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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UTM chapter.

In my time of being single, I have learned that I was naive and immature at the time I dated my ex-boyfriend. I also realized that I did NOT love him; I loved the potential of him. Some women don’t know what that even means. To love someone’s potential is to love their significant other’s future self. I have a very future-oriented mind, and my mind went to the far future when I started dating this boy for two weeks. I pictured us going to a Volunteers game,  getting married, him holding our future children in his arms, putting their diapers on, waking up early and sipping coffee on the front porch, etc. This guy was everything to me.

When we broke up, he told me that he distinguished that a wife and best friend were absolutely different. He was explaining that they should be completely separate. In his opinion, he did not see that his wife could be his best friend. I was completely shocked by the statement. At the time, I felt numb and totally disagreed with him. That is not the way it is supposed to be. His wife should be his best friend. My husband should be my best friend. Actually, his wife NEEDS to be his best friend. My husband NEEDS to be my best friend.

It took me a while to realize this epiphany. Once I did have this revelation, all of the weight on my heart and soul just lifted. Having a relationship with the Lord, the Lord made me realize this because my boyfriend’s potential became an idol in my life.

When I had this epiphany, I came across the song “Potential” by Danielle Bradberry, and this is where God began to make me realize that I did not love my ex. In 2018, I am still realizing all that I went through in that relationship. It has been a year since we have broken up, but it has been a reflection that I come back to (even though that might sound weird) because I am still growing from it.  

These are the differences between potential love and real love.

Potential love:

  1. You are going to be in denial about the relationship not going anywhere.  

  2. If you have a relationship with God, God tells you to break up with him multiple times (Like He did with me, LOL).

  3. You plan future adventures that will be impossible to go on.

  4. Your stress and anxiety increases.

  5. You are never at peace with where the relationship stands.

  6. You think every once in a while that you are not good enough and don’t feel beautiful.  

  7. You love the flaws away.

  8. The future you envision only become dreams because you know it will never happen.

  9. You’re not living in reality.

Real Love:

  1. You don’t question him and the relationship.

  2. You don’t seek validation from him.

  3. You love him despite his flaws and quirks.

  4. Communication flows, and you don’t have to work a whole lot at it.

  5. There is more laughter and love than tears.   

  6. You have absolute connections physically, emotionally and mentally.  

  7. You completely trust your significant other.

  8. Their happiness means more to you than your own.    

  9. You never grow tired of their company.    

I have not had so much luck in my love life, but I have hope now that I can find a man in the future and decipher that my love for him is real. I hope that for many women around the world can do the same.

Photo by: Priscilla Du Preez


You can catch me eating Oreos at my house watching This Is Us. Once you get me talking, I will constantly talk about books, music, food, and Jesus.  Shalom (Peace and Blessings)