Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I’m sure you’ve all heard about Steve Harvey’s new book “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man”. If you haven’t, Google it and read the reviews. Now, before I go into my personal thoughts on the book, I gotta self-disclose that I’m no fan of Steve Harvey. For the most part, I think he comes across as a corny old man who’s trying to be cool, and that irks the hell out of me. But I kept hearing great things about this book and I decided that I’d better check it out for myself before I passed judgment. After all, corny, un-cool old men can be a wealth of relationship knowledge. My dad often says that he learned everything he knows about sex and relationships from his days working as the shoe shine boy in his older brother’s barbershop. He said those old dudes really had the game figured out.

So, anyway, I go and pick up the Steve Harvey book and I enjoyed it SO much that I devoured it in less than three days. It’s a really quick read. I only read it on the train going to and from work, which is about an hour of reading a day, and I finished it in 3 workdays. I read fast… always have, but even I was surprised at how quickly I flew through this book. And mostly, it was because the book was SUPER entertaining and highly-informative. I’m a relationship junkie, so I’ve read just about every trendy relationship book that’s ever been released. “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”? Read that from cover to cover at approximately 13 years old. “He’s Just Not That into You”? It’s still a favorite. I keep it around and review chapters over and over again, especially in case of relationship/dating emergency. “Why Men Love Bitches”? Copped that, too. Read it in a matter of days, and really loved some of the tricks and tips the author shares. “Why Men Marry Bitches”? Yep, bought that one, too! Although I didn’t love it as much as I did the first one.

And, now, “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man”. The title itself is intriguing. Why would a LADY want to think like a MAN? Well, it makes sense, really. If you’re interested in building a solid relationship with a man, you’ve got to know how he thinks. What IS going on in those little minds of theirs? Steve claims that men aren’t that complicated… and I guess he’s right because he claims to have captured everything a woman needs to know about a man (and more) in 15 SHORT chapters.

Anyway, I learned a lot from reading the book, and I think you will, too. One of the most important thing that I learned was that men respect standards, and so, I need to get some. This is an important lesson and one that I think that many women are afraid to put into practice.

The truth is… I already do have standards and I in the past have not been afraid to make them known. For example, I was dating this guy about a year ago. He was cool. I liked him and was interested in taking things further with him, but at my own pace, of course. The thing that bugged me about the guy was that he repeatedly asked me to spend the night at his house. Now, I’m the type of woman that likes to go out, and I am clear about that from jump. I hate it when a man suggests early on in our dating relationship that we spend “quality” time together in my house or his house. Blockbuster nights, or – in this day and age – OnDemand or Netflix nights – are nights to be shared with someone with whom you’ve built some sort of relationship… they are not appropriate for a wo/man that you are trying to woo.

So, I casually deflect this dude’s invitations by making up mad excuses about why I couldn’t stay over on a particular night. Why did I make stuff up? Mainly because I was afraid that if I laid out any rules, he would think I was lame and walk away.

This guy was persistent about an overnight visit until finally one day I say, “Listen, I just have a personal rule that I don’t go to a man’s house until I’ve been out with him at least 5 times. I mean, before then, I don’t really KNOW you at all…” He was quiet for a few minutes and said something like “Oh, well, why didn’t you say so? That’s cool. Stick to your guns. I meant no disrespect.”

Huh? Did he actually say that he was cool with me not coming over?

He never asked me to spend the night with him again, but he kept taking me out and we had a lot of good times together. Our relationship didn’t blossom into a great romance, but we remain friends to this day.

Honestly, I was surprised that I didn’t have to acquiesce to this man’s requests in order to keep his attention. I was sure that after I’d put my foot down he would lose interest, but that didn’t happen. Now, I’m not saying that all guys will respond in this way. Guys who have one goal in minda (namely S-E-X) will probably weigh the costs and benefits of respecting your standards… and if the cost seems to high and the benefit too low, they’ll break out. But good riddance to them!

What I’ve learned from both Steve and The Older Man is that there are guys out there who don’t let their one-track minds rule their interactions with women. Some men actually have a genuine interest in getting to know you better, and simply enjoying your company. I’m certainly not going to lie to you and say that these men are in the majority, but they ARE out there. And a good way to weed them out is by outlining some standards and sticking to them.

So, now the hard part: putting this lesson that I’ve learned into practice. After all, I can’t do all this preaching to you about what you should and shouldn’t do and then not follow-suit. That would be hypocritical… and hypocrisy is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves.

You probably think this won’t be hard for me because, yes, I laid down my standards with the guy I mentioned in the story I just told you, I’ve laid them down with Charlie, and I’ve laid them down with The Older Man. They’ve all heard some variation of the many rules and standards that govern my dating life, and they’ve all chosen to respect those rules or standards (for the most part)… and that’s great! But, the thing about them is, I laid out those standards with them because I figured that with them, I don’t really have anything to lose. The guy from the story you just heard was someone I’d only been on three dates with… while I liked him, I certainly didn’t have much vested in that relationship. You already know how I feel about Charlie – I just entertain his bullshit when I have nothing else better to do. He’s certainly not someone that I take all that seriously, so of course I could lay down rules/restrictions/etc. without caring about the consequences because I didn’t care if he walked away. The Older Man is great, but he’s playing by a different set of rules given his age and not being a part of my “generation”. Plus, he thinks I’m young and naïve and probably would expect that I’d set up a whole bunch of hoops for him to jump through before he won the prize (the “prize”, in this case, being lil ole me!).

But, now, the question becomes, will I be strong enough, and bold enough, and fearless enough to lay out some standards with someone that I really, really like? I mean, the guy I like… he’s great, y’all. He really is. The problem is that he and I are not “defined”. We have had some really great times together, have discussed the future, have made it perfectly clear that we like each other. But, we’ve been at this for MONTHS and he’s still not my “boyfriend” or really anything more than just a friend that I like. (And Steve Harvey says that when a man goes “all-in”, he’s not afraid to PROFESS that you are his woman… a.k.a. he will give you a TITLE.)

This “thing” I’m in is almost like having a crush. And I can’t imagine that I’ll be comfortable going on this way for much longer. So, I think the next step is to explain to this man that I can’t continue this type of “pseudo-relationship” any longer and that I need to know where this is going. I should’ve done this awhile ago, but I was afraid to take the risk of pushing him into something “official” before he was ready. So I’ve just remained silent and continued to go with the flow and hope against hope that he would finally see the light at some point and profess that he wants ME to be his “woman”.

He still hasn’t. *sigh*

And, so, I’m going to have to say something. I don’t want to, but this conversation that I’m planning will separate the boys from the men. The Older Man says that if you have to ask the question, you already know the answer. I hope this is the one thing he’s wrong on.

Not likely, since he’s been right on just about everything else up til now, but… *fingers crossed*

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