Are you incapable of love?


During an episode of The Bachelor, where 20 or so women date one man in the hope of finding love, one of the girls was sharing an intimate moment with the Bachelor (well as intimate as it gets when you’re on a global television show) and when he asked her why she was single, she confessed that she was worried it was because she was incapable of love.

It was a vulnerable moment for her – to love is one of the fundamentals of life, so it’s no wonder the thought she was incapable of this would cause her distress. But could it possibly be true? While we’ll never know for sure in her case, eHarmony’s relationship expert Melanie Schilling says that for us non-reality TV show people it is possible. “I do believe people can be incapable of loving at a point in time in their life. It’s not that they’re doomed to never have love, but they can go through a phase of being incapable of love. Those who are truly incapable of love are sociopaths,” she adds.

Much of the success of a relationship is down to each party’s psychological readiness to enter into something serious. If a person is not ready, there can a multitude of reasons why, but the three big ones are:

  • Baggage

    They could still be carrying a lot of pain from previous relationships, which deems them off limits as far as successful dating and relationships go.

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  • They’re going through a very self-focused phase

    For example, it might be all about their career or, if they’re a single parent, they might be waiting until their child reaches school age.

  • General mental health

    If someone is experiencing quite serious anxiety or depression this doesn’t mean they’re incapable of loving but in that moment, they’re not psychologically ready to be in a relationship.

There are signs however that you can look out for to spot someone who might not make a great partner. “Look for consistency between their words and behaviour. A real tell tale sign is they’ll say one thing, but do something different,” explains Mel.

If they are displaying signs, it’s important you do not ignore them. “You can’t force someone into a relationship,” says Mel. “It’s hard to walk away, especially if you’ve invested a lot of time and energy, but your rational side needs to step up and say, he’s not going to give me what I want – I need to walk away.”

What if you think it’s you, though, who is incapable of love? You might be if the same patterns keep recurring in your relationships. “A classic trend,” says Mel, “is that you’ll date the same person, they’re just in different clothes. With women, this might be the bad boy or commitment phone guy who she is attracting because she’s not ready so she’s sabotaging. You need to take stock and have a look at yourself and ask how are you contributing to the dynamic?”

If you do think you’re going through a phase, get out of the dating game. “Withdraw for a time,” says Mel. “It doesn’t mean you’re doomed forever, but it might mean you need to spend six months working on yourself.”

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Have you experienced any of these signs? How did you cope? Let us know in the comments below  or join the conversation on FacebookTwitter & Instagram. And if you are ready to narrow down the world of possibilities, sign up to eharmony today- find someone made for you.

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