Valentine’s Day: Looking for the 3 P’s That Make Relationships Last


Photo courtesy of Meredith Winner, Mer-Made Photography.


BY BRANDON EDWARDS | South Jersey Information Equity Project

First of all, this article has nothing to do with the PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loans of 2020. Instead, these three Ps represent the keys to finding real love when looking for a mate.

While this may appear to be common knowledge, the divorce rates and percentage of single-parent households in the Black community indicate a fundamental issue in the way we choose our mates.

Irreconcilable differences, adultery, desertion and abandonment are among the top reasons for divorce. Is marriage getting harder or is there something wrong with the way we discern love?


Well, I believe the latter, and there are plenty of reasons why our “love finder” is off, but these three Ps will help you navigate past the pure excitement and emotions of dating and find that forever love. That’s PPP love.

For love to be true, there are three Ps you must get through:

The First P

The first P stands for Potential. Potential should be the first sign of a genuine connection. But to understand someone’s potential you must understand what they want to do with their life and not what you think they should do or can do. This is very important because everyone’s idea of success is not the same.

What are their unfiltered dreams and aspirations? If you don’t know who a person dreams to be, then you don’t really know that person. Moreover, if that person is not clear on who they want to be, then they do not know themselves.

Photo AC JosepH Media

This proves to be a dangerous situation for both parties because you cannot love someone you do not know, and it is impossible to love someone who doesn’t love themselves.

The Second P

The next wall one must see through to recognize true love is a person’s Patterns. One important thing to note about patterns is that they change with the seasons. Not only do spring, summer, fall, and winter play a part in the behaviors of people, but there are seasons of ups and downs, lefts and rights.

Being up represents someone who is getting more out of life than what they feel they have invested. Down is feeling like you’re getting less than what you invested, and the lefts and rights of life represent being neither here nor there, but in place of searching.

The patterns of a person, when they consider themselves up, are not the same as when they are down, and likewise left or right. The truth is you do not know someone unless they’ve experienced these extremes and they don’t know themselves unless they have experienced them.

Remember, a person that’s up can be unrecognizable when they’re down. And if you don’t possess the patience or the tools to balance them out, moving on may not be a bad thing.

Another important point is that a person’s patterns are what either allow them to reach their potential or prevent them from reaching it. By understanding the patterns, you can see a person’s future.

Now, patterns that don’t match potential do not have to be the cause of disqualification, but if you can’t see where you can help them align with your natural gifts then they should be. But if all the stars do align, it is safe to say you know enough to move to the last P which is “presence.”

The Third P

After you are clear on potential and purpose, then you are in the clear to feel a person’s Presence. I mean “really” feel it! Get them in a space where they are so comfortable that they can reveal their truest essence.

Photo AC JosepH Media

For at this point that is all that is left to be clear on love. Where most people go wrong, is that they fall in love with a person’s presence before knowing if they understand their potential and study their patterns, and this is a grave mistake.

Knowing presence without understanding their potential and patterns is at best lust and should not be trusted when making long-term decisions. On the other hand, aligning with one’s potential and patterns without loving someone’s presence is an arrangement that won’t last after goals are met and potential is realized.

Feel their presence and use your own to dance. Let your strengths be matched by their weakness, parry their left with your rights, or move in the same direction on one accord. Nothing forced or telegraphed, just nature taking its course. This is the apex we call love — more rare than a black opal and more beautiful than life itself. When one finds this love, this PPP love (Potential, Patterns and Presence), it’s either worth giving up your own life to keep it, or worth spending your whole life searching for it.

NOTE: Brandon Edwards is an author, musician and nonprofit leader in Burlington County who is participating in the South Jersey Information Equity Project for 2024.

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