The Power of Potential

Much like something driving like hope, or the promise of reward, the power of potential is something strong enough to propel us forward into even the most non-ideal of life scenarios. 

Like online dating.

You don’t ever necessarily know that it will work out, in fact, more times than not you’re well aware that it won’t work out at all, but that one, small, sneering shred of potential is enough to cause for you to throw on a push-up bra and ditch your co-workers at happy hour after only the second round.

And I’m sure that I’m not the only one living in this line of thinking, but I especially get carried away every time that I even see someone’s profile, or have a brief convo with them online at all! 

“Ah, he went to Brown- those will be some awesome alumni events to attend throughout the duration of our long and fruitful marriage”, I think to myself after we chat back and forth for a small number of days. 

“Mm, a health nut! We are going to have sooooo much fun going completely paleo together”, I imagine, merely messaging momentarily. 

And it’s not even just online dating that rouses this naivety in me- this happens with guys that I meet and date offline as well. 

There was one guy who I met at party and saw a number of times where I saw this same behavior. 

Constantly sticking around for the “what if” instead of taking a step back and truly reflecting on the “what is”. 

Because the power of potential is pretty propelling considering its intangibility; it feels real enough to taste, it’s bitter flavor only to be washed down with a justifying glass of wine each night, and feels tacit enough to touch, like you want to knock on it just to see if someone’s home.

But that’s the problem with potential, for as real is it may feel or exist as in the mind, in reality it’s just as contrived as any other thought we have the ability to conjure.. Think about its context more times than not.. People often say “he/she has so much potential”, meaning they have the ability or power to do something but haven’t yet done it and very well may never do it. 

Now place that in the context of dating.  “He has so much potential” I admittedly allow myself to get carried away with, alumni parties and paleo diets as examples.. But again, this potential stands for something that has the ability to happen, but hasn’t happened yet and very well may never happen. 

So why keep at it? Why continue to meet homies at dimly lit bars or get waxes for complete strangers?

Well because there’s potential of course. 

So if you don’t mind me, I’ll just be off looking for something more concrete to compel me because truly the “power” of this pathetic, sad, and wholly disappointing concept we know as potential, is actually probably the least God damn powerful thing I’ve had the displeasure of associating with yet. 


2 thoughts on “The Power of Potential

  1. Potential is risk and reward. You have to assess the risk. You go on dates and meet people on them because if you aren’t playing the game you’ve lost and remain being single. Is that a risk you’re willing to take? If that’s unacceptable to you, then you have to remain out there playing the horrible game.

    Everything should theoretically work out though… the law of large numbers usually shows that as the sample size goes to Infiniti the answer converges to 1. What that means is you’ll meet the person you’re hopefully destined to be with!

    Now all of that discounts the culture we live in. The culture where everyone wants to remain single and play the field and not settle down. How do you change that? I’m not sure, it just means you need to be careful with who you date as there are many players out there (and maybe you’re one as well). Until you’re 100% committed to not being that way you’re only setting yourself up for failure.

    Side note, I went to an ivy equivalent and it’s a huge turn off when you categorize men based on the so called potential of their institution and what that gets you… people like authentic individuals who will love them for them after all not on an imaginary path you’ve visualized. What if they don’t enjoy going to reunions? What if they went to Brown and are a starving artist and can’t afford to attend those events or aren’t the ballers at the events, is that acceptable to you? Does it matter? Can you look past that and love them for them?

    Things to ask yourself to hopefully help you find the right person in he long run. Anyways, good luck!


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