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November 24, 2016

Why Do I Want Guys I Can’t Have

# 1. Follow the 7 tips below

Dr.-Randi-Gunther

There are a few fascinating observations about many relationship seekers that are so common that they sometime feel like the norm. One of them is when a person is more intrigued by something out of reach than something he or she has, or might be able to attain. That grass-could-be-greener-if-we-could-only-get-to-it-desire can occupy one’s total imagination, wiping out any true contentment in what is at hand. And, though that wishful thinking is not a problem if it is an occasional passing whim, it can be an extremely frustrating and damaging way of being if it persists.

Many think that those fantasy desires only happen when a current relationship has matured and lost its novelty. Actually, many people are “relationship-table-hoppers” all their lives, wanting their current relationship to stay in place while constantly thinking or actually looking for something that might be better. They may not act on it or betray an existing relationship, but they are constantly fantasizing on how they could be happier with someone else. And, because they don’t necessarily want to risk what they have, that someone else is usually an unavailable partner.

At the foundation of all intimate relationships most all humans need a balance of both security versus adventure, and safety versus risk, to be genuinely content. Relationships that maintain their discovery and novelty are less prone to hidden desires to experience impulsive experience somewhere else. And, people who opt for more security than risk are going to be more likely to fantasize what they are missing to keep the balance, at least internally. But there are those, in a cherished partnership, who continue to see life as a series of “relationship islands,” each with their unique characteristics. Are these symbolic beautiful palm trees as important as a warm-water lagoon? Will the plush environment of this island be bettered by a sandy beach on another? What lies in the unknown for me, if I’m just brave enough to let go of where I am? Would it truly be worth the risk to go for it?

And, who are those people who often are the objects of those fantasies. Do they have a generic tone to them? Are they elusive by desire, high up on the “hot” list, unavailable because they are already taken, or so mystical that people never tire of them? Do many people hunger for certain types of looks, behaviors, situations, or experiences that they covet simply because they are out of reach? There are the “bad boys” and “fatal attraction women” who seem to seduce at will, only to dump when done? Do they love and leave because they can? Or, are they more interested in the chase than in the maintenance of a relationship? Is it because they do not seem to need, but have the capacity to capture, that makes them desirable because the very temporary-ness of the passion cannot bear the test of time? Do they feel responsible for the broken hearts they leave behind, or advertise clearly up front and still command connection?

The people who so leave their comfort zone and go for the elusive knight or sequestered princess, fantasize that they will be the one who will capture him or her forever. Harlequin romances are made up of this duo of the quality, lonely woman who has given up on true, passionate love, who falls in love with the tall dark stranger who enters the town with a hit-and-run agenda. Because of her rare combination of not needing to possess him while giving totally of herself, she feels that she might be “the one” for whom he will give up his renegade ways. He, of course, takes advantage and then skips town, only to finally return because she was, in fact the one. (See the classic stage play and movie, “The Music Man”).

And what about Scherazade, the famed young woman who won over the heart of the murderous sultan? Reportedly, his first wife was unfaithful to him. In retribution he sequentially married 1,000 virgins for one night each, and then had them beheaded the next day. Scherazade was the most beautiful, learned, and fascinating woman in his realm and daughter of the Vizier. Deciding to stop the massacres, she agreed to marry the Sultan and, on their wedding night, asked to see her sister one more time. He agreed, and then listened with fascination as Scherazade told her sister an intriguing and magical story. When the Sultan asked her to finish it, she said she would the next night because it was so late. So, of course, he spared her. She continued to tell only half a story for 1,000 nights, keeping the Sultan engrossed in the beautiful fantasies. When she told him there were no more, he had become so enraptured by her that he spared her and stopped his revenge on women. Women ever since, have attempted to master how to give enough to maintain interest, but not so much as to give away the mystery.

The common ironic belief is that most men want a beautiful elusive woman in public, hopefully desired by many other men, but who is only theirs when the bedroom door is closed, and that most women want a chivalrous, giving man whose sexual and emotional hunger for them is visible but not ever forced. And most people would agree that they have felt that at times. Sadly, the fact that beautiful, elusive, hot women are rarely sacrificial, giving, and unselfish, and that sexy, unavailable men hunger to stick around when things aren’t easy and fun, tends to throw a monkey wrench in the hope that both traits can exist in any one gender. As a result, many relationship seekers go from one to the other, trying to end up fulfilling all of their needs, albeit sequentially. (See my Psychology Today Article, “Why Great Husbands are Being Abandoned.”)

Your fantasies about creating a great relationship with an elusive, self-protective and self-serving partner are probably, at best, a waste of time. Better to work on blending your own autonomy with your availability in a great package that neither over-sacrifices nor is over-elusive. Don’t play games with yourself or with potential partners. Hot, passionate relationships can be their own reward, even without any guarantees for the future. (See my Psychology Today article, “Touch and Go Relationships – Do they have to be Superficial?”) Trying to make a comfy, secure, loving relationship compete with the hot passion of a new relationship with an out-of-reach partner rarely works, and is not fair to either.

Generally, it is more hopeful to pick a partner who is closer to the middle, someone who knows how to love, but isn’t so attached to you that he or she will give up integrity and personal growth just to hold on to you. Great, authentic intimate partners who recognize the need for both comfort and challenge, keep their hearts and souls open to that continued discovery. They know how to balance their own risk versus safety ratios internally and they want the same for their partners. They recognize that both will always fantasy about another at some point in time, but that they are highly unlikely to leave a relationship that is in the top ten percent already.

Here are some related articles I’ve written on Psychology Today Blogs that might provide more interesting perspectives:

Is this True Love?
10 Important Questions You Should ask a Potential Partner
Promise Keepers
Should I date this Person Again? – First date behaviors that predict relationship success
Selling Out – Compromising Integrity

Dr. Randi Gunther – www.randigunther.com

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