Why Guys Want What They Can't Have

Photo: Dean Drobot / Shutterstock
man holding roses and ring trying to give them to a woman who doesn't want him

If there’s anything that infuriates a girl who’s been single for ages but only recently got off the market, it’s "The Confession." Girls know what The Confession is, and most guys have an idea of what it is thanks to the flood of romantic comedies that glorify this tacky move.

It’s that moment where some guy friend of yours gives you a sad, puppy-eyed look, then tells you that they’ve “always had a crush on you,” and that they are now “just realizing it.”

Then, they ask you to leave the guy you’re dating because they “could treat you so much better.”

At first, this looks like a sweet gesture, but it’s not. If you’ve only recently gotten a new partner, it’s downright infuriating.

What makes "The Confession" so anger-inducing isn’t that the guy is confessing his love to her; it’s that he’s doing it when she’s taken, even though he had the opportunity to speak up for quite some time beforehand.

Why do guys want what they can't have?

Speaking as a person who only seems to be attractive to men when I am unavailable, I can attest there are a number of reasons why some guys only want you when you're taken — and it actually has nothing to do with you.

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9 Reasons why guys want you more when you have a boyfriend

1. Many guys are commitment-phobes.

Most guys who pull The Confession are emotionally unavailable and are actually self-sabotaging because they are afraid of actually having a chance with you.

Much like a dieter who self-sabotages by going against their own rules and letting themselves walk into an all-you-can-eat buffet, "just for a look," guys who pull this are trying to sabotage their chances with you because they know they’re incapable of having a normal relationship.

Incidentally, if you were to dump your partner for them, they’d also sabotage that relationship — so don’t do it.

2. Men use The Confession as a way to lure you into something casual on the side.

In many cases, guys who pull a Confession aren’t actually trying to break up your relationship, per se. They’re actually looking for sex or a low-key affair.

The idea is that they know you’re unlikely to drop your man for them, but they’re hoping you’ll feel guilty enough or swayed enough that you’ll afford them cheap sex. Yes, it's as slimy as it sounds, and that’s why you probably should stop talking to them if they do that.

3. Some guys legit just want to stir up drama.

Ever know a girl who can’t stand to see couples stay drama-free? Believe it or not, there are guys out there like that, too.

When certain men who are feeling insecure see happy couples, they want to break them up. It’s their way of saying, “I need you to hurt because I’m hurting, too.”



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4. They're just in it for the conquest.

Remember when you were on a playground with other kids and there was one kid who would always take everyone else’s toys? This whole song-and-dance is the equivalent of that.

Guys like this only want you because you’re someone else’s girl, and it makes them feel like hot stuff to steal you away from them. Once they have you, they will lose interest and move on to the next conquest. Why? Because they’re jerks.

5. They like the idea of you — not the real you.

When you’re single, guys may have seen you in a worse state of mind or just doing things solo, which would have been less glamorous.

When we see snapshots of happy couples, we don’t necessarily see the whole picture. Usually, we only see the curated, filtered sides of people when they’re happy together with their partners.

A lot of guys, when they see the “highlights reel,” will want to get in on that, not realizing that you may also have a normal, real-life side to you. As a result, some might like the idea of you in a relationship more than the real you.

6. They think rom-coms are the way real-life dating is supposed to work.

They are deluded, obviously. They also tend to not understand what it takes to actually be in a relationship, either.

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7. They want their options to stay open — including you.

You know how you may feel a slight pang of loss when that one guy who you were kind of attracted to has a new girlfriend?

While most people will shrug that off and acknowledge that they probably should have said something, a lot of men just can’t handle the idea that someone might not be waiting in the alleys for them.

For guys like this, hitting on a taken woman and trying to get her to leave her man for them is their way of securing a “backup plan” if they can’t find anything else.

8. Some guys are into taken women because of the fact that it’s taboo.

It’s true. A lot of men — a scary amount, actually — have a cuckold fetish. For them, they fetishize you because you’re taken.

They have no interest in you as a person. They just get their jollies off from the fantasy of sexing up a taken woman.

9. Sometimes it’s just lip service.

Though rarer than all the other reasons on here, there are some guys who think that flirting with taken ladies is a good way to compliment girls.

It’s not, but then again, guys aren’t always known for being smooth with the ladies. If you’ve noticed a pattern, it’s because there is one.

When guys are attracted to taken women and pull moves like The Confession, it’s not usually a reflection of the girl in question — it’s a reflection of the guy doing it. So, no, there’s nothing wrong with you.

It’s just that the guys around you probably have problems that you shouldn’t even consider touching with a 10-foot pole.

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Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer whose work has been featured in Yahoo, BRIDES, Your Daily Dish, Newtheory Magazine, and others.