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The False Illusion of Potential in a Man or Woman

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How Potential Affects Our Perceptions

When we meet someone we really like, sometimes we get so caught up in our own thoughts and emotions that we lose sight of reality, and our perceptions become temporarily distorted. When this happens, sometimes we make the mistake of falling in love with someone’s potential.

This person may meet nearly all of your dating standards and matches most of the requirements on your never ending checklist of must-have qualities. This person may even look exactly how you envisioned your Dream Person to be, down to a tee. This person has come pretty damn close to everything you’ve been looking for in a potential boyfriend or girlfriend (husband or wife, for your marriage-minded folks) so close, in fact, that you start to actually fool yourself into thinking that this person could be “The One”.

But it’s just an illusion–all of this is just an illusion…created by your own mind to satisfy the ego’s need for the satisfaction of being right.

In psychology, Sigmund Freud identified three functions of the human mind – the id, the ego and the superego. The id is what describes our instinctive nature. Think of it as sort of like the right side of your brain which uses feelings and intuitions. The ego is what describes the realist within all of us and is responsible for negotiating with the id. Think of the ego as sort of like the left side of your brain which uses logic and analysis to process a data set. Then there is the superego, which is what describes the part of our mind that is aware of the inner struggle between the id and ego. The superego acts as a moral compass.

When we start to contemplate someone’s potential in a relationship, the inner workings of our minds become diluted with incessant thoughts as we find ourselves fighting against our own emotions with logic and reason, looking for some sort of justification to prove our ego right in its initial convictions however weak they may be. It’s for this reason that those of us who are prone to heartbreak so often make the mistake of falling in love with a man or woman’s potential; we fail to see all the red flags–we become the red flags.

NEVER fall in love with a man’s potential. The potential a man has does not a man make him. This is where some women drive themselves crazy because it’s not mere potential that makes the man, it’s what a man does with that potential that truly distinguishes him between a man and boy. The same goes for women too.

To avoid falling for potential, here are a few tips for distinguishing between a man and a boy versus a woman and a girl. When you think you found yourself a man or woman, make sure you haven't actually fallen for a boy or a girl.

The Difference Between a Man and Boy

Boys are students: Men are teachers
Boys are consumers: Men are producers
Boys play with toys: Men work with tools
Boys break things: Men make things
Boys ask questions: Men give answers
Boys are disruptive: Men bring order
Boys run in gangs: Men organize teams
Boys play house: Men build homes
Boys shack up: Men get married
Boys make babies: Men raise children
A boy won’t raise his own children: A man will raise his and somebody else’s
Boys invent excuses for failure: Men produce strategies for success
Boys look for somebody to take care of them: Men look for somebody to take care of
Boys are present-centered; Men are time-balanced, having knowledge of the past and understanding of the present and a vision for the future
Boys seek popularity: Men demand respect
Boys are up on the latest: Men are down with the GREATEST.

- Rev. Clarence L. James

The Difference Between a Woman and Girl

Girls are insecure; Women are confident.
Girls dress trashy; Women dress classy.
Girls are students; Women are teachers.
Girls are listeners; Women are preachers.
Girls makes babies; Women raise babies.
Girls have sex; Women make love.
Girls are weak; Women are strong.
Girls fight; Women walk away.
Girls argue; Women speak.
Girls give in; Women compromise.
Girls envy. Women appreciate.
Girls give up. Women strive.
Girls look. Women see.
Girls take. Women give.
Girls follow; Women influence.

- Christina E. Brown

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