I made up a simple theory from a few basic observations. I hope you find it as intriguing as I did. This is what I came up with:
When you don’t have something, you want it. And when you do have that thing, you don’t really want it.
This isn’t only the case with things but can work appropriately (making small adjustments to the theory) with people, experiences and literally anything else. I’m sure you too may have experienced this kind of feeling some time in your life. Perhaps it was when you really wanted a toy as a child and begged your parents to buy it for you, then you got it, and after like a month or so of acquiring the still very new toy, it somehow got “mentally” old for you and you didn’t really care about it anymore.
Or perhaps it was something you really wanted to achieve—possibly a job title, or more money, freedom, or maybe you wanted to get yourself a husband or a wife—and now that you have it, you’ve lost the passionate desire you had for it when you wanted it and today it’s just one of the things that you have under your achievements list that you don’t really care about.
Of course, this doesn’t happen with everyone and everything. Some things and people are really valuable and the burning flame for those things and amazing people never extinguishes. So what does this tell about all the other things that we once wanted but don’t care about now? Were we foolish enough to chase behind meaningless and irrelevant things that we didn’t really even want in the first place? Maybe. It’s very probable actually. We thought we wanted what we wanted, but it just wasn’t it! Maybe we were influenced by our surroundings, people in the community, advertisements and promotions and whatnot. But we surely weren’t aware of what we really wanted. And so we had a false image of the thing we wanted which made us chase after that and that thing only, until we got it and we realized that this wasn’t even really what we wanted. Strange, isn’t it?
And now with people—Have you noticed ever that when an old person’s health starts to deteriorate, everyone wants to spend more time with him or her. And when they die, quite a lot of, if not many people regret only one thing. And that’s ‘not spending more time with them’. It’s again odd because when you had that person and could have easily skipped some TV time to talk with them or even watched TV with them, or skipped a day or a week of work here and there if the person was so important to you, you didn’t bother. You didn’t really want to spend a lot of time with them when you had them. And now that they’re gone all we want is to spend one last night with them.
Of course, this doesn’t suggest like with the other things as we devised above that those people who are now non-existing weren’t who you really wanted to spend your time with. Since this is the opposite of first wanting something and then getting bored with it. Here you had the person, but now that he’s no more, you want him. This topic can be really controversial. And I don’t think there can be a proper answer with why when we have someone; we don’t really care a lot about them or are just vested into the different priorities of our “busy” lives. But when their time is almost up, we’ll be willing to cancel all our plans and the “busy life things” to get to spend some more time with them.
At the end of the day I think it’s a little bit of foolish mixed with mysterious human tendency to be wanting something which we don’t have, and then not really wanting the same thing once we have it.