Social Question

ncash02's avatar

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

Asked by ncash02 (61points) January 2nd, 2011

I know variations of this have been asked before, but I think I may be looking at it in a new way.

Gay guys want straight guys.
Straight guys want lesbians.
Straight girls want gay guys.
Lesbians want straight girls.

I’m just wondering why we spend so much time fawning over things that we have little to no chance of ever actually attaining.

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12 Answers

janbb's avatar

Stupid human nature?

Lightlyseared's avatar

It’s not attractive if its easy to obtain.

Jeruba's avatar

Scarcity enhances value; or rather, perceived scarcity enhances perception of value.

I think we’re wired to stock up on whatever useful or desirable commodity appears to be low in supply. Demand makes it look necessary, and if it’s necessary, it’s a survival need, and if it’s a survival need, we must have it too.

Like so many other natural mechanisms, this seems to carry over into all sorts of things that have nothing to do with survival, whether it’s piling on calories when our Weight Watchers diet makes our body think we’re starving or making a run on Tickle Me Elmo dolls.

Also I just think most if not all of us have a perverse tendency to get in our own way. Who knows, maybe that’s nature’s way of making sure only a few of us emerge as leaders?

Winters's avatar

I wouldn’t really know about that, I mean sure girls going at it turns me on, but I don’t think I’ve ever truly lusted after a lesbian/lesbians. The closest to that was a bi girl that everyone thought was a lesbian but just was very picky about the guys she’d bang.

Coloma's avatar

I can’t relate to this at all.

I have never been a envious/covetous type.

To parrot a song…” It’s not about having what you want, it’s about wanting what you have.”

If people spent more time appriciating what they have instead of pining away for what they don’t, everyone would be a lot happier.

marinelife's avatar

I don’t think your premise is true at all.

faye's avatar

I agree with @marinelife. I don’t want a gay guy-WTF? What would I do with him?

Coloma's avatar


Right, kind of like wanting a Porsche without an engine. lol

perspicacious's avatar

I don’t agree with your assumptions dear.

Jeruba's avatar

As an afterthought, I must add that I don’t agree with the premise either. The word “always” inevitably makes it a bad assumption. And in my experience most people are attracted to prospective partners in a category that IS available to them.

So my response really just answers the question “Why do we so often want what we can’t have?” without any particular reference to sexual partners.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Sexuality is just one aspect of ourselves – sometimes we end up liking a person whose sexuality is at odds with ours, so to speak but I don’t think people do this on purpose.

ucme's avatar

For some unfortunately, the grass is always greener…...

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