“It’s Not You…It’s Me.” Why Mr. Potential Is Not Mr. Right.


By Elena Murzello

Two years ago, I gathered countless lessons from friends, family, and even strangers for The Love List. He was one of those strangers, and I had the best date with him that summer. He was busy completing his MBA, travelling the world, and an all-around good guy. I was hooked.

Dear Mr. Potential:

You’re a wonderful, smart, handsome guy and I like you a lot. However, I don’t know how you feel about me and where I stand with you. Please clarify.


Here is the response I received…

Thanks for the email and [your] kind words.  You seem like a great person too based on getting to know you over the past year or so. Unless I am in Vancouver soon, it seems highly unlikely that we will be able to meet up, now that I only spend a few days per month in Seattle. I also believe that I will probably end up on the East Coast again soon. For all those reasons I don’t see it very feasible that there could be anything between us in the near future.

I was stung. But it gave me an answer and I never responded back.

Soon after the launch of my book and graduating business school, I was launched into frenzy of celebrating after I was in hibernation for what seemed like eternity.

I did not think twice about the people I wrote about, except for one.

Though I had tried to cut Mr. Potential out completely, I couldn’t. We would share random telegram-like messages about our latest adventures. This continued past what I referenced in the book. Emails turned into text messages. They were few and far between but they would conjure up feelings of “what if?”.

A year had passed and I felt that we were in a good space to be friends (or more). We had both graduated and were pursuing our newest dreams; sufficient time had passed for the awkwardness to dissipate. At the time, I was not dating anyone, and he wasn’t either – or so I hoped – but it had yet to be confirmed. I felt like it was an opportune time for a second date.

Yes, that’s right – I hadn’t seen him since that date two years ago and I was excited.


That should have been a loud warning bell for me. During our text ‘conversations’ there was a clear avoidance of any questions related to possibly meeting up. Another red flag.

Experience serves as the best way to learn life lessons. Despite illumination from my subjects in The Love List, I still managed to fall into the same pattern.

String vs. Ribbon: “Here are the rules: Everyone is someone’s ribbon. Everyone should be treated like ribbon. Stringing people along is neither respectful nor fair; it’s rude”. Pg 50.

I realized that Mr. Potential might have seen our conversations as purely plutonic while I was stringing myself along in hopes something would transpire through the friendship. This goes to show how strong the power of the mind actually is – seeing what you want to see and not for what is truly reality. Don’t get me wrong; I’m a big believer in positive thinking, but sometimes my imagination runs wild and I live too much in the future than the present. It’s not a bad thing, as long as I can keep it in check.

Goodbye Mr. Potential. I’m over you. I thank you for your foresight and I realize now that we were not right for each other. I deserve more than casual catch-up messages because you’re right: I am a great person.

So here is the lesson, search both outside and inside. Look not just at what others might be doing to you, but rather what you might be doing to yourself. Sometimes you need extra time to work things out. Rather than hiding behind of multitude of excuses like, “it’s not you…it’s me”, take the opportunity to just be. Be proud of who you are and what you have become through your life experience.Like me, soon you will be ready to say – watch out world, I’m older, wiser, and ready to take you by storm. You just watch.



Elena Murzello is a true “go-getter”; a registered nurse who decided to publish a book at the same time as gaining her MBA status. She indulges in travel, enjoys shoe shopping, and definitely throws a mean party.

About ‘The Love List’:
Have you ever had a list of characteristics or qualities you were looking for in a potential mate? The Love List: A guide to getting who you want is a concise dating and relationship guide that is relevant to all ages and genders – anyone looking for love! Reeling after the breakup from a 10-year relationship, Elena put pen to paper in this cathartic novella. In her witty and smart demeanor, Elena entices readers with practical tips and personal stories that encourage personal growth and understanding. 

For more information on The Love List & Elena Murzello check out Elena’s website.

Purchase The Love List on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters/Indigo, Google Books

Follow Elena on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr


Photo Credits: Johnny Wolf and Pierre Torset for Flytographer, and Joey Armstrong Lifestyle Photography.

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