Whoa buddy. Before we deep dive into the topic of potential, I think it's important to say something that is very important, and relevant, about love. And yes, I'm going to broach this from a biblical perspective. I John 4:8&16 tells us that God is love and, I Corinthians 13, the Love Chapter, tells us that love is things like patient (bearing provocation, annoyance, misfortune, delay, hardship, pain, etc., with fortitude and calm and without complaint, anger, or the like) and that it bears all things (think about all of this, the next time you get ready to say "I love you" to someone). When it comes to what God knows about me, I know that I can be a handful and a continual work in progress so, yes, I do believe that a big part of love's purpose is to see someone as they could or should be and not necessarily as they currently are. True and divine love is about believing in the best about someone and supporting them through their evolutions (which is what should be a foundational principle in marriage, if you ask me).
It's kinda like the quote by Canadian columnist Richard J. Needham who once said, "You don't marry one person; you marry three: the person you think they are, the person they are, and the person they are going to become as the result of being." A lot of married folks call it quits because they forget (or deliberately choose to ignore) that very profound insight.
Yeah, love isn't about feeling good all of the time or being with someone who acts like they memorized the script of your favorite rom-com. As the Good Book says, "Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." (I Corinthians 13:7—NLT)
I think all of this needs to go on record because what we're about to tackle, well…it's not that I'm saying that it's impossible to love a work in progress. The truly humble and self-aware folks know that we all are a work in progress. Only delusional people expect relationships to be perfect when the two people in them are anything but. However, it's one thing to choose to love someone who is rough around the edges, you're totally aware of that fact, you don't try and make things be what they aren't and you decide to stay, deal and endure. It's something entirely different when there are all kinds of signs and red flags that you think you should overlook because you believe that your love either makes those things irrelevant or, your love is going to somehow miraculously change an individual. The first scenario is dealing in realism. The second? Well, that is someone who thinks that it's truly possible to fall in love with potential. Here's why I call BS on Door #2.
What Is Potential? Exactly.
I am always tickled when an article topic will pull up a song in my mental rolodex that I haven't thought about in a while. Today, it's Brandy's classic "Almost Doesn't Count". And yes, for context, I'm going to include all of the first verse.
Almost made you love me
Almost made you cry
Almost made you happy, baby
Didn't I didn't I
You almost had me thinking
You were turned around
But everybody knows
Almost doesn't count
Almost heard you saying
You were finally free
What was always missing for you, baby
You'd found it in me
But you can't get to heaven
Half off the ground
Almost doesn't count
Almost. Almost does not count. It doesn't count because the word means "little short of being; very nearly". The saying "close but no cigar" immediately comes to mind. The reason why almost emotionally trips so many of us up is because it literally means that something—or in this case, someone—is right on the verge of being what we want or need…close but ain't. Yeah, and please don't let the definition of the word "being" escape you either. It means "existence" or "substance". A definition of exist is "occur". A definition of substance is "physical matter or material". The reason why Brandy is so right when she says that a man almost was the one but he wasn't is because he almost proved himself to be right…but what she thought was there actually didn't exist (occur) and wasn't of substance (physical matter or material). If something you thought was there wasn't…it doesn't really count…does it?
And that's what makes the word "almost" a sibling to the word "potential". Potential means "possible, as opposed to actual". The words to focus on here are "possible" and "actual". Check it.
Possible: capable of existing and taking place; having potential or capabilities for favorable use or development; that may or may not happen or have happened; feasible but less than probable
Actual: existing in act or fact; real; existing now; present; current
Lawd, lawd. The parts that are underlined and in bold? That is by design. Something or someone who has potential? That is something or someone who yes, it is feasible that they could manifest into what you need, want or desire; however, at the same time, the chances of that happening are—please pay attention here—less than probable. This means that it's less likely that what you are expecting will actually occur.
So, when a person says that they are in love with someone else's potential, what they are essentially saying is they are investing in someone becoming what is less than likely to actually occur.
The reasons why are endless. It might be because the person they are involved with isn't interested in becoming different. It might be because, in this season, that individual is incapable of growth or change. It could also be because the person who loves them doesn't actually love them; they love who they conjured up in their mind whether it was out of desperation, control tendencies or a fairy tale perception of what love and relationships are really all about. Or, it could be something else. Whatever the case may be, potential could happen but, based on the definition of the word, it's not something to bet next month's rent on. In other words, potential is a gamble. A super risky one, at that.
