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Straight talk no chaser, p.1
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       Straight Talk, No Chaser, p.1

           Gena D. Lutz
 
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Straight Talk, No Chaser


  Straight Talk, No Chaser

  How to Find, Keep, and Understand a Man

  S TEVE H ARVEY

  with Denene Millner

  Dedication

  This book is dedicated to the memory of my beloved mother,

  ELOISE VERA HARVEY,

  who taught me my love and faith in GOD,

  and to my father,

  JESSE “SLICK” HARVEY,

  whose sole purpose seemed to be to teach me how to be a man.

  That combination has kept me moving forward even in my darkest days. . . .

  I miss them so much. I hope I’m making them proud.

  Contents

  Dedication

  Introduction

  Part I

  UNDERSTANDING MEN

  Chapter 1

  The Making of a Man

  Chapter 2

  Dating by the Decades: A Guide to How Men Feel About Relationships in Their Twenties, Thirties, Forties, Fifties, and Beyond

  Chapter 3

  Are Women Intimidating? Myths Versus Facts

  Chapter 4

  Every Sugar Daddy Ain’t Sweet

  Part II

  FINDING A MAN

  Chapter 5

  The Standoff: He Won’t Commit, You Won’t Leave—Now What?

  Twelve Ways to Tell If Your Man Is Ready to Commit

  For Ladies Only . . .

  Chapter 6

  Let’s Stop the Games: Asking Men the Right Questions to Get the Real Answers

  Chapter 7

  Presentation Is Everything: Don’t Let Your “Off” Day Be Her “On” Day

  For Ladies Only . . .

  Part III

  KEEPING A MAN

  Chapter 8

  The Cookie: More on Why Men Need It, Why You Should Keep It

  For Ladies Only . . .

  Chapter 9

  The “N” Word: How to Get What You Want Without Nagging

  Chapter 10

  Show Your Appreciation: A Little Bit of Gratitude Goes a Long Way

  Chapter 11

  Dollars and Sense: How to Handle Money Problems with Men

  Chapter 12

  The Art of the Deal: How to Get What You Want Out of a Man

  For Ladies Only . . .

  Part IV

  QUESTIONS AND COMMANDMENTS

  Ask Steve: More Quick Answers to the Burning Questions You’ve Always Wanted to Ask

  For the Men . . . Ten Commandments to Pleasing a Woman

  Glossary of Steve’s Terms

  Acknowledgments

  About the Authors

  Also by Steve Harvey

  Credits

  Copyright

  About the Publisher

  Introduction

  I can hear her heels clicking on the cement, coming faster and faster, louder and louder. She was working her way up three levels of the circular parking lot—she’s skipped the elevators altogether and is running in the middle of the road trying to run me down before I make it to my car or to stop me if I start to drive away. Just as I am about to duck into the backseat, she catches me: “Steve Harvey! Steve Harvey! I . . . got . . . the . . . ring,” she says, waving her left hand in my face while trying to catch her breath from the impromptu workout. She swallows hard, takes another breath, and then starts in again. “You said to make marriage a requirement and tell him if he wanted to continue our relationship he needed to give me a ring. I did what you said to do and I got it, Steve Harvey. I got my ring!”

  I hear stories like hers practically every day: some women send me letters, telling me they wish they’d had my first book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, on their bookshelves when they were wasting time with a good-for-nothing guy; some women e-mail me stories about how they would have better recognized the guy worth holding on to if they had known in advance what motivates men, which I shared in that book; still others call into The Steve Harvey Morning Show or show up to my book signings, relationship panels, and television appearances, or send questions to my online dating site, thanking me for the insight and vowing to keep my advice in mind as they look for, get into, and forge relationships with the opposite sex. With more than two million books sold worldwide and translated into a myriad of languages in over thirty different countries, I’m proud to know that which I spoke about so passionately in Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man was digested, considered, discussed, and ultimately applauded all around the world. I’m also grateful for the doors it opened for me. I have been labeled a relationship expert on a national morning show and in one of the most well-read and respected women’s magazines in the world (though I will maintain that I am merely an expert on the mind-set of men in terms of how we think and why we do what we do).

  I’ll be honest. I did not see this coming. When I set out to write my first book, I did it only intending to share with women who send in questions to the “Strawberry Letter” segment of my radio program and show up to my comedy shows nodding in agreement about my observations on love and relationships, a no-holds-barred guide to understanding what men think about love, sex, dating, and marriage. My sole hope was that it would help women get beyond the myths, stereotypes, and general chatter that puts a stranglehold on the way they conduct themselves in relationships with us; my intention was to inform them about who we really are and what it takes to win in love with us when playing the “dating game.”

  My intentions were pure: I care deeply about these things because I am a husband, a son, a radio personality who speaks to millions of women daily via my radio show, and, most important of all, the father of four girls—beautiful young women who deserve good men who will love them, respect them, and treat them the way they want to be loved, respected, and treated.

