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Who you want isn't always what you need

The heart wants what it wants.  But is that always best?
Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

The Rolling Stones perhaps said it best with their song, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”

Decades later, the chorus still applies to modern day love and loss, especially in this era of online overstimulation and hookup mentality.

Have you ever wanted someone so badly, so inherently, so deeply that you could concentrate on nothing else? Maybe this person sits next to you in class, or they frequent the same Starbucks as you each morning. Maybe this person is your best friend or your married co-worker. Or maybe this person is someone from your past whom you can’t get over.

Whatever the connection, you have idealistically, romantically, psychotically (call it what you like) convinced yourself that you are meant to be together, regardless of the circumstances.

Have you ever acted on your feelings even if you knew they were forbidden, or that you would end up heartbroken or humiliated?

The heart wants what it wants, right?

Well what if your heart wants what isn’t necessarily best for the rest of you? What should you do with your feelings if they lead you into dangerous terrain? It’s not as easy as simply telling yourself to stop wanting someone. If that were the case, there would be less infidelity in the world.

Sometimes life takes you in directions that seem completely out of your control. No matter how hard you try to make someone want you, their heart wants what it wants just like yours does. And their heart may actually want someone else, or just not you.

During moments of clarity, when you realize that you shouldn’t have to convince someone to want you, (whether that realization comes through a friend or a Pinterest quote board) try to visualize your life with this person in the future, pragmatically.

Could this person whom you want more than anything in the world right now potentially be the reason you don’t follow your dream of backpacking through Europe? Could this person deter your lifelong goal of owning your own business? Or could this person end up turning you into a less driven, more appeasing partner instead of a focused, independent and kickass individual?


Maybe that’s why The Rolling Stones song finishes with, “You can’t always get what you want/But if you try sometimes you just might find/You just might find/You get what you need.”

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