If you’ve been single and searching for true love for ages (or what just feels like ages), you’ve probably been getting a lot of advice. Your friends are worried that you aren’t making love a priority. Your parents are convinced that you’re looking for a relationship in all the wrong places. Your coworkers say you need to work on your confidence. And you? You’re not sure what to think anymore, and you’re kind of tired of trying to figure out why it’s not working. We get it. All of the opinions can be exhausting.

Woman with cup of coffee looking out of window.

And since a fresh perspective can’t hurt, we turned to celebrity hypnotherapist and founder and CEO of Grace Space Hypnosis Grace Smith for her take on the five reasons that singles most frequently struggle to find love. As a hypnotherapist, Smith specializes in the science of your subconscious, so her insights might give you the deeper look into your brain that you need in order to put your single days behind you.

1. You’re attracted to people who don’t love (or respect) you. This one might seem all too obvious, but when a hypnotherapist says it, it means it’s coming from your subconscious, making the struggle all the more real. If you’re consistently drawn to potential partners who don’t genuinely love or respect you, Smith notes that it might be because you don’t genuinely love or respect yourself. “Increasing your self-love and self-worth will help to reprogram your subconscious to look out for the perfect person who will be ridiculously excited to spend quality time with your awesome self,” she says.

2. You’ve given up on dating apps. Assuming you’ve been working the online dating scene for a while, it’s totally understandable if you need to take a minute (or a few) away from it all. That being said, Smith likens quitting apps to possible procrastination. Telling yourself that you simply want to meet someone organically rather than on an app may actually mean that your subconscious is putting off your search for love. If you really want to find a new relationship, Smith suggests digging deep to discover if there might be some social anxiety at play, then writing an honest profile and getting back in the app game.

3. You find yourself drawn to unavailable partners. “If you find yourself in long-term relationships with people who have no intention of committing to you by moving in together or getting married — even though you’ve made it clear this is what you ultimately want — this could be due to a subconscious fear of rejection on your part,” Smith says. Have your last few partners been hesitant to move forward in the relationship? Do they travel constantly? Is a future uncertain because you have major differences in values or religious beliefs? This might be your problem.

4. You have a tendency to sabotage yourself. You’ve met a person who seems like the actual dream. You’re attracted to them, you love their personality, and it’s not very difficult for you to envision sharing a future with them. So why are you acting weird? You’re screening phone calls, taking a few days to answer text messages, flirting with other people, and showing up late to dates. It’s classic self-sabotage. Smith tells us that our self-sabotaging habits are often rooted in the relationships we observed growing up and the way that our loved ones treated each other. Stop the cycle of self-sabotage by becoming aware of your tendencies and getting help from a professional if you think it would be helpful to explore some of those childhood issues.

5. You’re freaking out about your biological clock. Many of Smith’s clients are successful 30-something women. As a result of their age, she notes that many of them approached first dates with a “charged” energy. If your subconscious is convinced that time is ticking before you can start a family, you may not be showing up as your true self with potential love interests.

Have you ever seen a hypnotherapist? Tweet us @BritandCo.

(Photo via Getty)