The Top 5 Reasons You Can't Find a Man (That Your Friends are Too Afraid to Tell You)

Updated on November 12, 2016

Before I begin, let me preface this by saying that I know not all women need (or want) a man. This Hub is for those who do. As someone who married her childhood sweetheart and is still married, these are the answers I give (or wish I could) to my girlfriends who ask why they're having such a hard time finding a good man to love and share life with.

The List

It's no Secret that visualizing your goals helps you obtain them (see what I did there?), but there's such a thing as too much of a good thing. Chances are, whenever a beautiful, successful, smart, sweet, funny woman who checks of all the boxes except for married and single asks why she can't find a man to appreciate all these wonderful qualities in her, it's because of The List. There's nothing wrong with knowing what you want, especially in a relationship. In fact, you need to have some idea of what you want so you'll recognize it when you find it and not settle for anything else.

But... And it's a big caveat... If you've been trying to date and have remained single for more than a few years, despite otherwise being ready for a committed relationship, your list of qualifications a potential mate has to meet is probably why. We all want someone we're reasonably attracted to, someone who can support himself and a family if that's where your values lie, and most importantly, someone whose values align with our own. This isn't really a list so much as a set of standards that I believe any woman should have when looking for someone to share her life with (and for the sake of this article, we'll assume you bring just as much to the table!)

The problem lies within a list of specific criteria that have little to nothing to do with the life you want to build. There's a famous scene in my favorite movie, Practical Magic, in which a young version of Sally, the main character, creates a highly improbable list of qualities her dream man must meet in order to come into her life in the future. Sally is smart enough to realize at a young age that this list-building exercise is the best way to keep a man away from her, because she thinks no real person will ever match those qualities. Of course, the laws that govern the world of Practical Magic are a little less than practical, but I know plenty of grown women in the real world who use this strategy to attract a man. This might be a practical way to approach buying a new car, but not finding a life partner.

Relationship Sabotage (And How to Stop)


Self-sabotaging tendencies in relationship could be an article all its own, but this is by far one of the most common reasons I see women struggling to find love. Self-sabotaging is most often a subconscious behavior, and some of the worst perpetrators have absolutely no idea what they're doing. What is self-sabotage? Any behavior, attitude or talk, self-directed or external, that makes you an obstacle to your own goals. What does self-sabotage look like? It comes in many forms, but the common theme is a person who says they want one thing and lives as if they want another. Most importantly, why do women sabotage themselves in relationships? A few reasons:

  • They lack confidence
  • They aren't 100% sure of what they want
  • They don't believe they deserve what they want
  • They're waiting for "the right time"
  • Conflicting desires
  • Fear that it will never happen if they try
  • Fear that it won't live up to expectations if they get what they want


Bitterness is a term that's unfairly levied at single women for all the wrong reasons. Don't have a man by 30? You're a bitter spinster. Relationship didn't work out and you have the gall to speak honestly against unfair treatment? Oh, you're just bitter. This kind of accusation is not only unfair but shows how deeply ingrained misogyny can be in our culture. What I'm talking about is a different, dictionary-definition kind of bitterness. According to the dictionary, bitterness simply means "anger and disappointment at being treated unfairly; resentment."

Note the "at being treated unfairly" part? Sometimes bitterness is fully justified, but that doesn't make it any more advantageous for you to hold onto. No matter how your ex treated you, taking that baggage into your new dating life will only hurt one person: you. Bitter people don't make good partners, which is tragic since they're often the ones who need companionship and love the most, whether you're a man or a woman. Identifying and removing bitterness in your life isn't about looking over past wrongs, it's about releasing their hold on you and not letting the past rob you of the happiness you deserve.

Beautiful, happy women come in all shapes and sizes... the key is confidence!
Beautiful, happy women come in all shapes and sizes... the key is confidence! | Source

Conflicting Self-Image

This is a difficult and touchy topic, and one that most women find themselves dealing with at some point. During the process of examining any bitterness in your life, you will likely find it necessary to confront the contradictory leanings in your own self-image as well. Take, for example, a relative of mine. She's in her early 40s and she lost over 90lbs within the span of two years. Let's call her Elizabeth. Elizabeth was an absolutely stunning woman both before and after the weight loss. She has never had an issue getting attention from men, but her prospects have increased significantly since the weight loss. Elizabeth has admitted on more than one occasion that she believes this is because the same men who weren't interested in her when she was heavier are only interested in her now because of her weight loss. While this could be the case, anyone else can see that the spike in male attention could also be caused by any number of the following:

  • Higher levels of confidence after the weight loss
  • More effort put into external presentation, such as hair, makeup and clothing
  • Confident body posture
  • The air of a woman who believes she has more options and subsequently doesn't need any man in particular
  • Attractiveness to health-conscious men who share a similar lifestyle
  • Exposure to more men who meet her standards through activities such as the gym and the tennis team she never would have joined pre-weight loss

As an outsider, it's easy to see the complex, multidirectional relationship between these changes and Elizabeth's increased dating prospects. All she can see is that even though she now has what she wants (better prospects in romance), she deserved it all along. While this is absolutely true, it's yet another reason why it's so important to work through any self-image issues during the weight loss process. Even though Elizabeth is a Size 6 these days, she's still stuck in a mindset that was based on her previous weight. She may have shed the pounds, but until she sheds the emotional baggage that went with them, she is going to look skeptically at any interest a man takes in her at best and push him away unfairly at worst, always wondering, "Would he love me if I wasn't thin?"

