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Desires: On Social Contact, Acceptance, Romance & Family

From the sandbox to the delivery room, there are four desires that pivot us through life’s shape-shifting moments.

This is the fourth in a four-part series on our 16 human desires. Together they comprise desires thinking, a methodology for creating more meaningful, successful brands. Read part 1 here, part 2 here and part 3 here.

It’s interesting to consider the settling-down phenomenon. As someone with a long-exercised independent streak, I presumed my life wouldn’t follow the same construct as those around me.

But boy meets lots of girls, finds right girl, feels the pangs of the heart and, with time and a bit of experience, sees the value in commitment and partnership. It isn’t for everyone, but it is fascinating to see how often people make the jump—from solo to someone’s, single guy to family man.

The progression is a portrait of these four desires, starting with social contact: our want for companionship and play. The fear driving this is isolation—and it lingers for a lifetime. Social contact links with acceptance, our desire for approval and our utter fear of rejection. In our older age—thirteen, to be exact—these themes take on new nuance, introducing our desires for romance and eventually, family.

It boils down to sex and lust, sure, but these are also constructs of love, nurturing and endurance. We want to fall in love because we need a teammate for the good and the bad. And we want family because we need to grow and nurture something. In the world of brands, that something is oftentimes a child, but it can also be a houseplant, a pet or your circle of friends—the family you choose.

To learn more about LPK’s 16 hardwired desires, head to lpk.com/desires.


Nathan Hendricks believes there is no excuse for a lousy brand. As chief creative officer at LPK, he challenges the organization’s creative teams to uphold the vision that every brand should make a powerful and positive difference for the people it serves. A candid cultural commentator, he’s never afraid to tell it like it is. Drop him a line or invite him out for a round—beer, not golf—at nathan.hendricks@lpk.com.

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