why do we want what we cant have

I am sure we can all remember being a child and wanting something our parents said we could not have, yet after being denied, we wanted it even more. Consider this, you have a teenage daughter and as a parent you really dislike her bad boy boyfriend, however, the more you try to discourage the relationship the more she seems to want to be with him. The same response can occur with adults. Unfortunately, despite continual discouragement and rejection, some adults cannot seem to get the idea of being with an individual who is not interested in them out of their mind. The more he/she rejects you and the more forcefully he/she indicates that they do not want to be with you, the more desirous you seem to become. Previous research conducted on dating, relationships, and rejection suggests being rejected can lead to increased yearning and the feeling of being hooked, sort of like the thrill of the chase. Romantic rejection can lead to increased yearning because it stimulates parts of the brain associated with motivation, reward, addiction, and cravings. New research also suggests the reasoning individuals fall for the unavailable may actually be scientific, some people cant help it. Some people are drawn to the unknown, the unpredictability of dating, or being in a relationship with someone who appears to be different from them. Most of us are familiar with the nice guy or sweet girl who is always mindful of our feelings, goes above and beyond to make us happy, and as luck would have it, he or she is interested in a relationship with us.


However, they dont seem to present any excitement for us, actually they are kind of boring at least to us. Ironically, the bad boy or girl occupies significant time and space in our minds. I would be remiss if I didnt acknowledge the bad boy and bad girl may not necessarily be bad people, perhaps just not right for us. He or she may have a love-them and leave-them attitude, is in another relationship, is not emotionally available, does not value us or our opinions as we do theirs, is not honest or trustworthy, sends out mixed signals, etc. Yet, we cannot seem to stop thinking about them. Some people might argue the reason we pursue what we cannot have is rooted in loss. However, this is not necessarily the case as we never had it to begin with. Often when we want something or someone, we fantasize about it, bending it and twisting it into the thing or person we want. We begin to ascribe characteristics of value that may not be possessed by the person of interest. We can be madly in love with someone who doesn t want us, and never wanted us, but the situation can sometimes be as painful as someone breaking up with us. Another theory is that of anxiety and distress as we begin to question why he or she does not want to be with us, what is it that we are lacking? 9 Reason Why We Want What We Cannot Have Include: The less the person reciprocates, the more time we tend to invest trying to get the person to reciprocate
So, when you want someone whom you simply cannot have, the best thing to do is relax, step back, and really think about why you want to be with this person that is not interested in you.


Do you want to be with them out of feelings of inadequacy, needing validation, or building your self-esteem? If any of these reasons are the case, you cannot obtain value vicariously through someone else. The only way to add value to yourself is by investing time and energy in yourself. We must value ourselves and treat ourselves kindly. In order for others to see the value in us. However, even then, the object of our desire may just not be into us. 1. Reality can never live up to our imaginations. We want the people we cant have because no matter how incredible someone is in reality, theyre never as incredible as we can imagine them to be. We dont imagine someones flaws. We dont imagine their shortcomings. We dont imagine the ways in which we just dont jive with them even when we want to so badly. And when we dont get to be with the people we want, we end up living with an idealized version of them one we enjoy fantasizing about more than we may actually enjoy being with them if we were given the actual chance. 2. You have a ready-made excuse for why things wont work out and it isnt personal. When a tangible circumstance is preventing you from being with someone, it provides you with a ready-made reason why things wont work out.


You dont have to worry about a relationship failing because youre too flighty or too clingy or they dont get along with your family or you cant work out the differences in your personalities. You get to blame not being together on the situation youre in. And as much as that sucks, it hurts less than watching a relationship fall apart because the two of you just couldnt make it work. 3. The pressure of commitment is absent. No matter how compatible two people are, a relationship just doesnt work unless they remain equally committed to one another. And when it comes to the people you cant have, the commitment levels always at zero because theres a specific reason why you cant be together. And so this person never offers you less than youre offering them. Theres never an imbalance of devotion or attention or investment. Youre both equally non-invested and its an oddly empowering feeling. Its refreshing to not have to worry about the equilibrium for once. 4. Every opportunity you get to be with them is a novelty. The thing about people we cant fully have is that we never get the chance to be with them fully. Any opportunity we get to spend time around them is exciting. Every chance encounter gets our heart racing. We dont have time to grow tired or weary or accustomed to their frustrating habits.


We dont have the chance to expect more from them than they are willing to give us. Any time we get to spend the person we cant have is a bonus and so were always happy to see them. We dont get to the point in a relationship where we ever start expecting that much more. 5. Your desire for them is never fully satisfied. When you want someone you cant fully have, there is always something left to want for. Even if you get to be with them briefly, even if you get to know them intimately, even if the stakes line up 50% in your favor, you will always be left wanting that entire 100%. Your fantasies about this person stay eternally unfulfilled and so you continue to entertain them. You continue to pine for them. You continue to wonder what it would be like to know every part of them and that unfulfilled sense of curiosity keeps you endlessly pining. 6. What you cant have poses a challenge. And lets be serious, you love a challenge. At the end of the day, there is a single unifying trait that draws together all people who chase after what they cant have they love a challenge. The more unattainable someone is, the greater a test they pose to our abilities. We want to prove that there is no such thing as unattainable. That the limitations do not apply to us. That the rules can always be worked around. And so we endlessly want what we cant have simply to defy the word cant.

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