“He has potential” is a statement we’ve either said or heard when dating someone. Strangely my cousin and I were chatting the other day about relationships and how we date people who have potential. During our conversation, we both came to the conclusion that dating someone who has goals to finish school, start a business, or working towards a job promotion is a person with potential. In those examples, what I refer to as potential is centered around that individual and the goals that they set for themselves. These goals should not stop when you’re in a relationship. What attracts us to people is their ambition and drive. It’s sexy to date someone who is goal orientated and seeking to achieve greatness in “their” life with or without a mate. Your mate’s mission to meet certain milestones in his life should continue even during a relationship.
Unfortunately, oftentimes once someone starts dating a person, those individual goals are suddenly put on hold. It’s like the relationship becomes the priority, and everything else is pushed to the side. Relationship experts will tell you, to have a healthy long-lasting relationship, each person has to have individual lives. Troubles in relationships start when one person puts the relationship before themselves and their goals.
Dating someone who has self-potential is a great thing because they motivate you to achieve your own goals and dreams. That’s when dating someone with potential is a good thing. On the other hand, when you date someone because of the potential you see in them, rather than the potential they have in themselves, and you have some intent to change them, things will really take a turn for the worse. When deciding to date someone and the first thing you say is, “he has the potential to be…” (a great dad, husband, or boyfriend), this is a clear sign you’re barking up the wrong tree and setting the relationship up for failure. In this example, you’re setting the potential for your mate.
In essence, you’re outwardly placing the potential on that person and when you do that, how is that person going to reach that potential if that’s not part of their mission in life. Conflict could arise if you’re trying to change your mate to meet your thought of their potential. If they don’t see the potential you’ve set for them, they’re not going to be motivated to meet that potential. And if they don’t meet that potential, you’re not going to be happy and your perception of them could change.
While dating someone you think has potential, it’s important to clarify where that perceived potential stems from and be aware of the “potential” outcome as you develop the relationship.