Skip to content

Wanting To Be Wanted

2 min

One of the most damning things is wanting to be wanted.

If there’s anything in my personality that I would change - anything about myself I viscerally dislike - it’s wanting to be wanted, my desire to be desired.

Wanting to be wanted takes the place of wanting.

There’s no room left over for your own desires, your own dreams, to flourish; instead, you fixate on the feelings of others, living inside their heads, wondering what they are thinking, tip-toeing around their feelings, saying what you think they want to hear.

Your acceptance hinges on the whims of another…sometimes many others. You won’t be OK unless they say you’re OK.

It’s an impossible task, by the way.

It isn’t that you’ll never be desired . It’s that being desired is a state which will flicker in and out of existence. Your happiness, your okayness, will never stabilize, never be your own, never feel comfortable or real. There will always be an asterisk, a “what if,” a caveat.

You can go this far, never further.

What I find most infuriating about my desire to be desired is that it is cowardly.

Wanting to be wanted is an escape from the responsibility to act. If you desire the partner of your choice, you can act - or not - upon that desire. You can walk up to them and take your shot. What happens next is on you, good or bad.

Your actions, your outcomes, your life.

Wanting to be wanted relieves you of that responsibility. You don’t have to accept the repercussions of your actions because you don’t act - instead, you want someone else to act. You want the way paved for you, the red carpet rolled out, the risk removed, the edges sanded down to dull curves.

You want all the uncertainty and responsibility removed from the big scary world, to be a child, to be blameless - you’d rather achieve nothing than take a risk and be made to look foolish.

“If only they would approach ME!” you pine, alone, safe, wrapped in a weighted blanket, streaming yet another hour of a show you’ve already seen.

Nothing unexpected.

Nothing scary.

Nothing challenging.

No growth.

No change.

No risk.

No action.

And no, I’m not just talking about walking up to that boy or girl you like.

You KNOW what I’m talking about - that thought you won’t even let yourself think, that thing that appears like a phantom just when you're drifting off to sleep, that glimmer of hope that maybe, somehow, someday, you might do what you were meant to do.

Better wave that off.

Better shut that down.

Better dream, instead, of someone walking up to you and giving you the keys to the city and a million dollar check because they suddenly realized that it was you - YOU - all along, just as you are, no change needed, no struggle required, no effort necessary.

Story-book ending.

A coward, dreaming of someone else’s dream.

I hate to break it to you:

No one’s coming.

No keys to the city, no check.

There has only ever been this:

A desire, followed by an act.

That is all there is and that is all you need.

Don’t sit.

Don’t wait.

Don’t dream of someone else’s dream.



and accept what comes next.




Agency: It's Only Human.

Apropos for today's essay. What is agency, why is it important, and how do you get more of it?

Subscribe to receive the latest posts in your inbox.