Meanwhile, when something is actual—which is essentially the opposite of potential—that speaks to what is real. Real is an interesting word too. Two of its definitions include "true" and "existing or occurring as fact; actual rather than imaginary, ideal, or fictitious". Real? It deals in facts not fiction. It's based on what is actually the truth. Actual also speaks to what exists right now. It's not about what could happen next month or next year; it's about what you are dealing with at the present moment. Now, keeping all of these definitions in mind, let's touch down on why it's actually impossible to fall in love with someone based on their potential.
Why You Can Never Actually to Be in Love with Potential
At this stage in my life, I'm intentionally using the word "love" less and less. As I am learning more about what the word means and what it requires, I find it to be pretty sacred. That's why I'm trying to get away from (for instance) saying I love my godchildren and I love rocky road ice cream. My godbabies deserve more honor than that. And don't even get me started on the phrase "in love" and how much it's abused. A part of the reason why I wrote the articles "Like, Love & In Love: How To Really Know The Differences", "Are You In Love Or Are You In Need?" and "5 Signs That You're In Love (All By Yourself)" is because to be "in love" with someone means that another person is actually on the same page with you—they have the same kind of feelings, they are in the same type of relationship and, for the most part, you both have the same type of relational goals and expectations. The word "in" literally means "in or into some place, position, state, relation, etc." while "with" means "accompanied by; accompanying", so no…you cannot actually be in love with someone without them being in love with you as well.
Do you see where this is going? If you actually keep what being in love means and you already know that potential speaks to "feasible but less than probable", not "real" or "existing now", how can you possibly be in love with potential? Isn't that basically like being in love with an imaginary friend? Sure, you might've been able to create something in your mind but, at the end of the day, it doesn't exist. And since it doesn't exist, it's impossible for it to be "in" or "with" you at all. IT'S. NOT. REAL.
There is one man, in particular, from my past who I totally wasted my time on. Yes, wasted. I hate it when people try and rationalize poor choices by saying that nothing is a waste of time. You can very much so make decisions that "consume, spend, or employ uselessly or without adequate return"—and this guy is a perfect example of that. It's not that he was the devil incarnate. Not even close. He had some traits that were truly wonderful; that is a real fact. Yet what I made the mistake of doing was allowing those qualities to override all of the bullshishery that he put on display, time and time again, too. I thought that, because he had some exceptional traits that they would—should and could—cancel out all of the red flags. I wholeheartedly believed that his good qualities had the potential to do so.
Hmph. After 15-plus years of knowing this brotha, the good is still good; the red flags are still flapping away. At one point, I was putting heartfelt emotions, precious time and even some of my resources into both—the real and the potential—all the while believing that my love would make him want to become a better man.
Nothing can make a man become better other than him choosing to do so (same thing goes for women). Love may inspire someone to want to change but it doesn't automatically happen unless they want it to.
Unfortunately, a lot of women refuse to believe and/or accept this. Instead, they live in what I call "mirage love". When a person is super thirsty in a desert, they can create a mirage (something illusory, without substance or reality) that there is water when there actually isn't. When a woman is so desirous for a man to become what she has created in her imagination, she can confuse potential with what actually exists—and she'll keep doing that until she realizes that what she's holding onto is all in her head. If she doesn't wake up to this reality, yes, she is totally wasting her time. The guy isn't the waste of time. Her holding onto what isn't real is.
The actual guy? Everyone's lines of tolerance are different. So, at least for today, I'm not going to get into if the ACTUAL MAN you are choosing to love is worth the investment. What I will say is the more we love ourselves, the more our standards tend to rise. What I will also say is if you are going to bestow anyone with something as sweet, special and wonderful as your love, at least make sure you're giving it to something that is real…and potential ain't.
I already know. Just like some people in the desert will swear there is a pool of water that is 10 feet away from them, some women will not budge on believing that loving the potential of a man is a good and beneficial thing. Yet for the ladies reading this who feel like they are stuck in a relationship—or situationship—to the point that it is draining everything out of them…take a moment to ask yourself if any of what I just said resonated. Ponder over the fact that you could be like a person who is boxing the air; that you are someone who loves potential…something that doesn't truly exist.
If that is you, the good news is there's no time like the present to stop. While ole' boy is out here being and doing whatever he is actually being and doing, what is real is you and who you can really love is yourself. Bottom line, being in love is defined as being in something real with someone else. Potential makes that impossible. And that's the God honest truth, y'all. All facts. No fiction.
Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:
Feature image by Shutterstock
- Dating For Potential & When To Say When - xoNecole: Women's ... ›
- 3 Ways To Avoid Falling For Potential In A Man - xoNecole ... ›
- Are You In Love With Him Or With His Potential? ›
- Falling in Love with Potential is a Mistake! - Paul C. Brunson ›
- Fall in Love With a Person, Not an Idea | Psychology Today ›
- Falling In Love With Potential - Alternative Shrink ›
- 5 REASONS YOU SHOULDN'T FALL IN LOVE WITH POTENTIAL ... ›
- How falling in love with the “potential” of someone can hurt us. ›
- Why We Owe It To Ourselves To Stop Falling In Love With Potential ... ›
- Don't Fall In Love With Potential | Thought Catalog ›
Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
An author by the name of Alexandra Katehakis once said this about orgasms: “Great spiritual teachers throughout the ages have stated that orgasm is the closest some people come to a spiritual experience because of the momentary loss of self. Why is this true? Because with spiritual sex, you move beyond orgasm into a connection with yourself, your partner, and the divine — recognizing them all as one.”
If it’s counterintuitive to what you’ve ever thought about orgasms, believe it or not, there are even pastors who have said that climaxing is the closest comprehension of heaven on this side of it: it is an extreme kind of bliss that is indescribable and is best experienced between two people who share a sacrificial kind of love for one another.
Although this might seem like a heavy way to intro this particular topic, because the O Method is an orgasm-achieving technique that centers around housing energy, embracing the mental practice of manifestation, and the attempt to achieve the best climaxes ever — it all works together pretty well if you ask me. If you want to take your orgasms to the next level, it’s important that you get out of yourself (to a certain extent), that you see the spiritual role that manifestation plays, and that you are open to trying new things. No doubt about it.
So, let’s learn more about what the O Method is all about and how it very well could be just what you’ve been looking for…even if you didn’t know it.
What Is the “O Method” All About?Giphy
Question: When’s the last time you’ve had an orgasm? Not just any orgasm — I mean a really mind-blowing one (I’ll give you a second to think about it). Now, what if you could manifest that experience to the point where it wasn’t a rare occurrence but something that happened almost every time that you and your partner had sex with each other? How absolutely awesome would that be?
That is pretty much what the O Method is all about — helping you achieve the kind of orgasms (and sexual pleasure, in general) that you desire through the practice of manifestation. And since your biggest sex organ is your brain, it would make perfect sense that even with all of the tips and techniques that you might learn to do as far as your body is concerned, honing in on what you think about is super imperative to sexual fulfillment, too. And that’s just where manifestation comes in.
What If You’ve Never “Manifested” Anything Before?Giphy
Before we get into a quick lesson on manifestation, I think it’s important to mention two things. One, for the cynics, there is a lot of truth in the fact that it’s got some solid spiritual basis to it because even the Good Book says that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). At the same time, that same Good Book tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26). So, while it is always a good idea to focus on good, positive, and productive thoughts, just thinking about them isn’t enough — at some point, you’ve also gotta get out here and DO something (bookmark that).
Okay, with that mini-sermon out of the way, whether it’s in the bedroom or not, manifestation is basically about focusing on something tangible that you desire, harnessing your energy in such a way that your words and actions are directed towards that longing until what you want, well, manifests. For the record, aside from this having a spiritual backing to it, in many ways, science cosigns on manifesting, too. There is actually a scientific process known as neuroplasticity that consists of reframing your mind so that your actions ultimately end up aligning with your goals — and that is another way to look at manifestation.
So, what if you’re someone who has never set out to do a manifestation practice before? No worries. Something that’s awesome about it is there are several different approaches that you can take.
Some people manifest what they want in their lives via:
- Visualization/Creating vision boards
- Writing down their desires before going to bed (so that they can “download” them into their dream state)
- Creating mantras and affirmations
- Applying the 369 Manifestation Method (you can learn more about that here)
- Learning more about what you want to manifest (which brings forth clarity)
This is important to keep in mind because, when it comes to manifesting the types of orgasms that you want to have, as you can see, you can try different manifestation methods until you find one (or ones) that you are truly comfortable with. One that can ease you into the entire process rather smoothly is something known as sex journaling.
