Wanting What We Can’t Have

MARCH 22, 2015

Converse Sneakers

What is it about not being able to have something that makes it so much more appealing?  This concept isn’t limited to relationships. Swearing off carbs?  I’m sure a jumbo bowl of spaghetti would sound pretty enticing.

Bottom line? The unattainable is instantly more attractive. And frankly, why wouldn’t it be? If something is easy to get, it can sometimes become boring causing us to lose interest fairly quickly.

Take this scenario for instance. You’ve been on a few dates with a new guy, and things are going pretty well. You can always count on him to text you throughout your work day, which is nice and keeps you entertained. Eventually though, you start to find his texts a little annoying. You grow tired of keeping up with the incessant small talk, and start to think: “How many forced ‘haha’s’ do I really have to throw in before I can just admit that his lame attempts to be funny are not working?”

Then, one random Tuesday night, you’re refreshing your Twitter notifications and it hits you: that guy hasn’t texted you all day. Unusual, right? You ponder it for a little, but then shrug it off and figure he must be busy.  It’s no big deal.  But a couple more days go by, and still nothing. What’s going on? You couldn’t possibly text him first – that’s just completely unheard of. More importantly, however, why is this bothering you so much? Previously, you were getting annoyed with his constant texting and consistent effort to actually – oh I don’t know – show that he was interested? Of course, now that he’s pulled a disappearing act all you want is for his name to show up on your phone again to remind you that he still cares.

Sound familiar?

It’s these kind of situations that demonstrate how much we enjoy the chase, regardless of whether we care to admit it or not. Of course, it’s not only women who fall victim to this way of thinking.  What about that guy who treated poorly when you guys were “together,” a.k.a. hanging out occasionally but never actually putting a label on it? He may have shied away from commitment then, but as soon as he knows he can’t have you anymore he comes running.  He then goes on to insist that he wants to date you, doesn’t care about any other girls, blah blah blah. And guess what?  You might give him a chance, only to see the pattern repeated once you’re together and the chase is over.

So what can we learn from all of this?

It’s pretty simple. Wanting something for its true value, and wanting something because it’s out of reach are two VERY different things. The more we can be honest with ourselves about what we truly want and our true intentions, the less time we’ll waste chasing something that was never important to us in the first place.   Another phrase for this? Growing Up.

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