Unattainability and Unpredictability Breed Attraction

Photo posted by @zoella on Instagram

You’d be lying now if you said you haven’t made any dumb decisions regarding your romantic endeavors. How couldn’t you? There’s no roadmap or handbook for these sorts of things.

Managing a relationship is work in itself. But finding someone first. A whole other story. How do you know who you should be with? What qualities are acceptable? Do your requirements for a partner and desires match what’s expected of you or society? Do they fit your mold? Your ideal blueprint? And what influenced this blueprint in the first place? 

Because we don’t get to pick and choose. No customization. You get the full package.

So you have this great person, whether you’re dating or just testing the waters, yet you find yourself unsatisfied. Why is it that when we think we have everything we want, it’s not enough? Because what seems to be enough is that unpredictable person. The totally wrong choice. One that would only bring chaos and heartbreak into your life yet for some reason that draws you in even more, like a drug. An addiction. Day after day, the anticipation of pleasure. What it would be like to discover what now seems so obscure. 


To put it quite simply, we’re all addicts. Typical addictive behavior involves the inability to stop engaging in said behavior, ignoring obvious risks/warning signs and suffering withdrawal when you attempt to stop . Now, if you walked into a medical facility, you wouldn’t be clinically diagnosed, but you can see the parallels. These unpredictable or unattainable people are addictive. But sometimes it feels even worse. Because without even a taste, but a glimpse alone, we want more. Every time we see them, we become more intrigued, more hooked. We need to have this person. 

When we see them, we are driven towards them because they resemble something we secretly want but can’t have. Something uncertain that doesn’t come easy. Unpredictability breeds challenge, and overcoming a challenge brings pleasure. It’s the anticipation of pleasure or the “chase” that draws us in. We start releasing chemicals like dopamine when we are falling, and as a result, we feel euphoric and happy. We need to find out what this person is all about. So, we keep investigating, keep trying to know more, and we fall into this habit, because of the pleasure we gain alone from this process, establishing addiction.

Not to mention the fantasy we build because of the unpredictability of this person. Since they are unpredictable, they carry this sense of mystery and uncertainty, which causes our brains to fill in the blanks with fantasies, only making us want them more.

But that socially acceptable or “right” person doesn’t require mental challenge. To us, they are easy. They might check all of your boxes but predictability is serving to be a greater con than a pro. At least in your mind for now. It makes them so attainable, there’s a lack of romance, sexual tension and fun. We all want what we can’t have.

What does this say about you?

Other than the fact that you’re human, attraction to what you can’t have has a few plausible explanations. 

The unknown brings a sense of freedom. On the outside, you may be the face of grace. Well-mannered, put-together and hard-working. But on the inside you feel wound up with unexpressed passions and desires. Being drawn to such unpredictability is an expression of such desires that we might be too afraid to admit, but that other person could offer. Better yet, qualities we wish we had but don’t. Someone different from us. Playing into that theory of opposites attract. 

Romantic rejection or attraction alone to a person we think we can’t have or who has so much unknown about them sparks motivation and addiction in us because we crave the reward. We simply want what we want.

Having something unattainable also boosts the ego. If we believe something is unattainable, we are driven to get it. Getting it is a reward. A boost to our ego. To be able to have something we thought we couldn’t.

The Reality of Our Desires

Being attracted to someone you deem unattainable is a really beneficial experience sometimes because it allows for the opportunity to understand what you really desire that you haven’t been able to admit to yourself or qualities you actually want but never allowed yourself to have. If you actually attain that “unattainable” person, what you may realize is that it was really the thrill of the chase itself and that anticipation of pleasure that was the true reward and not the relationship itself, and that can be a valuable learning experience.

Follow @VALLEYmag on Instagram for more relationship insight!  


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