Falling in Love with Potential is a Mistake!

I told the moderator of a panel I was on: “falling in love with potential is a mistake.” The moderator looked at me like I was crazy. He gave me the side-eye and said: “I don’t agree at all, Michelle Obama married for potential and look at her now.”

My jaw dropped to the floor, what a ridiculously misinformed comment.

The truth of the matter is when 25 year-old Michelle Robinson met 27 year-old Barack Obama he had the following in his favor:

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  • Harvard Law graduate (a distinction they shared)
  • Former Editor and first African American President of the Harvard Law review (a much sought-after position)
  • Considered by many at Harvard Law and his new law firm to be a prodigy
  • Summer associate at a prestigious corporate law firm (where Michelle worked)
  • Shared values (discovered by Michelle’s time mentoring Barack at the firm)
  • Athletic and avid basketball player
  • Single and available…HELLO!

In other words, he had it going on. BIG TIME!!!

I won’t argue he didn’t also have a bright future ahead but no one can say he wasn’t compelling upon their first introduction.

This is my point, if the person who stands before you today isn’t compelling, don’t gamble your life on their potential to become compelling.

Don’t waste your time!

So often I see good-willed people focus much of their energy on attempting to “rescue” or “upgrade” their partner. They give unreciprocated time, love, money, energy, and advice. I’m sure you know someone doing this right now. If so, do them a favor and have a good Come-To-Jesus talk with them. The truth is they’re not in a relationship, they’re working on a science project. They haven’t fallen in love with the actual man/woman before them, they have actually fallen in love with the “ideal” of the man/woman of their dreams. This is dangerous because often times “ideal” is never realized.

Having a healthy relationship with your partner means loving them for who stands before you today, not the hope of who they will be tomorrow.

 

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About Paul C. Brunson
Mentor, Entrepreneur, & Television Host. My goal is to help you live your best life. I’m the world’s most influential matchmaker, founded and exited three businesses, host two television shows, spent nearly a decade working directly for a billionaire, and share my experiences by mentoring through Knowledge Share

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96 Comments on "Falling in Love with Potential is a Mistake!"

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Marian Toure
Guest

I have had discussions with friens on this issue and right off i was seen as someone for wanted it ‘ready made’. I am glad a man is siding with me on this.

Marie Glasheen
Guest

Thank you for this clever article. In my couple coaching practice i take a lot of time looking into emotional attachments to expectations that my partner needs to be different than who they are and what a pitfall this is for relationships.

Desiree M. Mondesir
Guest

EXCELLENT article!! I’m all for the “Michelle Obama effect,” but some people really do just use this as an excuse to act stupid. Red flags (in this case, JUST potential, no fruit) are still red flags and must be heeded at all times.

Edwina@FASHION+ART
Guest

You left out the fact that he was cutie.

Cj
Guest

I disagree as a wife of over a decade to a man that is far from the mindset that he had when I met him. Yet the underlying factors were their that I fell in love with and was willing to put in the work to help be the man that God called him to be. Consequently, so does he for me. We are “becoming” but far from where we use to be and these presents results could not have been realized if we did not take a chance on “potential.”

quinne
Guest
as much as he had already laid the foundation in some things it sill was very possible that he wouldnt have lived up to his potential. He could have easily been a “dream deferred” so while I do agree that it is necessary to have an idea of the end result you purchase the seeds not for what they are but what they will become. and thats exactly what Michelle did she saw the seed who the young Barack was and that allowed her to buy into the potential of the great fruit he COULD bear, because it still could… Read more »
Jeannette
Guest

Paul…YOU SAID IT SO WELL! Too many times I’ve heard people even use the Obama’s as a reason for Women accept a Guy (who is not doing much now) as the ‘potential’ he has for the future. As misinformed as that Guy’s comment was, I hope that you educated him on the situation lol.

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Sharon D.Meadows
Guest

Paul, well said! It took me 7 years of “project” work to realize that “potential” is wasted energy that may never manifest into anything other than just being “potential”. If it ain’t “good” already then don’t expect it to be “great” later.

twitter.com/terrillcharming
Guest
twitter.com/terrillcharming

You’re right. But if we dont take a chance on certain people we will never even know their full potential.

Alaia Williams
Guest

Great advice Paul!

Joyce Smith
Guest

This is great information, if only I had it before my last relationship. I had this idea of what our life would be like and he reinforced my ideas but in word alone. There was no fruit or

Troy Spry
Guest
I COMPLETELY agree with this article and I spend a lot of time trying to get this point across to the clients that I coach. What I find is that many times potential is a way to justify being with someone that we may have great chemistry with. Although we may have great chemistry with that person, it doesnt necessarily scream compatibility. We all have potential, but there is something to be said about the people who are already living in their potential as many times potential without action is just a dream. At a certain age we must accept… Read more »
SamuelFolkes
Guest

Obama met Michelle in 1989, a full 2 years before he got his JD from Harvard Law.

Debbie
Guest

I agree with not wasting tour time on someone with ‘potential’. I met many a men who had potential, not one caught my eye. But at 43 years old, I met a man who did not have potential, he has it all. He is 50, no kids and never married, and funny enough feels the same way. He wanted the right person. It was a long journey, but choosing the right person or the right time with someone with potential, was all worth it.

