Want vs Don’t Want

Note: this post is entirely void of emojis.

Do you tend to focus on what you want? Or does your focus shift to what you don’t want?

I found as I traveled past my 50th birthday that I have a few core, mostly static wants which I either already have, am close to obtaining, or in the process of actively planning on achieving (with consistent action, not wishful thinking).

Things I want

  • a room with a door (achieved)
  • good friends (ongoing)
  • internal peace and fulfillment (working on it)
  • periodic solitude (achieved)
  • to understand men (um…)
  • be able to run an errand without the need to pee (I wish I could use a head blowing up emoji here)
  • publish a book (achieved, self-published)
  • love (ongoing)
  • minimalist domestic lifestyle (ongoing)
  • eat another vanilla cream filled cannoli (there is one in the fridge mocking me)

Ok, some of those items are ridiculous but we need a little fun at times, no?

Over the years I met a few needs and desires because I took steps toward them. I’m working toward others still unachieved or unattained. I am on a path in the right direction. I feel the forward propulsion.

I have more confidence and deeper insights to reflect on this list partly because I get to engage with you and pick your brains. Most of you are much smarter than I am and I value your feedback and input. (heart emoji)

Now, what about the don’t wants?

I can feel, and see, the eye-rolls of the online dating bloggers. I bet they have a long list of don’t wants in their desired potential love interest…

It’s funny, really, when I think back to my own dating apps experience (surfing but not connecting), how many men put the following sentence at the top of their list: No Drama.

I remembered thinking, have they met women? lol (oh how I wish I could insert a nice little emoji in here…)

In all fairness, and in my own gender’s defense, the men can be, often are, the cause of our drama so…

The point I’m trying to make is that these men focused primarily on what they don’t want in a future love interest (dramatic women), rather than on what they do want.*

* Let it be known many men have extensive lists of wants for women, much of which is beyond reasonable or even attainable. Remember this idiot? I’ve more to say on this topic but will address it another time.

Anyway, the don’t wants. Here’s what I think about that:

The older I get, the more I realize my don’t wants outweigh the wants.

Meaning… I know what I don’t want more, and better, than what I do want.

Maybe this means I’m a relatively content person, mostly…

Is this complicated to follow?

Let me approach it from another angle.

If I know I want this and that, but leave myself open to discover something I didn’t know I wanted, that would be a good thing, no?

Say I meet a new group of friends after covid with whom I can share common interests. Currently, my feeling is I’m quite happy with my tiny little intimate circle of friends, as well as with my ever expanding writing tribe here on this blog and on other platforms. I’m not actively seeking out new friends.


Why limit myself to possibilities for new, different relationships? Maybe I simply don’t know that I could possibly want new friends…

So I want to leave my wants list open.

Which brings me back to my don’t wants.

I know more clearly, and with more conviction than ever, that my don’t wants are at least equally if not more important than my wants.

If only I had known this ten years ago… (eye roll emoji)

Things I don’t want

  • to live with (a lot of) people (less is more, at least for the foreseeable future)
  • to share my work space (writing and creativity requires solitude, if I can’t be undisturbed I can’t function)
  • short hair (because it looks ridiculous on me)
  • clutter, knicknacks, other people’s stuff in my space (working on it)
  • writing prompts (unless I get paid for them but even then I’d rather not write based on prompts)
  • white carbs (but there’s the aforementioned cannoli)
  • arguments with teenagers (which have been few and far between since we changed our domestic living situation)
  • more pets (Tucker can stay of course but the kids talked about guinea pigs before and then cats later… no)
  • nurture relationships with people who don’t reciprocate (the purge began last year and is ongoing, which resulted in some pleasant surprises )
  • waste time (this takes determination and focus and is ongoing )
  • lose more eyesight or hearing (that is beyond my control although some preventative measures will help prevail what is still functioning)

I could go on. What I’m saying is, I feel less inclined to spend my energy on desiring and wanting things that seem too far out of reach and instead focus on the pragmatic approaches that will lead to gainful achievement of my wants and desires.

