Harvey (2009/2011) explores what men really feel about love, partnerships, affection, and engagement in order to assist women in developing strong and stable relationships and marriages. He starts by addressing the man’s mentality, concluding that men are easy and are guided by three things: their title, what they do to get the title, and how much they earn, which he elaborates on using his own personal experience.
In comparing a woman’s love to a man’s love, he argues that nothing in the world can compare to a woman’s love and concludes that, though men love, they certainly cannot love as women do. He says that men will only show love through professing, providing and protecting the women. He also looks into the three things which every man needs; support, love and sex which come naturally. He advices women to avoid opening conversations with ‘we need to talk’ and be inviting them to resolve matters with simple statements which indicate communication.
Harvey further explains what drives men to do what they do. He elaborates that a man’s initial intention is to sleep with the woman and has a plan. He advices women to recognize this fact and act accordingly. He uses his love for fishing to equate women to ‘sports fish’ and ‘keepers ‘of which each woman decides her category. ‘Sports fish’ have no standards and no vision for a relationship while the ‘keepers’ do not give in easily, have standards and a vision for the relationship. He advices women to set strict rules to handle their husbands who are mama’s boys and deal with their mothers control efforts. Harvey also attempts to explain why men cheat. First, he says it’s because they can and unlike women they attach neither love nor emotions to the sex. Secondly, they think they can get away with it through lying and denying. Men also cheat because they have not become who they want and need to be or found who they truly want. They also cheat because things have changed at home and are not how they used to be and finally because there is a woman out there willing to cheat with him despite knowing he’s married.
He finally looks into a relationship as a game and provides tips for women on how to win it. He advises women to get standards as men respect them, question a relationship and get deep insights before getting deep into it and putting the ninety-day rule into practice as they check out the guy. He cautions against settling down with a man who agrees to meet the kids after she has said yes for he cannot make a good father and encourages women to be strong and independent.
Harvey therefore concludes that with set standards, a timeline and requirements women get down with the right partners and build strong relationships and marriages. They should put themselves first, get where they want to, make their men who they want them to be and stamp out fear of failure for a successful relationship or marriage.
Steve Harvey uses subjective and objective writing hand in hand in developing Act like a Lady, Think Like a Man. Subjectively, he gives his own personal opinion about men in relationships and marriages. He also objectively uses facts and real life experiences, both personal and other people’s, to develop the book.
In his own opinion he describes men as simple and says that they are driven by who they are, what they do and how much they make. It is in his opinion that men’s love is different from that of women which is incomparable. He sums up three things in ‘The Three Ps of Love’ which men do to show love for their women; Profess, Provide and Protect. It is also in his opinion that every man needs three things; support, loyalty and sex as he compares women’s needs and men’s needs in a relationship. It is in his opinion that women should invite men into a conversation on a matter with simple and kind words and avoid using ‘we need to talk’. He also gives his own opinion and assessment as to why men cheat as well as the things that women should do for a healthy working relationship or marriage. He therefore uses his own personal opinions to address issues and advice women on relationship and marriage issues.
Harvey also writes objectively; he uses facts and real life experiences which. For instance, when he was laid off from the Ford Motor Company, the small jobs he did and his first time and breakthrough into comedy in explaining what drives a man. He also uses his own experience when they went for a joint fishing and diving trip in Maui with his wife, Marjorie to elaborate on how much men protect their wives. On his own personal experience, he applauds that Marjorie has set standards which keeps them together
In elaborating that men’s first intention with a woman is to have sex, Harvey uses a case that happened while they were doing the Steve Harvey Morning Show in Detroit. A lady came to the podium, to say hi and one of his guys was all in her space but not until he heard that she had five kids. He also talks about a case involving her daughter in which with the help of his father-in-law they helped the girl realize that her boyfriend was in just for sex.
Harvey further uses elaborations from his television show in which the show received a number of real life issues from the listeners. They received letters, emails and calls all which Harvey incorporated in his writing. Among these are the ‘strawberry letters’ for example the one of a woman who realized that she was nothing more than a plaything after she had been seeing the man for six months. Another example is in ‘Strawberry Letter 23’ which is an issue about a mama’s boy who is being controlled by her mother at the expense of his relationship. Also from the letters, is a case of a conversation between a woman and his husband of twenty years who asks his wife to allow him have sex with other women out of his wedlock. Harvey uses these real life experiences to give insights to issues addressed in the book.
Despite Harvey writing more extensively from his own point of view and opinion regarding men in love, relationships, intimacy and commitment, it’s evident that Harvey has written both objectively and subjectively. He has used his own understanding of relationships and marriage to advice women but he has used real life experiences to explain, elaborate and concretize what he observes.
Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man is deservingly Harvey’s highest selling book. The book satisfactorily looks into the account of relationships and marriages. The book develops insights into the mentality of men; how they view love, relationships, intimacy and commitment. Step by step he describes men as simple creatures who show love through professing, providing and protecting. He explains and elaborates that men want support, loyalty and sex in a view to help women know how to handle them. He gives advice to the women on the dos and don’ts in the relationship and the precautions to take just not to be used or end up in bad marriages. The reader is undeniably in a better position for a successful relationship and marriage after going through the book.
However, Harvey makes unproven generalizations about men which clearly come from his own point of view. He covers the man in the relationship and centers the relationship around him. He sees men as perfect in the relationship and that women are the only ones who have to bend and strive to suit in the relationship. He advices the woman not to confront the man after clear mistakes. They should not call directly the man into talks but address issues with ‘Am just telling somebody to do this and that’ which are more appealing to the man.
Harvey also tends to justify cheating by men with a basic reason as because they can. This is a lame excuse and his explanation is just not as helpful to the lady. He tends to tell the lady that every man can cheat and she should just accept and move on with it. This should never be the case.
Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, is a book specifically designed for the woman in the society. Women in both marriages and relationships as well as those who are not yet there. To save a crumbling relationship or stabilize the marriage even further. For women to understand the men in the relationships and understand how good the man they are in a relationship with is and if he is there for the long term or a bed term. Having interacted with women in his career in various shows like ‘Ask Steve’ and the ‘Steve Harvey Morning Show’ the renowned comedian got deep insights into relationships and the plight women faced at the hands of men. They faced disappointing spells in relationships and marriages which a number ended crumbling down. The book is therefore developed and designed to help the woman understand the male mentality for a stronger and successful relationship.
It is a book I would recommend to any lady out there willing for a strong positive relationship or a successful marriage. The book will not only help the woman understand the man in the relationship or marriage but also inform her on her role and responsibility towards its success. It is a book that any lady should read before setting her foot into a relationship for an understanding of how appropriate the guy is and what his plan for her is.
Carrol, J., (2011). Book Review: Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man [Review of the book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man]. Realhealthmag. Retrieved from https://www.realhealthmag.com/blog/book-review-act-like-a-lady-th
CBS. (2012, April 9). Steve Harvey on “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” [Video file]. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fWNT1krhlI.
Connell, R. W. (1995). Masculinities. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Harvey, S., (2011). Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. Washington: Amistad. (Original work published 2009)
Hooks, B. (2004). The will to change: Men, masculinity, and love. New York, NY: Washington Square Press.