“He’s perfect except he can’t stop being a lady’s man.”
“I’m just waiting for her to grow up and be a woman about hers.”
“He just needs a little push. He needs me to be there for him. Then he will get his life together.”
“I know but…”
“She’s the sweetest person but…”
Blahzay blahzay. All I hear is blahzay blahzay.
I get it. You’re potential partner is great…BUT.
Here is the real ladies and gents and everyone in between: potential is all fine and dandy until you’ve spent months, years, decades, lifetimes waiting for your potential significant other to finally reach that potential you are so in love with.
Everybody can use a little love and affection. A little nurturing. A little patience. A little push. But how much is too much? How long is too long? How much of yourself will you invest in that dream of a man? In that fantasy of a woman? You have yourself together, right? Most of your T’s are crossed; just about all of your I’s are dotted and you are stuck waiting for something that may never come. And why should it come when that person has you lock, stock, and barrel right now?
Trust me, I am all for not being too hard on a person. I am all for not expecting a person to come to you straight out of a romance novel. To specify, this is primarily for those people in the “talking” stage. You know, you love them but there’s this one thing that has you trippin’ (where’s Amerie anyway?).
You’re in limbo. You’re just fighting and praying and hoping that he’ll stop selling drugs and go get a real job. You’re just doing rain dances and going on sabbaticals just to get her to communicate like a well adapted adult. You’re just holding on with a death grip to that ‘good side’ that only you can see despite your loved ones (whom you trust and who know you and your romantic aspirations) telling you time and again that Tracy isn’t going to stop spending your ends on beer and club nights with the crew.
You’re drained. You’re on the verge of giving up but Quan came to you with that one shiny tear, that really sincere speech about how you can do better. Two weeks later Quan has your car and your calls go straight to voicemail and all you need to do is run to Food Lion to get some milk to make your famous baked mac-n-cheese for the date night y’all discussed just a few days ago. But Quan is MIA with your car and once you get it back it will be a little parched because Quan conveniently forgot to borrow $10 from the homies to put a couple of gallons in the tank.
These issues may seem a bit petty, trivial even. They may seem like they are workable. And that may be the case for someone else. Remember though, you’re drained. You’re exhausted. You’re frustrated. You’re terrified or in denial. You’re sure that he or she will reach that potential you’ve made into a reality.
Do yourself a favor: let him or her find her own way. You deserve an adult at least. Not a perfect adult, they certainly do not exist. However, you do deserve someone who doesn’t exhaust you before you are even able to call them “yours”, before you can even worry about a breakup because you two are just “talking” but you’re sprung and clinging to that light at the end of the tunnel. You’re being selfish, essentially, and a little arrogant as well. I’ve been there. Assuming that my sheer force of will would somehow alter a person’s personality. Believing that my awesome presence would expedite the process of evolution. It’s okay. We all have our moments of poor decision making and hubris. We all appear selfless while we are being oh so selfish every so often. Quan, Tracy, they are just caught in the whirlwind of our own desires so that we can finally say we found that special someone. Instead of nagging and complaining and falling into bouts of depression and self-inflicted angst when your potential lover doesn’t rise to your expectations, ask yourself one question: What if the potential I see never comes to fruition?
If you can see yourself taking that next step, that ultimate display of your commitment to who they are in the “now” then maybe, just maybe, you should stay tuned for the next installment of REALationship Advice.
Rakeem ‘OneVoice’ Person
BA in Religious Studies
Minor in English