Why We Wan't What We Can't Have

Why is it that as a society we love to long for what we can’t have? Why is it that ice cream is so much more desirable than broccoli even though we know that the sugary frozen treat is not the healthier option? Why is alcohol viewed as “bad” yet it seems young people can’t go out without having at least a few (too many) drinks. You may have noticed a trend of “why’s” but no exact answers to these questions. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is ever one textbook definition of why but breaking the question down into categories can help explain the ancient old question of why we long for what we cannot or should not have.

Comfortable doesn’t mean being unhappy

More recently the term “comfortable” comes along with a negative connotation. It is okay to be comfortable with friends and family but suddenly being comfortable with a job or a significant other is considered “settling”. Comfortable doesn’t mean unhappy. There is comfort food for a reason. It makes you feel warm and loved, how could that possible be bad? Stop associating happiness as separate from being comfortable. Sometimes your most comfortable situations are your happiest. Don’t force yourself to be unhappy because you think comfort is overrated. Maybe being comfortable just means you’re actually doing something right.


They say that idle hands can lead to evil thoughts, and I couldn’t agree more. The more time we have to question what we have versus what we want, the more likely we are to come up with unnecessary expectations. Sometimes, we simply want what we can’t have because we’re bored. Sitting around at your desk coming up with all of life’s “what if’s” can make you question your own happiness. Appreciate what you have and stop focusing on what you don’t. Odds are you have a lot more than you think. Be grateful.


This is the category I see this question appear the most. As a society, we have a constant fear of settling. Maybe we saw our parents do it or our grandparents and were terrified of repeating their “mistakes”. But what we don’t see is that sometimes true love is being able to be comfortable with someone. So what if your significant other orders the same thing every time you go out, maybe they’re a cheap date! Sometimes we see the love of our lives in front of us but still wonder if someone out there is better? I believe this problem has become more apparent in modern dating. We swipe right (or left) solely based on looks wondering is someone out there better? You don’t choose who you love, so if they don’t look like the safari feed on Instagram, don’t question them, question yourself. Beauty fades, start wanting what’s right in front of you. The one who never turned their back on you.


Self-doubt is something we never want to admit as having. Our society focuses on small Instagram feed type “picture perfect” lives where we only highlight the positive and edit out any negatives. The less confidence one has the more likely they are to want what others have. If you have straight hair, you want curly hair. If you have curly hair, you want straight hair. Well, maybe just buy a cheap curling iron or straightener and smile for once. We waste so much time questioning ourselves and wondering what others have. This is time we won’t get back. Don’t let yourself realize this when all your time is up. Want what you have not what you don’t.

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