Should You Date Potential?

It’s been suggested that a lot of women seeking relationships have difficulty finding them because they fail to appreciate or recognize a man’s potential. At least one actor-turned-author (whose name I’m not going to mention, since I quote him waaay too much), points to Michelle Obama as an example of a woman who noticed a man’s potential, despite his not having fully reached it just yet when they met. Now, she’s the First Lady.

I don’t disagree with taking a person’s potential into account, especially if you’re expecting to be involved with him for years to come. However, I think it’s important to be clear about what exactly potential is. I submit that it’s not just about what people are able to do, but it’s also about what they want and are willing to do. In short, character is the deciding factor when determining someone’s real potential; people who aren’t willing to put in the effort to realize it, don’t really have any at all, despite their God-given talents and skills.

However, motivation and drive to achieve don’t always result in success. So, when it comes to dating, it’s important to be satisfied with who and what the person is, not just who you hope he will become.

Sure, Florida Evans would have loved for James to become foreman one day and move the family out of the ghetto, but she was content with him in that two bedroom apartment with a view of Willona. Like Florida, I don’t think Michelle Obama was complaining when her husband was merely a successful U.S. senator. If he’d never become president, I’m pretty sure she’d still be happily standing by his side.

So, maybe that’s the test when deciding whether to date a guy who hasn’t yet achieved his goals, but who has potential. Are you happy standing by his side now in the present? If not, then there could potentially be some problems down the line.


12 Responses to “Should You Date Potential?”

  1. June 3, 2010 at 7:59 am

    This was a very good read. I’m glad i happened upon it.

  2. June 3, 2010 at 8:30 am

    You are so right. We need to love our men for who they are now, not who they could be because that may never happen. I think women love to see and man with a drive or ambition to want more.
    Nice post.

    Peace, Love and Chocolate

  3. 3 King James
    June 4, 2010 at 8:58 am

    We really need to get your site some more readers.. your style and topics are refreshing and interesting.

    Tiffany is right… men with drive are highly sought after. Esp if that drive doesn’t mean ‘she’ can’t buy shoes every now and again NOW. 🙂

    Thanks for speaking to WHAT potential is… very important to know the logistics before operation. Good stuff

  4. 4 Nananee
    June 4, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Hi SIS,
    i could not agree more with you.. It is important being happy with a person for what he is right now!!! Making plans on someone else future in order to be happy will definitely lead to deception, complaints and bitterness.
    If you are not happy with the present person, you should either review your priorities or move on.

  5. June 4, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    This was great. I think oftentimes we get too caught up in the “potential” that we lose site of the reality of the situation. No one is perfect but eventually you need to recognize if this man is truly going somewhere or if he is simply living in the moment.

  6. 6 blackbarbiekj
    June 7, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    I am so sick of (the man you quote all the time. You didn’t mention his name so neither will I) giving advice….

    That’s like me giving surgery and I am not a doctor.

    How does a single man give advice on what sistahs are doing wrong in their dating life?

    How many women did he date and did not notice their potential?

    He is one to talk!


    SIDE NOTE: I think everyone has potential…its how you spin it. LOL! And how much “potential” are you willing to deal with, teach, train and or accept :0

  7. 7 T. M. Johnson
    June 8, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Another great post … great insights!

  8. June 8, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    I agree with BlackBarbie. Everybody has potential, put you have to work to achieveit. I have the drive to reach my goals and expect the same from someone I’m with.

  9. 9 Tina
    June 11, 2010 at 7:39 am

    My homegirls and I were just talking about this yesterday!! I agree with Toni who agrees with Blackbarbie…if he has to drive to accomplish his goals then I can’t always be the one striving to make things happen for him. He has to make moves his self and put forth a valid effort.

  10. 10 J-Mills
    July 2, 2010 at 7:43 am

    I’m currently reading the book by the man whose name you’re not mentioning and specifically the chapter about dating potential just yesterday. I love how you took the idea of dating potential a step further. Asking yourself if you can live with your mate if he never reaches his potential is one for the books….Thanks.

  11. 11 Katrice
    July 13, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    You should not consider someone with potential who does not have the basic “actuals.” What those non-negotiable items are is up to each of us but don’t settle for potential unless you are willing to live with potential unmanifested potential

  12. 12 nigeria
    August 13, 2010 at 1:01 am

    i like this blog. every topic has been very interesting. keep doing the good work, and expressing your opinions on relationships

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