How Sex Journaling Can Actually Help You to Have an OrgasmGiphy
As a writer, I’m a big fan of journaling. Mostly because it’s a way to get out some of your deepest thoughts and feelings so that you’re able to really process what is happening inside of you in a private setting. And when it comes to sex journaling, specifically, it’s all about centering yourself on the things sexually that you want to “unpack,” get clarity on or come to some revelations about. For instance, if there’s only been one partner from your past who’s been able to help you achieve the type of orgasms that you wish to manifest, journaling about what makes him different from the other guys can provide you with some solid ah-ha moments.
Or if you need help getting as specific as possible about the sexual experiences that you’re after, journaling can help to make that happen for you — because one thing that manifesting reminds us all to do is be as specific as possible.
Yeah, simply saying, “I want to have better sex” isn’t detailed enough when you want to get your energy to match with your desires — instead, describe how all of your senses should feel in the experience, along with why, that can get you so much closer to achieving your goal. Once those things are documented, you can segue into creating mantras and/or meditation that are based on them. Yeah, sex journaling really is an underrated superpower on a lot of levels (check out “The Art Of Sex Journaling (And Why You Should Do It)”).
5 Tips for Making the O Method Work for YouGiphy
Now that you know more about what the O Method is and how manifestation plays a direct role in its process, let’s talk about five ways to make the O Method truly effective in your own (sex) life.
1. Focus, FULLY, on your feminine energy. What do rose quartz, amethyst, moonstone (which is a Gemini birthstone as well; yes, I’m a Gemini), selenite, and rhodonite all have in common? They’re crystals that help you to go deeper into your divine feminine energy. Traits that are associated with this include compassion, creativity, kindness, gentleness, and sensuality (feminine energy is also accepting and forgiving). If you were to study energy from a biological standpoint, it’s about producing change, responding to stimuli, and having the ability to do what needs to be done (work). So, when it comes to manifesting the kind of orgasms or sexual experiences that you want, using things like your creativity and gentleness in your thoughts and actions can play a role in bringing balance to your partner’s masculinity, which can create a profound sense of pleasure — after all, opposites do attract.
2. Don’t hold back on what it is that you desire. Whenever I interview sex therapists, something that they all say is, a huge mistake that people make as far as sexual satisfaction is concerned is, they have walls up — not just with their partners but even within themselves. Sometimes, there is intimidation, fear, or even shame around what they really want to happen during sex to the point where they aren’t able to channel their energy fully in those directions in order to manifest what they want. For the O Method to work, you can’t let those types of negative emotions hinder you; the more you are able to articulate what you want and how you want it, the better chance you have of making it happen. So yes, get graphic. As graphic as possible.
3. Make manifestation a daily practice. Repetition is important when it comes to manifestation. That’s because the more you declare what you desire (a mantra), get still and think on it (meditation), or look at the “art” that you’ve created surrounding it (visualization), the quicker it becomes a part of you. So yes, make manifestation a daily practice. For instance, if one of your mantras is, “I am going to have intensely passionate orgasms, one right after the other,” don’t just state that 15 minutes before sex is going to happen. Wake up and declare it. Then say it on your lunch break. And again before turning in. The more your thoughts are “streamlined” in this way, the easier it will be for your body to follow suit.
4. Share this practice with your partner. If you were to do even more research on the O Method, one thing that most of the articles will mention is it’s a practice that you can do alone or with your partner. Indeed. However, I just want to make sure that you get into your psyche that great sex is, in part, about good communication. And so, the more comfortable you are sharing with your partner what you are doing as far as the O Method is concerned and what you ultimately want to happen as a result of the practice, the easier it will be for him to “match your energy” — both in and out of the bedroom. And when your partner is on the same page as you? That definitely increases the chances of attaining your sexual desires — exponentially so.
5. Stay in the moment. While I was reading one article on manifestation, I really appreciated something that the author said: manifestation isn’t some supernatural power. In other words, while it can be beneficial, it’s not like you can just think of something, and it instantly appears out of nowhere. Manifesting is a discipline, and it must be accompanied by action, consistency, and patience — this means that you must also practice mindfulness. Meaning, now that you know better what you’re looking to achieve as far as sex is concerned, every time that it transpires, maintain a level of positive energy, remember what your end goal is, and then determine in your mind to enjoy the moments as they come. Remember, manifestation isn’t to add stress…it’s to cultivate clarity.
At the end of the day, the O Method is simply a way of reminding you that your mind plays a huge role in your sexual pleasure, and when you channel it and your energy exactly where you want them both to go, you’ll be amazed what your body is capable of doing…and accomplishing.
So, what kind of orgasm are you wanting to achieve? You’ve got a tool to get you there. USE IT.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Giphy