Have you ever bought a house that needed a lot of work? And you didn’t care because you saw the POTENTIAL of the house? And you couldn’t wait to get your hands dirty so you could create the home of your dreams?
This kind of commitment based on potential is called a creative project.
Committing to a partner based on potential is called delusional.
If you want to be happy in your relationships you need to take a person at face-value. It’s okay to desire someone who wants to evolve and grow and be the best versions of themselves. (And I encourage that we all strive to do so, otherwise we’re pretty much dead inside).
So many of us, especially women, look at the potential of our partner instead of our partner themselves. We LOVE to fantasize about the future instead of looking at what’s in the present.
Consider this question: Would you be happy in the relationship if the person didn’t live up to this potential?
If you answered yes then the relationship goes beyond fantasy. Good.
How many times have you said to yourself, The relationship has so much potential, now if only he…..
- wanted a serious relationship. You may think this sounds absurd, but this happens ALL too often. We want our partners to see the light and we believe we can change their minds. It’s not going to happen. And we certainly don’t want to force someone into being with us. Control freaks are not sexy. Would you be happy in the relationship if he doesn’t want a serious relationship?
- wouldn’t let his mother walk all over me. This is a very slippery slope. Even if his mom is emotionally unstable and doesn’t believe you’re good enough for her son, it’s still his mother. And you have to assume he won’t ever step up to her. Would you be happy in the relationship if he continues to let his mother walk all over you?
- wanted to have kids.
- didn’t smoke.
In relationships, you also need to ask yourself if this potential compromises any of your core values.
If starting a family is a core value for you, but not him, walk away. You won’t ever convince him and you shouldn’t have to. He has to want it for himself.
If one of your core values is health and your partner smokes, the relationship isn’t going to be a harmonious one. He has to want and value health for himself.
Note, we all have a set of 3-5 core values and we have them prioritized based on their level of importance. Your partner may not have them prioritized in the same order as you, but if the core value is shared, you’re good. So don’t go leaving your boo just yet.
For example, your partner’s primary core value right now may be career, but starting a family is still in the top 3 and it’s just a matter of time until they’ll be ready to take that step with you. The core value is shared, thus, the relationship has a stronger foundation.
IMPORTANT: Potential is contingent on change and you can’t change anybody’s core values.
We often make the mistake by projecting our values onto someone else, hoping one day they’ll come around. How long do you plan on waiting? Life’s short sweet darlin.’
Plus that’s not fair to either of you.
So what about the non-core value stuff?
Let’s say, he would have so much potential if only he were more tidy. Trivial, but a value relevant to many.
When we choose our partners well, they, on their own terms, want to make small changes for us. Because they respect and care for us. Not because you demand them to. Don’t be a control freak.
We have to choose our battles wisely and let the trivial stuff go.
Nobody’s perfect. But the person you’re with or want to be with needs to be more than potential if you want a happy relationship. They need to be somebody who shares your same core values in the now. Bring it back to simplicity.
Who are they today?