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Sex + Relationships

This is the Person Dua Lipa Warned You About

Unless you were completely blindsided, most of us know when the downfall of our relationship is coming. It doesn’t make it any easier to deal with, but at least we aren’t completely shocked when you hear, “I don’t see a future with you” or “I think we should break up.” That was indeed the case with my last relationship. I knew it was coming after weeks of strained text conversation and incredibly apparent avoidance - this boy did not want to talk to me. It sucked at the time, but I’ve since accepted it.

What surprises me though is that I don’t think he’s moved on. He stalks all my social media including accounts he doesn’t even follow, occasionally texts me at 2am, and tries to talk to me when he sees me. It’s absolutely bizarre how someone went from ignoring me to obsessing over something as innocuous as an Instagram story.

He’s one of those people. The people who use you as a backup. The people who only care about you when you cater to them and only them. The people who supposedly want what they can’t have. Dua Lipa warned us against wasting our time on these people.


Most of us have heard the phrase, “I want what I can’t have” used amongst family, friends, and modern media, but what exactly does this mean? For me personally, I’ve never even understood the concept of wanting something I realistically couldn’t have. That means… I can’t have it. Why would I want it? Sure, maybe a potential romantic interest is taken or emotionally unavailable, but it’s different when someone plays a game of “I like you, I like you not” while plucking away at your valuable time and energy instead of daisies. Essentially, desire for someone you can’t have is more of a motivation to win a prize than it is an actual interest in that person. This can occur for a multitude of reasons:

1. Low supply, high in demand.

Econ majors get this. A key principle of economics is that when there is less of something, it becomes higher in demand. To tie it into our story here, we place value on people when they aren’t as attainable. Perhaps they’re dating someone else, or the mere fact that they aren’t yours to keep anymore makes them worth more to you.

To fix it: Move on, buddy. Stop texting them at 2am.

2. Social proof.

When someone you break up with dates other people after you, there is a weird possessive jealousy that shrouds you. That’s weird, isn’t it? You rejected a person and now you want them back? It’s due to the fact that when more people are going for one person, it’s social proof that that person is desirable. A lot of people claim that more people are forward with them when they’re already taken. “Where were all of you when I was single?” Yeah, it’s a stupid mob mentality for sure.

To fix it: Move on, buddy. Stop texting them at 2am.

3. Reciprocity.

Humans innately feel the need to reciprocate behavior. That’s why birthdays feel a little awkward - everyone is chanting a song to you in a dimly lit room and you can’t sing back, then you’re given a plethora of presents without being expected to gift anything back. It doesn’t sit well with people to not reciprocate an action. Similarly, it doesn’t sit well with people when another doesn’t reciprocate their actions. How many times do we feel snubbed when we don’t get a thoughtful text back? A favor done for us? When you break up with someone then try to text them, you’re oddly more motivated to text them continuously to get them to respond, even when you’ve been left on read every time.

To fix it: Move on, buddy. Stop texting them at 2am.

4. Trying to win the game.

Like I said before, wanting someone you can’t have is just having the motivation to play a game until you win. Humans are gross, man. We just want to tide people over to get our way, and then we shrug them off as soon as we get them. The feeling of victory is only so satisfying until you're over it.

To fix it: Notice a pattern?

To those dealing with this brand of person:

Don’t pick up the phone. You know he’s only calling ‘cause he’s drunk and alone.

Don’t let him in. You’ll have to kick him out again.

Don’t be his friend. You know you’re going to wake up in his bed in the morning.

Image Sources: 1, 2

Emi, often described to be the embodiment of a sunflower, is passionate about equality, positivity, and growth. She's currently pursuing a path towards becoming a pharmacist, but in the meantime she spends her time writing articles, taking photos, creating visual art, dancing, and working towards a better future for all.
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