Sex & Love / Society & Culture

Potential vs. Kinetic Relationships: The REAL Reason So Many Relationships Fail

I was not going to write about this topic but I really felt the urge to share some advice I gave to one of my family members. Two days ago, my cousin called me to discuss her recent breakup with her boyfriend of several years. She said she missed work for two days lying in bed, depressed and crying. This was not the first time they have broken up but it was the first time she chose to discuss the situation with me so I listened.

Dee is a pretty, well educated, high salaried professional and Kevin is an average looking blue collar worker. He was a security guard at the building where she used to work and he pursued her for months until she finally agreed to go out with him. They began dating regularly and eventually they decided to move in together. Things were great for the first few months (even though she hated settling for dining at The Olive Garden and receiving modest gifts) and she was finally happy after being single for a long time.

Kevin was ecstatic to have a woman that none of his friends could ever dream of dating and they admitted they envied him. However, Dee doesn’t care for his friends or his family (he tries to get her to join in their spades tournaments but to no avail) and has little to no interest in the things he finds interesting or pleasurable. She is also constantly sending him job links and pressuring him to go back to school because she is embarrassed to bring him around her co-workers or her sorority sisters that date or have married “well”. Kevin doesn’t like school and is comfortable being a security guard until his retirement so they argued constantly.

Will they get back together again? It doesn’t matter because even if they don’t she will just find someone else equally incompatible to hook up with because she has always focused on a man’s potential energy rather than his kinetic energy. The former can only produce a dis-eased state because it is based on the anticipation of an alternative reality for someone else instead of accepting the now as the only truth there is.

Now in case it’s been awhile since you took physics let me just briefly define these terms to refresh your memory before I continue.

The difference between potential and kinetic energy all comes down to a very simple property of the object. If an object is moving, then it has kinetic energy, or kinetic energy is the energy of movement. Potential energy is energy that is stored in an object and can be released under the right conditions. Therefore, the difference between potential and kinetic energy comes down to whether an object is moving or not.

Okay. So, the question is how many people are actually in love with the people in their lives for exactly who they are RIGHT NOW? Are we really into them or who they have the potential to be, become or do for us in the future?

What If they NEVER fill out that application, make more money, lose/gain weight, become more attentive, do laundry, get better in bed etc.? Also, would they still be your snookums if they just finally got the guts to say “you know what, _____ is not ever going to change/happen so either deal with it or lets move on”.

Most people are offended by ultimatums so they would say they would break up at that point. I think people are just offended by verbally expressed ultimatums not recognizing the fact that they give themselves an ultimatum every day they remain in a potential-energy relationship (P.E.R). Some couples stay together for decades waiting for the day their partner will be consistently whatever they want them to be. In the meantime, they constantly nag, fight and hurt each other for failing to be their partners’ idealized future version of themselves. Then the P.E.R participants begin to resent each other and hate themselves for not having enough courage to leave.

But why endure such agony? Obviously, it has nothing to do with the other person’s flaws but everything to do with fear of change, loss or loneliness. It could also be because love is often equated with a material resource (having INVESTED too much time to start over). Ironically, few would actually continue to invest money in stocks that don’t grow and produce clear measurable returns. It could also be because we can’t perceive passionately loving someone without the necessity of possessing them. Who knows? but my point is these are all shitty reasons to remain in a relationship and if you’re sticking around based on those few and far between good times or the hot make up sex after abusing each other than maybe its time for some self-reflection.

It is so important to pay attention to what people consistently nurture, do and what they’re moving toward rather than what they say they’re into, “gonna” do one day or try to get done. If after a decent amount of time has passed and what you are actually experiencing in your relationship is not in alignment with what you feel you deserve or want than you know that you are in a Potential Energy Relationship.

In conclusion, I recommended that Dee try and figure out why being kinda sorta happy was good enough for so long so she can heal. That way, she can finally get things moving in the direction she really wants to go with someone that is happily on the same path.



Tayannah McQuillar is a writer and the Founder of Demimonde Public Relations ( @demimondepr


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