I’m not calling anyone out here. I’ve seen it, and I’ve done it. And I’ve been the object of it. We’ve all wanted someone we couldn’t have-a celebrity, a friend, another man/woman’s mate, a husband, a wife. It happens. We can’t help it.
But why? Of course, I’ve come up with a theory about this. Why else would I be writing about it? So here are my reasons that we want those we can’t have…and why we enjoy it.
1) It’s safe. What could be safer than wanting someone we can’t have? We can’t have them, so it already hurts. There’s no unexpected heartache, no ups and downs. It’s all downs, but when you expect it, it’s not so bad. You don’t have to put yourself at risk at all based solely on the fact that you can’t have that person.
2) It’s easy. It’s so easy to love someone when you aren’t romantically involved with the person. You don’t have to see all the little bad things like what she looks like without make-up, how she gets when she’s cranky. You don’t have to see him watching sports on the couch in his underwear or walk past a bathroom and think, “Good God what did you eat?” And you’re in love, so you’re automatically seeing things through rose-colored glasses, so you see no evil.
3) The challenge. Deny it all you want, but it’s fun to have a challenge-albeit an honorable one sometimes. “Can I make her love me back? Am I better than the douche she’s with?” “If he’d only let me in, he’d know what it is to be in a healthy relationship.” It’s primal. You can’t help it. You want to be better than the other person or the obstacle that is making your object of affection unattainable.
4) The pity. We like when we feel bad for ourselves, and when others feel bad for us. It makes things easier on us, and gives us something to think about. It also gives us something to blame the rest of our problems on. Bad grades? “Well I’m in love and preoccupied and she doesn’t want me back.” Sadness can be beautiful…when it’s warranted. But we like to think all our sadness is beautiful (anyone else thinking of the Backstreet Boys song Shape of My Heart right now?). That it’s an honorable thing that we’re doing, sacrificing our happiness to demonstrate to another what they’re worth. The problem with this is that you lose self-worth…and waste a lot of time…which ends up pissing you off more in the long run.
So I get it. Like I said, I’ve been there. And that’s my theory.
Plus, longing for unobtainable love kinda makes you look emo. 😉