They Want You When They Can’t Have You

A young woman recently sent me this DM and and gave me permission to post and respond.

“I’m a 21 year old and consider myself to be attractive looking. It seems though that when I’m single and looking, it’s tough to keep a guy’s attention. I’ll start talking to someone and right when I think it’s going somewhere, it fizzles out. Then as soon as I get a boyfriend, I can’t keep other guys away. Last year I was seeking a potential boyfriend for months with no luck. Finally, I started seeing someone exclusively and then two of the other guys I tried to escalate a commitment with suddenly were interested. It also happened again when I started my internship and was genuinely too busy to date anyone. Is this bad luck or is it all in my head?”


It’s not all in your head. And it’s not bad luck either. Guys want what they can’t have. It was likely that when you were actively looking for a boyfriend, you may have come across as a little eager or maybe even desperate. They can sense that and getting you starts to feel too easy for them. It’s probably one of the oldest pieces of advice you can hear, but men really do like the thrill of the chase, as long as it’s just attainable enough for them in the end.

You might hear from time to time that guys like women to make themselves readily available, but the only guys who are saying this are the guys who don’t feel confident enough in themselves to be up for the challenge. Most guys love a little cat and mouse.

No matter what they say, what they usually do is go after the women who are mysterious and slightly out of reach. That’s why they flock to you when you have things going on in your life and act like you don’t give a shit about dating. That’s when they want you the most.

When you had a boyfriend, you were giving off that vibe, as you were when you were busy with your internship. They saw you as a woman who is happy fulfilling her life, doing her own thing, and that her life doesn’t revolve around men, and they find that attractive. Just remember that next time you are in this position.


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Ash Pariseau
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Comments 13

  • Truth. The more you don’t need them the more they want you.

  • Completely agreed, Ash.

    “You might hear from time to time that guys like women to make themselves readily available, but the only guys who are saying this are the guys who don’t feel confident enough in themselves to be up for the challenge. Most guys love a little cat and mouse.”

    It’s funny how guys will tell women to be available, but it doesn’t work. And they say women are the ones who don’t know what they want.

  • This goes both ways, ladies. You get scared off if we seem too interested in you.

    Excitement can easily be misread as desperation. And no one wants to be chased by someone who is desperate.

    I was super excited about a certain person. But in hind sight I can see how she may have read it differently.

  • Yup… probably true. Same goes the other way around as well though. Girls also like men who are just out of their reach.

  • So what do you do when you’re married? This is the problem I have… how you get your own husband to still be interested in you when he knows he has you? I can’t exactly go out and flirt with other men (nor do I want to) but what are my options at this point? It’s stupid that it has to be this way… I hate to admit this but I wouldn’t be married if it weren’t for my belief system… I would rather just have a lover because in my experience they ALWAYS lose interest as soon as the “real” relationship begins. I hate it. I don’t want to play games in my marriage but it’s like I have no choice if I want any interest from him. He is a good man in a lot of ways but don’t get me started on sex. We fight about it all the time. He claims he doesn’t want it as much as I do, but deep down I feel like he would be pawing at me if I acted like I didn’t want it, but I don’t want to have to act and I don’t want to pretend to be something I’m not.

  • “Truth. The more you don’t need them the more they want you.”
    This is only half of the truth. I think the ‘wanting what you can’t have’ explanation is an expression of frustration, and is a little naive as well.
    The whole truth is that people want to be in a relationship with someone who will contribute something to the relationship, be it joy, encouragement, selfless love, mental perspective, friendship… This is true for both men and women. A person who is emotionally mature and independently happy is trustworthy and attractive for this reason. People DON’T want someone who is desperate, needy, begging for love and attention, and who will take a lot more than they give, become a ball and chain, and drain you dry, emotionally.
    The less needy you are, the more ability you have to create and maintain the dynamic of a happy relationship. People can feel this ‘vibe’, and this naturally makes you more desirable to the opposite sex.
    Furthermore, a person who works on himself (or herself), and makes himself more capable, mature and happy, will have a much larger number of choices for a partner, and will not have to depend on getting a partner first to make him strong enough to compete in the socio-sexual marketplace. In other words, you have to stand on your own two feet, if you want to hit the ground running.
    Athletes practice at home, on the track, or in the gym, NOT in the arena. Only when he becomes strong enough to compete does he then enter the arena. Dating/courting is the same way. Too many selfish kids try to pawn themselves off as mature and capable of love, just to get attention, or laid or whatever, and in doing so, they defraud their partners out of real love.

  • This is so true. A coworker for 5years was after me knowing I was with someone. Now that I’m single and comfortable with the idea of dating in the workplace he is not showing much interest anymore. Why? Well I guess I put off the vibe of being desperate for male attention and expected him to help me forget about my ex. Nonetheless, I was at times playing hard to get but so far I feel that I have maybe scared him away possibly showing some neediness.

  • whoah this blog is great i love reading your articles. Keep up the great work! You know, lots of people are hunting around for this information, you can aid them greatly.

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