Our readers have been sliding in my DMs, emailing me, and even stopping me on the street to tell me about the blog and how its shifted their perspective on dating. But more often, I get questions about how a reader can change his specific dating circumstance.
“How do I light a fire under his ass?”
This question came in the first. Let me say, I don’t consider myself a dating expert, but if you’re asking for my advice, I’ll be glad to give it. He asked about dating a man with potential.
Because our reader is still in the dating phase, I doubt his circumstance is as dire as Malorie and Ms. Iyanla discuss, but the same aspects of dating ‘potential’ apply.
Why potential just doesn’t work
When we date a man because of who he can become, we unintentionally become controlling. Our motivation stops being “how can I love this man”. We’re driven by how we can make this man into what we want him to be. The problem with that is that we (1) disrespect the work he put into becoming who he is today. We don’t know how many obstacles this man had to overcome in his Black gay life to become the man we chose for our relationship.
Then (2) we take away his agency in becoming who he wants to be in the future. Every man fights for his own path in life. As his mate/partner/lover/husband/friend, our goal should be to clear out the path he’s walking, not to force him down another path altogether.
I’ll admit, sometimes our relationship will require us to help Husbae find clarity. Perhaps he comes to us with a decision between job opportunities, or should he start a business or finish a degree. Whatever the obstacle–whether it’s walking down the path already set, or finding the new path authentic to him–the true mark of a gentleman is selflessness. Help him figure out the next best step for him, regardless of how it may/may not impact you.