One of the questions that’s been at the back of my mind lately is “Why do we always tend to want someone we can’t have?”. For a while now, I’m noticing that we humans tend to be attracted to people who aren’t interested in us. And these people we do like, are also drawn to other people who possibly don’t like them back.
In this modern world of online dating and relationships without labels, is it even possible to find someone we like who will genuinely like us back? Will we all just forever be doomed with unrequited feelings, broken hearts and lonely nights crying our eyes out?
Honestly even with my relentless hours of overthinking, I couldn’t come up with a concrete answer to this question. I really don’t know. To deal with this frustrating dilemma, I decided to take my question out in the open and ask you guys your thoughts on the matter instead.
I posted the question “Why do we tend to want someone we can’t have?” on all of my social media platforms and I’ve got to say, you guys made some really excellent points!
9 Possible Reasons Why We Tend to Want Someone We Can’t Have
REASON 1: We want the challenge.
We tend to want someone we can’t have have because we want the chase. We want to put the effort and do the work to prove that we do have a chance to get what we want. It gets us excited to be on our toes and take that risk, even if it might end poorly. We’re confident to give it our best shot because you never really know until you try right? Is it even worth if it was too easy?
“The rush” – @mackayellen
“The chase and the thrill of it” – @formosochristina
“Guess it’s because of the so called ‘challenge’ or hope that one day that person will want you” – Rowena Rose Conde
REASON 2: It’s part of love.
For a lot of couples, this may be how their love stories began. It’s the burning passion of love that makes us do crazy things. We long for our beloved and with effort, time, circumstance and sometimes, just pure luck, we are rewarded with the person we want. As long as you have pure intentions and your feelings are true, I can’t say there anything wrong with that.
“Love?” – @jrciryow
“Because I can see her walking down the aisle, telling me she loves me and wants to marry me. All in slow motion.” –@zenncandelaria
REASON 3: We fall in love with the ideas in our heads.
This was the reason that resounded to me the most. I am guilty of falling in-love with the idea of a person I built in my head. I color in the outline of someone I just met with details, expectations and wishes for a future together. I grow attached to the perfect person in my head who isn’t even real. Because of this, I was only setting myself for disappointment and a heartbreak of my own doing.
“Reality can never live up to the imaginations we have created” – @cyrusjudekoo
“The one I couldn’t have?? I eventually got him. But left him two weeks ago. Grass isn’t always greener. But it’s easy to fall in love with the fantasy of what you think someone is.” – Emily Varney Adams
“It’s because of our expectations! Remember, you are worthy and you don’t have to beg anyone to like you, to love you! Right love will come at the right time. While you wait, love yourself because God is preparing the perfect person for you ” –Ayesha Heart
REASON 4: We’re greedy.
This may one of the reasons why people cheat or don’t have lasting relationships. Oh, I’m totally not making excuses for cheating at all. I’m against it, especially if you’ve made a commitment and communicated exclusivity with your partner.
“As they say, ‘PEOPLE ARE NEVER SATISFIED’. A person’s right in front of you, but you still don’t want them because you’re looking for somebody else” – Cah Dizon
Just be honest to yourself about your situation. If you’re unhappy with your relationship, communicate with your partner. Then, work things out or end it. Just know that you would not find happiness even if you find someone new to love. You must seek happiness within yourself. Having someone by your side should just be a bonus.
REASON 5: We aren’t ready for commitment or a serious relationship.
This reason kinda sneaked up on me. I didn’t expect this to be so applicable. Maybe I’m unconsciously setting my eyes for guys out of my reach because I’m scared of actually being in a real relationship. I’d rather have crushes, unrealistic expectations of men and fantasies in my head because I’m afraid of getting hurt…. Again… Or maybe, I’m too lazy to actually put the work in? Hahaha.
“It’s usually fear of commitment. We, ourselves have that. It makes us choose people that are emotionally (or otherwise) unavailable, because we ourselves are.” – Tahereh Matejko
“For many people that feels safe. Not having to actually deal with a relationship. Admiration from afar is easier.” – Ed Griffindor
“Because it’s easier to want than to actually put in the work to get it. Because those who really want something don’t sit there saying they want it, they get up and get it.” – Dee Bab
REASON 6: “We accept the love we think we deserve” – Stephen Chbosky from Perks of Being a Wallflower
“Because we think they are more valuable when we can’t have them.” – @mrkdlpn
“The same reason why we give to others, as we wish someone would’ve given to us.” – Brian Lamar Lovelace
We are allowed to have standards. Everyone has their own preference when it comes to people they’re attracted to. We should realize though that people are imperfect creatures who change all the time.
“Maybe it’s because there’s a ‘standard’ that is imprinted on us. But I hope that the people we want are the ones who are: kind, loving, consistent, and many other good things.” – Dawn Lyndelle Fernando Paragas
“Because your limited beliefs continue to tell you that this person is someone ‘you can’t have’. Change the belief, change your reality.” – Kayla Marie Brookshire
Instead of constantly judging people or wanting people to change to fit into this criteria we’ve set, maybe we should just be open. Let’s open our doors and meet different kinds of people and get to know them a little bit more. You may even discover a bit of yourself, liking something you never even thought you would.
