13 Signs You’re Falling For Who They Could Be, Not Who They Are

It’s great to be able to see potential in people, but if you’re falling for someone strictly based on what they could be rather than what they are right now, there’s a serious problem. Here are some signs you’re guilty of this behavior.

  1. You brag about them a lot. Bragging about your partner isn’t that big of a deal in general. The problem here is that you’re bragging about things they’re not even doing. You brag about the job they plan to apply for in a few years, the salary they’ll eventually make, and the loan they plan on using to buy a house. While it’s great you’re dating someone who’s not afraid of the future, it doesn’t sound like they’re doing anything in the present that’s really impressing you. That’s a problem!
  2. You fell in love way too fast. Maybe you’re a romantic, or maybe you just built them up in your head so much so you convinced yourself it was love at first sight. They gave you the facts of who they were and you took them and ran. Sound familiar? When they said they wanted children, you took that to mean they wanted to be married in three years, have kids two years later, and travel the world a year after that.
  3. You’re subtly trying to change them. You see potential in them, which is great, but it could be clouding you from seeing who they are right now. Are you constantly trying to change your partner? Do you try to alter the way they dress, the way they laugh, and the way they do something as simple as telling you stories about their life? You’re not interested in who this person is, you’re just hanging around because you think you could mold them into your ideal.
  4. They don’t even know what they want for their own lives. Are their dreams constantly changing? One day they want to open their own workout studio and the next they want to move to Italy to open an Italian restaurant. Hmmm. It’s easy to get behind someone when they seem serious about their future goals, but if they’re a “dreamer” with little skills to back up their dreams, it’s crucial you don’t fall for that. They don’t know who they are, so how could you possibly know what they might become?
  5. You complain about their accomplishments. They got a raise at work and they’re freakin’ thrilled. You, on the other hand, don’t understand why they’re even at that dumb software company. Uh oh! That’s not a good sign. It’s one thing to want the best for the person you’re dating, it’s another to just want them to do what you deem satisfactory. If you have an issue with the accomplishments they’re actually proud of, you most likely have an issue with them.
  6. They constantly surprise you. And not in a good way! You seem to always be shocked by how they respond to certain situations—and more importantly, how different their responses are to yours. You don’t really know them and that’s not because the relationship is new, it’s because you’re not really paying attention to who they are.
  7. Your standards are all over the place. We all have some standards we might not be proud of, but that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily bad. Standards can help you find a person who’s compatible for you but it can also draw you to people who aren’t really going to make you happy. This person might cross things off your checklist relating to career and family values, but do they make you laugh?
  8. They haven’t achieved anything. Has the person you’ve been dating really accomplished anything in the last 20 or 30 years? No? Well, there you go! Sure, they might have big plans, but if they haven’t taken any concrete steps to make those plans a reality, they’re all talk and no action. Don’t fall in love with the person they aspire to be, especially when those aspirations aren’t realistic.
  9. Conversations tend to seem forced. Your conversations don’t flow naturally. Unlike other couples, you can’t easily talk to each other for hours on end—at least not without several awkward moments of silence. It’s not that you both don’t like talking, it’s just not easy.  Conversations feel forced and that’s because you’re trying too hard to make it work.
  10. You’re always encouraging them. Encouraging your partner is great, but what exactly are you encouraging your partner to be: what they want or what you want for them? If you’re always telling them to be better, do better, act better, you’re not providing encouragement—you’re low-key berating them for being who they are.
  11. You’re rushing the relationship. It’s only been a month and you’re already having the, “We’re going to get married, right?” conversation. You might just be a romantic, but you also might just be in a rush to plan a future with them because that’s your focus—a future with the person you think they’ll be in 5-10 years.
  12. You rarely talk about the deep and meaningful stuff. Your conversations don’t get super deep, and it’s not because you’re both small-minded—it’s because you know deep down that you’re not going to agree on any complex subjects. Instead of facing that fact you two aren’t compatible, you avoid it because you don’t want reality to ruin the future plans you have for the two of you.
  13. You don’t want to be the single friend anymore. One of the most common reasons people fall for the wrong person is because they don’t want to be single anymore. You might just be sick and tired of always being the single friend at parties and weddings, but don’t let that feeling make you settle or push you towards liking someone who only has one thing: potential.
Jordan White is a writer based in Scottsdale, Arizona with more than 8 years of experience. She graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Rhetoric and Creative Writing in 2015 and while there, she wrote for The Daily Wildcat. She has since written for sites including FanBread, and, of course, Bolde. You can find about more her on Facebook. She has a passion for giving her audience something to laugh about and despises the heat more than anything.