What is the reason that we force ourselves to like people we have no interest in?


What is the reason that we force ourselves to like people we have no interest in?


We’re often told regarding dating that there’s plenty of fish in the sea, but what if we‘re just left with a pond?

Maybe you’re the only single person left in your friend group, the dating apps are not giving matches, or you want so badly to be in love that you are carried away when you find out someone likes you – even though you do not share mutual feelings.

No one likes to admit that they have settled in relationships, and we do it without realizing that we are doing it, but because of some viral TikToks, we now know that we’re not alone when we are not really attracted to someone but still decide to get into a relationship with them.

I realized that it is two different things to force myself to like someone because they liked me first and genuinely liking someone,  one TikToker said in a clip.

I forced myself to like someone and he still played me, another user grieved.

Forcing ourselves to like someone is a strange, yet common experience a lot of people have, so we asked some relationship experts why we end up getting hurt by people we had to force ourselves into liking in the first place.

There is pressure to be in a relationship

It feels like there is pressure from all angles be it from family or friends.

Dana Torpey-Newman, a clinical psychologist and relationships expert, that as a society, we have very obstructive ideas when it comes to dating.

Unless someone engages in some type of egregious behavior like infidelity or violence/abuse we “should” be able to make a relationship work with anyone, she says. Family can be a major factor in this respect.

Not fulfilling cultural values and expectations of a specific family may have intense psychological pressure on individuals, giving them a feeling of not being good enough, he says. It is a coping mechanism for the negative emotions experienced dating someone you don’t feel attracted to.

It isn’t the only family who put the pressure, friends can make us feel that way too – even though they do not have any intention to do it.

There is a certain amount of peer pressure when you are the last single person in your group. This fear of “missing out” can cause someone to lower their standards of what it is like to be married.

Everyone is aware of the honeymoon period and how it wears off so you can convince yourself that you don’t have to have an extreme attraction to stay happily married.

The sunk cost fallacy

If we have invested a lot of time into someone, we may feel obligated to pursue it because we don’t want to ‘waste’ the time we have spent on them.

This, according to experts, is a psychological phenomenon called the ‘sunk cost fallacy,’ and it can occur in both casual dating and long-term relationships.

Though there is nothing wrong with online dating but with more and more people finding their ‘soulmate’ through online dating, it is tough to predict whether you’ll be attracted to someone when you’ll meet them in person.

Things become complicated when the online phase of the relationship lasts very long before moving you meet them in person. Even if are not attracted, we may feel obliged to continue dating the other person.

This is where the sunk cost fallacy comes in.

In terms of dating, the Sunk Cost fallacy makes you hesitant to stop dating someone, even when you’re not attracted to them, and you know that breaking off with them would be more advantageous,  but you can’t because you are invested in the relationship

This applies to longer-term relationships too – especially if the person believes that there is no one else out there for them.

The sunk cost fallacy forces us to stay in a relationship because of the time we’ve invested in them even when it is clear that ending the relationship would be the better option. If we back out after being with this person for months or years, it’ll feel like time was wasted.

We have low self-esteem

If we force ourselves to like someone we aren’t attracted to, it tells us a lot more about ourselves than it does about the other person. Often it is linked to low self-worth.

When a person struggles with self-esteem problems it is not uncommon for them to feel like they are not valuable enough and they have to take what life gives them.

Due to low self-image, we convince ourselves that physical attraction is not important.

However, physical attraction can be a continuous stimulant that draws you in and potentially light the flames of the affection you may have for other people.

Low self-esteem can play a part that might go back as far as childhood.

If a child has not received the love from a parent or loved one or that has a history of bad relationships as an adult, these beliefs are formed that somehow they are not worthy of being loved.

Because of this, people lower their standards or settle for something less, but they feel that is all they deserve.

We crave emotional security

No one likes to end up alone. Can this fear blind us to dating anyone that gives us any attention?

And the answer is it definitely can, and it can lead us to tolerate partners who are not a good match for us because being with someone may be better than being alone.

Dating can be very exhausting and can also be disappointing so finding someone who is kind and is willing to date you can get tiring.

But this desire for emotional security doesn’t only happen in dating, this can also happen in marriages.

Many people chose to marry someone who’s not usually attractive because it may provide a level of emotional security in the relationship.

They may feel that if they marry a less attractive person they would be more loyal, trustworthy, and less likely to get into affairs with other men or women.

We search for a safe option, rather than looking for what we desire our partner to be like because we have a deep-rooted fear of being left alone.

Many of us would rather be with someone we don’t like than find the person we deserve.

Previous Post Next Post