As a marketer for the last 15 years, I naturally look at people and see their potential. How can I step up their image? What will the brand look like in 3-5 years? I do it well and get paid the big bucks for my ability to observe and make more out of a client’s potential.
After doing that for so long, it’s hard to let go of this ability when meeting someone new in my personal life. I listen to their dreams, assess their talent and come up with a plan (that most of the time I don’t share right away) for them to achieve said dreams and goals.
This is one of my best and worst qualities. I believe I can fix anyone and anything, even when they are not looking to be fixed/upgraded/be better.
It’s really easy to like a person’s potential. Most of us can speak passionately about what we want out of life, but is the person your dating taking the necessary steps to create that life? Are they accountable to themselves? Do they keep their word?
If they are, then that dream/goal is real for them.
If they are not, then that’s just potential.
If you say to yourself, “If he only did x, y, and z he’d be great”, but x,y and z are not attempted, then you are dating potential.
If they don’t actively create that life, are you willing to accept them just the way they are and just they way they are not right now and always?
It’s one of the hardest distinctions you’ll have to make in your relationship, but choosing someone for their reality instead of their potential will keep you satisfied with your partner no matter what they do or don’t accomplish.