Sometimes it is a statement that you hear randomly throughout the day. Sometimes, it is an original thought. Today, it was a song lyric. Driving to a wedding that I was pleased about but still sad and maybe even a little bitter at my own situation, I had the radio low. Through the traffic noise, the chatter of others in the car, and my own thoughts come one lyric from a radio song. The song title, I am in love with your potential. The lyrics stopped me in my tracks.
Time stops, and I am suddenly aware of only the song on the radio. I zero in on the screen that displays the title of the song and the artist. Danielle Bradbery, “I am in Love with your Potential.” I researched later and did not know if she wrote it. I want to give credit where it is due, but she was the recording artist.
“But honestly now, I’m beginning to understand
That I’m not in love with you, I’m in love with your potential”.
Interestingly, songs always seem to understand whether I am looking for it or not—this lyric hit home in many ways. The loss of my friend, lover, and Dom was devastating on all those levels, each of which had multiple layers and meanings. Many times after a break up of any kind, we tend to rationalize everything in one way or the other. Sometimes, we take the blame. Sometimes we place the blame elsewhere. This could be a coping strategy, or we are just trying to make sense of something that happened. I think it is possible that we are not as in love with the person as we are in love with the potential.
The reason my friend, lover, Dom, dropped me (Literally in a text with no opportunity to discuss) was, in fact, my fault. I made a mistake. I owned it, but that wasn’t enough for him. The time I spent trying to figure out how he could walk away was useless. I would never know the real reason. We all talk about “closure.” I knew I wanted some closure, but I knew I wanted him back in reality. The closure was, in fact, he didn’t want to have anything to do with me.
We all cope in our own ways. I went through the usual grief cycle. My own version of it anyway. I went through all the things I didn’t like about our situation and relationship. I went through all the ways I would be better off without him. I went through all the ways that I could now move on with my life. I tried to avoid the things that I missed. His memory was/is everywhere in my home, my work, my life. I powered through to some form of recovery. For two months, I struggled daily to forget the bad and remember the good. There was always this question in my mind of what I could have done better, differently. What were the things I did wrong? How could I have been a better friend, lover, sub?
With one lyric on the radio in the middle of chatter and noise and my own thoughts about how my life could be different, there was a light bulb moment. I was and still am in love with his potential. I saw it every day for seven years. I told him about it. I shared my thoughts, and at times I tried to help him reach what he wanted to be. Potential. That is what I was in love with. As always, varying levels of what that might be. Yes, I was in love with the man he was and is. I was also capable of seeing so much more for him. Knowing the differences, or maybe just the beginning thoughts that there is a difference, has given me much more to think about.
Perhaps I had my own version in my mind of what “we” should look like. Like friends, lovers, and our D/s relationship. Perhaps we didn’t have the same vision of what that should or could be, even though we did talk about it. There wasn’t much talk about the details, just the big picture. We couldn’t get there while he was trying to work out other issues in his life.
From now on, I challenge myself to think about the difference between being attracted to the person or who we want that person to be. How much time will we give to figuring it out? What will the conversations look like? When does it make sense to talk about the conversations? Is there a danger in expecting someone to meet their potential? Is it actually their potential or what you believe their potential is or should look like? Do they want to reach a higher potential? Are you trying too hard to make them better and change them? Are we so concerned about their potential we are ignoring our own?
With this breakup, I have felt that my BDSM experiences were over. I am still trying to figure that out. I do not want it to be. I feel it is a huge part of me. Time will tell. Trust, finding someone new, letting go of what I had with him, and giving that part of myself to someone else is scary. How much of what I enjoyed was just because it was him. Time will tell.