TO: Men all over the planet
RE: The allure of potential
DATE: July 16, 2012
I came across that quote over the weekend, boys. And just like clockwork, the romantic in me shouted, “Yes, that’s it. That’s exactly what you want in a relationship, Melissa. In one short and sweet sentence, that’s what you want in another person. That’s who you want to fall in love with.”
But reader Elsa also left this comment recently, which struck me as so wise and true and, frankly, realistic: “You can’t fall in love with someone’s potential.”
Well, Elsa’s right about that too. Falling in love with someone’s potential is, well, just that. Falling in love with someone’s potential. You’re falling in love with the person, sure, but not the real person. Not who the other person truly is, anyway. Not the person they are inside. Because in your mind, someone’s potential could be anything; you could build up this person so much in your head that the potential soon eclipses everything else in sight.
And, falling for the potential sort of implies that you’re going to work your magic change the person into your own version of who you think they should be. I’m a bit weary of anyone wanting to change another person, and I know, boys, that you may have the best of intentions. But I don’t foresee us changing each other; I’d prefer to look at it more along the lines of being a positive influence on each other’s lives. That sounds much better, don’t you think?
All the while, though, I can’t help but wonder: Isn’t someone’s potential a pretty subjective thing? What’s labeled as potential to one person may be labeled as unattainable to another. So maybe falling in love with your supposed potential — and you falling in love with mine — isn’t the way to go here, boys. Something tells me that route will only lead to confusion, hurt feelings and broken hearts. I know neither of us wants that for each other, do we? So what exactly do we women want? If I personally don’t want to be wooed by your potential, what is it that will ultimately make me fall head-over-heels, can’t-live-without-you love? Well, check out Wednesday’s Love Lounge for the answer, boys… xoxo
[Photos via Le Love]