How Insecure Reminds Us That Dating Potential Can Be Harmful

Insecure season four came at the right time because I am here in lockdown, trying to get my life on track. Reevaluating my dating patterns and friendships, it made me feel like I can’t be the only one dealing with these thoughts. Low and behold, Issa reminds us we aren’t alone in this world. But it was episode three entitled “Low-key Thankful” that had me questioning everything.

The way the show is depicted is to be a focal point on Issa and her friends. So, yes, all of these situations are genuinely accurate, which led me to digest it a little more. Now, I won’t give away the whole episode, but there was a scene where Issa confided in her brother about her true feelings on Lawrence’s new relationship. She referred to her involvement as dating the guy with “potential” and or work in progress and stating that she remained patient and encouraging during the hardships (we are not excusing the cheating). But, continuing in her conversation to say he even seemed like he was going to pay for their meal, and his affection with her also seemed refreshingly effortless. This is what she said that truly made me yell at the television; she expressed the new girlfriend is reaping the benefits of her time and work.

Now, we all have been here; we all have felt this at some point. But, that’s the pain when dating a man with potential, you see the vision and try to help them flourish in it for them to be the great man you know within them. You endure the long-term hardships and even moments of disconnect because you think there could be an end goal of bliss at the end of the road. But sis is it wrong and or pessimistic to say, that’s rare. We hear it all the time, struggling couples then turned a success. I look to my parents, for example, and their mistakes, I always have them as a beacon of hope. However, I look at my last relationship filled with potential and see myself relating more to Issa’s statement. The long nights of pep talks, encouraging speeches, cheer updates, and trying to be their light is exhausting. You are not watering or nourishing yourself because you are making sure your significant other is taken care of.

Who’s helping you when you feel low and lost? That’s the thing; the potential is never a bad thing; we are all work in progress. The key to figuring out if this dynamic is healthy is secure communication in the beginning. You can try by asking them the following:

  • What’re your five-year goals?
  • What is your idea of a healthy relationship?
  • How do you manage daily stress?
  • Do you see yourself as a partner who is okay with your partner’s ambition and or career?

These questions may help engage in conversation and eliminate the long-term problem of, “What is happening?” We know it may not stop the stress of dating “potential” and not “execution,” but it will alleviate the early red flags. Which we all tend to ignore when the early stages of love feel too good. Just remember that their issues are not your issues. We love our partners and can offer support. If they are not seeking help or guidance on their own, we can not control their actions.

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