I just want to be loved. At first glance, there’s nothing unusual about this notion. But when you take a second look, a lot can be uncovered.

Not everyone gets to experience a fairytale love life. For some, romantic love leaves a lot to be desired. And this article is for all those having a hard time finding that one person to spend their forever with.

The first thing I want you to know is that there’s nothing wrong with being desperate for love. At the end of the day, isn’t that the entire purpose of our existence?

No matter what anyone tells you, don’t beat yourself up for being a little bit lost. Just because you find yourself thinking: I just want to be loved quite often, doesn’t mean you’ll never find it.

At this point, you’re probably done wasting time on social media, dating sites, scrolling through lovey-dovey Tumblr memes, and listening to podcasts that just won’t shut up about finding the one.

It seems like all your close friends and family members have their love lives figured out. But let me tell you something…

There are lots of terrible things in this world, but not having a loved one isn’t one of them. This is just a temporary setback that you can easily work toward fixing.

There are numerous possible reasons why you’re feeling particularly impatient for that all-encompassing love right now.

Below, I’ll reveal all about them and how you can open your heart to finding the kind of love you deserve.

THIS Is Why You Ache For Love So Badly

Ever wondered why you sometimes feel so eager and desperate for love and affection? The reasons might surprise you.

You’ve set the bar way too high

pensive business woman sitting by the office table holding a ballpen

Don’t beat yourself up about this. We all expect a lot from love, even though it doesn’t always work out the way we envisage it.

What’s important to take away from this is the following: By having your bar set so high, you chase away all the potential love interests that might be good for you.

You’re not going to find a person who checks all your boxes. That’s just not real life. But you can find someone who makes an effort every single day, despite being flawed (just like the rest of us).

You’re feeling super anxious and desperate for love right now because you haven’t given yourself a chance to experience it. Lower the bar (just a little bit) and see what’s out there.

Being single for a hot minute has made you feel unloved

pensive blonde woman looking down and holding her head focus on her face

Not having had a partner for a while has been ruining your mental health. It has made you feel as if there’s something about you that screams ‘unlovable.’

Get this notion out of your head. The amount of time you spend single or taken has nothing to do with you being unlovable.

Sometimes, things just pan out that way. But you can’t let this affect your view of yourself. You’re most probably a great person with a stroke of bad luck. That’s all.

See also: 9 Stereotypes About Single Women That Need To Stop Immediately

You spend time with people who are unloving toward you

woman with a hat sitting on the floor inside the room looking sad

Being surrounded by narcissism can make you feel low. Have you ever stopped and looked around you?

Who you surround yourself with affects you more than you know. Do not let narcissistic, toxic people get near you and fill your head with their twisted logic.

You should only spend time with people who appreciate, encourage, and love you the way you are. The rest of them deserve the boot.

Watching romantic movies has given you unrealistic expectations

selective focus of a woman watching movie alone with few people at the back inside the cinema

Ever since you were a little girl, you’ve been dreaming about that seemingly perfect movie love. But movies are not real life.

While it’s understandable that a young girl would idealize and romanticize love, it’s time to face reality as a grown-up.

You’re not going to find your Prince Charming, who’ll knock you off your feet and take you to his kingdom where you’ll live happily-ever-after.

Movies are a great escape from real life, not a substitute for one. Catching yourself desperately thinking: I just want to be loved might have something to do with this self-inflicted illusion.

You’re jealous of the “perfect” social media couples

woman looking at the smartphone while having coffee at a cafe

The first time you see the #couplegoals hashtag (and others like this trend), naturally, you’re going to start feeling jealous.

But with time, hopefully, you’ll understand that social media is just that. It’s not anyone’s reality. Sure, those couples might be genuinely happy at that moment in time.

But do you honestly think that things are always perfect? Far from it. People only post what they want you to see.

You can’t shake the feeling of desperation and hopelessness

sad woman with a laptop looking down and sitting inside her home office

I get it. There were times when I was single for a bit where I’d think to myself: I just want to use your love tonight…

And when I’d realize that it’s not going to happen, I’d just fall into a bottomless pit of hopelessness and desperation. While it can be discouraging at times, it’s important to know how to pick yourself up.

I encourage you to read words of empowerment daily if need be. Talk to someone who knows your worth.

Boy George gets you too (If you’re not familiar, play his bop ‘I just wanna be loved,’ ASAP). All joking aside, you’re not going to feel like this forever. Remind yourself of this.

