Stop Seeing Someone For Their Potential (See Them For Who They Really Are)

Whoever first said “love is blind” was really onto something. As soon as we feel that flutter in our stomach, logic leaves us. We start picturing a future with someone–a future image tinged pink at the edges with possibility. This is of course when we start forming a version of the person in our heads that fits all the things we want or need them to be. And unfortunately that version is often wildly different from who they really are.

That’s when these statements come in: “When we’re together, he’ll stop doing this.” “If I tell him how much it means to me, he’ll start doing that.” “If he only did this, everything would be perfect.” We create whole worlds in our heads where just a little nudge will let the objects of our affection realize what we need and fulfill those aches. But does that really happen?

Yes, people change. They grow and move with the flow of their lives. They become more open or they close up from trauma. They slowly gain confident or self assurance or they let a random comment tear away at their self worth. Some people pay attention to their partners and do what makes them happy. Others keep themselves first and have no intention of changing that. And of course, there’s the balance in between. We aren’t set in stone.

But will the person change for you? Maybe. (And that’s a BIG maybe.) Will they read your mind, know everything you want, and execute it exactly as you have planned in your head? That’s a resounding “no.” Have you ever heard this great quote usually attributed to Maya Angelou?

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.

Maya Angelou

Try as you might, someone won’t change just because you want them to. They have to want it, too. So rather than go into a relationship wishing for that magical future version of them–the one that makes them the perfect partner you always wanted–take Maya Angelou’s advice to heart. Assume that who they are right now is who they’ll always be.

So, do you like who they actually are? Forget about the magical version you made up in your mind. The one you who they’ll turn into. Think about how they treat you now. Their looks, their drive, their hopes, dreams, and goals. Is this version of them what you want? Because if not, it’s time to let go. If you’re only falling for their potential, and not for who they really are, do both of you a favor and peace out on this relationship. It’ll be tough, but so worth it in the end.