1. Your self-esteem is too high:

From the time you were born, your mother has been telling you how special you are. And you have believed her. The consequence of this attitude is that nobody is ever good enough for you. If despite your restless searching you have never come across anyone who could measure up to your level of perfection, it may be time to take a closer look in the mirror. And maybe to ask people around you to give you an honest evaluation of your qualities and your shortcomings – assuming you have any of the latter after all!

2. Your self-esteem is too low:

You have been combing the entire universe, leaving no stone unturned, and yet you haven’t found anyone who was even remotely interested in you. Which doesn’t surprise you: you knew from the very beginning that you were worthless. Here is the good news: nobody is worthless! We all have something to offer and we all can find people to share that “something” with. But the key is that the offer has to come in a reasonably nice package. If you are constantly disparaging yourself, if you go days without washing your hair and if nobody has ever seen you smile, it is time to change your attitude. Find out what’s good about you and present that to the world instead of a sorry face.

3. You are too picky:

Yes, you have met several candidates who could have been good life partners. Except that even if the items on the plus side of your personal tabulations far outweighed the negative ones, these candidates all had something that made them … not quite perfect. One loved science-fiction (clear sign of immaturity), one chewed with his mouth open (disgusting) and the last one has never heard of Shostakovich (an illiterate?)… And so you never gave any of them a real chance, which in retrospect may have been a mistake. Because things can change. People grow and make adjustments. Maybe you should learn how to communicate your concerns in a nice and constructive way instead of letting superficial imperfections stop you from giving a budding relationship your best shot.

4. You can’t get over your ex:

This one is easy. Just remember that there was a reason for your breakup. Things were not as good as all that. So do not embellish your defunct story. Remember it as it was. And if it helps (and it does), try to focus on the worst parts of it. That should make the next candidate a lot more attractive.

5. You have been burned before and now you are afraid:

You were so crushed when your last story ended that you thought you would never survive the crash. So now you think it would be better to never love again than to have to go through the agony of another breakup. You mistrust everyone who approaches you on the grounds that all men (women) are deceitful bastards (…) and you are effectively keeping everybody at bay. Here is the truth: making the entire world pay for the sins of one unfortunate human being is more than unfair: it is completely counterproductive if what you want is to have a happy life after all.

6. You want everybody’s approval:

Whenever you have met someone you liked, you have subjected him/her to the “love test”. Not yours but the one where everyone who means anything to you (mother, brother, friend, neighbor, pet) gets to take a vote on whether the relationship should proceed forward. As it is often very difficult to get everyone to agree, you should probably learn to trust your instincts more and to use your own good sense to pick your intimate partners.

7. You made a list of “must haves” and you stick to it:

A lot of people are attractive and we can all be attracted to them for the wrong reasons. So in order to avoid getting stupidly carried away by less than reasonable sentiments, you have made a list of the “must” qualities your beloved should have if he/she is to be considered for the position. Not a bad idea except that your list is a mile long and nobody has ever come even close to being able to click all its boxes. Maybe it’s time to compromise on a few “less important” items on the list.

8. What you are looking for doesn’t exist:

You have seen too many movies at a very impressionable age, and you are now convinced that you will find your very own prince (or princess). Although you realize the search may be long and arduous, you are not worried: you know it will happen and you also know that when it does there will be no doubt. He/she will be the one the ray of sun is falling on. You will hear the violin in your heart and go off into the sunset with this young, beautiful, rich and kind person who will love and cherish you for the rest of your life. Anything short of that, you are not interested in. Oh well.

9. You are interested in people who are not interested in you:

You are looking for a certain type of perfection in your future partner (beauty, wealth, education, age, etc) but are vastly overestimating what you have to give in exchange. This is actually a very common attitude. If you look at a relationship as “what I can get out of it”, you have to accept the fact that there is a good chance the people you’ll meet will have the same attitude. So time for a reality check: are you perfect? Do you have enough of something desirable to exchange with what you want? Or are aiming “out of your league”?

10. You are commitment phobic:

You have had several very nice partners, some of whom you may even have considered marrying, but a little voice inside of your head has always risen at the last minute to remind you that there were other options out there and that making a choice is always forfeiting others. And that is true. You can’t have it both ways: build a nice, lifelong, intimate relationship with someone and switch partners every time the winds change. Both lifestyles have their good and bad points. Up to you to decide what life you really want and to stick to the plan you think will make you happiest.