Have you fallen in love with his potential?

You’ve got a new man in your life. You go, girl! He’s smart, hot and has a great job. Sounds great. But tell me more. How does he make you feel? What’s your chemistry like? Do you guys discuss the future? On the contrary — Is he tall, dark and handsome but just can’t seem to get his life together or hold a steady job?

Do those questions leave you a little tongue-tied? Do you feel like everything should be amazing between you two, but it’s not quite there? Can you not picture a future with him, even though he’s absolutely perfect? Well, it might mean you’ve fallen in love with your guy’s potential and not your actual guy.

A lot of men have the potential to be your forever guy, but not all of them will actually live up to it. The rest are just imposters. (Cute imposters who are completely sweet to you, but imposters nonetheless.) The way I see it, there are two ways you could fall in love with a man’s potential and not the man. If you want to find out if you’re in a relationship with him or his potential, ask yourself these two questions.

Is everything perfect about your relationship, except for you two?

From the outside, your relationship looks amazing. Your friends love him. You both want two kids. He even likes pineapple on his pizza like you do! If you had a checklist of what you were looking for in a guy, he’d hit every single item and then some. But something is not right. There are awkward silences when you’re together. You’re not clicking between the sheets. And even though you love thinking and talking about him, you don’t love being with him. What the hell is wrong though? He’s literally everything you’ve ever wanted in a man. Here’s the thing: Love is complicated. If it were easy, I’d be out of a job, and Heidi and Seal would still be together. When it comes to romance, there’s an X-factor that can’t be summed up in a bullet point on a checklist. It’s either there or it’s not. And if it’s not, you can only fake it for so long. You deserve someone that feels right instead of just seems right, girl.

Does he measure up against your non-negotiables?

Your dude has the X-factor. He might have the X-factor times a million. He makes you laugh, he’s besties with your dog, and you two have so much fun. He makes everything in your life better. Still, you’re not envisioning a future together. What gives? Well, it could be that you subconsciously know that he doesn’t stack up against your non-negotiables. Day-to-day chemistry is great, but when you’re thinking of sharing a life with someone, there are some bigger issues to tackle. I tell my clients to have their list of non-negotiables ready and before getting serious with anyone, to go down the list and check them off. Non-negotiables are biggies, like children, religion, financial outlook and lifestyle. Do you know that your man doesn’t want kids and you do? Is he really irresponsible with money and you’d be nervous combining finances? Do you need to marry within your religion and he’s not willing to convert? These are all big freaking deals and are probably why you don’t see a future with him. When you’re looking for a forever kind of love, you’ve got to have more than just a day-to-day connection. You’ll find it. Just keep looking.

Anyone out there ever fallen for a guy’s potential instead of the actual guy? How long did it last? How did you finally figure out you weren’t a fit? I want to hear your stories. xoxo