as you may think you are. Being younger in the dating scene is probably worse. At least at an older age you would have more confidence that the guy is interested in a long-term relationship instead of a “fling.” Honestly, if it’s worse than what I went through then … well… then refer to the part where I just flat out don’t know. haha. By the way, crocheting is very therapeutic and distracting. It’s easier than it looks, that’s for sure.

  22. 22

    Shelagh…aw, thanks. 🙂 I needed that boost, trust me. Yeah, I do have hobbies, but nothing crafty. Sewing, crotcheting are definitely things I want to try!

  23. 23

    Shelagh #21

    “Being younger in the dating scene is probably worse. At least at an older age you would have more confidence that the guy is interested in a long-term relationship instead of a fling. ”

    Yeah, you would think so. But you’d be wrong. I still deal with the same dating problems I had with men 25 years ago, only now the men have lots more baggage.

  24. 24

    Sayanta… 🙂 You’re welcome.
    Ava… oi vey. That sounds nightmare-ish 🙁

  25. 25

    ” It’s hard as hell to get along with men sometimes.” – Sayanta
    “…only now the men have lots more baggage.” – Ava
    You can say both those things again Ladies. And ontop of that. Every average guy now thinks he deserves 18 year old twin porn stars because that’s what all the porn-mags told him he deserved. I really think we’ve hit a low point with men and women and relationships in the 21st century here. Then we got dating experts telling us that women are worthless after a certain age too. Yay for women, screwed no matter what we do.

  26. 26
    Evan Marc Katz

    Hey Jersey,

    What dating experts are telling women that they’re worthless after a certain age?

    I’m friends with a lot of them and should be aware of anyone who’s giving such dangerous and false advice.

    Thanks a bunch,


  27. 27

    Maybe worthless was strong but that’s how it feels. Perhaps it’s better to say that women are considered less worthy to be considered for love after a certain age.

  28. 28
    Evan Marc Katz

    Do men covet youth? Yes. But given that there are millions of American women who find love at all ages every year, I wouldn’t quite conclude that all men find all women of a certain age to be unworthy of love.

  29. 29

    What’s the problem here Evan? It’s okay for you to say that men covet youty but not okay for women to say it? I never said “all men”. But clearly enough men undervalue women while they expect to be respected based on something they clearly don’t respect women for. For aging. How come it’s okay for you to say it but it’s not okay for me to? It’s okay for you to give the “hard truth” and tell women that every year they get older is another year that just makes it all that much harder for them to find a man that will be loyal to them but it’s not okay for women, like me, to recongnize that the truth behind that throught process is that men think women are less worthy of being loved every year they age. yet men think they deserve it no matter what age they are.

  30. 30
    Evan Marc Katz

    I’m not sure what you’re talking about or why you’re upset. So I’m going to go through this, step by step, to make this crystal clear.

    I said “men covet youth”

    I didn’t say that men who covet youth were being fair. I didn’t say that men who covet youth were being realistic. I didn’t say “it’s not okay for women to covet youth, too”. These are all conclusions that you falsely drew based on one undeniable observation: “Men covet youth.”

    By the way, I’m pretty sure YOU agreed with this observation when you said: “Every average guy now thinks he deserves 18 year old twin porn stars”. So am I to take it that because you said “men think they deserve porn stars” you agree that they should get porn stars?

    No? You don’t think that? Well, this is the consistently twisted logic that I’m faced with in these comments.

    You realize how annoying this is? To be misquoted on my own blog, time after time? And to repeatedly engage in this tiresome conversation because I don’t want to “censor” your point of view – even when your point of view attributes ideas to me that are not actually mine?

    Readers, please. Just because I observe something that you would agree on – men are shallow, men don’t call, men flake out – does not mean I’m defending them. I’m pointing out something we all know to be true. The lesson is not to tell men to stop being shallow, start calling, or stop flaking out. You’ll never succeed. The lesson for women is to walk away from men like this. If you can’t understand this – if you’re going to have a negative reaction every time I point out something that is TRUE that you don’t like – I’m going to delete your comments. They don’t contribute to the dialogue, they derail it by trafficking in falsehoods. Pointing out that men behave badly is not an endorsement of them. Pointing out that women could understand men better isn’t an indictment of you.

    I think it’s clear that I have no trouble with reasonable disagreements, but any further misattributions of my words will not see the light of day.

    I shouldn’t have to spend so much time setting the record straight on my own blog.

    Have a lovely Sunday.


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