WHY DO WE ALWAYS WANT WHAT WE CAN’T HAVE?

“Yes, we all want our cake whilst eating it too. Who wouldn’t?!”

Why do we always want what we can’t have?

I’ll be honest here. I wrote the title of this post and let out a deep sigh. The thought of writing this makes me feel a little…conflicted. Will this post make me sound selfish, or unhappy? Which, by the way, I’m not. But what you can, or can’t do (or have) is a subject which I think resonates with a lot of us on a regular basis. There are so many rules and regulations which we have to live by – be that at home or work, that we can often be left feeling a little deflated, trapped or restricted.

Yes, we all want our cake whilst eating it too. Who wouldn’t?! And this is something which happens much more frequently than we may realise. Even when it comes down to the small stuff.

You’ve been wanting a night out with your friends for ages. You finally have plans in the diary and yet when it comes to it, all you want to do is stay at home. Or, you spend ages choosing your food at a restaurant, to then see someone else with a dish you wish you’d gone for. Oh the regret. 

Even from being a young girl, I remember wishing I had straight hair, instead of my wavy/curly locks. My sisters had poker straight hair, so naturally, I wanted mine to be the same. My mum didn’t let me straighten it at the time because I was too young. Granted. Then, as soon as I was allowed, suddenly my waves didn’t seem so bad. I grew up and soon realised I wasn’t that bothered about having it straight all the time (funny that eh?) and now often leave my hair to go au naturale (but that could also be down to laziness). Relationships are also an interesting one. Singletons listen to people talking about their partners and wish they could have a boyfriend/girlfriend. Those coupled up listen to their singleton friends, imagining living frivolously for a while, and instead, have to live vicariously through their singletons’ stories. The same goes for jobs. We get complacent and start looking for others, just because they sound more ‘fun’, when the reality is, if we did go elsewhere, we’d probably realise just how good we actually had it before. God we’re complicated.

So, why is it we always want what we can’t have?

Is it just the fact of knowing we can’t have said thing, that makes us want it more? That ‘out of bounds’, ‘no entry’ thrill that comes with breaking the rules? Perhaps. Unfortunately I don’t have the answer for you. But, I do think it’s important to recognise that wanting what we can’t have doesn’t have to mean that we’re unhappy, or that our life is any less fulfilling. Because the reality is, if we did have that one thing that we can’t have, we probably would end up wanting what we had originally anyway. And let’s be real. It’s most probably never going to change.

I have a great job, a great boyfriend, a great house, with great friends and family. But of course I’ll always think “what if” or “i wish” from time to time. And it doesn’t mean I love any part of my life any less, or actually wish I was in a different scenario to what I’m in now. 

So, I’m officially granting you permission to not feel bad, or beat yourself up about it. It’s only natural. We can be a little selfish, dream a little bigger, and wonder “what if” every now and then, and its A-OK. Hallelujah! I said it! 

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