23 Signs You Might Be Incapable of Love (What You Really Need to Know)

Are you concerned you might be incapable of love? Does it seem like there is something wrong with every relationship you get involved in? Do you worry you will never fall in love because of this? 

If you expect things to be normal in your love life, you might be disappointed! No one is normal, and many people have trouble falling in love!

The real question is, can you have a sustainable relationship and fall in love with your partner? If you have the ability to fall in love, there is nothing wrong with you. 

In fact, even if you have never been able to fall in love, you still may be completely fine! Don’t rush into judgment of yourself!

Relationships are tough, and talking about the reasons or signs that you might be incapable of love can be very trying, as you are working hard to find happiness with each new relationship!

Don’t worry; this article will ease the burden of this dilemma. 

Read on to learn all about the emotional deprivation disorder or the incapability to love and the signs that you might have this issue. 

Once you recognize it, you can do something about it! Let’s get started!

What Does It Mean to Be Incapable of Love?

The technical term for someone who is incapable of love is having an emotional deprivation disorder. According to Healthline, an emotional deprivation disorder means you are unwilling or unable to connect with others on an emotional level. There isn’t much advantage to having an emotional deprivation disorder because you hold your emotions in – whether you want to or not.

If you have an emotional deprivation disorder, you might have some noticeable symptoms that can help you diagnose this problem, according to the article in Healthline. For one, you’ll have a tough time maintaining close personal relationships. You might avoid other people or group activities because you are uncomfortable sharing yourself with these strangers.

Another problem with this disorder and having a solid relationship with it is that you often appear busy. Your partner may think you are ignoring him or her when really you are just having a difficult time with empathy and relating to them in the conversation. You probably don’t enjoy sharing your feelings or emotions with others if you are incapable of love, too. Sound like you?

Why You Might Be Incapable of Love (23 Signs You are Incapable of Love)

1. You experienced a lack of love growing up

You might be incapable of loving someone in a relationship if you were not in loving relationships as a child. If you don’t know what love looks like, how are you expected to emulate it? There is little advantage to having a childhood like this, but it happens. Maybe your parents were very withdrawn people, keeping their feelings to themselves.

If this sounds like the reason you are incapable of love, you might want to try to forge loving relationships as an adult or speak to a qualified counselor about what you are going through. If people are aware of this issue, they might not expect the worst from you anymore. Instead, they are more likely to be empathetic and understanding!

2. You were ignored or dismissed as a child

As a child, I know I remember always wanting to grow up! I was so tired of everyone telling me that one day everything would make sense but that I was too young to understand it at my age. I wanted to be “in” on the secrets that all the grown-ups in my life shared! I felt hurt and left out of every conversation because I was too young.

I wasn’t ignored as a child, but I certainly was dismissed as being too young to understand things. This happened all the time, and it just made me want to grow up too fast. I wanted to be an adult so that I could make up and follow my own rules. I didn’t understand that it was necessary to work for what you wanted in life.

As a High School student, I went ahead and had my first marriage because I was that eager to grow up! Boy, did I learn things the hard way! If you have never been in a relationship as a teen, especially in a marriage, I would not recommend it. You barely know who you are, let alone who the other person is! It was rocky waters for me!

3. You have been neglected a lot in your life

you have been neglected a lot in your life

Some children are just neglected – physically, mentally, or emotionally. They don’t get the affection or attention they need to flourish as adults. If you suspect that this is the reason you are incapable of love, you might want to work on being around people that freely show affection and attention – those who are not incapable of love.

If you surround yourself with the right people, your inability to love will disappear and will instead be replaced with feelings of love and concern for others, meaning you will be able to have a normal relationship at some point in the future. You might even catch yourself falling in love with someone down the line.

4. You have never been in a real relationship

If you have only ever been in “flings” or temporary relationships, you might just not know what love looks like. Maybe you just haven’t met the right person in this day and age, but it will happen when the time is right. You just need to have faith and hope! 

If you’ve never had the experience of falling in love, you might just need it to happen to you so that you will see what you are missing. A loving relationship can easily change things in your world. You will see what it means to give and take in a relationship and what it’s like when someone genuinely cares about your well-being.

5. You have been abused in the past

Abusive relationships can be very hard on an individual. They cause you to put your walls up so that you won’t be hurt by another soul. If you’ve experienced a lot of abuse in your time on earth, you might need to consider getting some help through a 12-step program like Celebrate Recovery, which helps abuse victims. 

Also, talking to a counselor about your inability to love can prove to be quite fruitful. You never know what tricks and solutions they might have up their sleeves!

6. You have received a lot of criticism from others

you have receive a lot of criticism from others

Criticism can kill all hope and satisfaction in life and make it very hard to love others. When someone is always putting you down or insisting that everything you’ve done is bad or wrong, you will have a negative view of yourself. You may even think that not only are you incapable of love, but you are also incapable of being loved!

Please know that this is the furthest thing from the truth! If you are a Christian, you know that God loves everyone, so there is one person on your side already! Plus, I’m sure there are people in your life who love you and just don’t let you know that on a regular basis. It all depends on the types of people you surround yourself with.

7. You did not receive love growing up

If you were not loved as a child, there’s a good chance that you do not know how to display love to others. You might realize this and worry that you cannot learn how to love as an adult, but this is not so. Anyone can learn to love another person!

It’s best to think of it this way: If you are going to learn how to love another person, you must first learn how to love yourself. If you are a narcissist or just think very highly of yourself, you might already have this down. It depends on what your personality is like.

However, if you are still struggling with issues of self-worth, you might need to work on that before trying to love another person. Think of all the pros and cons about you. What do you do well? What talents do you have? How could you grow to be an even more impressive person? Work on loving yourself before tackling another person.

