When You Fall In Love With Someone's Potential


Stefanie Marshall

"I have a history of making decisions very quickly about men. I have always fallen in love fast and without measuring risks. I have a tendency not only to see the best in everyone, but to assume that everyone is emotionally capable of reaching his highest potential. I have fallen in love more times than I care to count with the highest potential of a man, rather than the man himself. And then I have hung on to the relationship for a long time (sometimes far too long) waiting for the man to ascend to his own greatness. Many times in romance I have been the victim of my own optimism." - Elizabeth Gilbert

As much as it pains me to admit, this is the truth of my life.  Hopefully, just for now.  Hopefully, not for much longer.  It holds true with my romantic relationships and my friendships.  I tend to be overly forgiving of any and every thing.  If I love you, it’s forever.  There have been few, very few, times in life someone has done something to me that has caused me pause in this habit.

I’ve had three great loves of my life.  So far.  In all of them, I’ve lost myself completely.  I’m still waist deep in one of them.  All of these men have had the greatest potential to be…well, great.  Potential.  I see potential in men like I see a nice smile or good jeans.  All of the men I’ve loved in my life have had the potential to be amazing.  Athletes, musicians, artists, what have you.  They had the potential to be “the one”.  If only they were ready.  If only they weren’t so focused on their career.  If only they weren’t so afraid of my love.

I will make excuses for you until I am out of breath and my heart is about to stop beating if I love you.  I will blame myself and find every reason that your excuses are valid.  I will let you love me only when it is convenient…because I know one day you have the potential to love me as much as I love you.

I’m stuck.  I’m wading through what feels like mud and tar that hasn’t quite dried yet.  And sometimes I make progress, but sometimes I sink deeper.  I’m surrounded by this love.  This love.  Since when is love brown and gooey and completely debilitating?

I can love you.  Forever.  I can hold you in my heart and send you light.  I can keep you tucked into the crevices of my soul because I will always love you.  But I have to let go of you and what you have the potential to be.  Of what we have the potential to be.  I can not force this love on you.  I can not make you see what I see.

I can only let you go.

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