A recent break-up has made you question your self-esteem

sad young woman in the kitchen looking away and sitting

Your ex has filled your mind with self-doubt. That’s what bad break-ups can do to a person. I’ve been there myself.

To help yourself forget, you go binge-shopping on Amazon and take part in their giveaways, as if retailers could help things in any way (been there, done that).

But an awesome purchase won’t help you get your self-esteem back. Do you know what will? Realizing that this one person does NOT get to mess you up like this.

You’re so much more than what your ex has to say about you. There’s a reason why they’re no longer in your life.

See also: What To Do When Recovering From A Breakup: 90 Days No Contact Rule

Everyone around you is too busy with their own lives

pensive woman drinking coffee in the kitchen looking away

It feels like your close friends are all out there doing what they love, and your family members have their own things going.

Most of them are completely situated in their love lives to top it all off. Naturally, this can make you feel alone and alienated.

There’s nothing like watching your loved ones living their lives to the max, and you’re standing on the sidelines. But to get where they are now, they probably experienced some bad stuff too, right?

Who knows, maybe you’re at a crossroads right now too. You just have to stick it out a bit longer to get through this mess.

You don’t know how to love yourself

sad woman resting on sofa with one hand supporting her head

When was the last time you did something kind for yourself? Better yet, what can you do for you that’ll make you appreciate yourself more?

The love in your life starts with loving yourself. You cannot be self-deprecating and then wonder why you’re not loved.

Be the first one to offer an abundance of love to yourself. Do the things that make you happy. Realize the incredible importance of self-love.

Once you do, I promise, what’s ahead will no longer seem so gloomy and dark.

You miss physical affection

sad woman embracing a big pillow remembering something

This is something everyone can relate to. There are tons of perks to being in a romantic relationship.

Some of the biggest ones are constant cuddles, kisses, and hugs. Lounging on the sofa and watching a movie while your partner is holding your hand or stroking your hair.

Walking down the street, feeling your hand firmly gripped by theirs. Little things like that make life seem so much better.

If you’ve been struggling with thoughts like I just want to be loved lately, this could be why. At the end of the day, physical affection releases feel-good hormones. How could you not miss it?

You have a lot of love to give and nowhere to focus it

woman sitting on autumn folliage looking sad and alone

Granted, this is one of the worst feelings out there. You have so much love to give, but no one to give it to.

After having been through so many trials and tribulations and working hard at learning to love yourself, you’re left all alone. But don’t let this discourage you.

Love comes at the most unexpected moments. Today, you might be feeling low and unloved, but tomorrow, things can pick up. And that’s the beauty of life.

You never really know what it has in store for you. To think that it’s always going to be like this is foolish. Don’t lose faith in yourself and all the love you have to give.

I don’t know when, but one day, this is all going to be but a memory that will fizzle out as you’re drinking your morning coffee with the love of your life.

5 Helpful Tips For Opening Your Heart To Love

You can’t wave a magic wand and have the love of your life appear on your doorstep. But you can make a continuous effort that will give you the necessary tools for finding them.

Allow yourself to be vulnerable

woman eating ice cream and smiling while looking at somebody and holding her hair

The (not so) little things like being vulnerable can help you form deeper bonds with your loved ones (and potential lovers-to-be).

Let your vulnerabilities out in the open. This is the only way to attract someone and get them to like you. Why? Because it’s the only way they can meet the real you.

People go through an array of emotions throughout their lives. You cannot close yourself off from everyone and wonder why you’re so alone.

Show them you’re ready to open up. Vulnerability and transparency are attractive. Putting up walls isn’t.

Learn to be happy on your own before finding a partner who’ll add to it

smiling woman leaning on her right hand and closing eyes inside living room

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that if you’re not happy alone, you’re not going to be happy with someone else.

As I’ve already mentioned, love comes from within. Love yourself (flaws and all), and learn to find happiness in your singlehood.

There are so many perks to not being attached to another person.

While you’re on the lookout, find yourself in the process. What makes you smile from ear to ear? What do you like to do when you don’t have to consider your partner’s needs?

Do ALL the stuff you normally wouldn’t get to do and see that being on your own is not the end of the world. When you find your happy place alone, then you’re ready to find your bae who’ll only add to it.

