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Meaning of ‘Potential’ by ‘Lauv’

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Released: 2024

“Potential” by Lauv, simmering with unspoken attraction and quiet confessions, takes us on a trip through a world of what-ifs and could-have-beens. It’s a compelling narrative of suppressed love, hope, and the audacious belief in ‘potential’ that might exist between two friends.

The song starts off with Lauv reminiscing about his longstanding friendship with someone, saying, “We’ve been friends for years / And you were always here / Through my heartbreak tears / But none of them compare to you.” It’s clear Lauv’s feelings are more profound than mere friendship. He’s endured heartbreaks, but none of his previous affections compare to the one he has for this person. He’s held his feelings back, yet he sees a potential for more than just friendship.

When Lauv sings, “Oh, damn, I think we got potential / I call it how I see it, and I see it in my mental / Like, damn, I know we could be special,” it’s his courageous revelation of his hidden feelings. He’s candid about his desires, acknowledging them as more than just passing fantasies – he genuinely believes they could be something special.

Moving on, Lauv articulates his respect for the friend’s current relationship but can’t stop himself from stating, “I know you’re with somebody, but your body shouldn’t settle.” It’s a risky move, encouraging the friend not to settle for less when he believes they could have something extraordinary.

In the chorus, Lauv intensifies his longing with his repetition of how alluring he finds this friend, singing, “With a body like that, body like that / I don’t want nobody else.” This loops back into the repeated line, “I think we got potential,” hammering home the recurring feeling of untapped possibilities.

The end game isn’t revealed – does the friend reciprocate, do they maintain their status quo, or does the friendship break under the weight of these revelations? Yet, the song ends with a hopeful note, “I think we got p-, I think we got p- / I think we got potential,” leaving us with a ticking curiosity and a heart full of hope.

With “potential,” Lauv presents us with a tale of longing and hope, delicately woven around the construct of unrequited love and the possibilities that come with it. It’s a perfect portrayal of the courage it takes to risk a friendship for a chance at something more profound, layered, and intense.

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