Several weeks ago, a video clip of a man crying at his wedding as his beautiful bride made her way down the aisle went crazy viral. While it's not incredibly uncommon for a man to tear up at his ceremony, this clip quickly made rounds throughout numerous social media sites because of its raw and unfiltered emotion.
This is the most beautiful wedding entrance I've seen. God bless them both https://t.co/zlXTc69w27
— ade (@adebongaa_ox) June 8, 2016
Most of us who have seen this clip know little to nothing about these newlyweds, their chemistry, or their back story. But the 1-minute and 47-second ebullient eruption of passion speaks volumes, and reinforces my long-held belief that for a man, there's possibly no greater feeling than experiencing a great, transformative, world-changing love. The type of love that makes him crave to know his woman's very essence. The type of love that makes him love a woman's "crust." The type of love that makes him want to be a better man for her.
And be a better man he will.
When a man is deeply in love with a woman he truly feels lucky to have in his life, it's almost second nature to want to give her everything she deserves, which can be more than the human mind can fathom. It's not solely or predominantly about money or material things, but rather an amalgamation of deep affection and security that challenges all existential realms of universal possibility. No matter how much we may love ourselves, we'll happily demand far more from our body, mind and soul in order to be the best possible version of ourselves for her. It's a path we willingly embark on alone in the name of love.
And this is where the problem comes in.
Lately, I've been watching a lot of my homegirls enter into relationships with men they really like, whom they feel are just one or two "improvements" away from being the best him. Whether it's something so seemingly innocuous as "expanding" his dress code, or even more substantial like "coaching" him to go back to school or asking for a raise/promotion at work, these women are out here effectively molding men into better versions of themselves. And once they're task is completed, I find myself caught up in a lot of emotionally distraught conversations with these homegirls who've found themselves mired in horrific breakups with the same dudes they helped improve.
A lot of the time, these women simply don't understand why the hell he would acquiesce to her suggestion that he maximize his being, just to turn around and leave her. The despair of having to honestly answer that question is only surpassed by the despair of hearing it: Even if you awake my desire for self-improvement, just because I want to be a better man doesn't mean I want to be a better man for you.
This hard-to-qualify-in-words kind of love is not common. Forget the rosy belief that you may only experience it once in your lifetime; the reality is you may never experience it in a lifetime. While love may be a choice, a truly undeniable and metamorphic chemistry spanning our emotional, mental and physical capacities is damn near a rare cosmic incident. While many of us have said the words, "I love you" to more than one partner, many times we find ourselves in relationships of comfort and convenience. We like the person we're with and we may even care about them, but that like isn't going to drive us to improve our most intrinsic being for their benefit because, well, they don't really mean that much to us.
So when a woman approaches a man and starts talking happily confident logic about what he can do to improve himself, it is very possible that her words can penetrate a part of his brain and his heart that motivates him to set out on that path of personal growth. Unfortunately, far too many times women make the mistake of believing that the better him will obviously want her, and that's just not the case in all situations.
When a man changes, his entire composition undergoes an all-encompassing shift that alters him in ways even he couldn't predict. How he views life, how he views work, and how he views love can all change very quickly — including how he views you and your relationship. The external push will almost always render a different reaction from an internal thrust because when it's done internally, it's focused and goal-oriented with her directly in mind.
When done externally, we place ourselves as the sole focus. That's a very big difference.
Look, I'm not saying women should not attempt to make their men face the possibility of self-improvement, but please know that it's not your job to make him a better man. You should both take each other as you are and build upon the chemistry you have to nurture that transformative love. But if you make it your duty to force that change within your significant other, don't be surprised if you find yourself sorrowfully reciting the lyrics to Beyonce's, "Ring The Alarm."
Lincoln A. Blades blogs daily on his site, ThisIsYourConscious.com. He's author of the book, "You're Not a Victim, You're A Volunteer." He can be reached on Twitter @lincolnablades and on Facebook at Lincoln Anthony Blades.