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Straight talk no chaser, p.18
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       Straight Talk, No Chaser, p.18

           Gena D. Lutz
 
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  SH: By giving him a reason to be spontaneous. It’s very simple: if there is a reward in it, we’ll do it. This is nothing new. When we’re good students, we want the gold star; when we’re in a race, we want a gold medal; when we get a promotion, we want a raise. Why in the world would we give up the reward system in a relationship? As I wrote in the Chapter 12, “The Art of the Deal,” if you make a promise in exchange for that spontaneity, we’ll give you spontaneity all damn day. And know that there is only one payoff: we don’t want a pack of socks or underwear or a hand-drawn bath full of rose petals or a cash advance. All we want is some cookie. Give that to us and you’re golden.

  11. DO MEN PREFER SEX WITH NEW PARTNERS OVER SEX WITH WOMEN WITH WHOM THEY’VE HAD A LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIP?

  SH: We can get new sex from the woman with whom we’re in a long-term relationship. Variety is the spice of life. Take that short answer and pack it wherever you want to pack it.

  12. WHY DON’T MEN LIKE PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION—HOLDING HANDS, KISSING, AND SO ON?

  SH: That’s not true at all. I hold my wife’s hand everywhere I go and kiss her in restaurants all the time. If your man doesn’t want to do that, maybe he doesn’t like holding your hand or kissing you. Maybe he doesn’t want anyone—his wife, his girlfriend, prospective love interests—to know you’re together. If you want him to be more affectionate in public, take his hand, kiss him when the mood suits you (and it’s appropriate), and hug him when you need one. If he cares about you, he’ll return the affection, no matter who is watching.

  13. IF A MAN BRINGS ME AROUND HIS FRIENDS, DOES THAT MEAN HE’S REALLY INTO ME?

  SH: It could be, but it’s a sure sign that he’s not into you if you don’t ever get around his friends. If he’s not proud of you or wants to keep what he has with you under wraps, he won’t ever bring you around his boys.

  14. WHAT MAKES MEN HAPPY?

  SH: Cookie.

  15. WHAT IS A MAN’S IDEA OF A GOOD WOMAN?

  SH: Well, it varies from man to man. Some men want a woman who is working and contributing financially to the relationship. Some men want women to stay home and raise the family. Some men want someone who is stunning and supersmart. But at the end of the day, we all want and need the same thing out of our woman, no matter how much she’s willing to contribute to the bank account, do around the house, or dress up to make herself look superattractive: men have to have a woman who is loyal, supportive, and willing to give us cookie on a regular basis. If you’re missing any one of those things, then you’re not going to be a good woman for any man.

  16. WHAT ARE THE TOP THINGS MEN LOOK FOR TO DETERMINE IF YOU’RE MARRIAGE MATERIAL?

  SH: First, let me put this out there: you’re never going to be marriage material to everybody. Please take that pressure off yourself. You’re only going to be marriage material to the man who is looking for you. If you are fulfilling his requirements, you become marriage material. But if that guy isn’t looking to you for a long-term relationship, it doesn’t matter how much cooking and cleaning you do, how good the sex is, or how much intelligence, money, and know-how you bring to the table, he’s not going to propose. I can tell you that the women who are marriage material all have one thing in common, though: they all require that they be married. I don’t know a single woman who just surprisingly got married—like, “Oh, how did this happen?” The way and day he proposes may be a surprise, but you knew the day would come because you made it a requirement.

  17. WHY DO MEN BECOME SUCH A BORE AFTER MARRIAGE?

  SH: Often it’s because you have started accepting the same old thing, and so he has no reason to do anything exciting anymore. Put that reward system in place and you’ll get all manner of excitement pumped back into your relationship. Want to go out to dinner more? Say so. Want to go to more concerts or long walks in the park? Tell him. Then reward him when he does these things for you.

  18. ARE MEN TURNED OFF BY A WOMAN WHO SPENDS A LOT OF TIME PURSUING HER CAREER AND FOCUSING ON HER KIDS?

  SH: No, they are not. And you should never stop pushing yourself or taking proper care of your kids to please any man. If you’re going to work to take care of your bills and you are involved in your kids’ education and extracurricular activities, if you’re working hard to build a good life for them, why, it would be irrational to stop doing these things for a man’s benefit. That’s just foolish. A real man who meets an attractive woman who isn’t doing these things will want nothing to do with her. And you should reject any man who has a problem with you doing what you’re supposed to do to take care of yourself and your family.

