How long before you get tired of his ‘Potential’?

One of my besties, who is married and hardly gets to hang out after work with us came to visit me on Saturday afternoon. Her twins, and my Isabella had a playdate and before they came, I made sure there was enough games, dolls, toys and candies to ensure that they stayed in the play area for hours without bugging us adults. Oluchi and I hadn’t seen in ages, and I was sure we had a lot to catch up on. Alas, when they arrived, Oluchi had another friend with her, who also has a kid. My heart sank as I gave hugs and said hi. I mean, how could Oluchi have come with a friend when she knew we would have a lot of private gist? Oluchi introduced her friend as Ronke, and she turned out to be a really nice person. Soon, we were all chatting like we all go way back, and luckily the kids were having a good time on their own, so it almost like a ladies’ day out…amid drinks, cookies and carrot cake.

When one of my favourite series came up, we watched it together and even gave opinions on some of the characters and their dilemmas. It wasn’t long until Ronke blurted “I want to ask you girls a question, how long should you stay with a low-income guy before you get tired of his awesome potential income, and nothing kinetic?” Since, I didn’t have any man in my life, and I was pretty sure from the look on Ronke’s face that, the question was personal, I decided to sip my iced tea instead. Oluchi also paused for a moment before asking “Is it Femi again?” to which Ronke nodded. “Who is Femi?” I asked, and Ronke replied with a long narration “He is my boyfriend of four years oh, we met while in NYSC camp and since then, he is yet to get a good job so we can settle down. I am not getting any younger, and I am getting tired of waiting for things to pick up in his life.”

Oluchi asked Ronke why she didn’t want to give Femi money to start a business, since she was already doing well in her career, and no job was forthcoming for him. Ronke chuckled before saying Femi is not a business-driven person, and she was sure that any money she gives him would end up wasted. I asked her if she had ever given him money before and she replied yes, telling us how he blew the money on mens’ shirts and shoes that ended up unsold, because he relied only on BBM and Instagram for marketing and refused to go out and show people what he had for sale, especially has he lacked enough social media presence. Ronke also opened up on how she feels it is his pride that has kept him jobless, because he has turned down many job offers which he considered to be beneath him. Likewise, with the business, he felt too big to go out selling stuffs from the boot of his car.

I could see what the problem really was, Mr. Potential Executive is yet to understand that you sometimes need to work your way up the ladder; he is waiting for a plump job to drop on his laps, but who is ready to give a Managerial role to someone with no post-NYSC work experience? Ronke on the other hand started off as an entry-level employee but as already received a promotion, is about finishing a professional certification, and has been on three trainings on the job. You would not blame such a lady for wondering how long she can stick with her boyfriend’s potential. I am sure she has lots of guys asking her out, who are moving up the ladder, while she comes home to a guy that does nothing all day. Three years of staying at home waiting for a big job, tells me that le boo is lazy and he needs to be dumped asap!

I mean, it would have been different if he had enrolled for a professional course, internship, Masters or something; to keep busy and to grow his worth, but no, he just sits at home, sending applications for the big jobs and lamenting at not getting called for interviews. I think the kind of Mr. Potential that needs sticking to is the one who is putting in work, who goes out and starts something if the jobs ain’t coming, or accepts a small scale job with the view of rising. Mr. Potential that takes courses and applies himself deserves to be loved, supported, encouraged and waited on. If on the other hand, Mr. Potential sits around with the belief that the world owes him a great job, and unashamedly collects money from his girlfriend, and doesn’t put same to good use, you can tell that he has a character problem, and because I always believe that you cannot change a man, I advise for ladies in such relationships to quietly back out.

I have seen this pattern before. Lily, a family friend started dating Daniel in their third year in the university. Lily got a job straight out of school, while Daniel turned down a bank job his father got for him, because it was too stressful, and then a customer-service job in a Telecommunications company because he couldn’t deal with people’s attitudes. He managed to rally round for enough money to go for his Masters in the UK and when he returned, things got worse, because Daniel could not imagine working at entry-level with his Masters degree from UK! On two occasions, he had categorically stated at interviews that he was only going to consider an entry-level job, if the pay justified the amount of money he spent on his Masters degree. It wasn’t long before his parents kicked him out of their house and he moved in with Lily who was staying on her own in a two-bedroom apartment.

Daniel wasn’t paying any bills, but he would sit around and wait for Lily to return home from a hard day’s job to fix him dinner. He got so comfortable with watching TV and playing PlayStation all day, and still having his dinner fixed for him, that he pretty much stopped looking for a job. Lily tried to be subtle about correcting him because she was scared of bruising his ego, but things got to a head, one Monday night when he complained about the dinner she made. A frustrated Lily blew out on him and used some choice words that left Daniel flagger basted. It didn’t end there! She broke up with him that night and helped him pack his lazy behind out of her house. Nine months later, Lily walked down with a guy she had being turning down because of Daniel. Last I checked, Daniel was working as a Fast-food manager, earning way lesser than the first bank job he turned down, and still dealing with people of different personalties and attitudes. What could be worse than dealing with a hungry and angry customer? His parents have refused to assist him in getting a job, and he has passed the age that most companies require for entry-level staff.

So before you choose to wait for his potential to turn into something tangible, be sure he has the right working mindset, and is ready to put in work. Don’t just stay with a dreamer, stay with a dream-chaser!





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  1. Naana

    I think most ladies stay with such guys all in the name of love…….

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