"I Don't Want to Wait" is a song written, performed and produced by Paula Cole. It was Cole's second single from her album This Fire and later served as the opening theme for the TV series Dawson's Creek. The single ranked #10 on the 1998 Billboard Hot 100 singles chart year-end summary. The single spent the most consecutive weeks in the top 50 without cracking the top 10, just missing out at #11. The single, with a 56 week-long run, is among the list of the 32 songs in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 to have had a chart run longer than 50 weeks.
VH1 ranked it as one of the 100 Greatest Songs of the '90s at #81.
The song has been referenced throughout popular culture. An episode of Family Guy, "Peterotica", involved a parody of Dawson's Creek titled Quahog Creek. The song was also used in a Bud Light TV commercial entitled Jukebox.
The music video for the song was directed by Mark Seliger and Fred Woodward. It was one of Cole's first videos, and was based on the concept of a woman who was immortal and had lovers in different time periods, all of whom died. The cut of the video was originally in chronological order, but for unknown reasons, a cut that was out of order was more frequently aired which led to the directors taking their name off the video.