In contemporary historical theory, quite a few historians and philosophers of history say that they desire the past and want to get in contact with it. This desire is modeled on the classical notion of eros and the idea of a constitutive lack in being that the desirable object is believed to take away. This notion of desire informs theories by historians such as Gabrielle S. Spiegel, Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, F.R. Ankersmit, and Eelco Runia who thereby unreflectingly repeat a Platonic-idealistic framework that is at odds with what we commonly associate with a historical attitude. I also try to show that an alternative to this notion of desire for the past can be found in the theme of survival in Runia's philosophy of presence.