See also: 30 Day Self Love Challenge: Become The Best Version Of Yourself

Change your beliefs about what love is “supposed to be”

inspired woman looking at the skies smiling with eyeglasses on her head

Let go of all your idealized notions of what love should be, and understand what it really is: compromise, sacrifice, moodiness, and picking up your partner’s slack when they’re at 20%.

Love is never going to be roses and butterflies 24/7, and as long as you keep expecting it to be, you’ll always remain utterly disappointed.

There will be happy days, sad days, confusing days, and moments when you’ll want to strangle them (not really, though).

That’s love in all its messy glory; the good, the bad, and the ugly of it all.

STOP letting others dictate how you feel about yourself

smiling woman relaxing on the comfortable chair drinking coffee near the white curtains

Or should I be more precise–stop letting a disgruntled ex make you think you’re not enough. You’ve broken up for a reason.

It’s foolish to keep letting someone from your past affect you so badly. Let go of them. They’re no longer a part of your life.

The only thing that matters is how you see yourself, as well as those who know you best. Everyone else doesn’t get to have a say.

How could they? They don’t know you well enough for their opinion to matter.

Surround yourself with a small circle of people who uplift you, and watch your life ‘magically’ change for the better.

Don’t model your love life after others’ (everyone has their struggles)

woman realxing holding a smartphone and listening with headphones on sitting on the couch near the windows

Stop looking at loved-up social media posts and thinking to yourself that things are as flawless and perfect as they seem.

Nothing is ever the way it seems on the surface. Love is more than just a photo of a happy couple and a hot hashtag.

Love is everything that the post doesn’t say. Don’t let the grass is greener syndrome ruin you for love. People are never going to post about their struggles. Remember that.

We all have ugly stuff we deal with. Just because it’s not out in the open doesn’t mean it’s not real. Chances are, those happy couples go through the same stuff you do.

The only difference? They never let it show. But hey, now that you know, hopefully, you’ll never let appearances fool you again.

15 I Just Want To Be Loved Quotes

1. “To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow–this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.”―Elizabeth Gilbert

2. “My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.”―Maya Angelou

3. “There’s nothing stupid about wanting to be loved. Believe me.”―Nina LaCour

4. “He’s not your Prince Charming if he doesn’t make sure you know that you’re his princess.”―Demi Lovato

5. “Seize the moments of happiness, love, and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here.”―Leo Tolstoy

6. “The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves—say rather, loved despite ourselves.”―Victor Hugo

7. “To be deeply loved means a willingness to cut yourself wide open, exposing your vulnerabilities…hopes, hurts, fears and flaws. Hiding behind the highlight reel of who you are, is the real you, and that person is just as worthy of love. There is nothing more terrifying or fulfilling than complete love. It’s worth the risk…Reach for it.”―Jaeda DeWalt

8. “What a grand thing, to be loved! What a grander thing still, to love!”―Victor Hugo

9. “Once someone loves you that much, loves you more than you deserve, you can’t go back to being loved the normal way.”―Tiffany Reisz

photo of a couple in love hugging and kissing forehead while lying down

10. “When you are loved, you can do anything in creation. When you are loved, there’s no need at all to understand what’s happening, because everything happens within you.”―Paulo Coelho

11. “To be loved and to love takes courage. To be fully seen is incredibly rare and breathtaking. We lower our masks and see a celestial inner being. It is our full self―the supernova as well as the black holes. Our fears and doubts. Our anger and joy…This is love.”―Carolyn Riker

12. “Ultimately, everything we do is merely in hopes of being loved or spreading it.”―Nalini Dhiman

13. “Loving is giving, and being loved is receiving. Loving should not depend on being loved, but to all intents and purposes, your commitment in a relationship is grossly expressed by how much of yourself you share with your partner.”―Olaotan Fawehinmi

14. “Behind every angry soul is a wounded child that just wanted you to love them for who they are.”―Shannon L. Alder

15. “Hope for love, pray for love, wish for love, dream for love but don’t put your life on hold waiting for love.”―Mandy Hale

See also: Waiting For Love Quotes: 130 Sayings That Show Love Is Worth Waiting For

At the end of the day, I just want to be loved too. We all do. But you should never let this feeling compromise your happiness.

Hopefully, you’ve pinpointed the reasons for feeling so unloved at the moment. When you learn to find true happiness in yourself, you’ll be closer to finding it elsewhere.

In the words of Paul Pearsall: “Stop looking for love and start showing it.“