Falling in Love With Potential

We’ve all done it before. Some of us multiple times before. We meet a man that isn’t quite where or who we want him to be but we believe that with time, patience, love, and encouragement that he could become the man we’ve envisioned in our heads. 

Falling in love with potential is a dangerous game to play. I’m sure in certain circumstances it’s managed to work in the woman’s favor, but more often than not, it’s a definite ticket aboard the train of disappointment. And the further that train goes, the more unwarranted resentment builds. Unwarranted because he made no promises to you to change or become better. He didn’t fall in love with you and say, “whatever you need me to be or do or have I will do for you.” But we hold onto the idea that one day he will…

Women are very adaptable and much more willing to tweak and edit certain parts about themselves, especially for someone they love. Men are much less willing to do that. And they are always so CLEAR about the fact that they are who they are and that they won’t compromise that for anyone.

So why do we fall for that same idea time and time again? It’s one thing to support a man and be around for the struggle, knowing that one day he will be successful and be able to provide for a wife and/or family. It’s a whole other thing to get into a relationship knowing that the two of you have fundamental differences that you think will change once he realizes how much he loves you.

It doesn’t work that way and it’s time we start understanding that. If a man says he never wants to get married, BELIEVE HIM. If he says he doesn’t want kids, BELIEVE HIM. If he says he wants to travel the world and never set down roots anywhere, BELIEVE THAT TOO. You will never be able to love him enough to change his mind and you will break yourself in the process of trying. 

It’s the same idea behind the women who always choose men who need to be saved. The addicts, the abusers, the cheaters. No amount of care and love can get a leopard to change his spots. He may change for himself, but he won’t do it for you. And the sooner you realize that the sooner you can move on.

I used to make fun of women who would come charging into a potential relationship asking, “what are you looking for?” or “do you see yourself having a family” very early on but now I completely understand. Love is not enough to sustain even the most promising relationships if you aren’t on the same page about the future. Catch it as early as possible so you can save yourself time and energy.

Everyone walking this earth theoretically has “potential” to be something that they are not. But that doesn’t mean we should give every single person that chance. People applying for jobs are put under intense scrutiny to make sure they are qualified. They need to submit a resume, references, and are subjected to a thorough interview. I’m not saying we should treat dating that way, but we should be more discerning than we are. 

We’re not 19 anymore. (Well, maybe some of you reading this are, in which case the next couple of statements don’t apply to you.) We’re not dating just for fun or to fill up our time. We’re dating to find a compatible match. And when we find someone who is obviously incompatible with us it’s like we blackout, plug our ears, become amnesiac. We get blinded by attraction and all logic goes out the window. 

It’s time we stopped all of that nonsense. Lets be honest, women almost across the board seek security in any kind of relationship. If you aren’t getting that then what are you doing? Security is the minimum amount of foundation you need to build a relationship upon. So if he’s not ready to be a husband, father, or even a boyfriend then move right along. He needs a longer gestation period, he needs more time on his own, he’s not that into you, or he just wants to be an eternal bachelor for life. The reason doesn’t matter, you just need to know that you’re barking up the wrong tree. 

The key is to find a man who is exactly who you want him to be NOW. Not who he will be in 5 years, not who he will be once he stops fucking around and decides you are the one. Not the one who you hope will wake up one day and realize what he lost. Find yourself a man who suits your needs in the present moment. Otherwise you have just signed yourself up for years of struggle and disappointment. 

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Letting Go Of The Past and Future to Make Your Present Perfect

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“Why do(es) anxiety, stress, or negativity arise? Because you turned away from the present moment. And why did you do that? You thought something else was more important. One small error, one misperception, creates a world of suffering.” -Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle is a spiritual teacher best known for his book, “The Power of Now”, which teaches the importance of living in the present moment and not fixating on past or future ideas. It is a very simple, and yet extremely powerful and transformational way to live. If you are stuck in past ideas you can experience (among other things) anguish, longing, regret, and disappointment. If you concern yourself constantly with the future you can experience fear, stress, anxiety, or doubt. But if you stay in the present moment and see things as facts that are ever changing, you can experience such freedom and happiness. 

I haven’t read his book yet, and all I have to really go off of are quotes of his and interviews with Oprah on YouTube. But already I feel so much lighter and more positive with everything in my life. By staying in the here and now I feel so much more gratitude for what is and not anger or fear about what isn’t.

