Views: Shoe Souls

angrycouple300xMany men would have killed to date Halle Berry, but have since put their weapons down. The same goes for Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, and a plethora of drop-dead gorgeous celebrity women who have shared the common theme of difficulty on the dating scene.

It seems these beautiful ladies can’t keep a man. Sure, relationships don’t work out and couples split, but when there’s a pattern of serial monogamy and break-ups, one begins to question the individuals involved. There was a time when you could predict the beauty of literature based upon it’s exterior binding… but in an e-book era, you can no longer judge a book by its cover.

The song “Contentment,” by Kindred the Family Soul so beautifully illustrates the idea of happiness with one’s situation in a relationship despite its flaws. “Our family is growing nicely / And our waistlines are growing slightly / And I’m amazed that you’re still here / Never knew that I could feel so sincere.”

Many couples today can’t relate to this kind of contentment. In spite of putting on weight, this couple seems to find happiness in their union. It’s easier to complain and compare, than appreciate your own relationship. We’re unhappy with our perfectly imperfect relationships because Beyoncé and Jay Z’s relationship seems just a bit more perfect.

But in the Beyoncé song, “Flaws and All,” the singer states that she’s “A train wreck in the morning and a bitch in the afternoon.” Despite what the magazines and blogs say, The Carter couple isn’t perfect. Beyoncé is human just like you, and this song strongly conveys that. She goes on to sing, “I neglect you when I’m working / When I need attention I tend to nag / I’m a host of imperfection / And you see past all that.”

So why can’t you see past the ideal that relationships are supposed perfect. Sometimes we become so invested in the perception of others’ joy that we fail to notice our own. Being content in a relationship doesn’t mean lowering your standards. Keep your standards–they’re meant to protect you. But keep your mind in the process, because you’ve lost it if you think you’ll ever have a relationship without flaws.

Ladies, this is for you: While you’re delighting in stealing her man, you might as well steal her shoes too because you’ll be walking in them. She had flowers sent to the office because he cursed her out the night before–but all you see are the flowers. Don’t compare your relationship to others because the green grass you see may be artificial turf. Your relationship may be flawed, but so are you. There will always be problems, but if he loves you and the good outweighs the bad, learn to be content.

Gentlemen, this is for you: The sole of a shoe is the portion that comes in direct contact with the ground, often wearing out first. Each sole is created according to the owner of the shoes’ lifestyle. A dancer uses leather outsoles to turn and glide in, while a hiker needs a thicker and more durable sole. Put your feet in someone else’s shoes and you just may stumble. Don’t give her room to compare your relationship to others because your relationship is unique to your situation. You’re not perfect, but everyday remind her why she said, “yes” to your first date. Walk in the shoe soles that were meant for you.


— Enitan Bereola, II

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Bereola is the go-to style and etiquette impresario, public speaker and entrepreneur. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed BEREOLAESQUE: The Contemporary Gentleman & Etiquette book for the Urban Sophisticate. He is working on his follow-up, Guide to Ladies’ Etiquette from a Gentleman’s Perspective. Find him at and at

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