How To Stop Falling For His “Potential” And Get Real About Who He Is Now

Sometimes the intense feelings we develop when we first fall for someone can blind us to some of their behaviors or qualities that we eventually won’t be so fond of. The honeymoon phase is all sunshine and roses and it’s easy to want to ignore red flags, but when you fall in love with a guy’s potential rather than the reality of who he is now, you’re setting yourself up for heartbreak. Here’s how to make sure you’re staying real with yourself.

  1. Remember that elections speak louder than words. Take a minute to think about what he does versus what he says. Do his words and actions match up or is there always a bit of a disconnect between the two? Try and focus on the things he actually does rather than all the sweet nothings he whispers and false promises he makes.
  2. Forget about what he looks like on paper. He may tick all the boxes but if he doesn’t want the same things that you want, then you just have to accept him for who he is and what he’s offering at that moment in time. You’re better off alone than with someone who doesn’t see a future with you. Image also isn’t everything and just because you look good together, it doesn’t mean it will last.
  3. Stop ignoring red flags. If there are a lot of warning signs, don’t ignore them, as hard as that can be. These flags won’t just disappear because you pretend they don’t exist. In fact, they might even get worse as time goes on. People tend to be more lenient at the start of a relationship and let small things slide, but this can be dangerous and allow mistreatment and bad behavior to settle in early.
  4. Stop trying to change him. Ultimately, you need to want to be with and have a future with the person that he is. He might not change no matter how much you try and force it. If you keep thinking, “When X happens, it will be better,” then you’re falling for potential rather than reality. There’s no guarantee he’ll become that person and then you’ll have wasted so much time in the wrong relationship.
  5. Set boundaries and stick to them. Don’t keep letting him get away with things. If he doesn’t reply to messages, misses dates, or just generally isn’t communicating, why are you holding out for him? You’re not his mother nor his teacher – move on to someone who’s already on your level.
  6. Believe him when he says he’s not looking for a relationship. Don’t waste time holding onto the idea that he might change just because he ticks a lot of your boxes. A relationship takes two people wanting to make it work, and if he’s been clear from the outset that he doesn’t want anything serious, you probably can’t change that. It’s also unfair to try as he has been honest with you.
  7. Don’t celebrate basic communication. It’s literally the bare minimum. It shouldn’t be cause for celebration just because he replied to a text or agreed to a date. Don’t build up these moments as meaning more than they do, either. It may just be that he has nothing better to do, not that he’s planning on your future together. Remember that part of being in a relationship is about wanting to do more for the person, wanting to spend time with them, and wanting to make them smile. Basic communication is a part of that and everyone deserves that. You aren’t asking for the world.
  8. You shouldn’t need to force someone to be with you. You’re a catch! You don’t need to beg or change in any way to be more attractive to someone and if you do, he’s not the right person for you. If he can’t see that and doesn’t want to be with you for who you are then it’s his loss. There’s someone who does want to be with you and have a future with you right around the corner.
  9. Try and be honest with yourself. If your gut is giving you the feeling that he isn’t that sure, then he probably isn’t. Save yourself the heartache and get out before you get attached. Your intuition is a thing of magic and you owe it to yourself to trust your gut. Sometimes that feeling isn’t new relationship butterflies, it’s our gut telling us to bail now. Don’t confuse it.