Why Do Independent People Often Struggle to Find Partners?

If you're an independent person, you probably love your solitude and don't tend to follow the herd. However, this can make it difficult for you to find a partner.
Why Do Independent People Often Struggle to Find Partners?

Last update: 19 October, 2021

You’ve probably heard it said that in order to love someone else, you must first love yourself. That’s because loving yourself means you approach the other person from a feeling of desire, curiosity, or interest, not from need. However, those who are personally and emotionally independent often experience the most difficulty in establishing a relationship. Has this happened to you? If so, read on, as in this article we talk about why independent people often struggle to find partners.

There’s a tendency to think that to establish an emotional bond you have to fulfill a series of characteristics. For example, to be attractive, successful, intelligent, funny… However, if you look around, you’ll soon see that people of all kinds enjoy relationships. Furthermore, paradoxically, those who’ve done more inner work on themselves often feel unable to find themselves a partner. Nevertheless, in reality, the difficulties may have another origin.

Why do independent people often struggle to find partners?

This statement can be applied to all people who are looking for a partner to share their life with, as opposed to filling in the gaps in it.

However, finding a partner tends to be particularly difficult for those who’ve undergone an important transformation process. In fact, those who’ve experienced emotional dependence in the past and have overcome it through working on themselves. In any case, whatever your situation might be, here are some of the reasons that might be stopping you from achieving your aim.

Woman with her back turned on the beach

You misunderstand independence

In any relationship, it’s important that each of its members takes responsibility for their own happiness and emotions. However, it’s essential that there’s  a certain degree of openness and that the fear of vulnerability is eliminated. Thus, interdependence is the most appropriate concept in the process of bonding.

Being emotionally independent doesn’t imply being cold or distant. Indeed, if you misinterpret this term, you might fall into the trap of not letting yourself be loved, of not allowing yourself to connect with others on a deep level. Then, you start to experience feelings along the lines of ” I ‘m perfectly capable of doing everything on my own, but I don’t want to do it alone”.

You’re used to being alone

If you’ve been single for a long time, you might find it more difficult to start a relationship. This is because, sometimes, solitude becomes addictive. In fact, it provides you with a sense of control that, when you start a relationship is replaced by intense emotions and a large dose of uncertainty. However, you’re not always willing, consciously or unconsciously, to make this change.

Furthermore, as with all social skills, if you don’t practice them regularly, you lose your skill and confidence in the area concerned. Thus, after years of being single, your romantic interactions might not turn out to be as smooth and satisfying as you’d like. This may stop you from even trying anymore.

You perpetuate a dysfunctional belief

Along the same lines as the previous point, you might find yourself perpetuating a certain belief that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. In this case, your belief is that you’ll never find a partner. This idea can start from bad past experiences. For example, perhaps you think that every relationship means suffering and abandoning yourself. Or, you’re convinced that no one will accept a relationship on your terms of freedom and companionship rather than demands and control.

This same idea can lead you to view face-to-face interactions with new people pessimistically and suspiciously, instead of allowing yourself to see how the situation unfolds. In fact, these mental barriers that you carry are the ones that, finally, end up blocking your opportunities.

You have high standards

Finally, we can’t ignore the fact that, as an independent person, you may find it difficult to find a partner because you tend to have higher standards. For instance, you may want to start a relationship but you don’t actually need to. That’s because you cherish and value your life just as it is and you love and respect yourself. For this reason, you’re probably only willing to accept those who might improve your current situation.

If you look at things from this perspective, you tend to rule out anyone who hasn’t developed the same conception of love as you and who hasn’t worked on themselves in order to be able to bond healthily. For this reason, in today’s society, where there’s a tendency toward superficiality, liquid love, and unawareness of one’s own needs, finding a like-minded individual can be even more complicated.

Man thinking why it is so hard for him to find a partner

It doesn’t have to be this way

As you can see, you can work on the above points, so they stop being an obstacle to you. Furthermore, if you take a good look at some of your beliefs, you’ll find you’ll be able to start thinking more flexibly and realistically. This will allow you to break down some of the barriers that you’ve built up over time.

On the other hand, remember that there are many people who’ve traveled along the same path as you and want to build a relationship along the same lines as you. You just need to open up and give yourself a chance.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Bischoff, R. J. (2008). The role of dependence in couple relationships. Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy7(3), 267-273.
  • Holmes, B. M., & Johnson, K. R. (2009). Adult attachment and romantic partner preference: A review. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships26(6-7), 833-852.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.