We close this month’s series on our “Ode to the Experts” with Steve Harvey’s Act Like a Lady, Think Like A Man.
When this book came out, I swear all of my girlfriends went mad. Like some of them got real mad because they were like, “Who does Steve Harvey think he is telling us what to do?!” Well, I’m sorry. But I got into this book, and Steve has got some golden nuggets to give, ladies!
One of the first things that truly resonated with me was his idea that women need to wait 90 days before giving up the “benefits” when it comes to new relationships. Steve says you need to take time to get to know where a man is coming from and know who he is before you get intimate with him. Doesn’t this totally make sense? People (not just guys) put forth their BEST behavior in the early days of wooing and dating. It’s much more difficult to keep their true selves hidden for a full three months. And shouldn’t you want to know the total person you’re about to be intimate with? Not just, “Mr. First-Week-Wonderful”? Better you see his “total package” (and I don’t just mean that package) before you give up the cookies. Not afterwards, when you’ll be wrought with “Oooh why did I sleep with that man, he soo craa-zee?” regrets.
And yes, as Steve’s critics loved to point out when the book first hit the bookstores, he has a lot of his own baggage. But who among us doesn’t have baggage? Who better to share what not to do? No, he doesn’t talk about his own faux pas in the book, but he does tell it to you straight. And with a few laughs. He is a comedian, after all. You can watch him here on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. (He’s actually pretty hilarious, and if you’re not laughing and nodding along, then you might need to relax a little bit before you set off man hunting!)
You know what else Steve is telling us to do, my loves? He is telling women to set HIGHER standards and create stronger boundaries. Let’s not forget … you are a queen. You should act like one. You should walk the walk and talk the talk of a woman who not only cares deeply for herself, but requires that same level of care, understanding, and respect from those around her, especially from the man she is sleeping with, new relationship or not.
Steve goes on to pound into our heads that men are simple. That at their core, men simply want to protect and provide. I’ve experienced this to be true. Yes, there are other things that they want and no man is like another, but these basic desires are what drive them. We have to allow them to do this for us. To protect and provide can come in all kinds of forms, and we’ve gotta be receptive to their needs as well as our own.
I get it. Many of you are independent women. If you are anything like me, you were raised to be independent, and many of you have spent some portion of your adult life – if not the majority of it – on your own. That means if you’re anything like me, you’ve had to do everything on your own from fixing your own leaky basement to fixing your own dinner. When it’s time to let in a partner, and he wants to do this for you, you’ve got to let him! And this brings me back to that 90-day thing. In 90 days, you’re going to set out to intentionally discover if your man is capable of fixing a leaky basement, or if he even wants to fix YOUR basement. You’re going to use your first 90-days being very focused — i.e. intentional — on things that are important to YOU. You’ve grown weary of doing these things by yourself, and you’ve determined that this is a standard that is important to you, therefore, you should know if this new guy is any kind of right for you in the dank basement department before you give up the nookie. Otherwise, you’re right back down in that dang gone dank basement with your laptop, a How-To You Tube video, a screwdriver, plus a newly added stank attitude because you felt like someone screwed you out of a piece of yourself. When actually you gave it away quite quickly all on your own, without double checking the guy was worthy in the first place.
You know I like books that tell me straight to my face what I need to do. This book does that and more. I’m asking you to give it a chance so that you can give the love you want and receive it in return. It can’t hurt, right? Certainly not more than another round of heartache.