  What I found, though, was that Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man simply wasn’t enough. As I hosted relationship seminars across the country, I discovered that no matter how thoroughly I thought I’d explained what motivates men, women still had innumerable questions about why we men act and react the way we do in various romantic situations. If I told a group of women that men are driven solely by what they do for a living, how much they make, and who they are, women wanted to know why stability is more important to men than falling in love. If I said men show their love by providing for, professing to, and protecting their significant other, my audience wanted to know why men can’t love the way women love—by leading with their hearts. For every question I answered in the chapter, “Quick Answers to the Questions You’ve Always Wanted to Ask”—from “What do men find sexy?” and “Do you mind if your woman doesn’t work?” to “Are men okay with their women having male friends?” and “Is getting on his mom’s side important? ”—there were fifty more topics I hadn’t addressed.

  There was also quite a bit of dissension. Some questioned why I counseled women to hold off sleeping with a man for at least ninety days while she investigated his intentions. Some argued that if they dared institute standards and requirements and tell men up front they were looking for serious relationships, they would run off guys who might be interested in them; others questioned whether I, a twice-divorced comedian, am qualified to give advice to women on how to have a long-term successful relationship.

  All of these questions, observations, reservations, and demands for clarification and more answers reminded me that women are absolutely the most inquisitive creatures God has created; and no matter how many ways I explain something to my wife, my daughters, my female friends and colleagues, and especially my Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man readers, women are simply going to want to hear the answers more ways than my first book had to offer, and no matter how often I or any other man says they should maybe think and act a little differently in their dealings with men, the
y’re hesitant. Part of this is because other women, mothers, aunts, older female relatives, girlfriends, and (mostly female) editors of women’s magazines have been the ones primarily to guide and influence the way women conduct themselves in relationships with men. Rare are the times when men offer up their thoughts on dating and commitment, much less tell women how to make a relationship work. Consequently, when a man does speak up and out on the subject, it often seems to go against all of the advice women have previously received. So I understand some women’s hesitancy to embrace the tactical advice I offered up—I get the fear it may have induced.

  That’s to say that your questions, concerns, complaints, and shouts registered with me—let me know that I needed to go deeper into my explanations about why men do the things that we do so that women could get an even broader understanding of how to either find the man of their dreams or tighten the relationships they’re already in, and find satisfaction in their own strength, courage, power, and wisdom.

  This time around, I get to the bottom of: why men never seem to do what you want them to do when you want them to do it; how to get the most out of your men sexually; and what men think about dating from decade to decade, from ages twenty on up. I also give a more in-depth visit to both the most popular and the more controversial topics sparked by discussions surrounding Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, including: what men really think about the long-held notion that we’re intimidated by strong, independent women; creative ways to get a man to keep honoring your standards and requirements; learning how to ask men the right questions to get their truthful answers; and tested ways to get a real man to commit to you.

  My hope is that when you finish reading this book and really think about the information I’m sharing with you, you’ll have an even more informed understanding of men, and certainly an appreciation for how incredibly simple we are. We come at every situation from the same angle, using the same principles, seldom deviating. There really is no use applying your thought process to the relationship equation or expecting your man to adopt your logic when it comes to dating and mating; you can’t, after all, change men. I’ve had countless women ask me, “Steve, when are you going to write a book telling men what they should be doing?” Well, there is no lecture I can give, no panel I can sit on, no television roundtable I can host that will ever make a man pick up a relationship book and dig deep into it. He’s simply not going to read it. I can bet you my bottom dollar that even if I were to give this book away, I could count on one hand the number of men likely to pick up a book about how to better get along with women. First off, a man would never allow another man to tell him what he should be doing in his own house with his own woman. Second, I can guarantee you he definitely doesn’t want to hear Steve Harvey telling him what to do, not after I gave away the playbook in Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, and especially after I divulge all of men’s relationship secrets here.

  Mostly, though, I hope that the women who do choose to read this book find the courage to go against their widely held views on relationships and simply think about and put into practical use the advice I’m giving them in these pages. I understand it’s hard to swim in unchartered waters—that it’s scary, even. But I encourage you to open your mind and lose the fear. After all, the biggest cause of failure is the fear of failure. If you truly want to change your relationship fortune, why not give change a try? If what you’ve done up to now hasn’t worked, why not try to implement what I’ve laid out for you in both this book and Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man? Step out—be a risk taker; I’m not telling you to go rock climbing without a safety harness; I’m not saying to go skydiving without a parachute; and I’m not telling you to chain yourself up, submerge yourself in a tank full of water, and try to escape. I’m just asking you to consider thinking about relationships in a different way, based on all of the truths you’ll find out about men in the pages of my books.

  My sincere hope is that you’ll use this information to empower yourself—to recognize that you hold the key to a successful relationship. I understand that many women don’t quite care to embrace the idea that the burden of getting the union they want rests squarely on their shoulders, but it is what it is. You’ve been blessed with this tremendous skill set that we men do not possess, and it is those skills that you absolutely, unequivocally have to employ to get what you want.

  Change your approach, take back your power, and hold your chin up while you’re working on getting the love you deserve. Do this, and you’ll have very little to lose, but a whole lot more to gain.

