You Know You Want It … Because You Can’t Have It

I’ve always wanted things I can’t have. I get bored easily, so the thing that’s just out of reach is always the exact thing I want. Or at least, I used to assume the logic was that simple. 

But when I really got to thinking, I realized there’s more to it than that. It isn’t just about the grass being greener on the other side. It’s about the simultaneous danger and safety of wanting something that you absolutely know you can never have. That career, that person, that thing – whatever it is, thinking about it is thrilling. Because it’s impossible, or it’s forbidden, or it’s unattainable. Yet at the same time, it’s incredibly safe precisely because it’s impossible. When you want something you can never have, you will never fail at that thing. You will never be rejected by that person. You will never fall short of that goal. And so it’s almost cowardly, in a way, or maybe it’s a defense mechanism, in place to protect against the possibility of risk and failure. 

Wanting what you can’t have is sometimes just as simple as the statement implies. But sometimes there’s more to it than that – and that’s worth thinking about. 

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