Let’s Stop Falling In Love With Potential

stop falling in love with potential
Photo by Aral Tasher

You meet a guy and he ticks every single box on your list of requirements.

He’s smart, witty, has a great job and those forearms; gosh, those forearms!

He’s into you too. You’ve seen each other a few times now and you start taking notice on how carefully he plans each of your dates. He never lets you pay; in fact gets offended when you insist—a rarity today. He holds your hand when you’re walking in dark alleys and kisses your forehead when you’re cuddling on the couch. He looks into your eyes and tells you that you’re beautiful.

You keep telling yourself that he’s the one. Heck, you tell your friends too. Things are going fabulously.

But then the unexpected occurs.

He starts taking a little longer to text back. Work has been intense is the excuse that he gives you. People get busy, so you accept the excuse. Suddenly, you’re not seeing him as much. His family is in town and he’s playing tour guide, but he says he’ll make up for lost time. You’re not going to give him hell for seeing his family, because that wouldn’t be fair. He’s been busy the past few weekends, but can “squeeze you in on Tuesday,” if that’s cool with you.

You start feeling uneasy about all of this, so you consult your friends, God, a psychic and they all come to the same conclusion. Oops, you’ve done it again.

You’ve fallen in love with potential.

Listen, it happens. Don’t beat yourself up about it. You’re not stupid for falling for this guy. Your heart was open and ready to love and that’s a beautiful thing. The trouble is that falling in love with potential usually ends up in a very achy heart.

You’re going to meet the right guy; the guy who fits the description of your perfect man. But you’ll need to keep yourself grounded by taming that beautiful heart of yours and not letting it get ahead of itself.

Let’s all stop falling in love with potential.

This is how you do it.

1. Don’t imagine your future… yet.

We do this. We meet a great guy and our mind goes straight to our fairytale wedding and how many kids we’ll have. You’re mapping out spending Thanksgiving at your parents’ house and Christmas at his parents’ beach house in Aruba. You’re imagining what Sunday mornings as newlyweds would look like.

You get ahead of yourself thinking about the future, that you forget about what’s happening right now.

It’s normal to fantasize a little, but do yourself a favor and practice thinking about the now. Think about what a nice time you’re having getting to know him. Be open to receive what you’re getting from him now and expect nothing more. The future of the relationship is in the future, and it takes a little while to get there.

2. Remember that he’s human.

You’ve idealized him. You’ve put him on a pedestal and worshipped him before he’s even had a chance to answer any of your prayers. Girl, he’s human.

Don’t hold him to a standard of perfection that no one can meet. Every single guy that you meet and date is bound to fail. We’re human and failing is our nature. You’re going to fail too. Perfect isn’t real, so no matter how great he is, know that he’s going to mess up eventually.

3. Don’t forget that time is your ally.

Time is on your side. It allows you to get deeper into a relationship to see if the person is worth it, but also signals to you if they aren’t.

There’s no need to rush. The clock isn’t ticking as quickly as you think it is and there isn’t a due date for when you should be falling in love. These things just happen. Let time take its course.

4. Limit yourself to no one.

The dating game is exactly that—a game. Play it.

Meet new people and give no one any loyalty until a conversation to take it to the next level has been had. Meeting new people gives you options and stops you from pining over one person. Let your motto be, “I won’t pine unless he’s mine.”

5. Have fun!

Dating is supposed to be fun. Take it for what it is; a time to get to know this new person. Relish in how fun it is date. Don’t apply any seriousness to it until you’re absolutely sure that he’s the one and the feeling is mutual.

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