Should You Date Someone with Potential?

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Vitor Pinto on Unsplash

You didn’t date someone to change him. You dated him because you wanted him for the way he was. Flaws and fears and all. — Jean Oram

Regardless of the age one is at in life, humans are always striving for more and motivated to be better in some way. As a result, we’re able to gauge other people’s progress in life. When this ties in with our attraction to others, the thought of being with them is sometimes a no-brainer; sometimes it’s not.

Whether their business is in its infancy, they just got out of a long-term relationship, they have a habit they want to break, or they’ve just started to see life through a new perspective, you wonder if getting to know this person is going to be a waste of time or the best investment since Apple stock.

You can see this possibly working out, but will it?

Should you date someone with potential? The short answer is no, but it’s important you get why the answer is no and the intricacies behind why you should (or should not) date a particular person.

1. Wishful thinking

We like to see the best in others. We want to give people the benefit of the doubt. But giving someone the benefit of the doubt means that you saw a red flag that you are choosing to ignore. The red flag is still there and the behavior will show itself, make no mistake about it.

Maybe you’re thinking that you misread something so it only looks like a red flag. Even so, why wouldn’t that factor in your gauging of the person from the start? If the context is dubious, then you don’t really have any reliable information, do you?

So if you find yourself thinking, “Maybe this could happen despite [reason],” definitely don’t put all your eggs in that basket. It might give out and then you’ll be left with egg on your face.

2. You’re running from something

Life is hard and it’s even harder when it seems like you’re going through it alone. Having a romantic partner not only checks off a desire on your list but it simply feels good to be loved.

However, your desire for romance could run close to desperation. This means that you are more susceptible to choosing less than ideal options. It’s like when you’re hungry. You could wait longer for something substantial, or you could get a gas station hot dog.

The indigestion from the week-old hotdog is not unlike the nausea of someone that you thought had potential. The difference is that an antacid will solve one sickness and not the other. Yeah, maybe if the hotdog was cooked recently you’d feel okay and if this person got their personal stuff in order you wouldn’t be subjected to their inner turmoil. But it wasn’t, so leave it/them alone.

Furthermore, you have an inner turmoil too. Aside from wanting to be loved, there could be other issues that you think a love relationship could help to alleviate or you’d just feel so much better about life in general.

Yet the issues remain, and if they aren’t addressed, you’ll take out your problems on other people. Now it’s not a matter of if you should date people with potential; it’s are you worth dating?

3. You are also someone with potential but don’t know it

You might think you have it all figured out but everyone else knows that you still have some skeletons in your closet and some things you haven’t quite figured out.

This entry is a weird one because those who have this problem aren’t going to recognize that they have it. Nevertheless, it’s an important point because you might encounter someone who wants to date you but is grimly unaware of their shortcomings.

All I can say is run. Even as friends they can cause great destruction in your life. When their life implodes it is a mystery to only them.

4. They aren’t good enough as is.

Ultimately, if you are thinking that the person you’re interested in will one day be good enough to date, don’t bother wasting their time or yours.

You have to be enamored with who they are right now. You have to accept them without the hope that they will change. Let’s face it, what if they never change? You’ve just wasted a bunch of time on something that was always out of your control.

It’s hard enough for us to change ourselves. Do you really think you can change others? Besides, it’s their job to change and it won’t happen unless they make the decision to do so.

But most importantly, why not just be with someone that you don’t have to question if they’ll ever change to a better version? Just date the person that you have no desire to change!

In any relationship there will be conflict because people are different. There is no need to compound the difficulty by dating people you don’t like that much and then try to change them into something you’d prefer.

I’m sure you wouldn’t want someone doing that to you.

Written by

Former Edu. Psychologist | Current Writer | Constant Learner | “By your stumbling the world is perfected.”

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store