Gratitude works. I can honestly say I’m grateful for everyone in my family who has accepted and accommodated my desire to live in a room with a door, and in some cases sacrificed their own personal situation to make this happen. I used to feel guilty, but I don’t anymore. I earned/am entitled to the right to pursue my passion (if that’s the right way to say it) and I’m doing it (even if much of it is not publicized here on the blog).

The above lists are a little superficial in nature, but the point of this post is to get you thinking about your wants and don’t wants.

Most of us focus on what we want, but do we know acutely what we don’t want?

Do the two lists supplement each other and help guide us?

I think yes. If I’m not clear about what I don’t want, and express this precisely and clearly to my orbiting tribe, confusion and chaos will reign in my environment. I can’t waver and constantly accommodate everyone else’s need – there has to be a balance while still managing the interests and needs of others who matter to me.

Funny how as a Libra I only recently, in middle age, figured out how to tip the scales into equilibrium…

So now it’s your turn.

Do you know clearly what you want and don’t want?

See you in the comments.

*I might write a couple of X-rated lists, to tie in with my erotica writing. No promises. I may or may not lock it up under Premium Content. (winky eye emoji)

59 thoughts on “Want vs Don’t Want

  1. I find yes there are more don’t wants for me too. I look ridiculous with short hair, (I find long hair more feminine but mines thinning after cancer treatment), cannot take clutter, especially other people’s clutter 😝 & am not into writing prompts. Prefer writing to be organic. This post really made me think. I would like to not be affected by guilt trips and what other people might think but as old as I am I just can’t get there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My wants/do not wants list is in progress as I’m still in the throes of self-healing, but I know that I do want to live more a minimalist lifestyle (like you) on my own once my kids leave the nest. I want to be free from all of my past trauma so that I can live a peaceful and authentic life.
    I do not want to continue living in a climate where there’s snow since it degrades my mental health. I definitely don’t want to enter into another toxic relationship.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m not posting here my content for now as this site didn’t really work out for me as I expected. Maybe I’ll try at another point over it. However, I do really enjoy your posts and want to keep in touch so I’ll still pop my head through the virtual door here to read.

    I relate a lot to many of your wants and don’t wants and do think about both lists a lot. We seem quite similar. I also had to laugh at the guy post and his weird standards. She must have a good job yet still take on the traditional female role such as cooking???? Good luck to him with his list. I actually came up with a list of things that make my ideal recently but they weren’t petty like his or all required. Mine was more things like curiosity, kind, creative, playfulness and so on.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Hello mam… I am teenager and I love to interact with my parents and grandparents and they love it too 💕. So, What made you say that about teenager ?
    Me as an indian teenager truly need and respect my elders … 🙏🙏

    Liked by 3 people

  5. How does this vibe with that old hacky idea of “you get what you focus on”? (I think, maybe, from “The Secret”? I started that once — but then I had to puke, so I stopped)

    I wonder how many things are either “wanted” and/or “not wanted” (is it even possible to want + not want the same thing at the same time?) Gut feeling says it’s infinite. This is also why I prefer qualitative research to merely quantitative research (note: counting things only actually makes sense if you can say accurately + precisely what it is that counts — this is why most of “big data” is a complete wash)

    Have I said anything meaningful yet?

    Whatever, IDK.

    🙂 Norbert

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Pondering these questions is part of it, certainly. I kept my list relatively superficial, because the point is not to share all of my darkest whims with the internet but to get people to participate in this conversation for the purpose of widening our own perspectives. Like you just did. 😉

      My list changes and evolves at times, as I age.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Totally with you on “nurture relationships with people who don’t reciprocate.” If nothing else the pandemic has reminded me about how insincere some people are. As for what I want going forward, simplicity in all things– and some good mixed drinks.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I like the idea of identifying wants and don’t wants. I do a vision board for the wants, so I can be reminded and track those things into my life. For the don’t wants, I agree that a lot of it is about boundaries. So I need to want to establish better boundaries in order to avoid my don’t wants. For example, for me a huge don’t want is toxic people. I have a boundary for that and remind myself of it. Great post – definitely one to ponder.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Reblogged this on Notes and commented:

