On dating men with “potential”
Christy White

There’s nothing worse than being terribly attracted to one with a broken wing.

And for women, especially, it strongly arouses the maternal instincts. You’re pulled to nurture, to help make things right. To heal.

There’s also a special attraction, one that speaks to one’s identity, that whispers, “You can do this. You can help him. Just you. You’re the one.”

But as you’ve found out, you’re usually not the one.

The thing is, it’s not you. Almost no broken-winged creature can be “helped” by those not skilled to do so, and all to often the things you do to “help” only end up making things worse.

There’s a reason they’re called enablers.

Eventually, you realize that you can’t fix this one, no matter how much you try, and you stop helping. You stop enabling.

And this is usually what kills the relationship. To stop enabling is to be percieved as having stopped loving. To no longer care. And so the broken-winged bird hops off, hoping to drag his wing in front of someone else who’ll “understand” them.

Who’ll let them continue their spiral downwards.

It’s all be said before, to the point of being cliched: You have to want to change. Change comes from within. Etc..

In this case, however, they’re cliches because they’re true.

Could these men change? Perhaps. I know that, over the years, I’ve changed. Yet I’ve also seen firsthand those that manage to stay damaged throughout their entire lives. Who beat that broken wing so hard and often that it never heals.

And, unfortunately, there seem to be more of the later than the former.

You said that you seem unnaturally drawn to these men. To those whose candle seems to burn so bright. Those with so much “potential”.

That’s both a blessing and a curse. The curse you’ve come to realize. The hidden blessing is that, simply, you care. You want to reach out, to connect, to share, to nurture, to heal, to hold, to cherish.

To love.

Protect that. Understand that out there, somewhere, there’s a man worthy of the name, who’s seeking the same things, and whose waiting to reciperocate in kind.

They’re rare, unfortunately, but they’re out there.

Finally, and hopefully not to undo everything I’ve already written, just keep in mind that change does happen. That those with “potential” can sometimes reach it.

Usually professional help is needed. And, as mentioned, nothing happens until someone recognizes that change is needed.

How do I know this? Because I changed. Because after so many years, I put away my childish things. I stopped wasting my life.

And I did it for a woman. I did it because she believed in me. I did it because I love her dearly. And I did it because, ultimately, my fear of losing her was greater than my fear of change.

I did it for her. And me.

Sometimes the wing mends.

And sometimes… we fly.

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