When Jack Nicholson said “you make me want to be a better man” to Helen Hunt in As Good As It Gets, for some reason it really left a lasting impression on me. Far more than your typical iconic movie lines. I heard it then and it resonated as if something was conveyed in that simple line — and I knew, exactly what he meant and what it meant to me.
Even back then, almost 20 years, it hit me hard.
I think it’s because I always wanted that in life. I wanted a woman, who was far past the typical passion and love — but rather inspired me to embrace the sides of myself I was just barely tapping into. Through no intentional prodding or even overt conversations, she would make me become more introspective and proud of the ways I’d seek to improve, as a man.
A woman — who — for lack of finding an original phrase, who made me want to be a better man.
You, Kitten. As you read this, I think you should know…
You make me want to be a better man.
When a woman can inspire within a man a betterment of himself, even though he has done pretty well up until this point, it really is something special to absorb. Something very rare is happening at this moment.
I suppose the romantic side of me takes ahold of the intellectual side when I wonder, for all the people who conquered the world throughout history, I wonder how many of them did so because they discovered what I recently have discovered.
Did all the Pierre Curies have a hidden Marie behind them? Were they all inspired, by some formidable woman, to elevate themselves as I feel so capable to do so now? Is this how the world was shaped? Is this how the pyramids were built? Is this how everything that now we hold sacred, in our civilization, has come to pass?
I know this crazy talk.
You, my love, would tell me there are chemicals responsible for this anomaly in my life. It would somehow lessen things when I read and discovered that you are indeed correct. Dopamine and serotonin are coursing through my body as my fingers hit the keyboard, negating all that I hold valuable about the magic of our love, or something like that.
But I would counter that with something stronger.
In all my years, as I have already told you once, this is but an anomaly in my life. A one-time-so-far kind of thing. A once in a lifetime love.
This stuff doesn’t happen every day, so if it’s just chemicals, how come nobody ever made me want to be a better man, until you?
I have had plenty of passion in my life; I am not lacking in experiences.
I am in the sunset phase of my youth, the middle of my life, and the infancy of my wisdom. I have had all the variations and flavors of love and lust that a man who is even moderately desirable would have known. I have felt it all — but nothing like this and it is not even a comparison.
I’ve had the intense passion. I’ve had the misplaced love too. I have had very deep and loving friendships with women people would consider beautiful. I have had so much, for which I am grateful, and all of it has made me who I am, at the moment I scribe this.
But I have never had a woman like you.
Let me rephrase that.
Saying “I have never had a woman like you” misses my intent of what I actually mean and feel. I have never shared intimacy, emotional and physical, with a lot of different types of women. That, in and of itself, is not really all that special.
But I have never had a vulnerability, or even a friendship with a woman, who inspires me in the way that you do, Kitten.
And I know, from my math algorithm, that likely never will again. Maybe, one more time, assuming I live 80 years, but I am not banking on it. Which is why I, the dominant one in our relationship, must submit the most vulnerable and deepest version of me that exists.
Everything about you, and how I feel about you, is the absolute epitome of what I hope for in passion.
You and I are, what I wished all the other ones would have been, but never turned out to be. I sense that there is so much more there too, undiscovered, between us, and I get excited when I see the path that lies ahead.
I can’t find words in my brain or a dictionary to help me express what I am feeling for you. You inspire in me so much.
You lack nowhere. Now, you will say, “you are crazy, I have flaws.” Of course, you do. Not realizing that you are perfect for me is the first flaw that comes to my mind. However, in a very real way that even you might be able to recognize, of all the important things, there is not one area that you lack.
Your heart is so pure. Your brain is so engaging. Your natural confidence, so intoxicating. Your sense of humor, makes me smile every day. As a parent, you do things I wish I did better. In your career, you are a natural where I try so hard to be like you. In life, you learn, but more on that later.
When I say you are perfect, what I really mean is, all those important things, makes you so damn perfect to me.
I see you as an intellect. I see myself as smart. Both of us with IQs in the 140s, nobody would ever consider us dumb, but there is a difference between us and I spotted it from a mile away. Subtle but paramount. Being smart doesn’t require anything, other than good genes and some luck. Being born with the ability to figure things out faster than the average person doesn’t really speak to who you are as a person. Not on the inside; not where it counts.
You, on the other hand — are a seeker. You read everything, just for fun. You grasp at knowledge and thirst for even more when you don’t need to. You do it because you love it, and I love to know that you do it. In so many ways I envy you; in all the ways I lack, you are strong.
Usually, I write in a tone with absolute arrogance and bravado, because the truth is, I know I am better than other men I see. When it is all calculated up, from passion as a father, a lover, career — sure there are some people that can beat me in some areas, but when the tally summed, I have a hard time finding a counterpart.
Nevertheless, you probably can recognize that my tone is changed from the hundreds of other written pieces in my mind’s personal library. My bravado has been flattened. My arrogance, deflated.
I sound different. I sound weak.
Because I am.
I am so weak for you.
And I don’t want it any other way.
I’m just so fucking glad I found you.