This is an excerpt from…Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl eBook talking about the issue of ‘Betting on Potential’ – one of the recurrent destructive behaviours that keep Fallback Girls rooted in dubious relationships…
“Potential is something that should be derived from the promise of actual actions that have already occurred, not the blinkered fairy tale in your head. Potential is about the potential of the relationship, NOT the potential of what the guy could be if only x, y, and z were to occur. Here is the difference:
You should see potential in a relationship that has the positive hallmarks of a relationship with direction. This normally occurs because both parties are getting to know each other, there is consistency, there is no ambiguity, there is communication of feelings, and both parties have both their feet in the relationship.
You shouldn’t see potential in what someone could be if only they reverted back to initial behaviour displayed when you first met them, or their glimmers of occasional positive relationship behaviour.
The consistent, true relationship behaviour of Mr Unavailable is the one you put up with for the bulk of the time – unavailability and ambiguity.
Because he’s very good at reeling you in when he’s doing the chase, you’re focused on those first few giddy times which you use as a benchmark of proof that he could be Mr Wonderful if you ride things out.
One scenario relies on positive progression and development, and the other relies on hoping that he’ll change, instead of accepting that he is what he is, and running.
The fantasy of his potential may be lovely in theory, but the here and now is what counts. Where it is particularly dangerous is when the eagerness to be in any relationship, with any man overrides the quality of the relationship and the man, because the woman fears being single. These women see potential with every damn guy in their eagerness to feel the security of having a man. They aren’t even paying attention to whether they do or they don’t feel bad around him, whether they do or they don’t actually truly desire him and what he has to offer, and they certainly aren’t watching for red flag behaviour.
They bet on potential with every guy because they already have a predetermined idea of what a potential relationship could be. They’re not having relationships with these men – they’re having relationships with the script in their head.”
You’ll know you’ve been spending too much time at the relationship casino if:
You tend to start fantasising about him being the one very quickly within meeting him. You do this with every guy.
You often say things like ‘I wish he’d go back to being the way he used to be.’ Or ‘Why can’t he be like old Mike [or whatever his name is]’.
You suffer with I Can Change Him Syndrome.
You choose men for odd reasons that they rarely live up to or make a difference to the relationship.
You keep returning to the scene of the crime
You’re in a long drawn out relationship that appears to have no direction, but no conclusion either.
Women who bet on potential are the queens of living in limbo. They pick and keep men for such odd reasons that the poor men in question rarely, if ever displayed, and they focus their attention on behaviour that hasn’t happened yet to justify their input into the relationship. They live in a fantasy world. It is impossible to be real about yourself, him, or your situation if you’re not even living in reality!
I always emphasise that men always have the option to be upfront but …women also always have the option of saying no and opting out of what is being offered instead of betting on potential or just not listening.
This type of destructive behaviour sets you up for a fall because you are building castles in the sky and you have unrealistically high, baseless, expectations that you are failing to adjust in the face of the reality of what you are living. Expectations within a relationship rely on both parties being involved, just like communication. They mean absolutely nothing if you have failed to address whether your expectations are realistic and whether your partner is along for the ride with these expectations. You’re not only setting a trap for yourself, but for your partners because they fall short of the mark without knowing what the mark was in the first place and whether it was something that they wanted to do.”
Have you been betting on potential? Does this dominate your choice in men?
If you have been betting on potential or you regularly find yourself in dubious relationships, you should be reading my ebook Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl. Find out more and buy and download.