This applies to my creative life, and more importantly, my love life. I’m always trippin’ out about being single and focusing on that fact instead of just being free and happy to live my life today in whatever way that I want and allow love to come into my life when the timing and the person is right.

D.H. Lawrence said, “Those that go searching for love only make manifest their own lovelessness, and the loveless never find love, only the loving find love, and they never have to seek for it.” 

It’s so refreshing to think that I can relinquish the control I’m trying to have over my own love life and just let it go! All of my concern and anticipation of the moment of finally getting my fairytale love story is leading me to think that then and only then will I experience peace and happiness. Tolle says, “People believe themselves to be dependent on what happens for their happiness.” And let me tell you, that is EXHAUSTING. I don’t want to be marred by that anymore.

Yes, I am definitely ready and open for a relationship. But it doesn’t have to be forced and it doesn’t have to be wrapped up in my impatience. I’m letting my ego get the best of me when if I just focused on the present and had gratitude for what I DO have I would be so much happier.

And don’t get me wrong, I am happy in so many ways in my life. But I do feel like having a special someone would just be a nice little added bonus to my already awesome existence. Maybe the fact that I’ve been so focused on it has prevented it from manifesting itself in my life. Who knows, but from today forward I’m excited by the idea of letting go of all of my future hang ups about it.

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My most recent ex lover (whom I’ve talked about before, whom we will refer to from here on out as “Boyband”) and I had a discussion/argument/talk/heart to heart last week about our current situation. We have a very long history together that has evolved from a friendship to a crush to a hook up situation to love and then to destruction and back to ??? again. It’s mentally and emotionally draining and we can never seem to figure out if we should be together or not.

Anyway, every time we have one of these talks he ends up mentioning his ex girlfriend. Apparently she was like me in so many ways even down to the fact that we have the same Astrological sign, which he puts WAY too much importance on. This girlfriend basically sucked the life and happiness out of him and they ended up hating each other. I can feel the bad energy from him every single time I do something that reminds him of her and it makes me self-conscious. 

He has to understand that we are different people and it’s not fair for him to constantly compare me to her, but he also needs to make peace with his past and stay in the present moment or else we have ZERO chance of success in OUR relationship.

It took me a really long time to realize that this was the main problem between us. During our talk last week he mentioned her and I said:

“Do you realize that I’ve NEVER spoken about my ex boyfriend to you? And yet I have to hear about your ex ALLLLL the time.”

And Boyband said:

“That’s because you didn’t learn anything from that relationship.”

I responded with:

“Yes I did. I learned that all men cheat.” (Which is a pretty true statement, but that’s a subject for a whole other blog post.)

After thinking about that exchange so many times I realized that the correct response from me should have been, “No, it’s because I’m not living in the past.” He has to reconcile in himself whatever happened with her or else there is no way in hell that he and I can move forward. I’m still not convinced that he and I can have a successful relationship anyway but our chances are at 0% if we can’t even get to the point of ENTERING the relationship. All I see in his eyes and in his words is this fear of repeating the past. I can’t compete with his ideas about the past and I can’t soothe his fears about the future. Either he will live in the present moment and take it for it is or we will never be together. 

It’s not all his fault though, of course. I’ve wondered before if my PRESSURE on him to make our union exclusive and committed hasn’t ruined it already. I was so eager to seal the deal to placate my insecurity that I came off looking a little desperate and controlling.  

He needs to let go of the past and I need to calm down about the future and maybe we can make our present perfect. 

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A lot of people struggle to deal with demons from their past, especially men in my opinion. When women are done with a relationship they usually have an easier time making room for someone else. But it takes men SO much time and effort to open their hearts to someone and express their feelings, especially after multiple breakups, that I wonder sometimes if they will always be damaged forever by that ONE or FIRST heartbreaker. 

Maybe our parents were the smart ones who married their first love right out of college. They don’t even KNOW love pain.

With every failed relationship our hearts feel chipped away at more and more. But it doesn’t HAVE to leave scars forever. Don’t make your current boyfriend or girlfriend pay for your past. With every new partner it’s a clean slate. A new experience. A chance to be your best self at the present moment. 

It’s about changing your mentality and the framing of your life and the lens at which you see things through and it isn’t going to happen overnight. But as my acting teacher always says, “if it doesn’t serve you, then don’t allow it to consume you”. Easier said then done, but knowing the freedom that present moment living brings is enough to get me to forever work on it. 

xx

Lover Lo