Once you grow up being a man is relatively easy. You keep your word as best as you can, you take care of the people you love, you go to work and try to live honorably. There will be times you don’t do everything perfectly but understanding that you messed up and trying not to make the same mistakes twice is what makes us better.
There may be times when you lose your job or your car is in the shop and you need help from your woman, that’s cool, we all go through things but you can’t make it a habit.
As far as I know, I’m a good man. My reputation professionally is solid, I keep my word, I love my family and I try to be the man that people expect me to be. The man I expect myself to be. It wasn’t until the first several months into my relationship that I realized being a good man didn’t mean I was being a good boyfriend. As a matter of fact, being a good man blinded me to the fact that I was on the fast track to becoming a horrible boyfriend or single again.
Being a good man is about having a certain level of pride and confidence that won’t allow you to lose. It’s about taking control and leading when you see there’s a void. It’s about doing what’s necessary. Relationships are about compromise. Pride and confidence are great traits but if you’re not yielding, you’re not willing to see her side. For so many years it was easy for me to walk away from situations knowing that even if I was wrong, I was right. How can you have that mindset in a relationship? You can’t.
Most men don’t know how to lead because we’ve never mastered the art of being led. We go into these relationships feeling like we should be the head of the house or the leader but leadership is earned, not given. Saying “I don’t know” or “can you help me” makes you just as effective of a partner or leader than saying, “I can do this on my own and she’s just going to have to get in line.” Being able to ask for help, being able to talk about past struggles or disappointments, being able to open up is what helped me be a better boyfriend.
So often we compare other people’s inadequacies in their relationships to our own. She tells me, “You don’t call and check on me enough, you don’t ever ask me how my day is going.” My response shouldn’t be, “It’s not like I’m cheating on you or I’m talking to other women. I’m at work, I’m busy. I know women that would love a guy that worked as much as me.” Being a man means you’re responsible to your obligations but what happens when you ignore being responsible for her heart? Being responsible for her feelings. A woman that’s willing to tell you what you’re not doing is a woman that’s still fighting for you.
Anyway, those are some early 2016 thoughts. I hope you all have a great year!