Is It Better To Desire, Or Be Desired?

How Desire Shapes Our Happiness and Relationships

Have you ever wondered what makes you happy in life?

Is it the things you want, or the things that others want from you?

Is it better to desire, or be desired?

This is not an easy question to answer, as both desire and being desired have their pros and cons.

In this article, we will explore the psychology of desire, the benefits and drawbacks of both sides, and some tips on how to balance them in your life.

What is Desire?

Desire is a natural and powerful emotion that drives us to seek something or someone that we find attractive, valuable, or satisfying.

Desire can motivate us to pursue our goals, improve ourselves, and enjoy life.

However, desire can also have a dark side.

When desire becomes excessive, obsessive, or unfulfilled, it can lead to frustration, anxiety, depression, or addiction.

Desire can also blind us to the reality of the situation, make us ignore the needs and feelings of others, and cause us to act impulsively or irrationally.

What is Being Desired?

Being desired is the opposite of desire.

It is the feeling of being wanted, appreciated, or admired by someone else. Being desired can boost our self-esteem, confidence, and happiness.

However, being desired can also have a negative side. When being desired becomes dependent, manipulative, or unrealistic, it can lead to insecurity, resentment, jealousy, or narcissism.

Being desired can also make us lose our sense of self, compromise our values and boundaries, and cause us to act inauthentically or defensively.

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Which One is Better?

There is no definitive answer to which one is better, as both desire and being desired have their advantages and disadvantages.

The key is to find a healthy balance between them, and not let either one dominate or diminish the other.

According to Dr. Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist and expert on love and attraction, there are three types of love: lust, attraction, and attachment.

Lust is the physical desire for someone, attraction is the emotional desire for someone, and attachment is the long-term desire for someone. Each type of love has its own brain chemistry, behavior, and function.

Dr. Fisher suggests that the ideal relationship is one that combines all three types of love, and that both partners have a similar level of desire and being desired for each other.

This way, they can experience passion, intimacy, and commitment, and avoid boredom, conflict, or detachment.

How to Balance Desire and Being Desired?

Here are some tips on how to balance desire and being desired in your life:

  • Know yourself. Understand what you want, what you need, and what you value in life. Be honest and authentic with yourself and others. Don’t let your desire or being desired define you or control you.
  • Know your partner. Learn what they want, what they need, and what they value in life. Be respectful and empathetic with them and others. Don’t take their desire or being desired for granted or exploit it.
  • Communicate. Express your feelings, thoughts, and expectations clearly and respectfully. Listen to their feelings, thoughts, and expectations attentively and compassionately. Don’t assume or impose your desire or being desired on them or others.
  • Compromise. Find a middle ground that works for both of you and others. Be flexible and adaptable to changing situations and circumstances. Don’t insist or resist your desire or being desired by them or others.
  • Appreciate. Show gratitude and appreciation for what you have and what you receive. Give praise and recognition for what they do and what they offer. Don’t neglect or reject your desire or being desired by them or others.
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Desire and being desired are both important aspects of human happiness and well-being.

However, neither one is better than the other, and both have their benefits and drawbacks.

The best way to enjoy both is to find a healthy balance between them, and not let either one overshadow or undermine the other.

By following the tips above, you can achieve a harmonious and satisfying relationship with yourself and others, and experience the joy of desire and being desired.


  • Fisher, H. (2004). Why we love: The nature and chemistry of romantic love. New York: Henry Holt and Company.
  • Fisher, H. (2016). Anatomy of love: A natural history of mating, marriage, and why we stray. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

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