The Secret Little Problem with Wanting to Be Wanted

July 23, 2020

  minute READ

A Desire to Be Desired

It’s incredibly common for people to want to feel desired in relationships. Since it’s so mundane, what could be wrong with wanting to be wanted?

For many, being desired is incredibly erotic. Sensing that someone is hungry for you carries with it a special, almost addictive, energy. 

Where the delicious experience of being desired tips over into becoming an issue is the point when you rely on the desire of others to trigger your own desire. You might even struggle to desire someone until they express their desire for you. 

Being reliant on the desire of others often relates to a deep yearning for acceptance and love. This is common for people across gender and orientation lines. 

No matter who you’re sleeping with, your partner wants to be wanted, too.

Here’s the Problem

When you externalize a core component of your sexuality you become disempowered.

If you are reliant on the desire of others to generate your own desire, it can become a breeding ground for many negative side effects – 

  • Resentment
  • Frustration
  • Helplessness
  • Victimhood

You have no control over the thoughts, feelings, or behaviors of others. Relying on how your partner feels about you to identify how you feel about yourself will keep you stuck.

You’re In Control

You control your worthiness and that’s a good thing, even if it feels a bit counter-intuitive. You can give yourself the gift of desire at any time.

Ask yourself these two questions:

Do you feel worthy of desire? Do you desire yourself?

Until you feel worthy of desire, you won’t be able to trust that anyone desires you – even if they do. Until you desire yourself, you won’t understand how anyone else could have desire for you.

Date Yourself

To start cultivating a feeling of sexual worthiness, write out a list of everything that makes you feel wanted. Aim for 10 or more actions that make you feel desired or things others do that make you feel desired.

Refer back to this list when you’re feeling doubt about someone’s feelings for you, and take stock. 

Once you know what makes you feel desired, start showing yourself the same love. Begin dating yourself every day.

Give yourself compliments, hit on yourself! Stand in front of the mirror and show up for yourself. Cultivate the kind of desire you’re looking for from your partner.


The more desirable you feel, the less pressure you put on your partners to desire you, and strangely enough, the more space it opens up for desire to flourish. You will also know what being desired feels like, which means you will notice more when others desire you

You’ll care less when someone doesn’t desire you and you’ll find yourself in a cycle where you feel more desired, therefore you feel more desirable, which creates space for others to desire you more. 

About the Author

Sarah Martin, MA, CSC is CEO of Dignified Hedonist, a sexuality support company that guides introverted men to lead desire-led, sex-forward, and pleasure-focused lives. Sarah is the host of the Sexual Craftsmanship podcast, a weekly podcast packed full of actionable information and advice for sex and relationships in the 21st century. Sarah loves rainbows, books, and Pokemon Go.

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