I want to take a second to tackle something about which I view myself as a subject matter expert: dating based on potential.
Recently (in the last year), I’ve realized what an error this is, but it’s incredibly easy to do. It’s nice to give someone the benefit of the doubt, and when you say that you won’t give someone a chance to come through, it can feel a bit heartless.
Say you meet a guy or gal and he/she definitely fits many of your perfect partner criteria. There are, however, a few outstanding criteria in which they are lacking. It’s not they don’t have the criteria; it’s more that it isn’t fully developed.
In my world this is often in regards to Mr. Potentially Right’s ambition. He smart and capable, but he’s just not executing… right now. But he could, right?
I don’t see this in the same way I do as trying to change someone. I’ve been guilty of attempting that before too, but trying to change someone can be likened to your partner having the wrong pieces of the puzzle and you’re trying to switch them out. Dating based on potential is where you see that someone has the right pieces of the puzzle, but they just aren’t bothering to put them together… yet.
The bottom line here is that you’re gambling and you don’t know the odds. You know what’s at stake – a lifetime of bliss or a total and complete waste of your time. Most people out there will look at the former outcome and stick things out with their partner to see if he can realize his potential.
What I’ve come to see is that the odds are seldom in your favour, and chances are that you’re going to end up dealing with the latter of those two outcomes.
It took me a while to put my finger on it, because I knew I wasn’t going into these relationships trying to turn an apple into an orange. I was more hoping that the apple would ripen.
Either way, I was dealing in attributes and qualities that didn’t exist. Certainly the potential was there, but I was often the only one wanting to see my wayward boyfriend blossom.
Ergo, I’ve decided that I’m dealing with what is real and not throwing the dice on Mr. Potentially Right. If you don’t have it today, I’m not going to be the one sitting here gambling my time away.