How many men have you dated off of the potential of what the relationship could be in the future? Do you tell yourself, when they graduate from “blah blah” they will have the time and resources to invest in our relationship? When they achieve “this” and “that” they will be able to settle into their sense of self and be present for me? When they go to their therapist and realize that part of their past, they will acknowledge how patient I have been? When they do “X,” “Y,” and “Z,” then I will be able to have the relationship I am desiring from them? And on, and on, and on, and on.

However, dating someone off where you anticipate them to be emotionally, socially, economically, physically, or psychologically, two years, five years, or even a decade from now is your way of invalidating your present moment experience that is saying that something right now is not working.

If you find yourself in a place of making up excuses or narratives around the growth or development your partner is needing to make for you to feel secure, sure, or stable in the relationship, then you are settling. You are ignoring your present moment experience and instead choosing to live in the realm of fantasy where you have created a fictional version of the person you are fondling at night. No judgement. I have done it. I have done it many times.

And after spending years dating people off the potential of who they could be when they moved cities, went to therapy, graduated, got that job, or sobered up…I can tell you with full assurance that being in the reality always ends up being better than fantasy.

Coming back to reality may hurt but…fantasies always end. And I think you would prefer to write that ending, rather than have a dramatic ending. Dramatic endings are what happen when you deceive yourself about who you are with.

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