When I think about being in a relationship, I reflect on the best times we can have together. Fighting 100% for that love that I have always wanted to have. When I fall in love, I want to have the kind of love that my grandparents had, trustworthy, and loyal. So for me, I give everyone the benefit of the doubt regardless of their past or what I may have heard about them. But sometimes even when I see your growth and efforts that may not be enough.

Many women love you past your faults. We look past all of your fuck ups and flaws to see your potential. Normally when this happens, we are 100% aware of what you have done and what you are capable of. So naturally we become your mothers, cheerleaders, PO, and most of all enablers. Not because of something that we inadvertently want to do but because in our minds we want you to be great and live up to your full potential, there is nothing wrong with that. Because sometimes we need those people fighting with and for us to reach those milestones that we set forth.

But what happens when the person that you are in love with doesn’t see their potential. When they’re just out here living and not trying to create a legacy for themselves. When the goals that you have set out for your relationships aren’t even on their radar, then what is it you love about that person? What is it about your relationship keeps that person around? Is it worth it? Is this relationship the perfect example of love for your kids? If not then now is the best time to leave.

We have to learn to accept when someone isn’t on our level or that we just aren’t compatible at that point. Love is about falling love with a person, not their potential. No matter how much we can see the growth in them, we can’t forget the growth that we’ve experienced ourselves. I see this to be an issue in women more than men. Mainly because men expect us to be wives and bosses when they meet us. The expectation is to not only act as a wife while only being a girlfriend or bae but, to operate this way in the midst of their (known and unknown) bachelor behavior.  I find that absurd. In most relationships, men hardly wait around to see the potential in his mate. But here we are trying to encourage, build up, pray for and put you thru school while we take a break. Once they feel you aren’t “ring worthy” they pull out and before you know it someone else is wearing that ring in no time. Whether men have it all together or not they expect women to be on their shit, and that just isn’t realistic. We all have a struggle period or a time where we are growing and experiencing growing pains. WE have to learn to stand by each other during those hard times and not run when things aren’t instantly ready for us.

So now it’s time to know when that potential just isn’t enough. Even though we want the best for our mate and we want to be their “ride or die” what do their efforts show? Are they leading the house and reciprocating the same energy that you are giving them? Whether we believe it or not that is the real definition of loving and growing with someone. It can’t be one-sided; it’s a team effort, and we both have to win that’s the goal. To accomplish this, you have to make a plan together and set some goals. Encourage and motivate each other. In the midst of trouble make prayer and God your guide. While also taking this time to celebrate your successes even if they aren’t the ultimate goal.

Now as I venture into dating mid 30’s, I’ve not only learned my worth, but that potential does not make the person. What makes that person shine is consistent growth, effort, and their faith. Don’t get caught falling in love with what they have the potential to be.