  Part I

  Understanding Men

  1

  The Making of a Man

  I didn’t have any business being married at twenty-four.

  Yes, I believed wholeheartedly in the idea of marriage; after all, my parents had been married for sixty-four years before my mother passed away. And I had every intention of duplicating what they had: a stable relationship in a home filled with love, strength, perseverance, and wisdom. It was all I knew to do. So it made all the sense in the world to give a ring to the woman I loved and say, “I do.”

  And that was where the problem began.

  In the weeks leading up to my marriage, I didn’t have a steady paycheck to support my soon-to-be wife. In my heart of hearts, I knew this wasn’t right. I’d even said as much to my mother; I told her I was going to call off the wedding because I wasn’t working and it didn’t feel right. My mother, being a woman who wanted to see her child married and knew how devastating it would have been to my fiancée to call off her dream wedding, talked me out of canceling the big day. Invitations had been sent out. People were looking for the show. Who was I to rain on this festive parade?

  Years later, my mother apologized and admitted she would never have talked me into getting married if she’d known how unprepared I was to be a good husband. By then, we were able to put our finger on what was missing—what was dooming my first marriage even before the spit on the stamps we put on those invitations was dry: I didn’t know who I was, what I would do with my life, and how much I was going to make doing it. As I explained in Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, everything a man does is filtered through his title (who he is), how he gets that title (what he does), and the reward he gets for the effort (how much he makes). These are the three things every man has to achieve before he feels like he’s truly fulfilling his destiny as a man, and if any one of those things is missing, he will be much too busy trying to find it to focus on you. He won’t have it in him to settle down, have children, or build a life with anyone.

  In my first marriage, I didn’t have these things lined up by any stretch. I had dropped out of college and went to work at Ford Motor Company. Later I was laid off and didn’t get a job until a month after we married. It was a way to make some cash, but I knew it wasn’t what I wanted out of life—that it wasn’t my calling. And I was frustrated by it. How could I get a wife to buy into me and my plans for the future when even I wasn’t enthused by them myself? How could she know me if I didn’t know myself? How could she benefit from what I did and how much I made if I wasn’t doing or making anything? I was frustrated, our financial outlook was in shambles, and we were always at it—always fighting about something.

  Because I wasn’t a man.

  Sure, she’d married a member of the male species and I had some good traits. I was kind and trusting; I was a very good protector; and I made no qualms about professing to anybody coming and going that she was mine and I was hers. And some good, a lot of good, came from our union: my daughters Karli and Brandi and my son Steve. But I wasn’t fully a man. And it cost us.

  I wish my father would have warned me, would have sat me down and schooled me on the particulars of marriage. Perhaps he could’ve told me that a time comes when one needs to cut out all the foolishness—the screwing up in school, the fooling around with a bunch of different women. I wish he would’ve told me that if I didn’t stop acting foolish by a certain age, there would be a c
ost associated with my lack of focus, with deferring my dreams of being an entertainer. Had he done so, a lot of pain would have been spared for everyone all around. He didn’t share with me his thoughts on when a boy needs to focus on maturing into a man. He didn’t tell me, “Steve, listen: you got a couple years to date a few women while you figure this thing out, and once you decide who you are, what you want to do, and how you want to make your money, go get a partner who can help you accomplish these things.”

  That would have been a great lesson for my father to teach his son. But this isn’t the way of men.

  We are neither the greatest communicators nor sharers of information. There’s no manual that says we should know sometime between ages twenty-five and twenty-seven what we want to do with our lives and by ages twenty-eight through thirty, we should be settling down with a woman who is as committed to helping us achieve our goals and dreams as we are to helping her achieve hers. What we constantly hear, instead, is “You’re young—sow your oats, enjoy yourself, have a good time, don’t get tied down, don’t get serious with any girls.” And by the time we finish setting ourselves up financially and convince ourselves we’re ready to settle down, we’ve fumbled through countless “relationships,” leaving women by the wayside, some of them shattered and bitter because we thought it more important to add a notch to our player belts than to act honorably. We’ve gone for that gold star some men award each other when they have more than one woman at a time. And for your trouble? We get pats on the back—told over and over again that this is what we’re supposed to do if we’re real men.

  Men hardly get pats on the back when they get married.

  Even more, married men, whether they’re happily married or not, are constantly sharing the horrors of marriage with us, forever pointing out that all the freedoms single men enjoy come to a screeching halt when the ol’ “ball and chain” gets attached to a man’s ankle—that marriage is some kind of death sentence. Indeed, among men, conversations related to the ins and outs of marriage become conversations based on bravado and jokes, rather than the truth, which is that a marriage—one built on love, respect, loyalty, and trust—is the best thing that could ever happen to a man. Hill Harper pointed this out on a relationships roundtable we did together on Nightline; Hill, an actor who’s written a few outstanding books on communication between men and women, insisted that single men would benefit greatly if married men admitted publicly that behind closed doors, they are saying to themselves and their wives, “Thank God for marriage. Thank God for my family. Thank God somebody supports me and patches me together so I can go to work the next day. This marriage thing is pretty all right.”

 
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