When I hear about a lot of relationships that do not quite make it, one of the lynch pins of the evaluation of the person is "I fell for their potential." I always thought that was a crazy statement, and the biggest relationship myth out there. I mean...doesn't everyone have potential? When I hear that, I always think of the GEICO commercial with Pinocchio. You know, the one where he is giving a pep talk to a room of people? If you are not quite familiar, check out this video.
Side note: I'm sure everyone has seen this ad, but it is one of my all time favorite commercials, so it humors me to post and keep watching! (And also, I do not own the rights to this commercial, I did not create this commercial, nor I do not have a promotion deal with GEICO; although if they see this and want to give me one I would not mind!
A little breakdown of this commercial. Pinocchio looks around and sees nothing but untapped potential. That's everyone in the room! This lends to my point of everyone having potential. Pinocchio later points to the guy who obviously wants someone to see his potential, and he tells him that he has potential. And then what happens? His nose grows! Whether he is lying to his audience is secondary. The important thing is that he knows this is a lie to himself. Then the ad shows Pinocchio in a bit of a pickle. Things are tanking FAST!!!!
Some of you are getting where I'm going, but some are you are itching to ask, "what does this have to do with relationships?" Well, doesn't this happen a lot in relationships where we can see what a person can be, and then we convince ourselves, that this person is going to be so worth the risk of the growing pains of the relationship that it will all pay off in happiness in the end. Raise your hand if this has worked out for you! Some of you will, but for a vast majority of you, I am preachin' to the choir. So on this blog post, I want to talk about how we should handle the potential of relationships and how this ties into a major hallmark of successful relationships that I will reveal later. So stick with me a little longer.
The way that I conceptualize relationship potential is like an elevator. Now, we all know that savvy engineering is involved in the mechanics of how a relationship works. The foundation of the elevator is surrounded by the pulley, one of those simple machines that we learned about in school, better defined as one of the simplest mechanisms that use mechanical advantages to multiply force. Of course in an elevator, they add a lot of fancy things to it to make it work with the efficiency that it does.
So we have all at one time or another been in a place where the elevator was "out of order." So much potential to help us easily get up to the 12th floor being wasted because the elevator not being able to live up to its potential. The same thing happens in relationships that we can tend to rush into. Everyone possessed some sort of idea as to how a successful relationship works. We will call that our simple machine. To use our simple machine, or to be able to engage in a successful relationship, we have to put energy into whatever we are doing.
In short, potential alone means nothing when it comes to a relationship, and judging a person simply on potential is a huge gamble. Instead, I invite you to think of the perspective of how much taking the time to see how someone works to manifest their potential would lower your risk. In order to do this, it takes what I like to introduce to you as the TEMP method, which breaks down like this:
TIME: Taking the time to getting to know a person and learning that person makes a huge difference in how potential can manifest within a person that you are interested in. Taking the time to really get down and deep into a person can offer exponential benefits into building a foundation into a successful relationship.
EFFORT: With the time that two individuals are taking, there is no point in not making the best effort into what you are doing. The most helpful practice in this involves both individuals putting in the effort to focus on the intentional nature of desiring a successful relationship. These are the little things that lets a person know that they interest in moving toward a relationship is mutual.
MOTIVE: Effort does not just involve cute gestures, extra phone calls, and consistency. Instead, add the value of honesty and ingenuity into those actions. in other words, be aware of your motives in pursuing this relationship. If you do it, mean it! If you aren't going to mean it, don't do it. If you are doing something that does not match the motives of both people involve, it's not worth it. This at least keeps from people wasting their time in a situation that will prove to be fruitless in the long run. An additional key to the importance of motive later in one of my hallmarks of a successful relationship.
PATIENCE: Even with the most honest of motives, there is still a chance that the potential in a relationship will not be met. The best way to get an idea of how this potential greatness will manifest is to simply be patient in the process. There may be some things that may not seem like they gel with your expectations, and that's okay. Remember, the end result of a pre-relationship process (or dating as the kids call it these days) is to see if this is viable for the next level. In this process, we can't just throw it all away because of a couple of quirks that we do not like. After all, nobody's perfect, right. DO NOT get this mixed up with red flags. Red flags are those things that signal trouble and deal breakers. But I stress that being patient in the process of finding your person is essential to success. Whether it's in things not working over several people, or headaches of a habit of that one person.
Doing the TEMP method in pursuance of what you hope to have a permanent and successful relationship is a way for the dater to really take the opportunity to explore and evaluate their partner to hedge the risk of the possibility of a relationship failure. But the TEMP method also can reveal that great hallmark of the relationship I eluded to earlier. One of the hallmarks of a successful relationship is how successful the people are at being individuals are when coming into a relationship. Great relationships are even great because there are two people in a partnership who worked hard in knowing and loving themselves, bringing themselves into a relationship to compliment the other with their potential continuously manifesting in their individual and relational lives.
What better feeling can you think of than feeling you are in a growing, fruitful relationship with someone working to manifest their potential everyday as you are manifesting to continuously reach your potential as well. The cool thing about this is that in the right scenario, one will push the other to maximize. Think of a working elevator and someone pushing the button to get to the top floor. Can you imagine the opportunities? I can! And I hope you will see this on your journey to a great relationship.
As a thank you for reading, check out this bonus video of Pinocchio, the motivational speaker. Truthfully, I am also posting this because I love it so much!