8. You have very low self-esteem or self-worth

As mentioned, if you struggle with self-esteem or self-worth, you might want to focus on those things before jumping into a love relationship. Make a list of your strengths and put them in order from weakest to strongest. Starting from the top of the list, begin to analyze each trait and the things that come with each characteristic.

If your weakest strength is cooking, for example, consider taking a cooking class and learning the art of baking or making sushi! Branch out and try something new to develop the skills you already have. This will give you a new appreciation for yourself. You will not only be impressed by your newfound skills, but you will also be proud you did it!

9. You have very few friends

At times, we find it hard to show love to others when we don’t have many special people in our lives. You might decide that you need to develop new friendships because of this. Ask a work colleague out for drinks or invite a neighbor over for coffee one Saturday morning. If you meet new people, you will eventually have an army of friends.

10. You fear intimacy

you fear intimacy

This is a tough one because no one really enjoys getting their heart broken. Often, when we make ourselves vulnerable, we are intimate. 

Intimacy is more than just sex, too. It can also be just being very close to someone – in conversation or in the “getting to know” you phase of a relationship.

11. You fear rejection

If you are a guy, you probably know this problem all too well. Men are often afraid of rejection so they are leery about opening up with a girl. When we make ourselves vulnerable, we risk rejection.

Rejection doesn’t stop at the beginning stages of a relationship, either. We also risk getting shot down when we are falling in love, and that tends to hurt even worse!

12. You rely too much on someone else

If you are in a relationship where you rely on your partner too much, you are likely to lose all respect for this person, making it hard to love them in a meaningful way.

13. You are a perfectionist

Perfectionists often see the world as black or white. They don’t think it’s okay to do things halfway! Because of this, they withdraw from others and tend to themselves. 

They don’t need anyone to help them, or so they believe because they think that other people just make things complicated. By walling themselves off from the world, they have become incapable of being in love with others.

14. You have an addiction

you have an addiction

When you have an addiction, that becomes your first love, and nothing else really matters. Because of this, you become incapable of showing love to someone else.

15. You have social anxiety

Social anxiety means that you get uncomfortable being around other people. 

People with this problem often love their “comfort zone” and don’t want to love another person because that might entail them having to do something out of their comfort zone.

16. You have great feelings of apathy

Apathy basically means that you find little to no enjoyment or contentment in life. 

You might think that this person is just plain mean, but really they are unhappy and need to be surrounded by loving people. 

This is the only way they will learn how to love!

17. You are very negative

If you have a pessimistic outlook on life, you might have trouble with love because love is a happy feeling! 

Work on optimism and seeing the bright side of life and you’ll feel better and learn to love others!

18. You have many insecurities

If you are insecure, you might think very negatively about yourself. If you think you are not worth the time for another person to love, why would you think you could love another individual?

In other words, if you aren’t loveable, do you really think you will find someone who is?

To combat this issue, consider speaking with a qualified counselor and learn the wonderful qualities you possess! Another option is to speak with family and friends to get the scoop about what’s great about you!

19. You are a worrier

you are a worrier

People who tend to think the worst is going to happen have trouble showing vulnerability and love. 

If this sounds like you, learn the art of mindfulness and letting go. These tools can greatly help you in life, and you’ll be much happier because of them.

20. You tend to be a people pleaser

If you spend all your time making others happy, you are unlikely to feel happy yourself. 

Focus on yourself every now and then instead of always worrying about what other people think!

21. You are a very suspicious person

If you have a lot of doubts, you are going to have a tough time loving others. 

Try to have faith in people from time to time. 

Don’t suspect the worst in everyone, and instead, look for the wonderful traits they possess!

22. You end relationships too soon

This is a sign that you don’t want to get serious with anyone. You might want to ask yourself why that is the case. Do you think maybe you are scared of being in love?

Speak with a counselor or friend who is well-versed in this subject and learn how to not be so picky – if that is indeed your problem.

23. You do not believe anyone who says they love you

As I am not a counselor, I cannot explain why you have this issue, but clearly, it is a problem that is affecting your world. You should speak to a professional to get to the bottom of the problem and help you solve it. 


What do you call the inability to love?

This is called an emotional deprivation disorder, and it means that you are incapable of love for one reason or another. You might still be in romantic relationships or even have healthy relationships, but love is no longer involved because you are so guarded with your feelings.

What causes a person to be unable to love?

There are many causes of having an emotional deprivation disorder. You might have been burned by your past relationships or have a great fear of being hurt by the wrong person. If you feel incapable of romantic love, check your emotions and talk to someone – someone who can stay objective!

What is detachment?

Detachment generally means you are withdrawn or uninterested in what’s going on. It often corresponds to an inability to have a serious relationship because you show signs of being aromantic – a person who is not attracted to other people. Find out if you are detached by examining your unhealthy relationships from the past.

What is an aromantic person?

According to WebMD, aromatic people have very little if any romantic attraction to other people. They might or might not have sexual attraction, depending on what type of people they are. It’s not a great way to live, but it happens to people from time to time.

How do I know if I'm aromantic?

If you have a fear of affection or no attraction to the opposite sex, you might be aromantic, but don’t count yourself out of a loving relationship too fast. Bad things often happen when we make assumptions that we are not normal. Talk to a relationship counselor before making any decisions!

To Sum It All Up

Do you suspect you might be incapable of love? What signs do you see? Have you experienced hurt from your relationships in the past because of the signs of being incapable of love? 

We’d love to hear about your romantic relationships! Please leave a comment and share!

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