Shola Abidoye
Guest

Formal education is way over-rated. As Einstein once said “education is what you have when you have forgotten everything you learned in school”. *Written goals* and proof of a daily action plan (no matter how far a person is from where they intend to be, no matter the size of the daily step as long as it is consistent) – IMHO are firm indicators of success. An excellent book by Dr. Robert Maurer (Wash. U, and USC), “The Kaizen Way: One Small Step Can Change Your Life”.

Mr . T
Guest

why don’t you do 10-reasons-shes-not-the-woman-for-you

Meka Love
Guest

Ummm… gee thanks? And I really coulda used this one haha! Kidding…I would’ve likely looked around making brief eye contact with everyone nodding an assertive: “yes… you people take heed.”

Daniel Sey
Guest

This article is interesting in that it is two edged. It could give insight to a sadly deluded mind, but then it could spell OPEN SEASON to a ‘gold digger’…high power equipment and all.

Biiond Liza Ellen
Guest

You should post this on your video about shopping vs. investing. A lot of the ladies in the comment section were confused about what you meant by invest. This would clear it up. Great work as usual!

k9luver
Guest

Where were you 25 years ago when I got into a relationship with someone with awesome “potential?” After 16 years, I realized he decided to wash all of that awesome potential down a spiral of mental illness and substance abuse. It has been 7 years since I couldn’t hold on to the dream (which had become a nightmare) anymore. Now that I’m in my mid-50’s, I’m starting to be whole enough to be with someone who I can share life with–not prop up and hope that “someday” will come! I just pray it is not too late….

Cachae7
Guest
Despite what people call “Diamonds in the Ruff” this is Not potential. A lot of people talk a good game, talk about what they “want” and talk about what they “need” but aren’t willing to work for it. People with potential [Real] potential – don’t have time for you – They are investing time in their craft, trying to turn their potential into reality. They will eat, drink, sleep and Breathe their future! That’s how you separate those with potential with those who “got it going on” which coincidentally, doesn’t make for success. Got it going on doesn’t guarantee you’ll… Read more »
Tonette Bell
Guest

Amen!! well said, you dont have too do it! I have already done it for you!! Run fast!!! time is of essence and you can never get it back!!! so dodge the bullet and run fast!!!

Tonette Bell
Guest

I will like too say one more thing, most men i have met with potential always talked a good game. So ladies and gentleman please beware of the internet.!!!

Olivia Jane Mike
Guest
This is my testimony about the good work of a man who helped me..My name is Olivia Jane Mike, and I base in London.My life is back!!! After 8 years of marriage, my husband left me and left me with our three kids. I felt like my life was about to end,and was falling apart. Thanks to a spell caster called papa Justus who i met online. On one faithful day, as I was browsing through the internet, I was searching for a good spell caster that can solve my problems. I came across series of testimonies about this particular… Read more »
Rose Joie
Guest

Yes. See your point.

Nicole Coley Cole Mitchell
Guest
Nicole Coley Cole Mitchell

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Sabrina Govan
Guest

And so, I wait. Thanks Paul.

Tameka Bryant
Guest

Missy Owens

Chris Burns
Guest

Damn, you killed this one Paul!

Aisha Holloman
Guest

Amen!

Rayna Hicks Solomon
Guest

Looks like Obama

Yolanda Venable
Guest

Yes! I so agree!!!

Tabitha Dorsey Scott
Guest

Agree!!!

India Perea
Guest

Mmmmmmm not sure about that U0001f633

Valerie Bee
Guest

You said this once on Twitter and I’ve been waiting on an explanation for years. Lol Finally got it.

Leslie Wardman
Guest

Say that again!

Latoya Booker
Guest

So true

Reyes Jeanet
Guest

This has been my mistake many times, before realizing it, AFTER I met Mr. Compelling.
I’m truly IN LOVE right now

Kel Michelle
Guest

Kiana Lynn-Cooks

Jan Mills
Guest

Think I need to puke.

Isioma Orewa
Guest

QueenMobosinuola Asanpaola thoughts ?

Melanie Liesegang
Guest

It’s not the things he has ore the job ore the money for what i love my man!! And it is not always easy but if u love someone u will go with that person till taff moments change!! But if u see a person try to give there best but economy crisis and and and ……. not giving him a change than u need to be stronger and on the side from your partner!! I don’t choice my parter about his carrier ore money ore benefits !!! I love ore i not

La Nette
Guest

That is the TRUTH!!!

Michele Bates
Guest

I agree

Liz's Daughter
Guest

Potential in your 20’s is different than potentional in your 40’s. In your 40’s if you are still “talking” about what you are going to do and not doing it….you probably won’t.

Danielle Conn Rosenberg
Guest
Danielle Conn Rosenberg

Too late!

Shemiele Da'Briel
Guest

Wow! I agree 100%!

Trinae Leshaun Thompson
Guest
Trinae Leshaun Thompson

AWESOME LESSON LEARNED

Erica Lee
Guest

Got this lesson..don’t do it!

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