  19. HOW DO MEN FEEL ABOUT ONLINE DATING?

  SH: It depends on the man, just like it does the woman. But it’s really starting to be nearly unavoidable because technology is such a valuable and pervasive tool in people’s lives. I believe you can save yourselves a lot of time and pain if you get online and talk to a guy before you meet him in person; you can learn a lot before you waste your time with time-consuming dates. And don’t underestimate the power of Google and sites like Free ID Search. All of these, in conjunction with online dating, are smart ways to connect with the opposite sex and really get to know whom you’re dealing with before you meet them in person.

  20. WHAT ARE SOME GOOD TIPS FOR FINDING LOVE ONLINE? DO THE SAME RULES APPLY?

  SH: The rules are the same. You have to take your time, you have to get to know a person, you have to ask the right questions, you have to dig until you know the truth, and you have to be careful. And, most important, you have to remember that it’s not what they say, it’s what they do, even if it’s online.

  21. DO MEN THINK IT’S ACCEPTABLE TO DATE THEIR FRIEND’S EX?

  SH: Most men consider this taboo. Does it happen? Sure. But most men know this is a line you don’t want to cross with a true friend because, in our eyes, you will always be his girl and we don’t ever start something with our friend’s woman. You’re virtually guaranteed to get your feelings hurt when you do that.

  22. HOW DO MEN FEEL ABOUT LONG-DISTANCE RELATIONSHIPS? DO THEY WORK FOR MEN?

  SH: They can work if the man wants to make it work. The number one challenge is trust: Is he who he really says he is and is he doing what he says he’s doing? There’s not a whole lot of ways to check up on that. What the two of you have to do is determine if you can work on coming together and, in the meantime, set standards and rules that will work for both of you. But be clear: there aren’t a lot of ways to check up on him when he’s not living near you. Don’t be naive about it: Is he sitting around twiddling his thumbs, waiting for the next time he sees you? Or is someone providing him a bit of satisfaction while he waits for you?

  23. HOW DO MEN GET OVER GETTING HURT IN RELATIONSHIPS?

  SH: For the most part, we move on. We go get somebody else. Are we scarred? Sure, but we’ll go forward, scarred, beat up, teeth cracked, bones broken. We have a moment of pause, a moment of regret, and then we get over it the best way we know how: by finding someone else. We understand very clearly that the best way to get over the last relationship is to start something cracking with someone new. We understand that life goes on.

  24. DOES AGE REALLY MATTER TO MEN?

  SH: If it’s a guy who’s younger debating about whether he should see an older woman, age matters. We’re trying to determine what she’s going to look like in ten years, what we’ll be able to enjoy together, and if she’s going to age well. In reverse, age really matters, as well. Once you’re a grown adult male, you’re conscious about how young a woman is. If a man has his act together and is mature, he’s not looking for someone to raise. He wants someone who is already grown. Really, though, the difference in age range that a man finds acceptable is really up to him.

  25. HOW DO MEN FEEL ABOUT WOMEN GOING THROUGH THEIR PHONES AND USING OTHER INVESTIGATIVE TACTICS TO FIGURE OUT IF THEIR MAN IS BEING TRUE?

  SH: Your man will hate you.

  26. IF A MAN TELLS YOU HE NEEDS A “BREAK,” DOES THAT MEA
N YOU’RE BROKEN UP FOR GOOD?

  SH: That’s the biggest warning sign a man can give. When you hear that, wave the white flag, grab the kids, and get to your mama’s house because what he’s just done is broken it to you softly. He’s telling you he’s going to stop calling you, he doesn’t want to see you, and he’s taking a break from sex—with you. He’s tired of you. That’s the warning shot that the end is here—that he’s going on with his life. And you should too.

  27. HOW DO GUYS FEEL ABOUT “HINTS” FROM WOMEN WHO ARE ATTRACTED TO THEM?

  SH: We’re cool with the hints and with direct flirting, too. The only time we don’t like it is when we’re not interested.

