I’m Done Dating Guys For Their Potential — I Want A Guy Who’s Already Great

Even though I always know it’s a bad idea, I’ve often found myself dating guys who were more like projects than boyfriends. For some reason, part of me always believed that they might be suitable partners if they would only change a few things about themselves. Now, though, this is why I’ve learned to stop dating guys because of who they COULD be rather than who they already are:

  1. I always end up regretting it. How did I not see the signs? How could I have stayed so long? The red flags were there: bold and usually in my face, but I always ignored them because the guy was who I THOUGHT I wanted.  Staying with a man because of his potential is the nice girl’s way of saying “settling.” And when it’s over, I’m often more upset about the time I wasted rather than the man I’m no longer dating.
  2. I’m dating for all the wrong reasons. Every time I date just to date, I increase the odds of a failed relationship. Deep down in my heart, I always feel like I should just run and run fast. I used to stay with the wrong guys because my ego and heart were fighting for control. I went back and forth believing that either I was awesome enough to change him or thoughtful enough to stay even if he couldn’t bring much to the table. Now, I know that this way of thinking is naive at best and downright harmful at worst.
  3. I can’t justify the time and energy I’m wasting. I’m not saying that he has to be ready for marriage on the first date, but a girl has to know when it’s time to walk away. Waiting for change puts a lot of stress on an already strained relationship. I deserve to be confident about what we have in the present, not the future.
  4. I need to feel secure. I’m done hanging on by a thread. Chasing boys was thrilling in middle school, but I’m a grown woman who needs something more stable. Basic compatibility has to be established early on if this is going to go anywhere.
  5. I have to be the change I want to see in my love life. There’s no chance in hell that I’m going to find my spouse with the habit of choosing the wrong men.  Holding on to the wish that a guy may change just delays the lesson that I need to learn: I have to be pickier and more selfish when it comes to the guys I date.
  6. I gave up my own happiness. We’ve all sacrificed our own happiness to make someone else smile, but what about our own joy? In the past, I stayed too long, and the longer I stayed, the more my judgment became clouded. I sacrificed my own values, and I’m determined never to do that again.
  7. I need someone as awesome as I am. He’s out there searching for me too, but I don’t need to date a bunch of mediocre men to feel a step closer to him. I’m a strong-minded, opinionated, and brilliant woman who deserves a man who appreciates what I have to have offer. There are places I haven’t seen, people I haven’t met and things I haven’t accomplished, and I want someone who wants to achieve his dreams as much as I do.
  8. Grooming is for dogs. I’m not going to waste my time trying to “train” a guy to be the right one for me. At this point in our lives, he should already know how to compromise and treat a woman right.  If he’s not already at that level of maturity, I’m not going to spend my energy trying to get him there.
  9. I can wait as long as I need to. I love myself enough that I don’t feel the need to settle for a guy who isn’t great the way he is right now. I’m not going to date someone just because he might turn out to be worth my while down the road. If I can’t find someone who meets my expectations right now, I’ll be perfectly fine riding solo until the right man does come into the picture.
  10. Dating the right man is rewarding as hell. I’m not negotiating my newfound standards for anyone. By recognizing what I want, expressing it, and enforcing it, I’ll eventually find the right man. When he comes along, neither of us will feel like we have to change the other person to be happy. Even though we’ll be just fine the way we are, we’ll still inspire each other to be even better than we were when we first met. When you know that kind of love is out there, why would you ever settle for less?
Bolde has been a source of dating and relationship advice for single women around the world since 2014. We combine scientific data, experiential wisdom, and personal anecdotes to provide help and encouragement to those frustrated by the journey to find love. Follow us on Instagram @bolde_media or on Facebook @BoldeMedia