"Potential is an unrealized possibility that may or may not ever be realized".
-Derek Q. Sanders
Many very well-intentioned and loving women sometimes choose to involve themselves with men who are not the men that they want 'as is'. Why would any woman choose to enter a relationship with a man who is not yet the man she wants you might ask.
The most recognized reason given is stated in this phrase you have heard or maybe said yourself at one time or another. "He has potential". At some point in the future, a woman is convinced her guy will become the man she wants and needs him to be.
Until then, she will wait patiently.
Something inside compels her to wait on his change to come. In fact, she believes her love and loyalty will help to facilitate his transformation. There are several concerns here. Each places a woman's emotional well-being in jeopardy pending a future outcome that may never be more than a utopian fantasy unfulfilled.
An insecure woman will often find herself in this type of relationship where she seeks to 'save a man' from himself by attempting to draw out or wait out his potential over time. His 'salvation', by her efforts, validates her worthiness of his love. Often the very means she employs to save him work against her.
When a woman gives a man full access to her body as well as her possessions to show her commitment to him and his cause, she may soon find herself supporting a man who is satisfied with the status quo. He has no need to become the man she envisions when the man he is has gained all that her world has to offer him.
There's a fundamental principle that may have somehow gotten 'lost in translation' over the years. It is not any woman's responsibility to bear the burden of provoking a man to reach his potential. That's the role of a mother to a son (along with the father). A man's passion and purpose must be self-directed.
Moreover, when a man pursues a woman he should be prepared for the position he seeks in a woman's life. If he is not prepared for the role, preparation should be his priority not the pursuit of a woman. It's akin to a man apartment shopping before he has secured employment to pay the rent.
The leasing agent won't waste her time with paperwork until he proves his ability to pay the rent. His resume may show that he has 'potential', but it won't get him an apartment on the basis of future speculations. What should also be understood is that potential exists in a place of neutrality.
It favors neither good nor bad, better or worse. Potential is speculative. What is certain is that all people come one way and one way only, 'as is'. That's not to suggest that an inadequate man cannot excel beyond his present status sometime in the future. It is to advise that a woman choose a suitor who represents her interests as he is rather than place her fate in the hands of potential that may never come.
"A bird in the hand is better than two perched by a seed that has the potential to become a bush"
-Derek Q. Sanders