  28. DO MEN TREAT FRIENDS WHO BECOME LOVE INTERESTS THE SAME WAY AS THEY DO STRANGERS WHO BECOME LOVE INTERESTS?

  SH: Look, the only reason you were friends in the first place was because he didn’t think there was any chance of your relationship developing romantically. Know that he’s been eyeballing you from day one; no man is looking to be just a friend. He wanted you from the start. He settled for friendship because he didn’t think you would have him otherwise. The moment you let him be more than that, a line has been crossed and all bets are off if it doesn’t work out between the two of you—unless, of course, you both agree that it’s better for the two of you to go back to being friends. But it won’t be easy to go back to that space once you cross the line and become lovers.

  29. ARE MEN INFLUENCED BY FRIENDS WHEN IT COMES TO COMMITMENT?

  SH: Yes, absolutely. If you’re a guy in a serious relationship and all your friends are single, wilding out, and sport fishing (see the glossary), when you hang out with them, association brings on participation. After a while, it’s hard to behave. But this works in reverse, too: if all your friends are in committed relationships and you’re the one wilding out, you at least try not to do wrong when you’re with them. That’s the case with my circle of friends: my four buddies I travel with are committed in their relationships and the single men who play around know that when they come around us, they have to shut down or hide the craziness.

  30. DO MEN LIKE ROMANCE? WHAT DO THEY FIND ROMANTIC?

  SH: Yes, men like romance and men will continue to be romantic once it’s required of them. Just know, though, that romance for us usually means it’s going to lead to something. I’m sorry—that’s the way we think. We have to be reminded, sometimes, that cuddling is just that, cuddling. When a woman is romancing a man, we’re always going to think, “Okay, here’s another shot at getting some cookie.” Sometimes we get it, sometimes we don’t, but we’re working on a different mechanism, here. We’re thinking: “She’s being romantic for a reason.” Is that right or fair? No. But that’s the way we think. So be romantic at your own peril.

  31. CAN MEN CONTINUE TO BE FRIENDS WITH AN EX WITHOUT BEING SEXUALLY ATTRACTED TO HER?

  SH: Yes, we can be just friends with her. Most divorces end up kind of rough, and there’s often genuine hatred between the two. But we can move past the hate and be cordial with the ex and not be sexually attracted to her, for sure. If the ex is someone we dated, however, it can be a little more tricky, especially if a man is in a committed relationship. Under those circumstances, I don’t recommend being friends with the ex. No one erases all the memories, so hanging around someone with whom you’ve been intimate can be akin to playing with fire. You know what men are after, and you know if a man has had it once before, it’s hard for him to walk away from it if it’s being offered again. I’m not suggesting that men don’t have the willpower to be faithful, but I do think it’s just better for everyone involved to keep the distance.

  32. DO MEN GET AS BOTHERED AS WOMEN DO WHEN WE FORGET BIRTHDAYS, ANNIVERSARIES, AND SO ON?

  SH: We won’t let our displeasure be seen, but when important moments are forgotten, we do get hurt. We want to be celebrated just as you do.

  33. IF A MAN TEXTS YOU CONSISTENTLY, DOES THAT MEAN HE’S INTO YOU?

  SH: It means nothing. That same text can be sent to a bunch of women at the same time and he can forward it to a half dozen more. A man shows he’s “into” you by communicating with you in traditional ways—via a phone call, an in-person talk, a date. Text messages don’t cut it. Men who are interested in you want to be in your space, see your face.

  34. WHY ARE MEN SO PICKY?

  SH: Aren’t you picky when it comes to men? See, here’s what we’re not about to do: we’re not changing our standards. The moment you’re not keeping it up, the moment you’re not pulling your weight, the moment you don’t fit into what we’re looking for, we’re pulling up stakes. We want what we want and we’re not going to “settle” for a wife. You all would do well to take a page from men and stop compromising your standards and get exactly what you want in the man you deserve as well.

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

  1. Thou Shalt Give Her Free Time.

  Make the time for her to be able to take a class or pursue a hobby that she’s been putting off because she’s too busy with work and the kids to spend quality time doing something she loves.