Location, Location, Location

Are you over the age of 25 and still looking for a man in the club? Don't. Okay, do whatever makes you happy, but don't blame me when you're still trying to find Mr. Right in a stack of guys with bad tribal tattoos who live off of Doritos and push pyramid schemes from their mom's basements. We all know one, and husband material they do not make. Location is the #1 reason why smart, gorgeous women strike out time and time again in the long-term love department. You wouldn't go to a hardware store if you wanted to buy ingredients for dinner, so why go to a place engineered for casual hookups where you can't even hear what the other person has to slur to find the ingredients for a stable relationship?

Let's go back to anecdotal evidence for a moment. Take my friend Jess as Exhibit B. Jess is, you guessed it, beautiful and reasonably successful with a stable office job and a good education. She doesn't have any major hangups that would send the level-headed men running for the hills, and a few minutes with her is enough to tell she's a catch. The problem is, Jess is still operating on 90s dating etiquette that the club is a far more fertile field for romance than online dating. Despite the fact that women of all shapes and sizes, attractiveness, attractions, religions and ages are finding love on sites like eHarmony, Match, etcetera etcetera, Jess refuses to give it a go. I can certainly understand her reservations when it comes to safety and recommend that any woman considering online dating gives it the full caution it deserves before meeting someone in person, but Jess has seriously diminished her prospects by shunning the fastest growing way to meet a mate.

In one study of nearly 20,000 respondents, 35 percent met their spouses on the Internet and nearly half of those met them on dating sites. Others used social media or online interest groups to connect with like-minded paramours. What's more, the couples who met online reported a much lower rate of divorce and separation than their classical meetup counterparts. Just 6 percent of those relationships end in divorce or separation. Think about that before you throw the baby out with the bathwater and decide setting up a profile is a waste of time. In a world where people are increasingly less present in the "real world" each day, connecting online to determine shared interests and values before meeting face-to-face doesn't seem like such a bad idea.

There are plenty of other reasons why women fail to find the love they want and deserve, but these are by far the most common reasons I come across as a happily married woman. Please know that your intrinsic worth isn't determined by whether you have a ring on your finger, or how many connections you make in an online dating profile. All it takes is one person to make a connection that can lead to a lifetime of companionship and happiness, but no matter how ideal a man is, you can only ever experience as much love as you give yourself. Self-love begins with honesty, and I hope that by identifying and examining these obstacles in your life, you'll be able to begin the journey to true, everlasting love -- most importantly towards yourself.

What do you think is the Number 1 reason women have a hard time finding love?

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    • profile image

      The Known Truth 8 weeks ago

      Well unfortunately most women are very picky when it comes to relationships since they're waiting for their knight in shinning armor. And since most women like to party all the time and get real wasted which they will never be able to settle down with only one man anyway.

    • profile image

      AmberGardner 2 months ago

      I have a bad neck that affects the entire left side of my body and speech, and it can be obvious. I otherwise look decently average, I get looks and pursuers at times, but this disability (which doesn't stop me as awkward as I may appear) makes me a nervous wreck around men. It's very difficult to control, I must work very hard at times. It's easier when people aren't looking, listening, so my insecurity can be sky high.

      I also have trouble at times acting appropriately within the moment. I continue to let men get away with things I don't like until the second or third time. I don't like it the first time but I stay quiet until it happens again. Wish I was stronger than that.

    • Thomas42 profile image

      Thomas42 2 months ago

      Reminds me of a Dilbert comic strip.

      Women "I'm looking for a man who meets my 27 criteria for a relationship."

      Dilbert "I'm looking for a women who doesn't have 27 criteria for a relationship."

      "How am I doing?"

      Women "I now have 28 criteria."

    • modernalchemyst profile image

      Josephine 6 months ago from New England

      While I agree that masculine/feminine polarity (and this goes for any type of relationship, not just men and women) is key, I know plenty of "stuck-up bitches" who are married to quality men while gorgeous, single, educated women who "have it all together" but can't look a man in the eye are single. You love yourself, and that is the vibe you project. It's just the law of attraction at work. With that, there has to be a strong femininity as well (assuming the woman wants to attract a masculine man), but she could literally be the most perfect creature in the known universe and if she's projecting insecurity, she's either going to attract users, not quality men, or will push them away altogether.

      I do think you can be confident without being stuck-up, though. The people with the highest self-esteem are never the ones who act like they're too good for everyone else, but there are other ways to project confidence and still be feminine. It's just when women who want traditional relationships try to act like confident men rather than confident women that it fails.