REASON 7: It’s a manifestation of trauma we need to work on.
“Cause we’re sadists.” – @lalalamichael
“Don’t do it. It will mess you up. Realize that It’s childhood wounds we never dealt with.” – Kevin Holland
Sorry for hitting a bit to close to home. Yes, I wouldn’t disagree with this reason. I’m also not a licensed therapist to prove this claim as well. I do believe that you are who you are today because of the accumulation of experiences you’ve undergone starting from an early age. But you know what? We’re still growing, and learning how to mend these wounds if we want to.
“What we truly want, is to be better as individuals. Be the person you want.” – Din Ese
“Honestly, I never experienced this in my life even with my past relationships. Except for some few cats. I believe that pushing yourself to be with someone who doesn’t reciprocate isn’t worth your time. Learn to respect yourself and have self-worth.” – Blair Villanueva
“Every individual has different reasons for this. Maybe for some because of pure love. For others it was just an obsession, challenge, or false hope. Whatever the reason is, you must know when to stop hurting yourself. Cause if you keep on doing that and the other person is not capable of loving you back, you are only hurting yourself. You deserve someone better.”- Hyun Jang Nim
“Are we talking about craving? Longing? Prolonged fixation on something other than what you already have? I’ve found chronic dissatisfaction (aka always looking for something else than what we have) of any type to be related to not fully accepting self, knowing self and not having a regulated nervous system that’s centered around neutral calm.
Therefore we spend more time than is helpful, looking for relief from the discomfort of the dysregulation, outside of ourselves- sometimes in people, sometimes with jobs…etc. Because we don’t understand what’s happening in our bodies. It’s different from just mere curiosity and an interest in knowing or experiencing something new & different – we all need a bit of variety and newness as well stability and familiarity. But when its longing, or fixation.. that, from my experience, is related to not being able to center ourselves, our bodies, and come off the sensation of restlessness and operate around, a place of more neutral calm, which needs nothing more than what we have already. ” –Jen Stover
REASON 8: We need to let go and shift our perspective.
We can learn a lot of things if we try see the world at different perspectives. Let’s remove our focus from the impossible and redirect out sights to the countless other possibilities waiting for us. We just need the courage to let go and be more open.
“Personally, I think when we feel that we have no options left, we cannot see other wonderful people aside from that person. This stage eventually ends though and we see more of what we deserve in life” – Sarrah Jane Cea
“Maybe you give too much of yourself in the begininng. Flip your statement around. What if they felt they couldn’t have you? I think guys will appreciate more when they’ve already invested. If you like someone, ask them a favor, to help you with something.” – Francisca Muñoz
REASON 9: Don’t rush. Maybe, it’s just not our time yet.
Actually, not everybody agreed with me when I answered this question out to the internet. I guess, some people are actually in happy and loving relationships. Who knew right? Just kidding.
“Is this true? I adore my husband. After 26 years, I’d marry him again today. – Kerri Johnston
“I want the person I have” – Tom Reilly
“I’m with someone who not only wants me, but also loves me unconditionally.” – May De Jesus-Palacpac
“Maybe there are just some things are just not meant for us. But why can’t the person we want be meant for us? I sometimes ask myself this and cry” – カマネーロ アップルジョイ
Now, the question is…
Why do YOU tend to want someone you can’t have?
You may use our cute little check list below to pick out which reason/s you possibly identify with. Be honest! Why do you think you like someone who doesn’t like you back?
What you do with that information is yours to keep or do what you will. Also, if you loved this blog, Pin It to read again for later!
No matter which reason we identify with, I trust that each and everyone of us will find the one. We will find someone who would gladly accept our love and affection and shower us with unconditional hugs, kisses and “I love you”’s. Someone out there will love us back. Believe in that. Imagine how lucky they would be have us in their lives…
This will all come in the perfect time. But until then, we still have plenty of other things to do in life like chase our passions, fullfill our dreams, spend time with our friends and families, and take a drink out of the bottomless well that is life.
“Sometimes in our life, we want someone we can’t have because we love or like them already. But know that God has something better for us in His perfect time. Just chill, be happy and wait for that perfect time. The fruit of a prayer is much better. The right person will come. You are worth it and you deserve genuine love.” – Roxas Edgardo
Thank you again to everyone who answered and shared their thoughts in all of my social posts! Reading these comments, sorting through them and stitching all of ’em up together to create this blog post was for sure a lot of work, but it was super worth it. Because of you guys, I was able to sleep soundly at night for the rest of the week.
Of course, stay tuned for more of my existential questions, because it might be your comment that will make it on my next blog. Exciting, right? Here in my blog, it always is. Hahaha.
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