  2. Thou Shalt Remember the Small Things.

  Rub her back and feet, run her bathwater and give her quality “alone time,” without obligation to give you some cookie for your troubles.

  3. Thou Shalt Consistently Find New Ways to Say I Love You.

  Love notes go a long way. Slip one in her wallet, briefcase, or lunch bag just because; she’ll appreciate that you were thinking about her and told her you love her without prompting.

  4. Thou Shalt Chip In.

  Wash the dishes, do a load of laundry, clean the bathroom, or do some other chore she usually handles. If you can’t or don’t want to handle it yourself, hire someone to do it for you. That’ll be one less thing she’ll have to do, and she’ll be grateful for the help.

  5. Thou Shalt Help with the Kids.

  Offer to put them to bed a couple nights a week or run them to their extracurricular activities. She could probably use the help.

  6. Thou Shalt Embrace the Art of Foreplay.

  If candlelight and soft music used to get her in a romantic mood but you haven’t used either of them in years, get back to romancing her. She’ll appreciate the effort and respond in kind.

  7. Thou Shalt Respect Her Schedule.

  Sure, you should be able to get in a little overtime at work or go for a three-day golf weekend with the guys without being hassled about it, but it’s better for everyone involved if you coordinate your schedule with hers instead of assuming that she will just handle the house, the kids, and whatever else is coming the family’s way while you’re out having a good time.

  8. Thou Shalt Send Her Roses, Just Because.

  Don’t wait for birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays to shower her with the things she loves. A simple bouquet of flowers or a pack of her favorite candy is a kind gesture that will show her you were thinking about her.

  9. Thou Shalt Remember the Golden Rule.

  You can be happy or you can be right.

  10. Thou Shalt Always Take Her Side.

  Of course, your mother taught you that she’s always right. The woman you sleep with at night must feel like you’ve got her back, no matter who she’s going up against. She’ll give you that same support, too.

  Glossary of Steve’s Terms

  WHAT DRIVES MEN: Who they are (title), what they do (job, career), and what they make.

  THE THREE PS: The three distinct ways men show their love to their mates—by providing, professing (telling a woman and everyone she knows that she is his girlfriend/lady/wife), and protecting.

  THE COOKIE: Sex.

  THE THREE THINGS EVERY MAN NEEDS: Support, loyalty, and the cookie.

  THE NINETY-DAY RULE: A probationary period in which a woman forgos having sex with a man until she figures out whether he’s really into her and what his intentions are for the relationship.

  WE HAVE TO TALK: The four scariest words a man will ever hear.
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  FIX-IT MODE: When men forgo talking, pondering, and mulling over a problem and instead figure out what the problem is and do what it takes to make the problem go away with as little drama as possible.

  THROWBACK: A party girl who has no rules, requirements, or respect for herself and doesn’t make any demands on prospective suitors, or a woman who is clueless about how to deal with men.

  SPORT FISHING: When a man dates a woman knowing that he has no intention of making any long-term commitments with her.

  KEEPERS: Women who have standards and requirements for their relationships, carry themselves with respect, and demand potential suitors treat them with respect.

  STANDARDS AND REQUIREMENTS: The expectations women have and the rules they set for potential mates interested in dating them.

  THE FIVE QUESTIONS: Queries every woman should ask a man to determine what he wants out of his life and his relationship with her. They ultimately help women determine right away what values a man has and how she fits into his plans. The questions include: What are your short-term goals? What are your long-term goals? What are your views on relationships? What do you think about me? and How do you feel about me?

  Acknowledgments

  I would like to pay a debt of gratitude to some amazingly helpful people. My editor and publisher, Dawn Davis, somehow believed I could write a book in the first place . . . and then backed up that belief with a work ethic I’ve seen only a few times in my life. Jill Jamison, a new hire with invaluable insight, sat in every single writing session to help form my focus group. A special thanks to Shirley Strawberry, who, with her inquisitive nature and relentless questioning, pushed me to dig deeper and deeper, to be more thorough for my female readers; she was also there for all the read-throughs, even reading all the drafts out loud to me and refusing to let me nod off in the final rereads.

 
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