      Just my 2 cents, anyway. Thanks for your insights! And I will agree, Rocky over Titanic any day. ;)

    • profile image

      Sigma1932 6 months ago

      Sorry, "confidence" isn't the key at all... authenticity, honesty, and a warm personality is the key to attracting a quality man who wants to fight for you.

      A woman can have all the confidence in the world, but if she's a stuck-up bitch because of it, or if it all revolves around her "career" or a laundry list of educational/professional accomplishments, she's likely going to have a hard time attracting even the most confident of men... mainly due to a lack of masculine/feminine polarity.... yes that sounds like new-agey bullcrap, but there's truth to it.

      The truth is women can (initially) be a little bit nervous, quirky, and awkward and men will often still find them adorable if they're open and honest about it. They do have to snap out of it eventually though and develop trust in their partner.

      You want a perfect insight into how this works? Go watch Rocky and skip all the parts about boxing.... just watch the parts with Rocky and Adrian. Screw Titanic, that's real romance.

    • modernalchemyst profile image

      Josephine 14 months ago from New England

      @dashingscorpio Amen!! lol

      "Like attracts like and opposites attract divorce attorneys!"

      THIS is what a lot of women (and men, for that matter) fail to grasp. It's one thing for opposites to attract after a fiery spark of love/hate at first sight in a movie and quite another to butt heads at every major relationship milestone along the way. If you want maximum conflict, by all means, go for someone who's your exact opposite and you'll get about as much done as Congress.

      I also think you bring up a very valuable point on women who expect to attract something they themselves are not. Gives me an idea for a Hub all its own. It's a hard truth, but in love you trade one thing for another. Very successful, attractive men are not generally looking to marry at the age of 25 or even 30, so very attractive, successful women who will only date a man their age are often waiting for years, if not decades. It all boils down to knowing what you really, really want and what you're willing to do (and sacrifice) in order to attract it. Wait for perfect if you like, but unless you are perfect, you'll be waiting a long time.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and giving a male perspective, I'm sure it will help plenty of readers out! :)

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 14 months ago

      ".... you need to have some idea of what you want so you'll recognize it when you find it and not settle for anything else." - Very true!

      In fact (both) genders need to figure out what they want/need in a mate BEFORE they begin to pursue relationships.

      Each of us (chooses) our own friends, lovers, and spouse.

      If you go to the grocery store to purchase an apple but buy an onion instead whose fault is that? Do you curse the onion for not being an apple? No! You learn to become a "better shopper".

      If someone is having one bad dating/relationship experience after another it's probably time they reexamined their mate selection criteria. The only thing all of your bad relationships have in common is (you).

      If you want something different (you) have to do something different!

      While it's important to have a list and have a "buyer's mentality" it's just as important to also have a "seller's mentality". In other words imagine yourself being your idea mate and the ask if you would want you?

      Too often people are asking for the world but have nothing to offer.

      "Don't expect to sit next to the moon unless (you) are a star!"

      You have to cultivate the traits you believe your ideal mate would be attracted to. Essentially you have to "run in the same circles".

      Like attracts like and opposites attract divorce attorneys!

      Another mistake women often make is they put the cart before they horse. They decide they want to get married before having a man!

      Where as men allow the relationship (they are already in) to be the impetus for having thoughts of marriage or not.

      When you have a mindset of wanting to get married before embarking on a date you become more mission oriented instead of allowing things to evolve naturally. This might lead to trying to force things to meet one's goal before determining whether or not you're truly compatible!

      Lastly women need to stop making excuses!

      Odds are if you go to any mall, movie theatre, park, beach, amusement park, restaurant, grocery store, church, or wherever you are going to see women who consider to be "unattractive" to say the least AND YET they have a mate! The vast majority of people are "average looking".

      What keeps a lot of women single is their personality and their inability to put themselves in a man's shoes to look back at themselves.

      Most men ask women out whom they find attractive, they want a woman who is personable, easy going personality, with a similar sense of humor, as well have interest in similar things.

      It should also be noted at least in the U.S. most men don't consider marrying before the age of 30. Therefore most women in their early 20s who are dating men in their 20s with the hope of getting married most likely will experience heartbreak or disappointment.

      The average guy in his early 20s either just moved out of his parent's basement or out of a dorm room. The last thing on his mind is getting married, taking on a 30 year mortgage, and having children. The very thought of that is like watching their lives flash before their eyes!

      They want to establish a career, party with friends, play video games, watch sports, and of course get laid. That's what the 20s are to most guys.

      {There are two basic reasons why guys don't propose to women}

      1. Timing (They're happy with the way things are/have other priorities)

      2. You're not "the one"!

      Statistics show by age 44 over 85% of men have been married at least once . My guess is among the other 15% who haven't some them are gay. However with "marriage equality" laws passing I suspect more men will be getting married. Essentially just about every man eventually marries!

      If you're with a guy for years who hasn't proposed see the reasons above.

      One final note: Maybe you've put "Mr. Right" in your "Friend Zone". Women are notorious for overlooking "nice guys" who adore them while pursuing guys who are either "bad boys" or more "challenging".

      One man's opinion! :)