    When she called a man an idiot for wanting 36 things in his ideal woman, I could easily see her building an equally (if not longer) list of things she does not want. Does that make her equally or less idiot?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. My list for an ideal partner is much shorter and doesn’t include things like “what I say goes, I know best” and “must have abs/decent boobs/no bad tatoos” or “I have to check her phone once a week” or “I must be present when she hangs out with her girlfriends” and similar ridiculous demands.

      Did you call me an idiot on my own blog?

      You can read, and comment, all you want, but if you insult me or other people who comment here, I will block you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What sounds ridiculous to you could very well be very important for the opposite sex. Your interest in learning about men intrigued me hence I left a sarcastic (in a funny way) comment.


  9. I have never ever seen you with shorter hair than shoulder length.

    When did you decide or discover short looks ridiculous? I always wondered why you wear it long.

    Especially since your mom and sister I have only know with short… you are your own person and long does look good on you, but the others in your family are all short haired and that also looks good on them.

    Would think you’d look good with short!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I’m with Wynne… Don’t Want is about boundaries. I’ve made amazing progress, but there’s always more work to do.

    I think EVERYONE and their cousin’s partner’s dog knows what I Want and I have a plan in place. Unfortunately the plan is for approximately 2030, but it might be sooner.

    That dude with the list sounds good like one of my ex’s brothers. He did NOT like me or my tendency to call him out on his BS attitudes. He has two daughters fer cryin out loud!

    Look! I didn’t use emojis either… shocking!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That list is ridiculous. What an asshole. Sorry to hear you had such relatives…

      Yes. The boundaries topic is a loaded one but fits here, too, like Wynne said.

      You are, by the way, a hero for continuing on the parenting path all these years! My hat’s off to you. 🥰


    1. I think that’s a great idea. I wish I had made such a list before, and againg after the babies were born, and then at every milestone (begin kindergarten, begin highschool…). I might have had less trouble and chaos and may have communicated better with the people who were confused about my unhappiness.

      Perhaps you can share when you’re ready?

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I see wants and don’t wants as mirror images of each other (I want privacy, I don’t want people up in my face all the time). Like you, over the years I’ve developed a clearer sense of what I want and don’t want, and I usually think of them as wants b/c I try to frame things positively. I’ve also become much more comfortable asking for what I want and walking away from what doesn’t work for me. At least age brings a few benefits.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Interesting post. I did a short list of don’t-wants, but it wasn’t super personal…

    I think I would have done much better in the dating arena back when if I’d focused more on negatives. I was so focused on finding my “wants” that I ignored many red flags. I’d get excited by a brainy guy with a great sense of humor, forgetting to notice how unkind he was… 🙁

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The dating world has a whole stand-alone chapter to explore by those who want to. I get it. I was just so caught off guard when I saw the ‘no drama’ comment repeatedly by numerous men – who are these guys to demand that? And, if the women who are drama queens were interested in these dudes (and we all know there are plenty of women drama queens out there), would she label herself a drama queen? Likely not.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I actually relate to this a lot. What do we want now that we are later in life. We have all the needs covered. It’s also a unique idea you brought up. What don’t you want? I’m never asked myself this question.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. Since I’ve been on my own I think I focused much more on wants and achieving the ones that were realistic. My don’t wants really don’t seem to change much, I’ve carried the few core ones with me for some time, although I’ve never actually made a list of either side. That seems like an interesting exercise. Thanks for the idea!

    Liked by 3 people

  15. What an interesting post and delightfully fun read. It seems like the don’t want list could almost be simplified into a single categories of “boundaries.” And maybe that’s what, generally speaking, we GenX women in our 50’s are finally learning?

    As always, wishing you the best with your wants and don’t wants, Claudette!! (heart emoji)

    Liked by 6 people

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